Thursday, June 14, 2012

Desperate Interns

Ladies and gentlemen, all good things must come to and end and regrettably, this will be the last post from the boys at Get in my Belly. It has been a great run, and we want to thank our die-hard fans for their loyal support for the entirety of our journey.

HStone: For our last lunch in New York, we decided we wanted to treat John and his absolutely wonderful mother for being such great hosts for us in the big, scary city.  Now John's mother has a full-time job and John has, yes i know shockingly, become a bit of a working man himself.  This left us with the challenge of having to meet them somewhere and navigate the subways on our own.  Of course we get lost.  Again, we are not city people.  But we do eventually reach our destination- the scrumptious Shake Shack.

Now we get to the fun part of the story- the story of a desperate(and very cute) intern.  So were standing in this line waiting to get our burgers, when we are approached by a young, professionally dressed female.  She looks a little flustered and approaches John.  Turns out she was sent on an impossible mission by some of her superiors to obtain shakes and return within twenty minutes(if you saw how long the line was, you would realize just how impossible this would have been).  She offers us $100 to let her cut in line with us.  We thought she was exaggerating, but realized she wasnt when she shoved a wad of twenties in Johns hand.  And just like that we didnt even need to treat John and his mom for lunch anymore.  The best part is, we still have about $40 left.  "Cupcakes" anyone?

MRI: First of all, I've discovered that "cheesecake" has a very different effect on me than do "cupcakes." Sort of a cleaner feel, and more classy. Let's just say last night was a good night.
It was a fun day yesterday as well. I had a great time walking around a bit of New York with Mike and Hunter, as well as being able to spend the end of the day with John. We went and hung out with some college kids staying in NYU dorms and they were alright. That is where we had the "cheesecake" and it was good. It was the inexpensive stuff but not cheap. Good vintage.
After getting home we began writing for the day's post. I wrote my bit and handed it over to Hunter for his part. He wrote as well but made a horrible judgement call at the last minute and deleted everything, declaring that we would skip the update yesterday and depriving our readers of some great insights. I just thought I would let you all know that our silence yesterday was entirely the fault of Jacob Hunter Stone. Sorry to all of you who accessed the blog in anticipation of wild updates, only to be horribly and miserably disappointed.

Also if anyone is in Charlottesville for the rest of the summer hit me up. I'll make pastries.

HPD Mike: I have a completely rational fear of any amount of driving in the city. People are too aggressive, I never know where I'm going and above all, parking is terrible. I had to move my car this morning because of street cleaning and I spent an unbelievable 45 minutes trying to find another spot. This reinforced my view that I could never live in a city. I just wasn't built for it.
We've had some great food in the last 48 hours. We started our tour of New York by eating at Rack & Soul BBQ on the Upper West Side. They made some great friend chicken and pulled pork, thus proving that New York is at hot bed for BBQ. For dinner we called an audible and decided to cook our own food, that Mrs. Flannery was kind enough to have bought for us. As Hunter already mentioned, we had some great burgers and shakes at the Shake Shack for lunch. Around dinner time we were walking around Chinatown and Little Italy trying to find a good enough place. We were trying to get lost intentionally and stumble upon a diamond in the rough, but we decided that ordering from a Chinese food place where the menu is entirely in Chinese wasn't a good idea. We found a restaurant in Little Italy that served some great pasta, just what you would expect.

Final Updates
Time spent lost: 79 minutes
Miles driven: 1,117
Immature/unintelligent jokes made: 224
Memories that will last for a lifetime: all of them

 On behalf of the writers of GIMB, I would like to think all of our readers. I hope you all had half as much fun reading this as we had writing it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pastry Love

Tonight we have a special treat for you.  In a GIMB first, we have a special guest writer for you.  This man needs no introduction, but I will give him one anyways.  Many of you know him as hambone or the cheetah man.  He is 6'3, 183 pounds of pure muscle and filled with love.  Ladies and gentlemen, live from the big apple, Mr. John Francis Flannery.

JFlan: Wow, what an honor. Firstly, I want to thank my family and friends for putting me in a place to be able to contribute to this historic blog. The day--which began dark and cloudy--has ended warm and jovial, filled with good conversation under the light of the luminous blue moon. I am not sure of our plans for this upcoming week, but I do know they will be epic.

