Road Food

No, I said Road Food, not Road Kill!

So, if you’ve read any of our travel blogs before, you know that our eating MO is to seek out interesting local places, rather than go with national chains or fast food places.  Our two exceptions are Cracker Barrel and Arbys, which are our two travel dining guilty pleasures.  So, let me give you an idea of our last two meals on the road!

Last night was our second and last night in Savannah, and like we often do in bigger areas, we turned to Open Table for help choosing a place to eat.  After going through the listings, and checking out menus, I presented Susie with 4 places I thought sounded like we’d enjoy.  We both picked the same restaurant as our #1 choice, and so we went ahead and made a reservation at Tondee’s Tavern over by the river.

Now, how to get there?  We could have taken the car out of the garage, but then there would be the hassle of finding the place and parking and being concerned about drinking, so for the second night in a row, we used Lyft to get us from our hotel to the restaurant.  We could have used Uber too, but for some reason I have a Lyft deal for the next couple of weeks, where rides are 50% off if the original fare is under $10, so Lyft it was.  Miss Shirley picked us up at the hotel, and took us to dinner.  Along the way we had some delightful conversation about both of our daughters getting married, and before we knew it, we were there.  The fare was $6.10 minus 50% so $3.05 and I added a $3 tip.


It was a casual place, just the kind we were looking for, with a great menu.  We each had a beer (Susie Blue Moon, me a Miller Light) and ordered a couple of great dishes.  Susie had fall off the bone ribs and I had a pan grilled flounder stuffed with crab.  You’ll notice, no starch on either of our plates, and they had some great choices!  We continue to be semi-good.

We Lyfted (is that a word) with Timothy back to the Courtyard Hotel (same fare deal) and had a lovely night’s sleep!

This morning we got up after 8:00 and had a leisurely morning, then both showered, and were downstairs waiting at the valet for the car a little before 11 AM.  Our first destination of the day was just an hour away, Darien, Georgia.  We’ve stopped in Darien for at least the last 3 years for one reason and one reason only, a visit to B&J’s Steak and Seafood for a plate of their delectable fried shrimp!!!

Two firsts this year at B&J’s.  #1..this would be our first lunch visit, because we usually stay in Darien and have dinner at B&J’s.  #2…in 5 visits to B&J’s, this is the first time we got to park the car in front of the restaurant and not in some far corner of their lot out back!

As is usual for us, we both started out with a visit to the salad bar, and then each got a shrimp basket.  B&J’s Shrimp Baskets contain 1/2 a pound of the freshest, most delicious fried shrimp we have ever in our lives eaten.  Makes it kind of hard to order fried shrimp anywhere else! Again, we passed on fries, and had cole slaw instead! 

As usual, they were out of this world, and again as usual, we will also be stopping in 5 weeks or so, on our way back north, for another helping!  Tipped by a former work colleague years ago (thanks Abe), we have stopped every year since, and I’ve also got my Cousins Jeanne and Walt stopping there too.  If you head south or north on I-95, I suggest you make it a stop!

So tonight we are in Gainesville, Florida and tomorrow we will check into our condo on the beach for the next 3 weeks.  We only hope it’s as nice as the pictures and descriptions made it out to be.  Stay tuned!


Separated by the Savannah River from the state of South Carolina, Savannah is a city steeped in history, and tradition, having been founded by James Oglethorpe in 1733.  It was Oglethorpe’s plan for the city, with 24 park like squares, that is largely what is now Downtown Savannah, which includes the Savannah Historic District, and the Savannah Victorian Historic District.  Although 2 of those squares are gone, the 22 squares and the surrounding tree lined streets and magnificent homes truly represent his vision for the city of Savannah.  

Of course, having recently seen the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and since I’m in the middle of reading the source book of the same name, written by John Berendt, and have started to listen to some of native son Johnny Mercer’s music, we were as prepared for our visit as we thought possible.

We started this morning at the Savannah Visitor’s Center  and History Museum just across from our hotel.  Inhabiting a historic Central of Georgia Train Shed and surrounded by the Georgia Rail Road Museum and Battlefield Memorial Park, there is a lot of history to be absorbed there, as Savannah was an important city during both the Revolutionary and the Civil War.  

