I was persuaded to spend one more night in New Jersey.
An offer to go out to dinner with an old friend and the desire to spend some more time with my oldest brother Kevin made the decision a very simple one for me.
I thought, "No problem, that's what hotels are for." as I was sorting out my gear on the farm Friday.
I started my day by packing up the AirTrafficMobile and bidding adieu to Doc's wife Lisa. Doc and Team Lloyd were up very early, on their way to a sporting/hunting show in central Pennsylvania.
Leaving "Obisquahassit" (shown here on Thursday morning) behind, I set out for a good South Jersey breakfast.
Southerners tend to think they have cornered the market on the use of corn meal at breakfast. Grits, cornbread, and corn muffins are all dandy uses of the stuff.
Up here we use it for all sorts of stuff like making the bottom of a pizza crust crispy and keep Italian bread from sticking to the pan. Both are noble uses.
However, to find it's highest calling, you have to look no further than the staple that has sent many a Philly area man, woman, and child out into the world ready to take it on than the most humble of all pork products.
That of course would be scrapple.
For those keeping score at home, the scrapple is the stuff that's not the two "over hard" eggs.
Scrapple is made from what's left over of the pig after making sausage. It's the last meat stage in the processing of pork. The only other stage is the one where lard is rendered prior to the disposal of the unused bones, carcass, and squeal.
The pieces/parts are boiled off, ground, seasoned with lots of herbs and black pepper, thickened using cornmeal, and cut into blocks.
It's very easy to cook. Some like to dry fry it in Teflon pans, but it is best cooked in a cast iron skillet using bacon grease.
Low on the food chain, high in flavor.
What's not to love about that?
Having been properly nourished, I set out to kill some time awaiting check in at the hotel.
I went out to the cemetery to visit my Mom's and brother Gary's graves. Normally that would be a Sunday thing, but in light of the schedule I went out a day early.
Next I took a trip over to Delaware Park. It's a thoroughbred race track part of the year and a year round OTB site and slot machine parlor.
The final score?
Delaware Park: $200.00
Air Traffic Mike: $0.00
It did take quite a while for me to lose it so I don't feel too bad about the whole matter.
I did get this picture of the paddock area as a parting gift.
I highly recommend Delaware Park in racing season. It really is a splendid facility with terrific food, outdoor picnic facilities, and even a playground for the children.
Remember, just like my Grandmom used to say, "The family that bets together, gets together.".
We took Mom Mom to the track with us on more than one occasion. Her Dad used to take her when she was a small child. She loved watching the nags run.
I checked into the hotel about 3:00 pm, brushed my teeth, and rested for a bit. My dinner guest wouldn't be done work until later in the day.
After a bit I sauntered down to the lobby bar for a celebratory "Last Night In Jersey" drink.
I suddenly realized I could get used to the idea of living in hotels if I ever hit the Powerball lottery. It would sort of be like living in a nursing home, except you pay for services rendered immediately and the chance of getting bed sores is probably remote.
My friend and I went out and had a splendid meal at a local restaurant. It wasn't too bad of a wait considering it was the de facto "Valentine's Day" being the Saturday night before. Besides, Kev was running late after work so the time wasn't too big of a deal.
We stopped by Kev's so he could show us his pictures from Haiti. He took nearly 700 in the eight days there. The conditions were primitive at best, the destruction worse than you can imagine, and the workload sometimes overwhelming.
He loved every second of it.
It was sobering to see the destruction, particularly where the death tolls were spray painted on the different buildings. Seeing children and adults with newly amputated limbs was disturbing as well.
One day they sent a small team up to an orphanage to tend to the children there. Kev went with them. The only shelter they had for the children was a large tarp strung up from a couple trees and some poles.
I'll post that picture here as soon as Kev gets it to me.
It'll be a gentle reminder to those that think they know what a bad day really is.
While we were at Kev's, one of his cats came close to cashing in one of her lives.
It's really a good thing for her I'm a good sport about stuff.
"Pickles" jumping up on the desk, blocking the computer screen. She's a notorious attention hog. Me, being a cat lover, picked "Pickles" up off the desk and set her in map for some good old fashioned "Scratch The Kitty". She was all happy and purring.
Then it happened.
"Pickles" started to "cut a biscuit" on my jeans.
I've been hit with my share of bird dirt in my life.
I've stepped in dog poop a time or two, even once while bare foot.
"Cat Taking a Dump" on my lap was quite unexpected.
Especially when the cat was purring as I tossed her off my lap.
I was pissed.
Then I looked back at Kev's computer screen at the orphans.
A little fresh cat scat sort of paled in comparison to "I just lost my entire family".
I went to the bathroom and cleaned it up as best I could, the photographic results of which I posted above.
My date and I said our good nights to Kev and called it an evening.
This morning I'll check out of my hotel room and hit the road.
Maybe an update tomorrow, if not I'll update the blog upon my arrival in the "Bluff City".
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
Air Traffic Mike, ret.
I Know DKDC
3 days ago