Showing posts with label New Jersey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Jersey. Show all posts

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jimmy Buff's Italian Hot Dogs

If you happen to find yourself in the area of West Orange, New Jersey, you must make a stop at Jimmy Buff's Italian Hot Dog's. Located at 60 Washington Street in a tiny diner, Buff's serves what is one of the best and certainly the most unique hot dog I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

Buff's  serves its dogs with fried potatoes, onions and peppers on a unique bun that is a far cry from the ordinary hot dog bun. Like Primanti's in Pittsburgh, everything, including the fried potatoes are piled on the hot dog itself. It makes for a mouth-watering experience that only makes you crave another one.  In fact, Buff's offers a double, which is the same price as a single on Tuesdays.

I'm told that some days the lines snake out into the parking lot in front of the restaurant. I sure understand why.

Located just about twenty miles from Manhattan, it's definitely worth a visit.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Living the Dream

Although the name of this blog is "Not Just for Boomers," occasionally I like to write to the boomers out there like  myself.  This is one of those posts that is directed mostly at boomers.  But I do think it will resonate with just about everyone.

As I wrote in my recent post, "Hidden Gem: Cape May, New Jersey," my wife and I recently spent a wonderful two days in Cape May.  During our visit there, we ate twice at the Lobster House restaurant, where the seafood and service were both excellent.  During our second visit to the restaurant, we sat next to a couple that appeared to be a lot like us, retired boomers on vacation. During the course of our meal, I happened to overhear the following conversation between the husband and his son who was on the other end of the phone:

"Hi son, yeah we are down here in Cape May at the Lobster House having dinner. How are
we doing? Son, I can only say one thing: 'We're living the dream.'"

Of course, I could only hear one side of the conversation, but I was simply wowed by what I heard.
And, by the way, if you happen to be that couple and you read this I apologize for eavesdropping, but I just had to share your comment.

"Living the Dream, " what a great thought! Too often we get bogged down in the bad things that happen to us.  We end up complaining to our friends or spouse about those aches and  pains, physical and emotional, that we all suffer as we grow older.  Now, here is  a man who probably has had his fair   share of those trial and tribulations, but he is grateful for the life he has. That is something definitely worth remembering.  We all have things for which we should be grateful: a loving spouse, a wonderful child or grandchild,  or maybe it's just waking up in the morning with all your parts still in order.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hidden Gem: Cape May, New Jersey

My wife and I recently returned from a short two day trip to Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is probably not as well-known as some of it's South Jersey neighbors such as Ocean City, Wildwood or Stone Harbor.  But it certainly offers a sensational, one of a kind, vacation experience.

Located at the very Southern tip of the Jersey peninsula, Cape May offers unparalleled charm.
Cape  May is America's oldest seaside resort, having been established in the mid 18th century. To me, it looks like an English resort town such as Brighton. It is very Victorian in its architecture with many of the houses decorated with the traditional Victorian gingerbread. Because of the  multitude of historical homes, all ofCape May has been designated as a National Historic District. One of those houses, the Emlen Physick Estate is available for touring for a modest fee.

Cape May has over 30 hotels and motels,many of which are located directly across from the beach.We stayed at the Cape May Grand Hotel.  The hotel has free parking available It also has both an indoor and outdoor pool. Our third floor room was a typical beach room with a king bed, sofa, desk and a small balcony. The bathroom appeared to have been recently renovated.   There is a restaurant located off of the main lobby, called Hemingway's.  Specials are offered daily and everyday there is a very reasonably priced breakfast buffet. Give it a try.One person we met said that she and her whole family of 9 children eat the buffet as their breakfast and lunch. almost every day.

Over 40 to 50,000 vacationers visit Cape May each year. Many of the hotels and attractions are open   year round.The beach is quite nice with long expanses of sand protected by dunes.  We rented one of the cabanas  available across form our hotel and spent the day there. Comfort stations are available all along the beach. There is also a small arcade on the beach for rainy day entertainment.

In town, off  Ocean Street is an outdoor mall consisting of a number of shops and restaurants of all varieties. There is even a Stewart restaurant where in addition to the famous Stewart sodas, a full menu is offered.