As we always like to do in a new city, we next took an Old Town Trolley tour, and got to see lots of incredible buildings and hear much about the history of this beautiful city.  Our guide Paul provided a lively tour hitting both the highlights and the low lights of the city, and referencing lots that we remembered from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Would love to be able to share with you beautiful pictures, but unfortunately, the weather is a bit brisk in Savannah, and because of that the plastic windows were rolled down on the trolley, making picture taking impossible.  (Do hope you enjoy the picture of the back of our tour guide Paul’s head above) Oh well, perhaps next time.

After the tour, we thought it time for a bit of libation, so it was off to the Savannah Distillery and Ale House for a couple of their Pickled/Spicy Bloody Mary’s and a southern staple, some Fried Green Tomatoes!

Then it was back to our hotel to write this blog, and to spend a little down time figuring out what we’re gonna do next!


Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the temperature has improved, and after a night of rain, the sun and blue skies have again made an appearance.  It’s windy, and in the 60s, but still better than what it is at the beach in New Jersey!

Tomorrow Florida, but first a visit to B&J’s Steak and Seafood in Darien, Georgia and SHRIMP!!!  See you there!

Touring Charleston

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina, which according to the AAA maps we have with us, is in the South.  Then why oh why did we wake up this morning to a temperature of 37 degrees???  Even now, as we approach the dinner hour, it’s only 48 degrees!  What the heck is going on with Mother Nature!!

Today, after breakfast at the hotel, we started our day at the Charleston Museum, America’s First Museum!

Then we headed across the street to the Charleston Visitor’s Center.  This is housed in what was Charleston’s first train station.   After looking at some of the exhibits, we caught our City Tour from Adventure Sightseeing!


Our tour guide was very knowledgable about Charleston and it’s history, and provided us with a very good tour of many of the high points of the city.  Among the highlights was the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina…..

Commercial areas of the city….

A lot of the beautiful homes that are a part of Charleston…

We also passed the Embassy Suites Hotel which he told us was the site of the original Citadel College until they moved to their new location in 1922.


Along the way, we passed a horse drawn carriage tour, which would have been a great way to see the city, but frankly they looked a bit cold!  Glad for our bus!


We returned to the Visitor’s Center, saw some Sea Grass Baskets being made, and watched a movie about Charleston’s past.  


Having been fully submerged in the history of the city, we decided to cross the street and head back to our hotel and a late afternoon libation and to put our feet up!


And that’s how we spent our day in the frozen South!

Dinner in Charleston

On our first night in Charleston, South Carolina, the question was where to eat.  Well, we answered it very easily by practically walking next door to the Coast Bar and Grill in Hudson Alley.  Literally one building away from the hotel, it seemed like a no brainer to us!

The restaurant inhabits an old warehouse, and between the art work and the ambiance, it was a very pleasant place to have dinner.

Oh and by the way, any dinner that starts with bubbly (Prosecco), and a Shrimp Cocktail, is our idea of how to travel!!

Dinner was wonderful with, for me, a Strip Steak with Creamed Spinach and Blue Cheese Butter and Sautéed Vegetables rather than potatoes, and for Susie, Grilled Monterey Chicken (Cheddar, Crumbled Jalapeno Bacon and Scallions), with Blue Cheese Slaw, also subbing veggies for the potatoes!


We look happy, no?

After a delightful meal with a delightful waitress, we walked the few steps back to our hotel.  Oh, and here’s our next door neighbor, or the building between our hotel and Coast Bar!


And we’re home!  


Time to plan tomorrow and have a little nightcap!

See ya!

On The Road Again, Again!!!


Yes, we are indeed on the road again!!  It started with our spending a very enjoyable weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina with our oldest Bill, his wife Lori, our two adorable Grandkids Layla and Henry, and assorted members of Lori’s family.  It was time for our 3rd Christmas, and this time, per Bill’s request, it included Susie’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner, shrimp sauce over linguine, and baked lobsters stuffed with baked clam stuffing!  North Carolina Bar-B-Que is a fitting Christmas Eve feast, but the kid from Long Island missed this traditional dinner he’s had since he was old enough to like lobster!

We had a great time with our little kids, who were anxious for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive, and who had an entire agenda laid out for us to be involved in.  It was good being with our older kids, and as usual, Susie and I had a great time talking extensively with Lori’s mom Kathy!  All around, a great weekend!

