Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving at the Hard Rock

This is the tale of how we wound up having Thanksgiving dinner in a pyramid....

Since we are currently living in a rental, I didn't want to mess with having to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year. Would have had to buy too many items I already own since they're still in storage. Decided it would be easier (for me) if we simply went out to eat, even though it goes against tradition. DH agreed, so I started researching restaurants.

Finally found a nice restaurant that came highly recommended. I was a little nervous about my choice since they weren't advertising like all the other places, but the hostess assured me when I called that they were open on Thursday. She even told me that they would have a limited selection available from their regular menu for anyone who didn't want the Thanksgiving meal. At only $18.95 per person, I happily made a reservation and thought we were all set.

Thanksgiving Day dawned nice and sunny. We made reservations for 4pm so we could go for a sunset stroll along the boardwalk after dinner. We try not to eat too much Thanksgiving Day so we can stuff ourselves on turkey and all the fixin's, so we were both hungry by the time we left for the restaurant.

Was strange how most of the restaurants we passed on the way were closed, but we were secure in our belief that reservations meant the restaurant would be open. Uh-oh. Drove right by it because the parking lot was empty. DH turned around and pulled in, but the place was dark. What the heck? Yep, it was closed.

Practically starving by now and incredibly annoyed, we drove off in search of someplace else to eat. Passed empty lot after empty lot, interspersed with packed parking lots and people lined up at the doors. No way could we stand in line, as our stomachs were growling and I was already very, very cranky. 

I remembered the names of a few restaurants from their ads but, as we're new in town, we had no idea where they were. So we kept driving, hoping we would stumble across one of them. No such luck. We were about to resign ourselves to a fast food dinner when we realized we were getting near the Broadway at the Beach shopping extravaganza. Knowing that they had several restaurants, we pulled into the parking lot.

First thing we saw was the Hard Rock pyramid. And people were going up the steps! No lines! We decided to take a chance and went inside. Pleasantly surprised to find out that they were offering a Thanksgiving buffet. Score!

With low expectations, we got into line. The line moved quickly and we filled up our plates with all of the traditional fixin's; glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. I skipped the green bean casserole and sweet potatoes. The next section was an actual carving station for the turkey! Very impressed! Covered the turkey and potatoes with gravy (skipped the cranberry sauce) and made our way back to our table.

The turkey was tender, the stuffing wasn't too wet or too dry, and the potatoes weren't at all lumpy. Who knew that the Hard Rock could pull off such an incredible Thanksgiving feast? Granted, we were both hungry and that may have had something to do with it, but we both went back for seconds! The green beans were replaced by cheesy broccoli, which was better than expected. Got more turkey and stuffing as well. nom nom nom

As we were making our way through the line for seconds, we noticed the busboy clearing off our table. I started laughing, as it struck me as really funny. Just didn't seem to be our day! Our waitress saw what was happening and shouted over to us that she had our back. By the time we got back to the table, she was on her way over with replacement drinks.

The buffet came with drinks and dessert, but it was late in the day and they ran out of the chocolate mousse. No worries, as it's not really Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie! Guess our waitress felt bad about the whole cleaning off the table business, as she gave me a huge square of pie with a massive amount of whipped cream. Managed to eat most of it too, as it tasted sooooo good!

Don't know if the girl who took our original reservation was punking us or genuinely thought they were going to be open Thanksgiving Day, but it all turned out in the end. We got a great dinner for a cheaper price, have a new funny story to share, and possibly have a new family tradition (just have to talk DH into going back next year!).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Road Trip! - The Big Move (4)

Left New Jersey the minute the movers took the last box out the front door. Yeah, there were still lots of boxes on the front lawn, but we were outta there! Locked the doors behind us and hit the road!

Had really hoped to get on the road earlier, but it took longer than expected to empty the house. Even with five movers. We have an awful lot of stuff. Mostly book boxes. Yea, I have a lot of books. Get over it DH!

If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes...
Got lucky with the weather, as it was dry and sunny. You'd never know a major hurricane was on it's way! Made really good time. Luckily, DH and I both agree that the less stops on a road trip, the better. Stopped for lunch at McDonalds, our go-to stop for road trips. We go in, use the bathroom, and get lunch to go. Their burgers are the best to eat with one hand as you're driving!