HStone: Growing up, we reach certain ages where it becomes socially unacceptable to perform certain activities.  For some of these, age limits are clearly defined.  However, for many others, they are not well-defined and instead subjected to our own judgement.  So having said all that, I'm disappointed in you 17 year old guy playing in the children's fountain.  I don't care if it was a little funny watching you with your giant penguin toy messing around in the fountain, you and your Hawaiian short-sleeve button down need to go.  Get it together dork.  

Now on a lighter note, I love cannolis.  The crunchy exterior balances perfectly with the soft, creamy goodness inside.  Garnish it with chocolate chips galore on both sides and you got yourself one sick pastry.  In my day, I haven't come across a better tasting cannoli then the one from Mikes Pastries in the North End of Boston.  Located in a very cool part of town, with the aroma of Italian food and freshly baked bread permeating the streets, it's not possible to have a bad time here.  Boston: you never disappoint.  Time to move on to NYC.  Parting thought: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is gonna be great.  Go see it.

MRI: Second day in Boston I had a singular goal: obtain and consume a Flour Baker + Cafe sticky bun. It was an arduous journey of turmoil, discovery, and undaunted resolve. 
My story began as many have, with an internet search for tasty foods in Boston. As much of our trip has revolved around restaurants we have discovered on the food channel, I looked up such establishments in Boston. I came across several, and among those I discovered short food network special devoted to a certain bakery's sticky bun. These sticky buns are prepared similarly to cinnamon rolls but with a special twist. A caramel swirl topping is mixed and the uncooked buns are allowed to soak in it overnight. After soaking, they are cooked to perfection the following day and served to customers with pecans sprinkled on top. As I am no stranger to cinnamon rolls I knew that I must purchase and consume one of these delectable treats. After much hiking through Boston's financial district, a classy area, we found the Flour Bakery + Cafe that these scrumptious treats reside in. Unfortunately it was lunch time and extremely crowded so we decided to delay our visit and walk around for a bit, which almost turned out to be a horrible mistake.
I returned to the heavenly pastry shop and began the grueling 8 minute wait to get to the front of the line. I viewed the menu and was disappointed to see no sticky buns listed there. I went into a near panic before realizing that none of the pastries were listed, but were rather laid out as they became available. I strained to see to the front of the line behind the counter, attempting to catch just a glimpse of the goodie I craved. As I approached I saw them: a small tin tray with two sticky buns left in it. At this point I was still seven places back in line. I watched them carefully, seeing one go to the next person in line. I was scared that after all of this I would just miss getting the last sticky bun of the day. A server moved to pick up the bun and my heart sank. I was about to break down into tears right then and there. She lifted it and placed it on a plate.... and RETURNED IT TO THE COUNTER! I saw this and very nearly leapt for joy. I purchased the bun and savored it along with a freshly squeezed lemonade below the statue of Paul Revere at the Old North Church.
It was pretty good.

Mid-range Mike: Boston is a pretty awesome city. This was the second time I had been there and I liked it a lot more than I did the first time. I think it's mostly because this time the weather was a perfect 75 degrees and sunny all day long; last time it was raining my entire stay. Today for lunch we ate at a nice, cheap pizza stand called Haymarket Pizza. For those of y'all in Charlottesville, just think Christian's Pizza but in a dumpier-looking building. Then we walked around the North End of Boston. We didn't really focus on where we were going, so we ended up walking through a few very Italian neighborhoods. It seemed like everyone knew everyone else, it was a very cool family-like atmosphere. For dinner, we tried to find this one diner called Valencia Luncheria. We ended up finding it but as the name suggests, it was only open for lunch. So after that we ended up driving through the entire town of Norwalk, CT and found a sketchy-looking diner called Penny's. It ended up having some pretty solid food, once again proving that the hole-in-the-wall restaurants turn out to be pretty great like 78% of the time. 
Random Updates:
Somebody that I used to know counter - annoying
Careless whisper counter - 0 :(
Miles walked - 15.3
Pounds gained - 7
Times Mark missed our exit - 1 (it's a great story, you'll have to ask me about it)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Japan vs. Godzilla, Round 2

Toured a bunch of college campuses today.  Felt like a high school senior.  Pretty positive we could have played sports at a few of them(looking at you MIT and Harvard).