So, this morning, rather than head North as we usually do, we headed South!  We traveled down Interstate 95, and of course, what’s I-95 through North Carolina without South of the Border!  Nowhere near it’s former glory, but Pedro still has great presence along the highway!

You definitely know you’re in the south…all you need to do is open your eyes!

Our route took us through Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (eh), and as I write this, we are in the Hampton Inn in Historic Downtown Charleston, South Carolina.  This is a place we’ve never been before, so we decided to spend a couple of days here and see what it’s all about. The sad thing is that although it’s not as cold as it was back home (It was 9 degrees in Ocean City), it was just in the low 40s when we pulled into the hotel, so the cold seems to be following us!  Let’s hope for a warm up, because we’re tired of sweatshirts and fleeces!! 


Stay tuned for more.

In closing, before Susie and I left OC we’d spent about 10 days doing the Keto Diet (well, more like a Lazy Keto…mostly low carb).  I lost 9 pounds and Susie 7.5 pounds, and it’s something we really wanted to try and keep going with.  If you’ve read these travel blogs before, you know that one of our guilty pleasures on the road is eating at Arbys.  Well, here is our lunch on Saturday…totally Keto Friendly!


Those People


FYI…we’ve become “those people” who lunch at Costco (come on..two huge hot dogs with sauerkraut and all the toppings, plus 2 sodas for $3.20 including tax…why not?) and who run off to Florida in the winter!

Susie retired in 2013, and in just a couple of weeks, it will be three years since I left WABC on January 29, 2016.  In February of 2016, we headed down to Florida for a few days at Disney World, and to catch a couple of the Mets Spring training games.  It was a real treat to experience a bit of a preview of the Summer of 2016, and I guess we got bitten by the bug!  In February of 2017, Susie and I participated in the  southern swing of the “Kenny and Chris Relocating to LA Tour”, and spent some time in Disney World with the boys, and then New Orleans with the boys and Krissi and Mike, before they headed off to California and we headed back to winter.  Last year we toured a large part of Florida, heading down in February and starting at Indian Rocks Beach on the Gulf Coast, traveling down the Gulf Coast, then across the state, down the Keys to Key West, up to Hollywood, then to my cousins in Barefoot Bay, and we ended up with 5 nights at the Boardwalk Hotel in Disney World!  All told, a little over 3 weeks away from the winter!


23d34fcc-bfe6-455b-98e7-d47076bcdfa0So, this year, we are being pigs!  We leave this Saturday with our first stop being Raleigh, North Carolina, the home of our oldest and his wife, and our 2 grandchildren!  It will be Christmas #3 for Susie and I, this time complete with Christmas Eve traditions of Shrimp Sauce over Linguine, and Lobsters stuffed with Baked Clam Stuffing!  After a couple of days there, we start slowly making our way to the Sunshine State, with stops in Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and Darien, Georgia and our favorite shrimp place, B&J’s Steak and Seafood!  


Last year we fell in love with Indian Rocks Beach, Florida and we’ve decided to return to the scene of the crime.  We’ve rented a condo right on the Gulf Coast for 3 weeks, and we look forward to a lot of warmth, sun, surf, pool, and fun!  During the course of our time there, our cousins Jeanne and Walt will come to visit, as will Krissi and Mike for a long weekend!  We only hope our favorite Florida bartender Lindsey, who we met at our hotel bar last year, is back on her feet and we can spend some quality time with her!

After that, it’s off to the East Coast and a 3 day stay at the lovely Doubletree Resort we really didn’t take advantage of during our stay there last year in Hollywood, Florida.  More pool, sun, warmth, and Tiki Bar time we hope!  Then we are off for 5 nights with our cousins Jeanne and Walt at their place a little further up the coast in Barefoot Bay, Florida!


Although a stay at Disney World has been a part of our last 3 escapes from winter, we decided to pass on it this year.  Even with my Disney  Retiree benefits and discounts, it’s still an expensive stay, and that 3 week condo rental is costing us enough.  Plus, we were so disillusioned by all the crowds there last year, and the attractions that broke down, that we think we’ll take a year off, and decide again next year.

So that’s it.  If you did the math, you’ll have come up with five plus weeks away this year.  We hope to be in warm weather for the better part of 5 weeks, only dipping out of shirts and flip flop weather on the way down and back up.  I told you we were being real pigs, but there is nothing like that Summer Preview you get from spending some time in warmer climates, when it’s snowing at home!