Just outside of town is the Lobster House restaurant. The restaurant is huge, serving some 500 people at a serving, so get there early. My wife and I ate there twice, once having the lobsters and the second night, the fried shrimp dinners. Both were excellent and reasonably priced.  The shrimp, mu wife and I agreed, were probably the best fried shrimp we had ever eaten.

At the very tip of the peninsula is the Cape May Light.The lighthouse was built in 1859 and continues to be in operation. Although we  did not tour it this last time, we have previously climbed  its 217 steps to the top. Whew!

Another interesting attraction is a ferry that travels to Lewes,

If you are looking for a beach town with a difference, Cape May is for you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Boomer's Guide to Travel Sites inSpring Lake, New Jersey and Vicinity

This summer, our son shared a weekend house in Manasquan, New Jersey, with some of his college friends. A few weeks ago, we visited him there. We had been used to spending time at the Southern Jersey shore at places like Stone Harbor, Avalon and Ocean City, where my wife had once worked one summer as a waitress at the Flanders Hotel, on the Boardwalk. This was our first experience with the northern Jersey shore. We were pleasantly surprised at the many travel sites located there..

Located about an hour and a half from New York City and accessible by NJ TRANSIT train from Penn Station, Spring Lake is a very suburban-like beach community.  In the middle of town is a lake with a small wooden bridge for walking across the lake.  The beach itself is quite wide and when we were there in the middle of August, only partially occupied.  There is a long boardwalk and a swimming pool in a community center along the boardwalk with a small number of drinks and food items available. Beach tags are required and there are watchers at every set of steps onto the beach. In addition, there are lifeguards all along the beach.

We stayed in the Spring Lake Inn,  732.449.2010, a circa 1888 inn, which reminded me of the Vermont inn run by Bob Newhart in his second television series. There is a large front porch, with inviting seating arrangements. Off the small lobby is the dining area with tables set up for the breakfast that is served from 8 to 10 each morning. The morning we had breakfast, it consisted of wonderful French raisin toast and bacon. Also available are the usual sweet rolls and fruits, bananas and oranges. In the afternoon, there are pitchers of tea and lemonade as well as homemade cookies available in that room. The Inn provides beach chairs and towels and an outdoor shower for returning beachgoers.

Our room was the Sunrise room. Although not exceptionally large, it had plenty of light for the third floor and a spacious bathroom.  From one window, we could see a sliver of the ocean.

We ate several times at the Parker House, locaated in nearby Sea Girt, 290 1st Avenue Sea Girt, NJ 08750, (732) 449-0442,  which is somewhat of an iconic restaurant. It is a large building with a wraparound porch, where we ate lunch on two occasions. The food was quite good and the servers were knowledgeable.  On our first trip,I had the steak sandwich which was filled with meat and a hamburger the second time we ate there. Both were served with crisp thin fries. According to our son, the Parker House has an excellent raw seafood bar, which is very reasonably priced.  In the evenings, the restaurant  has disc jockeys and sometimes live music.  It is a hopping place for sure.

Manasquan where our son stayed looks  a little more like a beach town. The houses, which are in places three deep are built almost right up to the dunes. The evening we walked there, it was quite vibrant, with children playing outside there homes and a band playing oldies on the beach.  It looked like a fun place to stay.

We enjoyed our stay in this part of the Jersey Shore (the MTV series of the same name is filmed nearby) and will definitely return.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Baby Boomer's Guide to the Best Places to Visit and Things to Do in America

I have not written in a while because---what else---we were traveling. This time we were visiting Hyde Park, New York and Spring Lake, New Jersey.  Before I discuss those trips in later posts, I just wanted to acknowledge my gratitude to Patricia Schultz, the author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.. The book is a rich source of information concerning places to visit not only in the United States but also throughout the world.  In reading the book, it occurred to me that my wife and I had already visited a number of the places she has written about.  As an example, my most recent post dealt with Shipshewana, the Amish community in Northern Indiana. Although we had been there many times over the last decade, it was interesting to see it listed in the 1,000 Places book.

This got me thinking:  why not see how many of the 1000 places can we visit and also write about. So, that we are going to try to do.  We may not cover them all and we will write about some places not on her list, but we will try to give you baby boomers a guide to what we think are the best and most fun places to visit and things to do.  While the book is a starting point in some instances, the opinions expressed are our own and the observations are ours also.

I hope you will enjoy our Baby Boomer's Guide to the Best Places to Visit and Things to Do!