Sunday, October 21, 2012

Twenty One

I had to steal the photo from my niece's facebook page - but the weekend revolved around a surprise 21st birthday party for her. My niece Lauren has grown up to be a really terrific young woman and I am so proud of her.

My daughter and I began our journey on Saturday morning as we drove to our hotel in Newark, NJ. from there, we headed to Staten Island and had a visit with my friend Mike and his family. Mike was my next door neighbor growing up and I have known him since 1971.

We then ventured on to visit Philip's Candy of Coney Island, now located in Staten Island. The store was opened in 1930 by a guy named Philip. My friend Maria's dad started working for Philip at the age of 19 and in the 1960's, bought the store from Philip and has owned it since. A number of years back, the store had to vacate it's Coney Island location as a result of a city renovation project and relocated to Staten Island.

My daughter and I had a nice visit with my friends Maria and Laura (both affiliated with the reunion gang I've mentioned on this blog many times). My daughter was like a kid in a candy store, both literally and figuratively and I kind of gave her a $20 bill and said "Go Crazy!" They have the prices in that store very low, it's pretty hard to spend that much money unless you want enough candy for a small village. Victoria made a pretty good run of it though and Maria very generously refused to take any money. It was kind of cool to observe the clientele, many of whom had been customers when the store was in it's original Coney Island location.

After the candy store, we headed over to the party venue, even though we were early and even helped out a little bit with setup. Once the event started though, it was so fun because I had the chance to see some old neighbors, friends, and relatives, some of whom I haven't seen in decades.

This morning, I had a workout in the hotel gym and then Vickie and I both got ready for leaving. The first stop was for brunch at The Original Pancake House, Fort Lee, NJ location. The Fort Lee, NJ location isn't the original location, that would be in Portland, Oregon, but nonetheless, the pancakes were quite astounding; as was Vickie's omelet.

After brunch, we made our way to Westchester, NY for a visit with the Decoursey gang, sans Johnny. I am so glad I made that stop, I missed them and loved getting to spend time hanging with them. Finally, the trek back to MA which featured a stop in Southbury, CT where my daughter insisted on McD's fries. I made the stop and think I had found the slowest McD's ever. I would say it tool at least 15 minutes to get an order of small fries - that was all we ordered. At least Vickie enjoyed the fries! I walked over to the Stop & Shop in the same little plaza and grabbed an apple and a drink before we got back on the road and made our way home (with one more brief pit stop for a stretch).

I got home and was pooped. Fixed myself a cup of pumpkin tea and watched the PATS on the DVR and now, here I am to tell you all about it.


SM said...

Sounds like a great weekend!

Chris said...

SM - it was! :)