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hoboken bound

August 10, 2010

On a list of traditional family vacations, Hoboken is probably hanging out near the bottom of the list if it even made the cut at all. Not many families wake up on a Saturday and say, “Hey, let’s pack up the van and head off to Hoboken!” In fact, most families probably skip New Jersey in the whole vacation conversation. However, as is the case in this situation and in life at large, my family is different. My love for television that combines real people with real food spawned from somewhere, and that place is none other than home sweet home. So when my dad woke up on Saturday and said, “Hey, let’s pack up the van and head off to Hoboken!” my mom and I jumped into said vehicle because we knew exactly where it was headed: Carlo’s Bakery, home of TLC’s Cake Boss.

Look! There we are on our way to Hoboken. My mom is driving because my dad had some work to do and I was passengerizing because I was the only one who knew how to operate the GPS. And after a few wrong turns and a few rounds of pop culture questions (like whether or not that Nick Lachey fellow is in Train?), we arrived at the Promised Land.

And then we saw this…

Blocks of people who had the same nifty idea as we did. Turns out Hoboken is more of a tourist hub than we originally anticipated. But we pressed on (read: we made my dad stand in line while my mom and I went to go find lunch).

Here’s my mom, eating half of her lunch and throwing half at the birds.

I say “at” and not “to” because the size of the bread chunks she was launching were comparable to the size of the bird’s head. (Side note: lunch from Fiore’s Deli was AMAZING…prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes and the freshest mozzarella in the world.)

When we returned from lunch to bring my dad his sandwich he had moved about ten feet in an hour.

I was jealous of these people at the front of the line.

And of whoever is getting this cake.

After the course of more time than I’d like to share with you, we made it here…

The front of the store. The gates of heaven. Synonymous.

Little did we know that when we finally made it into the store we would be sardined inside with about 50 other people in an expanse of space no larger than my former kitchen. It was close quarters, but when you’re sharing those quarters with cases of pastries and cookies and cakes and 50 other people who share your appreciation for such fine goods…you happily just go ahead and order whatever you can see. For us that meant cannoli, cream puffs, lobster tails, cupakes, and a tiramisu. (Don’t judge: we brought a cooler so we could bring some home. And we did…although there may or may not have been anything left by day’s end.)

Exiting the store was a feat in and of itself, but once we were successfully extracted we decided to take our treats to a more scenic location.

If I hadn’t been eating the best chocolate cannoli to ever grace the planet I would have said this park was my new favorite thing in the world. It was so, so beautiful.

But not as beautiful as what came next.

We packed up our remaining desserts and ourselves and headed eastward for home. That was until the skies parted and the angels sang and I saw this on the side of the highway…

Trader Joe’s. Or in my direction quotation, “OH MY WORD, TRADER JOE’S!!!” So we quickly about-faced and spent almost as much time inside of Trader Joe’s as we did in line outside of Carlo’s Bakery. And more products were added to the cooler. And the trunk.

And the front seat.

You’d think that would be enough, right? Lovely summer day, lovely summer drive. Picturesque parks and pies. Familial bonding for one and all. Who could ask for more?

Apparently, we could.

Tiramisu, I love you. Especially at the end of a day that also contained several other Italian desserts.

This trip will go down in single-day-family-vacation history. Which from the sounds of it may be a short history, making this trip it’s bright shining star.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 10:10 am

    Love this post–and Cake Boss! Who knew you’d have to wait in a line behind actual baricades? : ) Glad it was worth the wait. Great pictures!

  2. August 10, 2010 10:12 am

    Man…everyone take such great photos! I’m jealous.


  3. Raul permalink
    August 10, 2010 10:13 am

    Sounds like you had a great time! What a fun experience…always nice to just pick up and go on a whim…those are always the best times. Thanks for the pics too :-)

  4. August 10, 2010 10:27 am

    Go figure… Being from the (ahem) other side of the river I’ll admit that my trips to Hoboken are few and far between, but I would not have imagined that gems like this are hiding over there. I may have to move this up a couple notches on a destination list. Thanks!

  5. August 10, 2010 10:52 am

    Now I know where I’m going next time I come to the USA :) nice post.

  6. August 10, 2010 10:55 am

    Having grown up along the Hudson I’ve always enjoyed Hoboken’s charm, even long before it underwent a renaissance. The architecture has been wonderfully preserved, the parks and the views are exceptional, and like so many other under-appreciated treasures in New Jersey the more you explore the more you’ll discover. Glad you enjoyed your visit!

    C.E. Grundler

  7. August 10, 2010 11:15 am

    Haha I’m from the neighborhood sitting right on top of Hoboken in Jersey City. Everytime I walk by the bake shop I’m so amazed by how long the lines have gotten over the past few years. Also, congratulations on even finding parking in the neighborhood! It’s really seen uptake since my childhood.

  8. August 10, 2010 11:27 am

    Great Pics!

  9. sayitinasong permalink
    August 10, 2010 11:33 am

    Sounds like a fab day out! I love the Cake Boss… unfortunately I dont live anywhere near Hoboken but if I did… I would so be in that line!

  10. August 10, 2010 11:37 am

    Looks delicious, and great photos!

  11. Chris permalink
    August 10, 2010 12:07 pm

    The photo of your mom sitting on the ground smiling is the perfect vacation photo!


