From now on, I am only flying Continental. They feed you! Sure there is no choice as to what you get (so us poor veggies have to eat around the middle, so to speak), but still. It is awesome.
We made it to the airport in plenty of time to dig up some breakfast and get a caffeine fix. I haven't been drinking a lot of caffeine recently but I really needed it today. I thought I was being picked up for the airport around 815-830, so imagine my surprise when I am awoken at 7:15 by my sister telling me they are on their way. I think I hung up on her.
The flight was comfortable without any turbulence or other things that might make me grip my seat. We landed on time, picked up the car (with the shuttle driver on crack! He took all turns at about 45 MPH), and then received the call that my sister's boyfriend had landed an hour early. Huzzah!! He is majorly obsessed with diners and deli's claiming that there are no good ones in San Diego. I have never been there but take his word for it. He may also be subject to hyperbole (as am I) so who knows. Urban Spoon sent us in the right direction. We ended up at the Middleleaf Diner in Middleleaf, New Jersey. The town was quaint and picturesque, exactly what you want from any small town in the Northeast. I had the eggs spinach Benedict, he had the regular Benedict, and my sister had challah French toast. Everything was very good!
The drive took longer than I remember it from Newark to the Poconos, but we also stopped to eat (not just drive through at the last McDonald's before the end of the world) and also picked up some supplies that were missing at the house. The funny thing is, I don't think we ate half of them. Hopefully somebody did. The grocery store in the Poconos is Grand Union. I love this place. It's about half the size of your grocery but full of oddly "big-city" things, like fancy cheese spreads and lettuces.
There was only one thing on my mind though- Dairy Bar. Since I was a child, we have visited the Dairy Bar for some of the best soft serve in the history of the world (no exaggeration). A couple years ago they added this machine that made any flavor soft serve you want- total genius. When we walked up to the window, I knew something was wrong immediately. The faded signs were gone and the poorly painted white brick exterior had been done up in pastel polka dots. On none of the signs were my beloved egg creams (I only drink them once a year and they make me complete). NEW OWNERS! Ugh! Is there anything worse? This guy took the greatest dive ice cream place, always doing brisk business, and turned it into a slick city operation. Who the heck in the middle of nowhere wants homemade gelato? I can get that here! I want delicious, creamy yet light, soft serve. He had changed that recipe too. When I commented on the changes and got him talking, I mentioned how much I loved this place growing up.
"Oh, that was a dump! It was awful!"
Sir, you have lost a loyal customer. I hope someone kicks your puppy, or better yet, says something degrading about Sesame Street to you. Ass!
Once up the mountain, things got better. My aunt made her famous Naked Ladies (or Blue Meanies depending on who you ask) and many people, I won't name names- wink wink, knudge knudge- were off the wall after two of them. We had great conversation all night, especially with my Uncle; who as the youngest of the "adults" is more like the "kids" every day. We are night owls, though he is also a morning person; an oxymoron I will never understand. Finally, at about 1 AM I wander upstairs to sleep. I have the newly christened (by me) master suite: the girls dorm (with 3 twin beds) and the sun porch, my favorite room (with 2 twins). Soon I am spread out amongst my space and dead to the world. Did I mention it was a crispy 65 at night? Lovely.