Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gumbo you say?

So I haven't been the best about the whole daily posting thing. Please forgive me, since trying to start up a jewelry business, working a full time job, having a little fun, and the need to contemplate my navel are priorities in my little useless world.

As it stands now, I've pretty much given up posting at forum that I've haunted for a long time (too much useless drivel) and turned my attention to a jewelry making forum, which is losing it's luster as well. It's okay, because I still get some very good ideas (and fantastic tutorials from them)

Where was I? Oh yeah, justifying my non-blogging. I don't do it from work, (as it should be) and after a day of being on the computer, sitting at the laptop trying to be semi-clever isn't a big draw. What I'm saying is, not only have I broken the non-fuck saying resolution, I'm breaking the daily blogging resolution. With that being said, let me regale you on last weekend's road trip.

Early in the week, Obbie & I thought we'd like to go away and hike somewhere. Being a fat girl, I generally shy away from much exercise, but I do enjoy clomping along hiking trails. It's a nice respite from the grind. Plus that's a lot of thinking time, and I can conjure up a lot of jewelry in my head on a 3 mile hike.

I decided that we needed to go to Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware. It's a couple 3-4 hours from here, at the beach. My favorite. Plus I read an article about the Delaware Trail Challenge, where you get a card, hike all the trails on the card, get it stamped at every trail, and turn it in for a certificate. Seems like a lot of work for a certificate, but hey, it appealed to me. (I've gotten dozens of certificates, but this is for actual physical activity!! WHEE!)

The plan started on Monday morning, when I emailed Obbie outlining what I wanted to do. His email back to me was full of surprises because yes, we could hike, but Rehoboth Beach was having their Mardi Gras celebration that weekend. Food & Booze specials at the bars, and a gumbo cookoff. Oh? Gumbo you say? It turns out that a dozen restaurants in town were participating. One purchases a ballot from any of the restaurants (for a $5 donation) that that ballot entitled the bearer a 2oz sample of gumbo from all the restaurants. At the end, the ballot holder emailed their vote for their gumbo choice. It was no co-inky-dink that 90% of the restaurants also sold drinks. WHEE!

Saturday morning, we headed off. We got to the hiking trail, and of course, there was nobody at the ranger station to give us our punch card for the Trail Challenge, but we hiked a little anyway. The short 3 mile trail thru the old WW 2 camp, and up into one of the towers that guards scanned the seas for enemy subs. It was all quie interesting. I knew what the towers were for, but I didn't realize how big the encampment was (Fort Miles, Delaware, google it)

We had planned to check into our hotel room, before the Gumbo Crawl, but after a quick lunch and a beer, it was getting late, so we headed to the first stop on the gumbo crawl list to purchase a ballot. Alas, it wasn't quite time to start, so we had two more beers while we waited. I chatted up an Engineer (they find me now) and found out that not all Engineers are so, um, Engineer-like (she says diplomatically) We talked for awhile, and I learned a lot about how a proper team works versus the other kind of management. And we'll just leave it at that.

By then, my glass was empty again, Obbie was kicking me under the bar to SHUT UP, and the gumbo was served. We got our samples, bid our Engineer pal a sloshy 'Ta-ta!' and headed off to the next stop.

For the next five hours, the evening was a whirl of gumbo, Mardi-Gras beads, funny colored strong drinks, beer, jazz, and crowds of people brought together as one big multi-colored, gumbo tasting, beer soaked mass. It was damn cool.

We are blessed with foresight, and we had booked a hotel room in town. Good thing, too, since we both woke up in the clothes we had worn the night before, and the mardi gras beads we'd collected were in piles on the bedside table.

After we could blink without hurting ourselves, we headed off to breakfast. The night before we had visited a place (for gumbo) that was making Bananas Foster. They had advertised beignents and Bananas Foster pancakes (or French toast) for the breakfast special. Obbie would walk barefoot over broken glass for anything even remotely related to Bananas Foster, and the night before he saw the waiter making them at tableside. (Poor guy, I thought Obbie was going to tackle him, but instead, he stood and watched with awe, the spectacle that is BF made tableside) So we made a beeline for breakfast. After a $34 breakfast (no kidding, but it did include Mimosas) we made our way back to the hotel. What we didn't know was that in addition to the Gumbo Crawl, Rehoboth was hosting the annual Polar Plunge benefitting the Special Olympics. Polar Plunge, you say? Hah. Jump in the ocean in February. I'm all for charity, and the Special Olympics is a helluva cause, but I'm content with just giving them money. I can't even CONSIDER jumping into the ocean at this time of year. The Plungers did inform everyone that it was a record WARM day, with the air temp being 52, and the water temp a balmy 42. They're crazy I tell ya. But you have to admire a man who is standing on the boardwalk in a grass skirt and coconut bra, having his picture taken before he jump in the water. The next day I read that 2700 people got in the water, and they raised over $500,000 for Special Olympics. GOOD FOR THEM.

After all that madness, it was time to leave, so we packed up the car, bid adieu to the nice ladies behind the counter at the Admiral Hotel and headed home. Because Obbie rocks, we got here just in time for the kickoff for one of the best Super Bowls EVER. The commericials even paled in comparison for a change.

The rest of the week went very quickly with just the daily madness. Too bad we can't go gumbo crawling every weekend, because no matter how much stupid came my way this week, I smiled, because I had gumbo in my heart.


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