After what’s felt like MONTHS being cooped up, we took advantage of the fact that the sun is out and no precipitation is falling in the southern NJ area (granted, it’s still FREEZING, but as this point that is something worth overlooking…).
So, here’s the breakdown of the weekend:
Stayed at work later than I was expecting, settling a few “odd and ends.” I was debating going down to Baltimore to visit Parr but her schedule at work has been pretty hectic because she’s trying to catch up. I left work around 4 and after D got home, we decided to use one of the gift certificates we got through Philadealphia.com to Palace at the Ben, a really tasty Indian joint on Chestnut street… It was awesome, esp. because we got a $50 GC for $12.50! (I actually just remembered that we have leftovers and I think some Trader Joe’s nan in the freezer… OH SHIT!!)
After that, we wandered to our usually Old City stops: Brave New Worlds and aka music. We’ve parred down our comic purchases in the recent years (well, this mainly applies to Woobs. My comic buying was never as religious as his…), but D picked up the next books in Marvel’s Oz series and I bought the next 3 books in the Wall-E run. I’m really impressed with the story that they are able to convey without really being able to use much dialogue– I guess that was the brillance of Wall-E to begin with, but esp. in comic book form, it really drives home the point that the art is just as, if not more, important than the writing/dialogue.
It was off to aka next were were searched the records to add to our collection. I got D a nice, reasonably priced player as his wedding present. Now that we actually have a player, we feel more justified in purchasing records and usually add something to the collection when we hit aka. This time around we picked up Belle & Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister and Blonde Redhead’s Misery is a Butterfly.
We decided to drop into The Continental for dessert and were impressed by how reasonably priced they were. We figured try a couple of the cocktails. I got “The Astronaut” (which I swear used to be called The Buzz Aldrin…), a Tang-infused martini and D got the Hawaii 5-0. After that we split the chocolate peanut butter cup. We wondered if we’d be able to finish it when our semi-vacant waitress (I couldn’t figure out if she was sort of ignoring us because we were obviously not a high-tab table or if she was just a moron. There’s a fine line sometimes…) brought over our dessert.
We almost laughed.
The “peanut butter cup” was a small chocolate covered square on a small plate. We took conservative bites, but that still only took about 3 bites each to finish the thing. “You pay for what you get” has never rang more true during dessert time…
We had grand plans to come home, listen to our records, rewatch the Fabulous Mr. Fox and catch up on some pirated TV, but we both ended up passing out much sooner than expected.
It was alright though, because there was more fun to be had on…
We’ve been talking “road trip” for awhile, feeling more and more antsy and cabin fever-y with every new snow storm. We’ve lucked out since moving back to NJ–the winters have been extremely mild, so there has not been this imminent feeling of restlessness that often comes with this season in particular. However, the great blizzards of ’09-’10 have certainly changed all that. I swear that my body has been in that it’s-so-cold-I-must-brace-myself tense clench for the past three months. I feel myself tightening up every time I walk outside.
So, with the sun shining yesterday, we decided to head up to Princeton. The trip only takes an hour so even though we slept in, we figured we’d still be able to make a day of it. With the promise of another record store to explore but everything else virtually unknown, we set off around noon.
It was a pretty cool little spot and reminded me a lot of St. Andrews, with a little bit more going on (funny how I visited St. Andrews before ever going to a town an hour away…). There were beautiful buildings, lots of snow covered cemeteries leading into town and funky little boutiques and restaurants everywhere. We decided to hit up the Princeton Record Exchange first before further exploration/food finding. I enjoyed looking through their large selection, but D was definitely the kid in the candy shop. Between the vinyls and the super cheap DVDs, he was in heaven, trying to figure out exactly how many hours it would take him to go through it all. After I found my prizes for the day (Cat Stevens’ Greatest Hits for $1.99 and the Philadelphia Orchestra recording Peter & the Wolf with David Bowie narrating on green vinyl), I was ready to move on (although my obsession for Bowie will probably bring me back there very soon, considering how much stuff they had!), so I left D and wandered through the streets by myself for a bit. Although there were a lot of shops that had cool/quirky/fun stuff, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the prices (baby shirts for $35? A gnome bank for $50? noooo thank you) and so browsing got old quickly. I ended up running into D on the way back to the record shop and we figured it was high time for food. D’s heart was set on breakfast so we decided to hit up the Pancake house on the main strip, PJ’s Pancakes. It was little diner-esque building that did not seem totally cohesive: there were the big, wooden tables, carved and marked up by guests of decade’s past and the retro little coat rack beams by each booth, with a vinyl-like laminate wallpaper on the walls. I guess the framed black and white photos of historic Princeton were what threw me off– they just seemed too artistic for the rest of the decor.
D got the half stack buttermilk pancakes and I got the half of the buckwheat and we split an order of smashed browns. The food was tasty, albeit expensive (they charge me for my hot tea refill–and the tea wasn’t even hot!!), and although we left with full bellies, I couldn’t help but feel that $25 (plus tip) was a lot to pay for 6 pancakes and homefries. But, based on where we were, I guess it was to be expected. D decided for a 2nd round at the record shop and I proceeded to wander some more, finding a few more little shops and then the big ol’ box stores: Banana Republic, etc. BR was the only one I went into (what’s the point of visiting shops I can see at the mall?) and after a couple more quick walk-throughs of places, I found myself getting tired and anxious. I was ready to go home.
Fortunately, D was feeling the same way so when we met up, he paid for his stuff and we headed out. We found our way back with no issue (this is somewhat of a feat for us, esp. because we were sans GPS) only to hit serious 95 traffic on the way home. We ended up detouring and taking the Tacony-Palmyra bridge back home, but that worked out because I needed to pick up a few things from Target. Since moving to Camden a few years back, I don’t frequent Target anywhere near as much as I used to, which I guess is a good thing considering how a trip there for a $10 item quickly turns into a $50 bill.
I was home for a red hot sec before heading out to my friend, Quavin’s, boyfriend’s birthday party (did you follow all that?) in S. Philly. It was a good time, complete with yummy cupcakes and a dance party in the basement. I was grateful that Manny, Q’s brother was there– not only because it was great to hang out, but because he gave me a ride home. That was a bit of an adventure, considering we got a bit turned around and had a very strange experience with a NJ transit cop, but it all worked out in the end…
has been a day of rest, sort of. I was debating trying to do brunch, but a combination of issues with plumbing (our tub continuously clogs, causing a malaria pit and the other bathroom did not have warm water this morning) and the fact that the apartment was sorely in need of cleaning led me to decide to stay homebound. So, I managed to get a decent amount done around here today and unwind after a busy couple of days.
I’ll try to get some photos from Princeton up eventually, but I don’t want to make empty promises. Anyway, I hope everyone else out there enjoyed their weekend as much as I did… hopefully Monday won’t be too painful…