June 11th brought something amazing. The Scooper Bowl. It is an ice cream festival held in Boston, and Kari, the wonderful person she is, took me there as a late birthday present. Ice cream. Everywhere. There were 9 vendors touting about 50 flavors of ice cream, each had 3 out at a time in little cups, I guessed them to be around 4 ounces. Haagen, Ben, Jerry, Breyer, Robbin! They were all there! And they were all showcasing their finest flavors. Maine Lobster Tracks, delicious, nothing to do with lobster. Zesty Lemon Sorbet, I heard from multiple people walking away from the stand "Wow! that really is zesty!". And it was. Rock n' Pop swirl! It popped in your mouth! Bailey's Irish Cream, tasted like the real deal, it seemed illegal they were giving it to kids. But the best flavor, without question, Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. They held a contest for the best flavor, and after all the votes, on all 50 flavors, Oatmeal Cookie Chunk won with a full 25% of the vote. It is that good. I ended up eating 25 cups of ice cream, that was one of each flavor that each stand had up (skipping a couple boring repeats like chocolate), and at 4 oz. a cup, thats almost a full gallon of ice cream. That is a lot of ice cream. Enough to make even the most lactosetolerant person become intolerant... hah, dang that was good though. The trip also introduced me to New England for the first time, with the drive up to Boston, a stop in Providence, and a day walking around Boston, I was really impressed. Boston is a beautiful city, not too big, clean as can be, good food, I give it an A. Makes me appreciate some things about Pittsburgh, spending so much time in other big citys, like in Pittsburgh there is not an obsession with tourism being beaten into your head around every corner, you dont have to pay $50 to park for a day, you can find comfortable little places to stop that arent one of a thousand exactly like it in the world. But it was a great city, it really was. Plus, there is ice cream everywhere.
Back in Jersey, we were looking for something to do, and it may surprise you, but South Jersey is a certified wine region, there are lots of vineyards in the area. We went and tasted wine, schmoozing with the other clientele, ended up chatting with the chief of police (there for his monthly "inspection"), his father, and a local italian restaurant owner. I will say at this point, it is great to go out with two young attractive ladies, Kari and her friend, you seem to get lots of free stuff from guys. The Italian restaurant owner, Giorgio, invited us to his place, and when we showed up he took a seat with us, gave us an appetizer and a bottle of merlot from the local vineyard, then a "real bottle of wine" from his home town in Italy, then one of the cooks came out and gave us a bottle of his home made wine. After giving us dessert and shots of espresso and sambuca at the end of the meal, I went over to say by goodbye and thanks and got sucked into conversation with he and a friend at the bar. We ended up staying another few hours at the bar chatting with Giorgio and his friends. We had a good time, and I feel like I must reccommend, not only because of the hospitality but because the food was incredible, that you must go there if you are ever in the unfortunate predicament of being in South Jersey, it will be a cherry on your hot sludge sunday.
Like I said before, I caught the New York Fever when Kari's parents took us last month, so I was back last weekend to see Jamie Cullum play Carnegie Hall. We bought a $1 bus ticket that got us in at 9 from philly, and spent the day walking around the city, had lunch at S'MAC which only serves variations of mac n cheese, toured the Metropolitan Museum of art, walked through Central Park, took some busses, took the subway, and after walking something like 10 miles we took our seats in Carnegie Hall to watch the jazz genious unfold on stage. When we got to our seat, we were in the second to last row in the highest balcony in the whole theatre, so we... upgraded, a fairly simple process, you just scan out some empty seat and look like you know where you are going, nobody asks questions. We ended up right down on the rail on the third balcony, pretty close to the action. The show was incredible, with a modern jazz opener that had a great techno twist, and Jamie took the stage with a storm with his piano acrobats, some wicked improv, he took the stand up bass, trumpet and the drummer with a snare out into the audience and set up a little jam session in the middle of the aisle, just flowin for 10 minutes or so, it was groovy. Truely an amazing concert, the only bad part was at the end, the audience gave him a screaming loud standing ovation for something like 10 minutes after he left the stage and he didnt come back out for another song. After I got home I looked on his twitter and he apologized for not coming back out, saying that they would absolutely not let him. Stupid. Still. Awesome.
I am just starting to come off my high from the concert and just getting pumped for my trip to Vegas in a couple weeks, the excitement just keeps comin. Other than that, I signed up for a soccer tournament in July and I am trying to get myself in suitable shape to step onto a soccer field, I put an add trying to sell myself on craigslist, that hasnt panned out, so I sit around a lot, doing things like writing blog posts, looking for what might be a real job sometime in the distant future, creating sweet buisiness cards! check these bad boys out! I printed a few out and dang they are sweet. If you want me to make one for you I will, you can even pick your card of choice, what else do I have to do?