The High Street Caffee

As some of my readers may know or remember, our youngest son is spending part of his spring break here with us in Sabbaticalville. Poor guy. Anyone else would be somewhere much further south, enjoying the beach and girls gone wild or whatever it is they do for fun and jollies during spring break these days. Being a good son (and one with no money), he came to visit us instead.

He arrived on Wednesday on a cheap flight from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia (the hour drive from the Bogs to Pittsburgh is worth it for the $49 flight). We went to New Jersey to visit with my parents, where we had a great time. We had hoagies for lunch. Mom made ham and cabbage for dinner (if you’re reading, thanks Mom!). I’m beginning to think M the Younger was right when he said that every time we come out east, all we do is eat.

Yesterday we went into Philadelphia to see the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute. In my opinion, it wasn’t worth the drive, the gas, or the major amount of money they want you to shell out to see the exhibit. With various discounts, it cost us about $70 for the three of us. I thought the exhibit was a lot of hype with little substance. Don’t get me wrong. There were some interesting aspects to it. But it tends to build tension, as if you’re going to see great things, when it’s mostly a very small portion of the artifacts found in King Tutankhamum’s tomb.

$70 might not seem like a great deal of money to some, but I happen to think it’s a lot now that I’m not working. For that amount of money, Steve Martin should have been there doing the (Saturday Night Live) King Tut skit which Mr. Martin did in honor of Tut’s first visit to the States.

Then, too, it could be the M&M’s and I didn’t enjoy it as much as the hype because we had the opportunity to visit the British Museum several times when we lived in London for a summer. The BM is free (except for special exhibits) and has an extensive Egyptian collection that is, in my opinion, much more impressive than what we saw at the Tut exhibit. I know there is some controversy surrounding some of the BM’s exhibits and collections, but I’m not going to get into that.

Today we spent most of the day not doing too much. M the Younger is feeling a little under the weather so we gave him a chance to rest. While M the Elder went to work this morning, M the Younger slept in. After breakfast we went down to the club room to shoot some pool. We’re both terrible at it, but it was fun. I won the first game, he won the second, and then we quit. We’re not a terribly competitive family.

For lunch, we met up with M the Elder at the High Street Caffee. The whole purpose of this post is to rave about it. I loved the purple decor and the whole feel of the place. I can’t wait to go back and try their dinner menu. We started with an appetizer of Cajun Popcorn, fried crawfish tails topped with creole mustard. Delicious! Whatever they dusted the tails in was light and spiced just right, they were fried well (not at all greasy), and the creole mustard mix of sweet and spicy was nice.

Although there were a number of lunch specials that looked inviting, we all ordered the jambalaya. Wonderful! Fabulous! Marvelous!! There aren’t enough good words for the High Street Caffee’s jambalaya. And there was enough to feed us at least one or two more times. The sauce, or roux, was a wonderful shade of dark, nutty brown and spiced perfectly (spicy enough to make our noses run, but not so spicy it set our tongues on fire). The holy trinity (onions, peppers, and celery) of cajun/creole cooking were present in abundance and nicely cooked with some crispness still present (not mushy and overcooked). It comes with Andouille sausage and your choice of chicken, chicken and shrimp, or crawfish. We all ordered the chicken version. $9.95 for enough food to feed at least six.

I’m going to try the etouffee next time. I like etouffee, a lot, but only if it’s cooked right. The jambalaya was so wonderfully good that I’m sure their etouffee must be heavenly.

The M&M’s are currently at the American Helicopter Museum. I decided to take a pass on that as I’m not all that interested in helicopters or flight in general. I like having my feet firmly planted on the earth.

Tomorrow we’re going back into Philly to solve a murder mystery at the art museum. We’re going to meet up with M the Elder’s sister and two of her friends so we’ll have a team of six. Since none of us are familiar with the museum, we don’t expect to win. We do expect to have a good time and enjoy some great art.

Hi Dad!

I’m almost finished boring you all with photos from our trip to the beach.  I have to interrupt to do a “Per Your Request” entry.

Here you go, Dad.  You’re on the blog!  🙂

Leaving Assateague

The horses made sure we had a good send off when we left the National Seashore portion of Assateague.

Ok, ok. Enough with the horses.

That’s a beautiful view of the bay and the few clouds that appeared in the sky.

After leaving the National Seashore, we stopped for a brief visit of Assateague State Park. It should be noted, for those that want to know such things, that it costs $10 for a 7-day pass to access Assateague Island National Seashore. It’s $3 for one day at Assateague State Park. The national park portion does have someone checking for passes. The state park portion is on an honor system and I don’t think there was anyone out there checking to see who paid and who didn’t. I would imagine they’re stricter about enforcing that during the warmer months. For the record, we paid our $3, being the honest folks that we are.

The beaches on Assateague (both the National portion and the State portion) are much nicer, in my opinion, than the beaches in Ocean City. The Ocean City beaches seem so small to me (maybe because I’m used to the Jersey shore where, in places like Wildwood, it seems it’s a mile between when you first hit the sand and when you reach the water).

You can see Ocean City way in the background of this next photo:

The dunes:

It was quite windy and sand was blowing all over the place. We were getting blown all over the place too.

I’ll never understand people. The dunes were clearly marked with signs asking people to stay off of them (it’s a delicate ecosystem, walking on them disturbs the plant growth, etc.). In addition, there was an electric fence, clearly marked “electric fence.” Yet there was a guy who managed to climb over the fence (maybe the juice wasn’t turned on?), walking all over the dunes. What is it about “keep off” or “don’t feed” people don’t understand?

We sat on the beach for a little while, wrapped in a blanket, trying not to get too much sand in our hair and eyes. Then we drove down to the fishing pier.

That’s the bridge that goes to Assateague from the mainland.

Fishing pier.

That’s it for our visit to Assateague. We took the coastal route for part of our trip home, making our way up to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We stopped occasionally to look at some of the beaches in Delaware.

More to come.