Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tales from the railroad

Last Friday, I had a little train adventure. I took the train from Baltimore, MD to my hometown in NY.

As my fellow NY friends know, when you move out of state, you deal with a lot of stereotypes. This probably happens with all states. If you're from New York, people generally assume that your life was pretty similar to Carrie Bradshaw's, or at least the cast of Friends.

I couldn't find the meme I wanted, but this one had a star next to my small hometown that no one has ever heard of.

I've straight up had people not believe me when I try to explain that I'm just from a normal suburb and rarely saw Broadway shows, because while I love musicals, the 400 mile trip to Manhattan was an obstacle.

My train was scheduled to have a layover in Manhattan.
Not the most direct route.

That's a place with such good food that it is infuriating to be there for a short time and not be able to eat it all. It makes me want that stuff they offered to Peeta in the Capital to let him eat ALL THE THINGS.

I wasn't there long, this was the best picture I could get.

So hard choices had to be made. In case you forgot the random fact from my blog post last week, my priority was a NYC bagel, one of the most perfect foods known to man. This wasn't going to be easy - I had to get up at 4am to fit in a run before my journey, and I wasn't getting to NYC until 8:30am. But I would persevere.

Eric dropped me off at the train station at 5:50 for my 6:10 train. I walked in, and saw the train was canceled. Insert awesome WTF gif here.

Luckily they were able to rebook me on a later train, but it meant I would have only 20 minutes in NYC before my next train - aka not nearly enough time for a bagel. I wasn't about to starve, so I got an extremely sub par one from Dunkin Donuts.

For most of my first train trip, I had a table and four seats all to myself. I had a lot of work to do, and usually my plan in that situation would be to put it all off until the last minute, and then feel guilty and not enjoy myself the rest of the day because it was hanging over my head.

In an extremely un-me like move, I got started right away and knocked out the majority.

This picture doesn't quite capture how industrious I was.

I thought the food gods had turned their backs on me, but I was wrong. I missed my next train, and ended up with three hours in NYC. I was able to meet my blog/internet/email friend Emily for the first time, and we had an amazing lunch.

NY pizza - the next best thing to a bagel

I am always afraid blogger meetups will be awkward, but like the rest, this one was so much fun.

Emily suggested getting that bagel for dinner, and it was all I hoped it would be and more.

I also got a delicious marble cookie from a bakery she recommended. Picture a cookie the size of your face with butter stains on the bag it came in (the number one sign of a baked good is about to rock your world).

My stepfather picked me up, and I was greeted with my favorite flowers in the guest room, and a sweet Ravens shirt for the baby!

These almost made up for the fact that it snowed the next morning.
Unfortunately, I didn't see those flowers until FIFTEEN HOURS after leaving Baltimore. The train is lovely and relaxing and has free WiFi and I got crap done and read books and didn't have to fear for my life if I started falling asleep. But I could have driven all the way to Rochester and back to Baltimore and had an hour or so to spare in the time it took me.

I passed out not long after arriving. In the morning, I did Jillian Michaels yoga meltdown with my sister. I guess this shouldn't have surprised me, but this wasn't relaxing, let's stretch and focus on our breathing and aura type yoga. It was more "OMG I AM GOING TO DIE" yoga.

I had a great weekend and was super busy running around seeing family and friends, but you don't know those people and don't care. So let's talk about more phenomenal food.

Stuffed avocados. My sister has been telling me how delicious these are for years. They did not disappoint.

Dinner was two entrées shared with my sister (the only person who will ever do this with me). A cheddar/bacon/caramelized onion stuffed burger, and ahi tuna spicy tacos. No picture because the burger just looked like a burger, trust me it was superior.

Next, a cupcake tasting for my sister's upcoming bridal shower. My mom was the chef, which was great for 3 reasons.

1. She's the best baker on earth
2. I got to wear my pjs and go directly to bed after.
3. I got to take lots of leftovers home.

Coconut cupcakes with homemade lemon curd and whipped cream.

White cake with white chocolate raspberry buttercream.
Sunday morning I was reintroduced to an old friend.
Can't quite go black yet, and haven't had it since but....still.
Brunch was a veggie frittata (Pioneer Woman recipe), pulled pork hash, and lemon blueberry coffee cake.

A few pictures from my time with one person everyone (with a soul, at least) wants to see.

He took a bunch of selfies. And added filters.

Then my friend Casi and I made the six hour drive home. I'm pretty sure that my combined travel time this weekend was enough to make it to Australia. Worth it.

What stereotypes exist about your home state?


  1. I live at the Jersey Shore. Need I say more?
    Nice trip! And OMG Baked Ziti Pizza - only in NYC!

  2. Hello Alyssa's blog! You already answered your question for me, so I'll ask one of my own: WHY did I read your blog right before my dinner? It was basically torture. Even now that I've eaten, I'm still kind of mad that I don't have any cupcakes.

    Also, my sister is the only one that will split two entrees with me, too. Travers gets mad if I even ask for one bite!


  3. So wait, you're telling me you want to do an "OMG I want to die" yoga dvd with me this weekend? This will be comical.

    CT stereotypes? Uh, we're all rich snobs. I guess it's not a stereotype if it's true :)

  4. Your post just made me hungry. That pizza looks delicious.

    Stereotypes about CA? Especially Southern CA? That's we're all Clueless. Or surfers. Or pot heads. Or hippies. Man, I miss that place so much...

  5. I grew up in the suburbs west of Philadelphia, which is not the same thing as West Philadelphia. I went to school with a lot of white, wealthy Jewish girls with nary a Fresh Prince in sight,

  6. I would sit on a train all day if there were cupcakes and stuffed avocados waiting for me.

  7. a major dealbreaker for me when I was dating was whether the person would share food with you. I am ALL about sharing food. The best part about going to a restaurant where you're like "omg everything looks so good how do I decide?!" is to be able to sample TWO plates with your date. Same goes with dessert.

  8. Omg I've never seen those tunnel pictures!! love them. Also, I love his expression in the selfie. Don't feel bad about the fact that he looks less than thrilled- that's the same face he gives me too. THS.

  9. I don't understand how you're not 300lbs with the way your mom cooks and bakes. I think I would be. Then I could back and live with my mom and her cooking as a fat camp lol

    Oh man, that's cracking me up. Probably not you, but if you were on Vicodin right now you'd be laughing too.

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