Good day hanging in the St Petersburg area. We hit a few bars before going to Chip’s family pig roast, which was not actually a pig roast this year due to house moves, etc. It was fun, but I don’t belong with these people because they live a far richer lifestyle than I can fathom.

I did another night of couch surfing, and intend to return to Dunedin today to take care of more family business.

Wordle: four, my starter was LAUGH
Connections: perfect, Blue > Yellow > Purple > Green

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17 Responses to 2023-12-27

  1. Steve says:

    Wordle in 4. Conniptions FAIL!

    We never saw riders or game, or even deer being scared up, but we helped cull a few hounds and it was still a fun day. Debbie scored with a show of support from the hunt for all her work on their website. The truck was so covered in mud I had to drag out the pressure washer and give her a bath. Several inches of mud on the running boards.

    And I was a good little Fed employee and checked my email and Teams while out running around. I know there are several spots with zero signal, but I was ready if I needed to sign on and do anything.

    We’re watching “Dropout” on Hulu, about the Theranos con. I would agree with the portrayal- she didn’t set out to swindle from the start, it just turned into one when she couldn’t get it to work.


  2. David says:

    Greetings from Manhattan. I remember now why I always only limit myself to a couple days at a time here. Harry Chapin once quipped that he spent a week in Scranton, PA one afternoon. I feel that in the inverse here, where I pack a week’s worth of stuff into a couple of days. Yesterday our hotel let us check in at 11:00 AM, which was lovely. We then headed a few blocks over to Central Park and rented bikes for 2 hours, and did two laps around said park. After that we rode the subway down to the end of the island and took the Staten Island Ferry over and back. It was so foggy/cloudy yesterday that we couldn’t see the top of the World Trade Center, and even the Statue of Liberty was somewhat shrouded.

    Lucas grew out of his raincoat a while back, and as it’s supposed to rain today/tomorrow, we went to the coolest REI I’ve ever been to. It’s in an old building, and had a hella vibe. We upgraded the gloves he bought earlier in the day too. I’ve been amused to see that the bike couriers have figured out some sort of plastic oven mitt arrangement for their handlebars. It was borderline cold enough for me to need gloves, but I got by. Lucas’s hands were painfully cold, so we found some gloves at a pharmacy near the park at the end of our first lap. I upgraded him to some serious North Face gloves at REI. We of course had street hot dogs on the way to the park.

    After crashing at our hotel for a bit, we went out in search of a burger. Au Chavel (www.auchavelnyc.com) purportedly had the best burger in NYC, so I figured I needed to be the judge of that. Resy yanked a 7:15 reservation out from under me because their Byzantine authentication process look long enough that someone else snagged the table. Undaunted, I figured out a couple of options as back-ups and we headed there to try to get a counter seat. We had to wait 30 minutes, which was interminable to my 14 year old, but he survived. We ordered burgers, and I added on bacon/black-pepper mac and cheese as a side. OMFG, that mac and cheese stole the show. It is a tasty burger to be sure, but my god, we were practically locking forks over the mac and cheese. It is literally one of the best things that I’ve ever eaten. What’s even funnier is Lucas was put off by the black pepper part of it when I ordered it, but it didn’t slow him down any once it arrived. Also the restaurant is literally down a dark, narrow alley. I mean there’s lights, but it’s so narrow that I had to press against the building during a phone call so that a truck could squeeze by another vehicle. The original location is in Chicago, so I already have an agenda item for my next visit there, likely this summer. They have a fried bologna sandwich on their menu that I was sorely tempted by, you know it has to be insane at a place like that. Much like the room service hot dog that I had at the Four Seasons in Chicago for my 50th birthday was an experience I will always treasure. The one-liner description for the Chicago location reads: The open kitchen at this upscale “diner” works with ingredients ranging from bologna to foie gras. I also had a Jalisco Manhattan (casamigos reposado, carpano antica, molé bitters) and a Stone IPA, which paired incredibly well with the burger/mac & cheese.

    After that we had gelato and a canolli in Little Italy that was so good we’re probably going back tonight in spite of the scheduled rain. We’re prepped for the weather, so why not. Lucas had never had one, and it turns out ricotta cheese isn’t his thing. Oh darn. 😉

    The rough plan today is to take the PATH train to Hoboken to walk along the Hudson Riverfront Walkway, and then have lunch at Topp’s Diner in Newark, which was voted the best diner in America. I’ll be the judge of that as well. The foray into NJ isn’t something I’d normally choose to do, but Lucas likes “collecting” states, and this is one he hasn’t been to, and it’s just right there, so…. I always ride the hell out of the subway when I’m here, and it always brings into sharp relief how knee-capped MARTA has always been. It’s like a prisoner being fed a bread and water diet, staying alive, but only just barely.