Our goal on Day One was Lexington, VA. Only made a few stops after lunch, to use the bathroom and walk around some. Was tough as we're used to switching off, and it's been years since we've taken two cars anywhere. 

Was pleasantly surprised that my knee didn't hurt. Was really bad the first hour, but I kept shifting my seat until I found a good position and it didn't hurt the rest of the trip. Who knew a bent knee hurt less than a straight one while driving? 

Lost track of the number of utility truck convoys we passed. Tons of trucks heading towards the East Coast to help out with Sandy. Even saw a convoy of four Lifeguard vans! Hope they were heading out to help, not to catch some waves! *L*

Followed DH most of the way, as it doesn't bother me to follow and he seems to like being the "lead dog". 

We actually made our goal of Lexington! Probably should have stopped earlier, but I wanted to push it as was worried about Monday's weather. The news reports weren't good, but it's harder to drive when it's dark out and you're tired. 

Found the exit okay, but drove right by my hotel of choice. Hey, wasn't my fault! It was up on a hill and there were no signs! And I was really, really tired.... Anyway, found the hotel (after going into the wrong one first, but they were too expensive so we left), checked in, ordered pizza, then slept like the dead.

Got an early start on Day Two, but our good luck with the weather had run out. Most of the day was either drizzle or snow. Yes, snow! Luckily, it never got worse than rain or snow showers. Not a fun drive, but could have been worse.

Because of the weather, didn't make great time. Still did okay until we got to South Carolina, then DH did it again. Last time we drove cross country, he took a wrong turn and headed toward Memphis for some reason. I had to overtake him in order to get us back on the right road, as he never realized he was going the wrong way. This time, he pulled into the left lane to pass a slow car. Right at the split, where we were supposed to bear right. He was in the left lane. *shakes head*

We pulled off the road to regroup and decide on a new route, as we didn't want to backtrack. Agreed on a new route. Then he drove right by the agreed upon route. I tried calling him, but he had turned off his cell phone for some reason. Lucky man practically tripped over route 301, which would get us to Myrtle Beach. Of course, he later acted like he knew what he was doing, but I think this will go into the family lexicon!

Hit town at rush hour. Rush hour in Myrtle Beach is nothing like rush hour in New Jersey, but still not a whole lotta fun.

DH pulled off into a parking lot because he wasn't sure where our rental unit was and he thought he might have already passed the complex. The entrance was only a few hundred yards down the road. Love it! 

I took over the lead, found our rental with no problem, and we gratefully collapsed on the couch!

Yeah, we brought the dog. He loves the new place!

We made it! Now to unpack...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Proud of my sisters!

So proud of all the strong women out there who refuse to stay silent!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Leaving Town - The Big Move (3)

We scheduled our move on Sunday, Oct 28th, as our movers were fully booked during the week and I simply could not face still being in New Jersey in November. The closing was scheduled for Tuesday. Same day that Hurricane Sandy was scheduled to hit the East Coast. Naturally. We put the house on the market in March and had so many things go wrong, but I couldn't stay in town any longer. Yea, leaving town before Hurricane Sandy hit was probably silly, but I had to get out...

We were up at the crack of dawn so we could pack the bedding and last minute items. Movers called to say they were on their way at 7:40. Looked like it was finally going to happen!

The movers were great! We've used them before for our previous move and my MIL's moves. For anyone in Northern New Jersey, Marshall's Movers are the best! We had boxed up most of our stuff, but they handled everything else. 

Who knew saran wrap was such a vital part of packing?
We didn't have a whole lot to do while the movers worked, so hung out in the kitchen. Took them about 5 hours to empty the house. Hate to think how long it would take if they had to pack everything. 

After they moved out the washer and dryer, DH swept out the laundry room. Can't believe he didn't notice the dead mouse amongst the dust bunnies! Gross! :o

Had to make sure to close all the windows the guys had opened, and found an empty can of vienna sausage on a closet shelf. What the heck? I can understand the movers wanting a snack, but to leave the empty can on a shelf? Ick!

They brought the big truck!
The minute they were done taking everything out of the house, we were outta there! 

South Carolina, here we come!