The mother of all road trips

The mother of all road trips

March 06, 2019 3:00 AM


I want to tell you a story of one of the craziest things I have done in my life.

A few years ago, I was visiting my parents back in New Jersey and decided to call my friend Glen, who lived a few towns away from them. Glen is my only true friend from childhood that I kept in touch with for the last 40 years. We would go to lunch and talk about some of our favorite subjects — the good old boardwalk days growing up together; The Rolling Stones (which is both our favorite band); and different foods (Glen always had visions of being a gourmet chef one day).

Glen told me that he always wanted to go to Chicago for a good hot dog and to Kansas City for ribs. It then hit me that Glen would do just about anything I asked, so I spontaneously said, ”Glen do you want to go to a Cubs game with me, and then we will see the Stones in Vegas this weekend”?

He said yes, as I knew he would.

While I was looking at ball game and flight schedules, I decided to even make the trip a little more exciting. It worked out were we could do a Kansas City Royals night game and get my buddy his ribs, then head to Chicago early next morning and catch an afternoon Cubs game and grab a Chicago dog and a slice of deep dish pizza.

So here we are a few days later in New York City, where I promised a friend in Las Vegas I would bring him his favorite bagels (which of course is my favorite) Ess-A-Bagel on First. Then we headed to JFK Airport to start our trip.

However, on the way, we had to make a stop at L and B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, because it would be sacrilegious to be so close to our favorite pizza in the world and not stop in for a few slices.

Oh, I should also mention, the night before that, Glen and I took a ride to Philadelphia, which was less than an hour from my parents' home to see a Phillies game and had Geno’s famous cheese­steaks.

In addition, Glen, who really didn’t like to gamble to much, asked me to wager a $100 parlay on both home teams for him. Now, neither me or any of my guys had a play on either game so I didn’t bet them. Therefore, of course, they both won, and Glen won over $400.

I was mad at myself. Why can’t I just have fun and bet a $100 parlay to be part of the team for myself too? Does everything have to have an edge?

The answer in short is probably yes. For if I was a gambler I wouldn’t be able to pay for these kind of spontaneous  things.

Here is a summary of our 48 hours:

The Phillies and Geno’s Cheesesteak.

Best Bagel in NYC at Ess-A-Bagel on First.

Best pizza in the world at L and B.

The KC Royals and some great Arthur Bryant Ribs.

The Cubs and Chicago dogs and Lou Malanati’s deep dish butter- crusted pizza.

First row Rolling Stones tickets and guitar picks from Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards.

At that time, I remember being a little upset because we probably could have fit in few innings of a Mets game on that trip if had I thought about it more.

The idea for this article came about because I was researching Rolling Stones tickets for the upcoming U.S. tour next month. While doing this, I recalled the last time they toured the States, and thought it would be cool to share the story.

Plus the fact there are certain foods that you just cannot get in Vegas. Pizza is probably the biggest challenge although I have found a few spots I like. Villa Pizza on Durango makes a good Sicilian pizza and you can also pick up a Gaming Today there. Grimaldi’s has many locations and is a chain that is originally from Brooklyn. I like the thin crust white pizza but you have to add Ricotta to it. My new favorite is Monzu on Flamingo which Chef Giovanni brings his old-world Italy-style pizza to Vegas.

On an entirely different subject, I also want to reinforce that conference tournament time is the hardest time of the year to beat the books in college basketball, so proceed with caution.

The first round of the NCAA Tournament is a different story though. Hopefully, I will have a few winners here for you. Stay tuned. 

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