This has been a crazy travel summer since I got engaged. In August alone we went to Chicago and Peoria, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, and Saugerties. I took some time off from writing and blogging, but now it’s September–the dogs are raining down upon me and its back to work. Here’s a summary of the summer.
At the end of July beginning of August we went to Chicago to visit, well, Chicago. From there we rented a car and drove through the flat cornfields to Peoria to visit my Grandma for a day. In Chicago we stayed at the Wicker Park Inn which was in a good location but not the greatest bed and breakfast. All the rooms opened out onto the breakfast area so at 7 am every morning we were woke up to the sounds of coffee being made etc. Not to mention the breakfast was pretty much cereal and crappy pastries. And they didn’t wash our towels the majority of the time we were there and we even ran out of toilet paper even though a cleaning person was coming by everyday. I digress, but really cereal does not a bed and breakfast make. However the neighborhood was great full of vintage shops and record stores and we happened to be there the Wicker Park Music Fest. The best part was Cap’n Jazz had recently reunited and was playing the fest. We were lucky enough to escape the crowd by going upstairs in Myopic Books and watching from the window (we bought books!).
In addition to the art museum and aquarium, the other awesome thing about Chicago was the food! Holy crap we ate well! We ate a Rick Bayless’ restaurant Frontera Grill. Mexican Food so good it will melt your face off. Despite a questionable name, Crust, was a great organic pizza place. Another highlight was the incredible though expensive deserts at Hot Chocolate. But the funny thing we got into was getting Coke Slurpee’s at the 7-11. Classy!
Long Beach Island, New Jersey
My fiance’s family has rented a house on Long Beach Island pretty much every summer since he was a kid so we headed out to visit them for the weekend. It was really nice being out at the beach, however, beaches up north are considerably different from the beaches I grew up near in Florida. For one thing the water is cold in August! Also the tides were so crazy while we were there the lifeguards said we could only go in up to our knees. So we mainly walked around and ate ice cream at the many ice cream places on the island. Long Beach Island is very family oriented, many family’s had 3 or 4 kids. I don’t know how people do it. I can barely deal with myself and my cat much less tons of kids, but unlike Brooklyn where the kids run wild, the parents on Long Beach Island weren’t having it. They kept them in line which restored my faith in the parenting business. The last day when we were driving back we stopped in Seaside Heights to check it out since a lot of people had told me it was like Coney Island. Perhaps Coney Island back in the 70’s during the time the shot the Warriors. While the pizza and custard we ingested was pretty good never have I felt more like I needed to bathe in disinfectant.
My fiance, Dennis, had to work so he couldn’t come up with me for the whole week in Saugerties. So I borrowed one of my clients dogs Phoebe and went up on my own. It was fine except its pretty dark in the country at night ya’ll. Hardly any streetlights or neighbors had me playing through every horror movie I ever saw. Thank God for Phoebe!
Saugerties how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
1-Miss Lucy’s Kitchen where the Jerk Chicken and Banana Chutney sandwich blew my mind as did the Peach Blueberry Crumble I had for desert.
2-Is for Lucky Chocolates across the street where you can get any of their awesome chocolates mixed with ice cream.
3- Is for the amazing Pistachio Chicken, Vegetable Crepes, and Grape Leaves at Fez Restaurant.
4- Is for all the antique and second hand shops downtown.
5- Is for the Lighthouse.
6- Is for its proximity to the Hudson River and the Catskills, Woodstock, and Phoenicia. Not to mention Kingston, Rosendale, and New Paltz.
I love it up there and would love to have a country cottage there I could go to to escape the city now and again. Dennis wound up being able to come up for a few days (thank god- the dark nights were getting to me!) We had a great time at all of the above and we went tubing in Phoenecia on the Esopus which was ridiculous. We were either getting stuck on rocks cause the water was low in some places or getting dumped over and bruising ourselves on rocks from the occasional rapids. Delirious we wandered to the country store on the main street. Here’s us post tubing:
I came back to the city and had a meltdown about living here instead of some place that had more nature. Sometimes I feel too old for the constant assault on the senses in the city. This article in the Onion pretty much sums it up. I love a lot of people and animals here but I’m tired. Coincidentally Best Friends Animal Sanctuary contacted me about a phone interview for a dog trainer position out in Utah. This would be my dream job however my fiance is going back to school this year and couldn’t come with me if they offered it to me. Not sure what’s coming down the pike for us. But it’ll definitely be interesting! Gotta go study for my CPDT exam I’m taking in a few weeks and walk many dogs. Trying to take it one day at a time, more will be revealed.