Backpack Mike: Today was a great day for food. We started the day out in Boston by eating at Kelly's Roast Beef for lunch. I had a fantastic, large roast beef sandwich while Hunter and Mark went for some seafood. Mark had his first clam chowder ever and loved it. For dinner, we had a meal so grand that it might not be matched for the remainder of the trip. We went a bit west of Boston to eat at Eagle's Deli. Here's the scene: it was Mark fighting for the honor of his people. There we stood at the counter, each ordering a Godzilla Burger. For those of you not familiar, the Godzilla Burger is a concoction of a pound of beef with 4 slices of cheese and a half pound of fries. Mark went in for the kill and conquered the beast. He restored honor to the country of Japan and took down Godzilla. Pictures will be coming later in the post:
Other highlights from the trip:
Call me maybe counter - 13
Stop signs run - 2
Somebody that I used to know counter - 27
Minutes that we drove the wrong way on 295 - 52

H$: I ate a crab roll today.  I ate a cheeseburger today.  I went to Harvard today.  I saw an authentic Boston Terrier Today.  Nothing to say.  Here are some pictures of hamburgers.

MRI: Interesting day. We woke up in an entirely different world. A world full of beauty. Beauty that can only be appreciated by retired accountants and overweight stroller dogs. A beauty enjoyed by lovers of nature, patrons of colorful lawn chairs, and owners of an excessive number of tiki lanterns. That's right, we woke up in a trailer park campsite. It was a whole different world. Those people are weird. Anyway, I really liked camping last night. We found the place late at night and had to set up the tent in the dark which was a fun experience.
The day began with a drive to Boston. I slept in the car due to an unfortunately placed rock under my side of the tent paired with a sleeping bag not made for the northeast. We made Boston by lunch and enjoyed walking around the city. I bought a used book at the bookstore. It is called The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm. I'm hoping to pick up some tips on how to love fromm it. (Haha, get it) "But paradoxical philosophy is neither in India nor in China to be confused with a dualistic standpoint." This is me inserting a quote from the book in direct opposition to Hunter's regulation against them. It doesn't matter that it makes no sense. 
We went to North of Boston and got a hotel. Now I am four "cupcakes" deep and ready to go to bed. Have a good night everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cheesesteaks and flamboyant parades

A very interesting day. Called a big audible- decided to head to hartford Connecticut for the night rather than an extra day in Philly. We don't care. Were big boys. We do what we want.

Today was alright. Continuing with the theme of spontaneity we ate lunch in Philly but decided to leave early and make our way to Connecticut to stay for the night, leaving us a short drive to Boston tomorrow. It's been swell and now I'm chilling in a tent with Mike and Hunter writing this post. 
My favorite part of the day was chilling for a short while in Philly. We had ourselves some pretty good cheesesteak sandwiches for lunch and got to walk around the city for a while. We walked by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, experiencing that bit US history. While we were there we saw that there was a parade going on down 6th street. We decided to watch it for a bit and it was so much fun. People were passing out cool rainbow colored flags all over for the crowds to enjoy the parade as well. There were floats and cars painted all sorts of colors. People were all smiling and hugging. I wanted to hold Mike's hand so that I would fit in. There was one awesome float that I think was advertising some sort of swimsuits because the men on top were all dancing to music wearing speedos. A few of them even wore bikinis and had wigs on which looked kind of funny. Unfortunately we missed getting a picture with them. Hunter would have looked great with his arm around the waist of "speedo guy." It was a fun parade. I wonder what the occasion was for such a celebration. Perhaps we will never know. 

H$: After a year of rooming with Mike, I finally got to take things to the next level- I shared a bed with him. He's a great cuddler(ladies). Anyways, it wouldn't be a trip to Philly without having an authentic Philly cheesesteak. We arrived at Jim's cheesesteaks at around 12:30, poised and ready. Now on a normal day, I would have snacked quite a bit by this point in the day, but traveling doesn't allow for that type of behavior, so I was pretty hungry. I got the cheesesteak with whiz. No complaints. Really hit the spot. After hanging around the city for a bit, we all kind of realized were not city people. So we made the snap decision to head to hartford Connecticut. We had not planned for this, so we had to do a little research and find a prime eating spot. What we found was Teds famous burgers: home of the steamed burger. This hole-in-the-wall was featured on the popular show man vs food. This place lived up to the hype. A very unique, steamed patty, with separately steamed white cheddar cheese and bacon, complete with a side of generously seasoned homefries. Mmmmmm. Mark mike and I are now settling into our campsite with very happy tummies. Sorry for no pics, we're blogging from a phone. Peace out

