Sunday, May 25, 2008

Four dogs on the fire!

Here on the Jersey shore, where my excellent cousin (and M&M regular) Ronelle lives with her great family, Michelle and I established our Shore cred yesterday as non-Bennies not only by going to the Windmill for a hot dog -- famous here -- but by ordering with the skill of a local:

"Four dogs on the fire!"

"On the fire." That means, to you Bennies, grilled. What's a Benny, you ask? That's a tourist, like someone from Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark or New York: Get it: BENNY?

We had a great day yesterday, following Ronelle's official summer kick-off tradition of getting some dogs on the fire and eating them in the car, then driving along Ocean Avenue to check out the Boardwalk and a new development there. Christin, pictured above with Michelle and Ronelle, even broke with tradition by jumping out of the car to throw away our trash (tradition dictates a round of rock-paper-scissors for the duty). And then we met my cousin Rick and his daughter Holley (below with Christin) to see the new Indiana Jones movie (so-so), and then had a terrific seafood dinner at Rooney's, down on the Boardwalk. Awesome day.

And all that was after getting here Friday night in time for a great baked ziti dinner, my favorite, and a night of playing games on Ronelle's new Wii machine with the same group, and also including Holley's brother Ricky and their friend Gary. Fun stuff.

Aunt Chickie, impervious to the passing of time, looks great and is as fun and funny as ever. It's been an awesome stop.

This has all been extra fun for me because this is where my mom lived back in the day when she and her brother Ron (Rick and Ronelle's dad, Chick's late husband) moved here from Southern California. Ronelle pointed out some spots where Mom used to live and hang out.

In longstanding Maher tradition, Rick, Ronelle and I jokingly bickered all day yesterday about who was going to treat for our various outings. I made the mistake of picking up the dinner check, which Ronelle apparently couldn't abide. This morning, as we were having coffee and a bagel and getting ready to leave, she surprised us with our own Wii machine, a gift from the entire Maher clan.

Too much, but I'm sure we'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Gina and Franny, you'll love it!

Here's Rick and Ronelle on the Long Branch Boardwalk.

OK then, back on the road this afternoon to visit Michelle's relatives in North Jersey (some real Bennies, I'm guessing). And then, who knows. More open road ahead.


Ronelle said...

AWESOME FUN!!!! Mark neglected to mention that the visit included some late night lessons in Texas Hold'em, Cribbage, Spades and Five Card Stud! Now -for us Jersey shore natives the word RIVER has a whole new meaning!

Thanks M and M for including us in your Pie in the Sky II adventure - it has been fun. I can't wait for our first away Wii tournament in your "park".

Rita said...

I am SO jealous!!!

Everyone looks great and what a fun get-together.

Ronelle, let's make the next tournament in the Pacific Northwest so I can play.

Sounds like the Maher Hospitality hasn't changed a bit.

Thanks for the great pictures M&M.

freda said...

great post, looks like lots of fun. Michelle tell Bernie and family hi from me.

donna said...

you guys look awful cute!

mich said...

Man, I sure do wish I could have been there. You Mahers are good people. It's a shame we don't all get together more often!

Michelle said...

The Mahers are AWESOME. We had a great time with them, and also, they do know their dogs.

kateco said...

Wow it is so cool to see Ronelle and family. And those dogs look like heaven...

and wow-wii, that's what I call loot!