Despite Philly’s best efforts to keep me away, I did finally make it up to Jersey to see Val. As I mentioned in the previous post, my train arrived an hour later than expected, so it gave Val plenty of time to make a stop at the liquor store and pick up some “welcome to Jersey” beer. When I arrived, I was greeted not only by Val’s beautiful and smiling face, but this gorgeous creature as well:
That’s right . . . that says Chocolate Peanut Butter beer. Sounds revolting, right? It was either going to be completely disgusting, or unbelievably amazing. But with a name like Sweet Baby Jesus, how could Val resist buying it? So, we tried it. And it was . . . thick and dark and pretty revolting. But, not being punk bitches, we split it and each finished our half. It sort of grew on you after a bit, and really, even bad beer is still beer. But, I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, in case you were wondering.
After the beer was opened, Val gave me my Xmas present that she had been holding until we saw each other. It was a myriad of radness all in one sparkly snowman bag:
But, what isn’t pictured is the best part of the entire gift! Unfortunately, it was in one of those impenetrable plastic wrapped cases that I couldn’t break into. Fortunately, Val came prepared and had no problem ripping right into that sucker.
Plastic containers are no match for brass knuckles with a handy dandy hidden switch blade attachment! And what was this wondrous item that Val was so helpfully and skillfully sawing open? Well, just the most perfect and awesome thing ever!
Once I was properly presented and unpacked, I got ready to leave the room for the rest of the night. However, since we didn’t expect to return to the room until our festivities were over at the end of the evening, I had to get dressed and ready to be out for the night. This meant clothing and make-up that I would not usually wear at 3:00 in the afternoon. But then again, I was in Jersey. So really, it was de rigueur, so I got ready for the night. Once I was properly shellacked, we were off to our destination . . . Asbury Park.
Our plan was to meet one of Val’s friends, Stephanie, to get mani/pedis before we grabbed some food and then later went to a club. But, we arrived early, and once we circled around the very trendy and popular downtown area in our attempt to find someplace to park, we finally lucked out and got a spot on a side street, and when we realized that we would have to wait for Stephanie for a bit (and that we both really had to pee), we decided to stop into the bar that we just happened to park right in front of. We still have no idea what the name of the bar was, only seeing a symbol of an eye everywhere we looked, but there were so many beards and knit caps, that it was probably called something like The Hipster’s Den or We Liked It First, or something. But still, we both had a beer, some pork fries (yum!), and Val got herself a new Mason jar glass. So, it was all good.
Once we received word that Stephanie had arrived at the nail salon which was just around the corner, we finished our beer and fries and headed on over. We all lined up in our chairs to get our toes done, and when I looked down, I realized they had some sort of fancy light system going on that changed the color of the lights every few seconds. It was pretty cool.
Once our toes were properly painted and beautified, we moved on to our next destination. A bar called Johnny Mack’s.
This particular bar, Val and Steph’s favorite, was distinctive because you got free pizza when you bought beer, plus there were mannequins and free candy! Sounds good.
What was also interesting was the décor. There was writing all over the walls, and even on lamps and trashcans (mostly song lyrics on those) and on the tables and chairs. In fact, at one point, I looked up and saw this really funky lamp over top of me and decided to take a picture. To which Val had to add her own special brand of accompaniment, of course.
The only bad thing about the joint was that when I went to the extremely dark bathroom, I took off my mustache mood ring to wash my hands (it’s cheap and turns when it gets wet), and left it on the shelf below the soap dispenser. It was so dark in there you could not even see yourself in the mirror. So, I missed it sitting there, completely forgot about it, and didn’t remember it existed until I went to wash my hands at our next destination and it wasn’t there. And when I called, only about an hour later, they were just too damn busy for anyone to venture to the bathroom to check. As you might imagine, nobody turned it in. Much sadness ensued.
But, let us not dwell on unfortunate incidents, and instead move along to our next destination . . . a gay bar in a hotel near the Jersey shore. The hotel itself is actually a gay destination (so says Wikipedia) called The Empress. I am unaware of the actual name of the bar (seems to be a theme for the night), but was greeted by this upon our entrance, so it was sure to be a good time:
We arrived early enough to experience the famous country line dancing that occurred before 10:00 at night, where they set up actual fences around the dance floor. Apparently, these dancers are serious about their line dancing, so much so that the security personnel feel the need to frantically warn you off of venturing within the corral as you stand and watch, imagining the carnage which would for sure ensue for the uninitiated.
While we awaited the end of the spectacle, we got a few beverages and perused some lovely and readily available reading material scattered around the club.
We eventually meandered over into a side room with a bar, a dance floor and some sofas, along with 80’s dance videos playing, which was practically empty. We settled in, watched some videos, and were there to watch some of the characters who eventually joined us over in this sad little side room. Val met this lovely older queen, and they hit it off famously!
There were also a few lovely ladies who graced us with some dance moves out on the floor and were just the cutest things:
In case you are wondering, Val is the only one in those above pictures with original girl body parts. But, they were rocking their dresses, let me tell you.
Once the night moved into the wee hours (and I started falling asleep, despite the loud, bass thumping music), the real entertainment arrived.
Much to the enjoyment of the regular clientele, I assure you. We were told by what I can only assume was the only straight man there (the security guy), that the place didn’t really get jumping until after 12:30, but by that time, we were all pretty exhausted and ready to head out. So, while I don’t think I experienced the club at its prime, I was assured that if I returned in the summer, when they opened up the pool deck and things really heat up, that I would get to really see it at its best and have a grand time. So, I guess I’ll need to make a trip back to Jersey in the summer months then.
The next day I returned home to the safety of Maryland, but not before having lunch with my bloggy friend Jules at the infamous Harold’s deli. But that’s an entirely separate and wonderful story that I will report on in a future post. There was just too much good stuff in Jersey for merely 2 posts. Stay tuned . . . again.