Ain’t No Wedding Like a Family Wedding

This is a huge weekend for my family. My cousin, Whitney, is getting married this weekend in the big NYC and the whole gang’s going to be together. With my mother being one of 8 children, and their children being quite numerous, and me being one of 5 children the hits keep coming.  Not too much time for a post today, as I’ll be bustling about at work before flying home immediately after work (oh, and getting a pedicure during lunchtime) there’s not too much time for blogging.

That being said, I’d love to share some pictures from the LAST major family wedding I went to (and had a BLAST and a half at).

Looking snazzy with the beau.

Hopping aboard the jitney

Freezing up in the penthouse suite.

A Coca Cola and a blushing bride, what more can a man ask for?

Driftwood, beautiful

My cousin (the one who's getting married on Saturday) practicing her bouquet toss!!

My brother illustrating the inevitable hangover the following morning.

Here’s to one hell of a wedding weekend coming up.

 

Seek Happy Days to Happy Nights

Good (far too early) morning all!  As much as it pains me to say this, I’ve been up since shortly after 6am, despite falling asleep shortly after midnight…  I promise, I used to be able to sleep in well past 9 am.  But that time, clearly, is no more.  Yesterday, as I mentioned, was a perfect day on the OCNJ Boardwalk with my mother and sister, and, after a tasty BBQ (done by candle-light as our porch light went out mid-grilling… it’s what the Pilgrims would’ve done), my tiny sister and I decided to head back there for some more summer fun.

Beach babes!!

When we were dropped off, we had a few things in mind:

  • A summer souvenir
  • Monkey Bread
  • Salt Water Taffy
  • The Henna Shop!!

The original Henna Shop: An Ocean City tradition

Fun story: Every summer for four years, from 2005-2008, I worked at the Henna Shop (and it’s sexy younger sister, Bad Kitty).  If you’re unfamiliar with henna, it’s a traditional, semi-permanent [1-4 weeks] form of body art, and just looks beautiful, leaving a lovely reddish brownish stain on the skin (here’s more information on henna via the wiki entry!!)  These stores defined my summers in Ocean City and, after working the cash register for the first year after graduating from high school, I was trained as a painter.  Thus began my love of henna, and the only artistic talent that I feel I possess (though I’m fan-tastic at doodling weird peacock chicken hybrids in the middle of long conversations when I have a pen handy…  be warned.)  When I held the henna, smelled the mehndi oil, I felt like I was some sort of supa cool henna princess bringing a little bit of sexy Indian tradition to the shoebies.  Then again, more often than not, I painted Tinkerbell and dragons on folks… but it was a trade-off.  Even though most of the work we did was from stencils, every now and then I’d get a chance to free-hand some pretty intricate and delicate pieces, and it made me feel like a henna rockstar.

Last night, I got a chance to jump back into it, if only for a few.  I volunteered to paint some of my old boss’ friends kids, pro bono.  I was a little nervous to have the pen back in my hand after not painting for the past two years, but I jumped right back into it.

For the record, I'd normally never wear a dress to paint... too much squatting on tiny stools.

Check out my iron-clad focus. And my audience.

We always do the painting in the windows or on a raised platform, and let folks view the whole process.  It’s seriously one of my favorite places to be.  As a thanks for taking care of her friends, my old boss let me paint my sister and, as a fun treat, myself for a little extra bling/memory of Ocean City for my BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING IN A WEEK!! (don’t worry Caitlin, they’re very small and tasteful.)  Here’s a bird’s sister’s eye view as I painted a brand new design on little Kiki (they added some new ones that are stunning, but veryyyy intricate!)

Can't wait to see how this turned out!

And here’s me… doing myself (ew, painting my own henna, you pervs)

For the record: Painting your own feet is hard!

We wrapped ourselves up, thanked my ol’ coworkers, and rewarded our hard work with….

sweet, warm, cinnamony, and delish

Don’t worry, Kiley wasn’t in a vicious gang fight resulting in her hands being bandaged… she’s just protecting her henna!

I also picked up some take-home treats for my coworkers at Shriver’s Saltwater Taffy, and may or may not have eaten a PB&J taffy for an early breakfast….

