Memorial Day Weekend 2011 - where is this year going? Mother Nature seems to be taking her cues from National holidays this year ushering in the sweltering summer heat just in time for the "unofficial start of summer". Personally, I'd be thrilled with 4 more weeks of spring, but I decided to play along with summer's early arrival and head down the shore yesterday to celebrate one of my oldest and dearest friend's birthdays.
At 10:30 a.m. Jimmy and I donned our bathing suits for the first time this season, packed up the car with beach chairs, towels and sunscreen and hit the road. What should have been less than a 2 hour drive delivered us shore front at roughly 2pm. Anxious to hit the beach, we quickly found parking and were on the beach in no time. After an inaugural dip (only ankle deep) in the icy Atlantic, I lathered up with sunscreen and settled in. Even though it was in the high 80's, there was a cool breeze coming off the ocean and before long I was snoozing on the warm sand. I awoke a couple hours later hungry from the heat and ready to hit the shops and restaurants. Upon first examination, I didn't appear to be burned but a closer look revealed that my right arm, and only the outer side of my right arm was lobster red. Ugh! Note to self: apply sunscreen before sun exposure - and yes, hanging your arm out the passenger window on a 31/2 hr drive is sun exposure! As I brushed the sand from my body I noticed I was getting kind of itchy and discovered quite a few welts on my legs and one HUGE one on my forehead. I initially dismissed them as mosquito bites but when the swelling on my forehead became such that it appeared as if I got conked with a baseball bat and the itching turned to a dull stinging sensation I knew these were no normal mosquitoes (I later found out that I'd been bitten by horseflies - ew!). Not insect bites nor sunburn were quelling my appetite though so Jimmy and I headed for a quick bite to eat at a local greasy spoon before heading farther south to Atlantic City to continue the birthday festivities. We returned home around midnight (after doubling my gambling budget on the slot machines - woo hoo!), and after a quick shower and a liberal application of aloe I was more than happy to fall into bed for the night. I awoke this morning in a bit of a sunburn haze, happy to have the day off from work and happier yet to be inside in the air conditioning.
Did you know that this weekend is not only Memorial Day, but also another National "holiday"? It's National Burger Weekend! As if we didn't already have enough of a reason to fire up the grill and celebrate! Usually the thought of an unctuous burger dripping with melty cheese and thick slices of bacon is my food porn, but after the damage I did at the beach yesterday (What? Can you blame me? I'm sorry, but strolling down the Boardwalk munching on carrot sticks is not nearly as refreshing as a twisty cone or freshly squeezed lemonade!) a greasy burger is the last thing I want. But, I'd been kicking around an idea for a lightened up Greek inspired burger with a refreshing Tzaziki sauce for a while now and what better excuse to give it a shot than National Burger Weekend?!