Wrapping up the Summer that Really Wasn’t

With today’s completion, that will be a wrap on the summer of 2020. Just like everything else about this year, summer was a bit of a let-down. On a personal note, there was a vast dip in both new restaurant reviews and repeat visits to other places. Even though it was killing me to not try outside dining at my favorite summer hangouts, I kept telling myself that if we made it this far, we might as well keep going a little bit longer. However, with that dramatic reduction of writing material and restaurant experiences came a burst in cooking for both myself and Justin. I don’t think we have ever cooked more in our entire life since this past spring, this coming from two people who already did a lot of cooking. If you are not a regular follower of this blog, take a look through some of the “Photos of the Day” to see what I mean.

In looking at 2019, I reviewed 11 new restaurants between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This year in the same time frame, I reviewed six (two actual dining experiences in Pennsylvania, one outside in NJ, and three takeout/delivery in NJ). But lost in that number is when we hit up the same restaurants multiple times. Summer has always been a time for me to go to my favorite places, whereas the rest of the year is the chance to experiment with the new. Summer of 2020 missed sitting dockside at Bahrs Landing and watching the boats come and go while feasting on their popcorn shrimp. More of a downer than that was no Long Island Iced Teas and burgers at Barnacle Bill’s (we did try last night but the wait appeared to be too long and we couldn’t even get into the parking lot). And while this was going to be the summer to finally try One Willow and Inlet Cafe, both waterfront dining establishments in Highlands, it looks like that will have to wait.

I certainly cannot complain about the money I saved this summer by not eating out, but how much fun was it? Summer of 2020 was full of work, work, and more work. My ultra-fun educational summer camps at Brookdale that never felt like work were canceled and I have settled into a “regular” job. Gone were the days of finishing up a thrilling politics and debate or military history camp, heading over to the beach for a few hours, and capping the day with drinks and dinner. Maybe in 2021.

I stated months ago on this blog that it might end up having a “different look”. While restaurant reviews have always brought in more readers than other content, readership did maintain at a level that I deemed appropriate enough to continue. The domain has been renewed for another year. If we are at the same position next August (when it comes up for renewal) as we are now, I may just let it expire and use this site without a unique domain (such as .wordpress.com at the end instead of .net). But only time will tell. I hope everyone made the best of this summer and managed to have a good time. I am hoping for a much better fall, which is my favorite time of year. Pumpkin coffee (and martinis), horror movies, and spooky goings-on at the Strauss Mansion Museum are just right around the corner.

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