No wonder I have painful meetups with dentists and oral surgeons...

Since today’s my last day at the shore for another month, it’s time to get busy living or get busy dying (as the saying goes….)

Have you ever gotten a henna tattoo?  How about ANY OTHER TATTOO?!  TELL ME ABOUT IT!! (Real talk, I love tattoo talk.)

 

Breakfast by the Boardwalk: An OCNJ Treat

Good evening y’all!!

Here in Ocean City, it’s a perfect 82 degrees (as it has been, basically, for the entire day).  My sleep last night… was perfect.  I had both windows open, and the sea breeze crosses my room in all the right ways.  I woke up feeling well rested, despite staying up until almost 2 am last night (which is equivalent to pulling an all nighter for normal humans, as I have the sleeping schedule of people who qualify for the 10% Harris Teeter Senior Citizen Discount).  When my mom asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride to the boards for some breakfast, how could I say no?  I mean, come on…. I’m a sucker for alliteration.

I got all dolled up (read: workout gear, suntan lotion, sneaks, and sunglasses) and was ready.  Inevitably, I was mocked for bringing a small backpack, but GUESS WHO WASN’T COMPLAINING WHEN THEY NEEDED ME TO CARRY THEIR JUNK?  That’s right, both of them.

Like Dora the Explora, I am never without my backpack!

The Ocean City New Jersey Boardwalk is 2.5 miles long, and we biked from our house which is a mile beyond the start, to the finish, and back.  A nice 8 mile bike ride was the right way to start the day, though I’ll admit, these ol’ legs of mine haven’t ridden that long in some time.  Luckily, we had a pit stop in the middle.

Breakfast with a view!

Clancy’s by the Sea has breakfast, lunch, and dinner right on the boards.  At first look, I was a little taken aback by the prices, but it’s pretty much par for course in a beach town, so I quickly calmed down.  I ordered 2 scrambled eggs, home fries, rye toast, and a side of bacon, a perfect combination of foods for a savory breakfast.  My mother ordered the same, only with sausage, no bacon.  Her sausage was served big and juicy, my bacon was crisp.  Kiley, my little sister, ordered the silver dollar chocolate chip pancakes, which were sweet and delightful.

That pancake-eating grin on her face is due to the fact that she's eating... and we were not.

Our initial service was pretty basic, and not too bad.  Then, all the sudden, we got our meals.  Well, I should say, we got MOST of our meals.  What was missing?

Toast.

Feel free to watch this to find out how Chloe Sevigny feels about toast.  You won’t be disappointed (unless you hate laughter. or love Chloe Sevigny.)

Anyway, both my mother and I are not fans of eating eggs sans toast, so we waited patiently.  Too patiently, I think, as it took just long enough for our eggs to get cold for our requested toast to come out.  Blast.

Oh, rye toast, the apple of my rye eye

My first thought was WOW THIS FOOD IS GREAT! It took a moment to realize, “Wow.  this food is decent, but I’m so hungry that wood chips would taste like creme brulee.”  Either way, the toast situation was a bummer, but the food hit the spot that needed to be hit, and we needed to get back onto the boards.  After finishing our ride at a little faster pace than we started, I jumped in the shower and to grandmother’s house we went (literally.)

I don’t get to see my Naney very often, and she’s my only living grandparent left, so it’s always fun to see her/catch her up!  We also always get to indulge in a very special treat.

Mallon's? What's that?

The stickiest of buns.

Mallon’s Sticky Buns, yet another insane indulgence in Ocean City, New Jersey.  They’re a total treat, if you’re anywhere near Sea Isle, Avalon, or Ocean City, try them if you like sweet breakfast treats!! Check out the Mallon’s Locations for more deets.

While these were divine, there was another part of the trip that was the true highlight.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my daddy, circa Christmas early 1950s:

Isn't he dashing?

Seeing this picture was, much like the rest of this trip, perfect.

I’m off to have some perfect buffalo chicken dip, some perfect burgers, and a few perfect beers.

Do you LOVE blasts from the pasts as much as I do?

Was your dad as fashionable of a dresser as mine?