Escape from North Carolina – A Passover Exodus

As many of you may know from personal experience or from my 2017 blog post, The Holiday Where We Enslave Ourselves to Celebrate Our Freedom from Slavery, Passover is….. challenging. The cleaning, turning over your kitchen, food shopping, and meal planning contribute to a distinct level of stress not present with the celebration of any other Jewish holiday. It really is such a challenge that this was actually a factor I considered when we were talking about moving to North Carolina. That might seem ridiculous, but let me explain….

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Journey to the Center of the Bagel

Even though much of Florida could be considered Little New York (can you say Boca?), I admittedly did not grow up in the land of the bagel and did not know what I was missing until I moved to New York.  You just can’t know and, in fact, I don’t even know how to put into words what makes bagels in New York better than bagels anywhere else. They just are.

On a brief side-note, some people say it is the New York City water, but I don’t believe that because my favorite bagel shop of all time was my local Bagel Boss in Oceanside when I lived out on Long Island. And trust me, while 2 of the 5 NYC boroughs are technically on Long Island (Queens and Brooklyn), they are not Long Island. Learn this now or get severely berated by a New Yorker later. It is your choice. I learned the hard way and just thought I should pass that pearl of wisdom on to you.

But I digress. When we were deciding if the move to North Carolina was right for us, I did actually think about the fact that I would be giving up New York bagels. I’m a loser, I know, but I did think about it and accepted it as a cost of getting back a few things that, in the long run, are more valuable to me. (Sanity, financial security, central air – ya know, the little things.) 

And just as I knew I would be leaving the New York bagels, I knew there would come a time when I would be craving a bagel and I’d have to begin the journey to find an acceptable substitute. 

That journey has begun. 

I had my first non-New York bagel.

It was horrific.

I’m sad to say, my 8 years in New York made me more of a bagel snob than I ever could have imagined. 

I ordered an everything bagel with plain cream cheese:

First, the bagel was much smaller than any New York bagel I ever ate. Some shops do mini bagels and it was about that size – probably about the size of the palm of my hand. 

Second, who the hell puts oats on an everything bagel? Even Panera doesn’t do that. 

Third, the texture was sub-par. There should be some crispness to the outer shell of a bagel, but this one didn’t really have that.

Finally, the flavor overall was just lacking. 

I thought I was going to be prepared for my first bagel in North Carolina – I deliberately set my expectations to low – but sadly, it was even more underwhelming than I imagined it would be. 

So, the search will continue. Maybe I will do a little more research on my next bagel shop so that hopefully I can have a better outcome. (The one I went to was just a place I see on the way to Jason’s office.)

Stay tuned for the next installment of Journey to the Center of the Bagel.

The First 24 Hours in North Carolina

I am happy to report that we thankfully had a rather uneventful drive down from New York to North Carolina. We left Jason’s parents house on Sunday morning at about 3:15am, stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts for Jason, and got underway at 3:30am. I was thinking about making a post about the drive down, but it truly was so uneventful, there is not much to report. The most eventful thing was that we had no traffic in DC and got to drive by the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon, which was pretty cool. 

Anyway, we made it down to North Carolina in one straight shot, arriving at our apartment complex at 11:45am, 15 minutes before the management office was supposed to open. When we got to the office, we hit our first hiccup of the day. Even though we had confirmed in writing that the office would be opening at noon and someone would be there to give us our keys to move in, the office was closed and a sign was up saying they would return at 1:00pm. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but because we had our cat, Salem, in the car and he had been in his carrier for almost 9 hours, I was a bit anxious to get the keys and get him into an air-conditioned apartment. My mind also jumped to the worst-case scenario: What if the office was unexpectedly closed because it was Memorial Day weekend? What if we wouldn’t be able to access the apartment that day, or even the next day?

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