Saturday, October 15, 2005

50.7 miles to 9W mini-golf in New Jersey

Finally, nice weather! I biked up the Hudson River, through the Palisades bike path, and up route 9-W to 9W Golf in Palisades, NY. (It's in Rockland County above Alpine NJ.)

There, I played two games of mini-golf. Here were my scores (the number of strokes to get the ball in each hole):

Game 1: 4, 2, 6, 4, 2, 2, 6, 6, 2, 6, 2, 4, 4, 3, 2, 2, 4, 2. Total: 63.
Game 2: 2, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 4, 5, 3, 3, 6, 2, 2, 2, 4. Total: 54. (Par was 47.)

Some improvement, eh?

Three gaggles of very little kids were having fun on the course too. Each was accompanied by their father - two Irish, one Asian. One little girl started running around near the "green" that I was on, and her father told her to "let the man play". I hate being called a man, it makes me feel old. But I suppose there's no getting around it! :-)

It would be super fun to design a mini-golf course. Maybe even in Manhattan. You could take a crazy space, maybe in a brownstone or loft, and design around the funky obstacles, maybe hitting the ball up a flight of stairs or into a laundry basket. If you built this in midtown it could be a fun lunch break for yuppies; Times Square would be another option, maybe on a higher floor. The rent could be the killer ... If anyone decides to liberate this idea, let me know!

Monday, October 03, 2005

105.8 miles to Atlantic City

Pretty much there, at least :-)

After biking to Pier 11 (near the South Street Seaport), Mike and I hopped on the 11am high-speed ferry to the Highlands across the Hudson in New Jersey. We crossed a bridge to reach the NJ shore and biked south about 40 miles to Seaside Heights, passing places like Point Pleasant in the process.

We then detoured inland to avoid the dreaded Route 9 and Garden State Parkway, and continued south through pretty unpopulated areas. Hungry and searching for a particular road, we encountered a food truck parked alongside Route 539, its motor running!

Alas, nobody was inside the truck. After several back-and-forths along this road, it turned out the locals had mislabeled the road.

We continued on, and as it got dark we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere - aka Washington, NJ. Pretty good roads, very long, there was absolutely nothing for miles and miles except for animals and the occasional car ... this lasted for 24 miles - 10 as dusk approached, 14 in the dark.

Finally we reached ... Egg Harbor City! A suburb of Atlantic City, 20 miles away, Egg Harbor City had no hotels. But their city buses go to Atlantic City. So we hopped on one, stowing our bikes underneath the bus. For $2.90 apiece it brought us to the big AC.

Apparently it isn't wise to go there on a Saturday night without a hotel reservation - they were almost all booked up - so we paid exorbitantly for rooms at the Holiday Inn, one of the only places with vacancies. We biked from the bus station to the Holiday Inn and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was the fanciest Holiday Inn ever! Total milage? 105.8 miles on the bike for Saturday!

By this time it was 10pm and we hadn't had a meal since 11:30am (we had tiny snacks on the way though), so we popped into the nearby Tropicana casino's cafe and had pizza, onion rings and fries. Decent, though later we found that there are other restaurants that are much better and more fun in the Tropicana, in a place called "The Quarter". That'll have to wait til the next trip.

We went around the Tropicana casino and played the penny slots. Mike and I each spent $1. I really don't get gambling - all these people were dropping $25 chips on blackjack tables for 30 second games .. that would just stress me out, blowing $25 each 30 seconds or so. It might be more fun if skill was involved .. maybe competitive pacman?

This was my hotel room. Very comfortable bed and pillows, not too stylish .. the lobby was much nicer though.

In the morning, we walked along the Atlantic City boardwalk. There was some sort of walkathon going on in the opposite direction. All sorts of preprinted t-shirts. A large group of high school students were participating. I can imagine the bright principal who decided, "let's send a bunch of 16 year olds to the AC for a nice wholesome class trip!"
Here is the beach!
And here's a photo of me at the beach.
Here's Mike on the boardwalk.

And here's the Taj Mahal, with the over-50 set having fun at the slots. They're zombies there, just pressing that button over and over!