Microwave: You know those moments in your life when you come to the realization that at some point something about you changed? I had one of those today. I've always been an organized person. I've always needed to have a plan or else I get stressed. Coming in to this trip we had no plan. My parents asked me to give them our itinerary and all I had was the list of cities we were going to and when we would be there. By the way, we have already scratched those few plans we had. Today at about 8 we didn't know where we were going to sleep. Previously this would have made me nervous. I would've been stressed and unpleasant to be around. But I realized that I had neither of those emotions, I was completely fine with our uncertainty. That was kind of a cool moment. 
In other news, on the road today we were stopped at a toll booth. We were like the 10th car in line and it took us 7 minutes until we were through. It was awful. I wanted to cry. Mark actually did. 
Right now we are settling down at a campsite in Connecticut. It's a gorgeous place, right by a lake and everything. It's amazing the amount of stars you can see out in the middle of nowhere, that's one of my favorite things about camping. It was already dark when we got here and it took about an hour for us to set up our tent, but other than that I'd consider this night a great success. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012


We decided we wanted to blog about our trip.  No deep thoughts.  No inspirational quotes.  No song lyrics.  Just the random musings of three hungry college grads.

H$:  Our first stop on our food tour took us to the town of Downingtown, PA. We ate at a place called Victory Brewing, where i had some of the best tacos ive ever had.  All in all a great day, but id like to take a second to go on a little rant here.  As soon as we crossed the Mason-Dixon line, the road systems took a turn for the worse (get it?).  On multiple occasions, we looked at the roads and could do nothing but throw our hands up and say "what the heck?" (like the road that had turns off of it, but also had signs forbidding us from turning).  Seriously guys, get a little more organization in your roads.  Final thought: Call Me, Maybe radio count=7.

MM: One of my favorite things about taking road trips is seeing more of the country than I usually see. It's cool to see how different some states are. That being said, some states do stupid things, particularly in their transportation system. We were driving through Maryland trying to stay on route 15, and at one point the signs clearly stated that we could either turn right or left and still stay going north on route 15. I'm not sure how that's possible, but I am sure that if they made that possible they wasted a whole lot of money constructing it. On a different note, I'd like to point out that I'm slowly adding to the number of road trips that I've taken my car on. Since I've owned it, my car has been to Colorado, Florida, South Carolina (at least three times), New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Tennessee, and all the states necessary to drive to the states above. I'm not sure why I always get volunteered to drive, but my car has got to go on some awesome adventures.

MRI: Today was Saturday June 9. I enjoyed myself today. I woke up semi-early to get packed, took my time listening to Radiohead while assembling my various items in preparation for departure. It was a solid trip up to Mike's awesome house up in Catharpin (don't try to say it aloud) and we were on our way north before 1pm. The most interesting parts of my day involved our spontaneity and beer. To begin the day the only actual plan we had was to make our way into the Philadelphia area and eat dinner at the Victory Brewery as well as find a place to stay. At Mike's house we bid on a hotel room on Priceline and got it for pretty cheap (I think I could have gone lower.) This determined our housing for the night. The rest of the week's housing plan is yet to be determined. I love this about the trip so far. We make it up as we go along, following the loose itinerary of Philly, Boston, New York. Even on the way to Philadelphia we spontaneously decided to visit our friend David Drewry and pulled off the road just in time to make it to his house. It's fun doing whatever seems to work.
In addition, the day held for me a great revelation concerning beer: mass produced light beers are not very good. I began the evening with a pitcher of lager from Victory Brewing. It was an excellent choice. After that we watched the Eastern Conference finals at a bar and I had a tasty local ale that was on tap. By the end of the night I was not feeling spending much more money and ordered a cheap Coors Light. It sucked. It tasted like the worst beer I ever had. I was not happy. I hope I am not ultimately spoiled by this trip because I doubt that my future holds the ability to enjoy primarily craft beers on a regular basis.