Wild(wood) Weekend

I spent the last four days in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. I fell in love with the city proper. Had a decent steak (and a horrible bottle of wine, which was my own fault for *only* wanting to pay $60 for the A-to-Z) at Butcher & Singer.

(But the community hash brown? Best thing on the table!)

Off topic, the fake palm trees at B&S? Made me miss my real ones. I’m on the plane heading back to them now. …

But the culinary highlights were found going to and from the Liberty Bell, as we allotted Friday morning for touron activities before I drove her to the airport.

I got to a Corner Bakery (God, I’ve missed those!) where my friend bought me a cinnamon crème cake slice, as I’d been yapping about it ever since I introduced her to Elephant & Castle for breakfast. (Double NOM.) And I bought her a mojito lemonade at Cosi (another place I CRAVE) while I got to try their new sangria. (*slurp*)

Then I met up with a long-lost friend and we hightailed it to the Atlantic City area, where another great friend invited us to hang out with him by the shore for the weekend.

He recommended the Ocean Holiday Motor Lodge. My skin crawled at the name as my friend typed the phone number into my iPad as I took the call on the boardwalk (which had outstanding pizza at Mack’s and a top-notch mango-orange smoothie).

I realize all I do is talk about food, which explains why the re-pudgification process is under way. But my AC-resident friend loaded us up with bottles of extraordinary wine on Friday and Saturday nights, and cooked scallops (for me!) and filet mignons on his new searer on Saturday. It was extraordinary.

He recommended McGlade’s on the Pier in Cape May for breakfast today, on the promise of “You have GOT to try cream cheese on your omelets. You will NEVER go back!”

So I treated my friend to a father’s day brunch at this omelet mecca. And holy shit, my asparagus, crabmeat and cream cheese omelet provided a religious experience that totally excused my lack of going to church today. Nom. ;9

The weekend was fairly extraordinary. I met both of my boys’ families. I always love seeing people in their “natural habitat.” And I also love being someone else for the weekend, myself.

Or maybe instead of saying that I pretend to be someone else, perhaps it’s that I actually AM myself on these weekend expeditions.

I had an incredible business meeting on Thursday in the city and met an incredibly dynamic power player in my field. Who wants to work with me.

It always impresses me when I don’t outright offend people, but he took me and my female friend out for drinks in the French Quarter area in several places.

(Most memorably, the rooftop bar at the Continental – divine!) And he is best buds with the guy I came to visit in AC, so that didn’t hurt my credibility in the least.

Sometimes I feel like Kevin Bacon, with the six degrees of separation that’s going on in my world. But that would be bacon with cream cheese, like my friend’s omelet. I didn’t try it but damn, it looked good!

(It always comes back to the food. Keeps me from typing anything I shouldn’t!)

I’ll just say it was a wonderful four days that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

While I was driving through Jersey today where I had a rare “stop and wonder” moment. And we joked that there really was one way in this world that my mother would NOT have been able to come and live with me. And that I can totally blame him for it. 😉

But alas, perhaps life – warts and all – happened the way it was supposed to. I’d never have gotten to D.C. … or Florida … or come up to visit my friend at the Nasdaq or the one in AC because I never would have met any of them if I weren’t on this particular path.

And I don’t know that I’d be as whole or at least functional as I am now, had I not gotten some sun and some perspective. Maybe I would have just found a different type of happiness.

But almost 10 years later, there’s still happiness to be found, right where I wasn’t even looking for it.

Imagine all the magic we’d find if we actually kept an eye out for it. But damn, it’s nice to see it (again), hold on to it and squeeze out every last drop.

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