Christmas 2018

When our kids were little, and the entire family lived on Long Island between Bayside and Huntington, Christmases were a lot easier.  It was totally expected that we would all be together in part or whole on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the only thing we had to worry about was a forecast of snow, and traffic on the Long Island Expressway!  But times change, kids grow up and head out on their own, parents die, people retire and move, and traditions change.  In other words, life happens.  Take our family, and Christmas, 2018.

Shortly after their October wedding, Kenny and Chris started their Liberty of the Seas contract with 2 1/2 months of rehearsals in Miami.  They had about 10 days off from rehearsals for Christmas/New Year, and they spent part of that time with us in Ocean City, so they were the kids we shared our actual Christmas with this year, and we tried to include just about every D’Elia Family Christmas tradition we could.  One set of kids done!  

This past weekend, it was time to share our second Christmas up in New York with Krissi and Mike. Susie and I haven’t been back to Long Island since mid-September, so it’s been close to 4 months since we’ve had the joy of Long Island traffic, but we made our way safely to Mike and Krissi’s apartment in Astoria. The plan was a low key Christmas, without a lot of the traditions, just enjoying a couple of days together.

In the course of the afternoon, Krissi, with her Mom’s help, put up a picture shelf in their living room, while Mike and I helped with advice and comments on their progress.  Then Mike announced that it was 5 o’clock, and drink time!  The Master Mixer went to their bar, and shook us 4 excellent vodka martinis that just hit the spot!


Dinner that night was too many yummy appetizers and wood-fired pizzas at Milkflower, and then we returned to their apartment, drank eggnog, and opened Christmas presents while watching a Christmas movie!  As is usual, Kristen Anne didn’t make it to the end of the movie!

The next day we all enjoyed a great trip to the Museum of Moving Image, which is just a couple of blocks away from their apartment, and across the street from the Kaufman Studios.  Among the many exhibits was one dedicated to the late Jim Henson, and all the wonderful work he did during his too short life.  Of course, well known to our family were his Muppets, and older son Billy’s favorites, the characters from Fraggle Rock!

They also had an exhibit on “ancient” computer games, where we saw our first computer, a Commodore 64, and lots of Nintendo games Susie and I remembered from when our adult children, weren’t!  Krissi and Mike enjoyed going back to the last decade and century.

Mom and Dad Ubered home, and while waiting for Krissi and Mike to arrive, commented on what a gorgeous sunset was in progress.


The kids suggested that we visit their building’s roof (where they will get married in June), and we got some wonderful pictures of the New York skyline.  

Also, thanks to Mike’s long arms, a good selfie!


Dinner that night, was totally decadent Greek Bowls from Crave, followed by some TV…and another martini!


We said our good-byes to the kids before bed, because they’d be up and on their way to work long before Mom and Dad crawled out of bed!  Monday we had an Eye Doctor appointment, so we killed some time driving around Jackson Heights, where I grew up and lived till I was 19, before heading out to Whitestone and our Eye Doctor!

We wrapped up the weekend by visiting one of our favorite old Mineola haunts, the St. James! (after Susie had her nails done!) It was great to visit with our bartender friend Dennis and our waitress friend Mo, and experience one of the things we truly miss from our 31 years in Mineola!

We also passed this very Christmasy house on Roslyn Road, just around the corner from where we used to live.


By the way, back when Billy was a little kid, we had church friends that lived in that house, and one morning, Susie delivered our friend’s baby in her bathroom on the second floor.  The house didn’t look like this back then!

Listen to the story of Susie delivering our friend’s baby…courtesy of WABC Radio

Oh, and remember me mentioning traditions back in the opening paragraphs?  Well, after 2 years of living in North Carolina, our oldest misses some of the traditions he grew up with.  Specifically, Billy told us he missed our Christmas Eve tradition of Spicy Shrimp Sauce over Linguine, and Baked Clam Stuffed Lobsters, so on January 19th, we are heading down to Raleigh for Christmas 2018, #3!  Even though the presents have already been distributed, and the tree will be gone, he wants a taste of our old traditions to go along with their new Christmas Eve tradition of North Carolina Bar-B-Que.  Sounds good to us!!