Yesterday, we left ourselves an hour and a half to get to Washington Rock to meet up with my nephew and his new girlfriend. We got there before they did, but only by about 15 minutes, because the traffic was kind to us. Just as well, since it was rather windy, and we were standing on George Washington’s lookout point in the Watchung Mountain Range, from which he could observe British troop movements in 1777. From there, you can see Lower Manhattan, way in the distance, all the way down to Perth Amboy. There’s not much to the park itself, but the view is phenomenal.
I handed them each a stocking stuffer worth of John & Kira’s chocolate bees (they’re chocolates filled with a honey caramel filling) upon first meeting them. After we looked around for 20 minutes or so, standing out in the wind and cold, we agreed to meet up at Trap Rock Brewery for an early gastropub dinner. I hadn’t been to Trap Rock since we moved out of state a decade ago. The food is good, their in-house made microbrews are good, and although the food is not inexpensive, and all the brews they serve go for $6.50+ per glass (not even a full pint), they will fill a 1 gal. growler for $13, which is a phenomenal value. So, I had them fill my big growler from Cape May Brewery with their Kestrel IPA, which is not at all over the top hoppy, before bringing me the bill. It was quite reasonable for four people, all things considered, even with the generous tip I gave our waitress for her excellent service.
I hosted seven people after my dad’s funeral at another gastropub owned by the same family a few towns away, when my mom backed out of hosting it herself that evening (with good reason), and was similarly shocked by how little the bill was, compared to what I was expecting. At least these gastropubs have vegetarian options for those who want them. I’m an omnivore, but those who don’t want to eat animal flesh aren’t stuck with a soup or salad, unless that’s what they want.
Overall, yesterday’s meeting went well, and I really like my nephew’s girfriend. It was well worth the drive there, and the one back, which took over two hours because we got stuck in stand still traffic behind a couple of accidents. We typically only get to see my nephew once a year, around Memorial Day weekend, in MN, so this was a bit of a treat.
Happy holidays, everyone!