  12. August 10, 2010 12:50 pm

    LOVE this post, love you, love your parents!

    what a great story. :D it was absolutely amazing to read.

  13. August 10, 2010 1:05 pm

    I live 5 mins from Hoboken and love everything about that town!! Great post!

  14. August 10, 2010 1:32 pm

    Once again Beka, you rock! Thanks for sharing your excitement with me. Awesome post.

  15. August 10, 2010 1:51 pm

    It looks like Cake Boss is singlehandedly supporting the economy of Hoboken. Man do those cakes look good! But I have to admit, if I arrived to a line like that I’d probably get in my car and go home.

  16. Don permalink
    August 10, 2010 2:50 pm

    I am the dad in the first picture. Who would think of taking a three hour drive, then stand in line for two and one half hours, just to go into a bakery. Their stuff is just fantastic, I am so fortunate to have a daughter that is so in love with photography and writing.

  17. August 10, 2010 2:53 pm

    I don’t think I could wait in line for food like that, no matter what it is. That’s willpower and dedication, for sure. Looks tasty, though.

  18. August 10, 2010 3:09 pm

    Great pictures.

  19. August 10, 2010 3:54 pm

    What a great post! I would totally go there for a vacation day! Great pictures too.

  20. tarotpixie permalink
    August 10, 2010 4:17 pm

    I work in Hoboken and have been amazed at the lines stretching two blocks just to get into the bakery.
    You certainly earned your treats that day and I’m glad you enjoyed yourselves. Great photos and fab narrative.

  21. Kendra permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:18 pm

    Your photos make me want to visit there!! Very cool post!

  22. August 10, 2010 5:31 pm

    I love the photos that have that nostalgic, Old World look – how did you make them come out that way? And yes! Three cheers for Trader Joe’s!

    • August 10, 2010 9:09 pm

      Hello! The style is partially just in-camera while shooting, but partially amazing software. I use Lightroom to post process and love it! And I’m also glad to hear there’s another Trader Joe’s lover out there! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  23. August 10, 2010 5:49 pm

    Loved the pics! Looks like fun! I work as a Pastry chef and I’ve always wanted to try some of their stuff to see how mine compares

  24. August 10, 2010 7:58 pm

    Great post Beka!!!!! Can’t wait to see you! Love Cake Boss

  25. August 10, 2010 8:43 pm

    your photos is beautifull :)

  26. August 10, 2010 9:21 pm

    Great writing and nice photos! I drive past the exit for Hoboken a few times a year. Each time, we make fun of the name (along with some of those other northern Jersey cities) but we never stop. Maybe we need to go exploring some time!

  27. August 10, 2010 9:32 pm

    Great post!
    I didn’t know Cake Boss was in Hoboken.
    We drive through it on our way into New York every few weeks.
    We know we are in Hoboken when there is the smell of Skunk on the freeway. (I kid you not)
    What is that???

  28. August 10, 2010 10:09 pm

    Oh my goodness this post had me drooling! The chocolate cannoli sounds TO DIE FOR! And the tiramisu! Oh yum. What a fun day trip! This sounds like the exact type of one-day-vacation that my family and I would love. We are definitely “foodies”, and have a special place in our hearts for Italian desserts.

    Thanks for reading b*spoke! It’s great to have you as a neighbor. :)

  29. August 10, 2010 10:51 pm

    Wow! Great post & awesome looking Tiramisu! My mouth is watering!

  30. August 10, 2010 11:25 pm

    Enjoyed your post–felt like I was on the road trip with you. BTW, congrats on getting onto Freshly press! LB

  31. August 10, 2010 11:33 pm

    LoL! I enjoyed reading your vacation story. My family is into cakes, cookies, and ice cream.

  32. August 10, 2010 11:54 pm

    I’m new to WP, hello. Your pictures are lovely, what kind of camera and/or editing software do you use?

    • August 11, 2010 12:52 am

      Hi, Meg! I use a Canon Rebel XS and Lightroom to post process – and love both! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  33. August 11, 2010 12:35 am

    What a coincidence! Earlier, I was talking to someone who is moving to Michigan and we decided since New York is so close it definitely warrants a visit.. and while we’re at it, to swing by New Jersey because of Carlo’s Bakery. :)

  34. August 11, 2010 12:59 am

    a HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented today!!! i hope you all get to have hoboken adventures (and tiramisu) sometime soon :) thanks again!

  35. August 11, 2010 3:25 am

    I am impressed – it looks lovely. I was wondering where it was before I saw someone mention New Jersey? It looks like somewhere in Europe!

  36. August 11, 2010 3:53 am

    Nice pics make me feel nice too. I feel so blessed stopping at your Blog. Thanks for the Tiramisu treat- today being my Birthday….


    • August 11, 2010 9:01 am

      Happy Birthday, Olivia! I hope you have a wonderful day :) Thanks for stopping by!

  37. lmarea3070 permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:25 am

    It’s good that the Cake Boss is from NJ, because the Jersey Shore show is ruining NJ’s reputation.

  38. August 11, 2010 8:50 am

    Awesome!!! I wish I had parents!!! But what a great idea!!! Maybe I will throw the kids in the car and take a ride to Hoboken!!!!

  39. August 11, 2010 9:30 am

    Awesome pictures!!


  1. hoboken bound (via my green orchard) « Optimal Character Recognition

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