It's not that I've lost the will to blog of late, just that I've been caught up in preparing for a week's vacation, which begins as soon as I close up the Circ Desk today at five. Tomorrow the missus, and Baby Exile, and I will head on down I-95 in our brand spanking new (and hopefully now 100% operational) car to visit my folks in South Jersey. However, rather than attempting to barrel through the State of Connectituct without getting out of the car, as is our custom, we're planning to make a couple of stops along the coast to break up the trip -- perhaps Mystic Seaport and Norwalk. The former is known for its living waterfront museum and the movie-inspiring Mystic Pizza, the latter home to Swanky Frank's, where the hot dogs are deep fried and they look at you funny if you ask for ketchup.
Yes, the gastronomical fun and games will begin long before we even cross the George Washington Bridge! But of course we're looking very much forward to returning to the Delaware Valley, not just for the food -- Hoagies, Tastykakes, blue crabs, sweet tea, Pork Roll, and the ineffable goodness that is Mack and Manco's pizza, among other delicacies -- but to see my family, whom I haven't seen since the spring. We'll also squeeze in a side trip to Eastern Pennsylvania (via Amish Country) to see a couple of Mrs. Exile's cousins, both with newborn children, and then to spend as much of our remaining time as possible doing as little as possible down the Shore. I sure wouldn't mind a trip to Atlantic City, either, as my wife and I haven't seen the inside of a casino since the baby was born. We're hoping to get one of the parents to watch the little Exile while we go to "Sodom By The Sea" and lose some money to Donald Trump. Because we all know he could use a few more bucks...
I also intend to fish, as I haven't been able to cast a line since I caught that bluefish over the July 4th weekend. My dad says there's a lot of good fishing action these days, with not only the expected rogue's gallery of stripers, bluefish, flounder, and sand sharks but lots of species that never make it all the way up to New England like weakfish, kingfish, and croakers. Should be fun.
As I'm not sure how much access I'll have to the 'net while we're travelling, consider this an extended absence greeting until sometime after next weekend. I'll be sure to get back to the posting goodness after my week in the mother country is up, though, so don't go too far. I'm also planning to put up some essays and short fiction when I return, though if you dig deep enough into my archives right now you can find a link to Bambino, my horror story about the how the Red Sox finally beat Babe Ruth's infamous curse. Enjoy (and see you in a week or so)!