    I do need to get a walk on the High Line in, that’ll probably be tomorrow morning before our walking tour of Grand Central Terminal. After that we head to Penn Station and then on to Philly.

    • David says:

      Oh yeah, Wordle in 3, also I whiffed twice on Connections, but it didn’t send me into a blind rage, so there’s that. 🙂 I’ll actually share that I got Blue > Yellow > Purple > Greeen. My two misses entailed having 3 out of four of the what I didn’t know was the green category. I said fuck this and attacked the other category, which was purple.

      Alrighty, time to wake the teenager.

    • Steve says:

      David, it sounds simply amazing. Debbie admonished me for not going into the city when I was in Newark last month. Having never been there, I was scared to attempt it alone. I’m sure the next trip to Newark, I’ll have a roommate! And I’ll have to remember that diner.

      • David says:

        Steve, I can completely understand that trepidation. Apple or Google Maps is your friend, it will tell you exactly how to get to where you want to be. Central Park is one of my favorite places on the planet. It’s not as fun in the winter, in the spring and summer it’s just glorious. I will tell you that over many visits I have never felt unsafe in New York. I did keep putting my phone in my front pocket when in crowded areas to lessen the chance of being pickpocketed but apart from that I felt completely safe. Also there are cops *everywhere*.

        I forgot to mention that we also traipsed through Times Square after gelato. What a total shitshow. This was for Lucas’ benefit, I could never go there again and it would still be too soon. But when in Rome…

        • Jenka says:

          We usually stay near Times Square and often have to walk through to get to a certain theater or restaurant. I would prefer to never go through it again in my life, but that is the cost of visiting the city.

    • Barb says:

      Where are you staying?
      I’ve only been to NYC a couple times, and we walked all over hell in March 2020 when everything was closed down.
      I haven’t taken the subway.
      Allan used to live in Ramsey NJ so he knows all about the Path train.
      \But – he hates NJ so we don’t get to visit that state.

      • David says:

        We’re at the Pod Hotel on East 51st. It’s a cruise ship sized room that has all we need and nothing we don’t. That must have been wild walking around empty Manhattan.

        I hear ya on New Jersey, and I was a bit hard pressed to figure our any redeeming activities to go there. Those folks seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of fun. 😉

        I love, love, love the New York subway. It’s such an experience. The first time I rode it back in the 90s we blundered onto an express train to Harlem, which freaked us out, especially when we went flying past our stop. Yesterday Lucas and I took a bus from La Guardia to a subway station in Harlem and it was absolutely fine. It’s all about the frame of reference.

        I have not seen the first rat here yet. They must be living large in the buildings for winter or something.

      • Jenka says:

        The subway is often the fastest and easiest way to get around NYC. Google Maps will just tell you which trains to take, which is an absolute godsend because before that feature existed it used to take me a half an hour just to figure it out. I grew up with the Boston T which is color coded and easily followed.

    • Jenka says:

      We took the train out to MetLife Stadium in Jersey, it was super easy. Send pics of the diner, I’m curious!

  3. Jenka says:

    I have nothing to report. Yesterday we slept late and then sat by the pool. Went to the Mexican restaurant for dinner, then back to our room and sat on the patio. Temp was 82 and sunny. Today is the same. Thinking we’ll try the Italian restaurant tonight.

  4. Eating lunch in St Pete at a place called “Hookin’ Ain’t Easy”. LOL

  5. Debbie says:

    Wordle in 3 starting with BREAK. Conniptions fail. I got hung up on DR.

    I was glad to be in the truck for yesterday’s hunt. The ground is ridiculously slippery. Nice gathering after at the clubhouse.

    Quiet week. Since I took yesterday off, I’m not working at all this week and only one day next week. I thought about going down to Ocala to look at horses, but decided to take ac pause. I’m looking at 2 locally on Saturday.

    David, I love NYC in short bursts. So glad you are having a fun trip with Lucas.

  6. Jenka says:

    POURING rain down here in paradise. Hunkered down at the patio bar having dranks.

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