On the night before vacations and big trips, I like to wait until the last minute to get caught up from all of the procrastinating I’ve done, and I prefer to avoid sleeping. I find it’s very healthy to start a vacation when you’re dead tired, so on this night, I got a grand total of 45 minutes of sleep before racing off to the Greyhound terminal to board my 6:00AM bus to White River Junction, VT. Of course, in the process of my overpacking, I managed to destroy the zipper on one bag and severely damage the zipper on the other. All of this drama necessitated 30 panicked minutes in which I sat on bags, struggled with zippers, unpacked and repacked, and made executive decisions to ditch superfluous items, such as my pillow (I opted for a pillow case stuffed with sweatshirts, which actually worked well). With the clock ticking down, the entire misadventure was quite stressful, and since I was running so far behind, I had no choice but to call a car to take me to the Greyhound station. The car arrived, and the driver apparently was incredibly sleepy, as evidenced by the fact that he unwittingly ran a red light at Madison Ave. (thankfully, there isn’t much traffic at 5:30AM) and then nearly ran over a cop standing in the middle of the street. As if that were not enough, my Greyhound ticket didn’t clearly state the gate I needed, so I found myself running around Port Authority, desperately hoping to find an employee who could help me. For those of you who don’t know, Greyhound’s motto is “Fuck you, we don’t care,” so this was a lot of fun.
Finally, I made it on my bus, and I settled into my uncomfortable seat for a nice 6.5 hour ride alongside the dregs of humanity. I was somehow able to get a little bit of sleep here and there, but for the most part, I was just miserable.
I didn’t have much faith in the culinary diversity of Greyhound stations across the Atlantic seaboard, so I brought along a Balsamic Grilled Chicken Artichoke Sun-Dried Tomato Wrap, which served as breakfast.
Eventually, we arrived in White River Junction, where we were met by our shuttle bus driver, who informed us that we had a few minutes to grab lunch before heading to camp. She suggested we go to McDonald’s, which resulted in astonished cries for help from the liberal elite New Yorkers. Taken aback, she also mentioned that a nearby Subway was an alternative.
Neither of those places interested me, primarily because I prefer to take in a local, unique establishment when I travel. Obviously, there was no restaurant in the vicinity, but there was a travel plaza selling food items from Vermont. BINGO! I stocked up for the week.
I bought a variety of different flavored beef jerkies from Rosie’s Vermont Beef Jerky, and I opted to have the Cajun flavored one for lunch.
For some reason, people seem to believe that beef jerky is bad for you. Nay, I say. Naaaaaaay! While the sodium levels in beef jerky are not the greatest, beef jerky is incredibly low in fat and rich in protein. It’s also quite delicious, and this particular one was rather spicy.
As if it wasn’t spicy enough, I also opted for a small bag of Deep River Zesty Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Chips.
Ain’t nothing healthy about those chips, but they were rather tasty.
So then we took the shuttle bus to Camp Wicosuta, home of Swing Out New Hampshire. Many of my non-dancing friends derisively referred to this place as “Fancy Jazz Hands Camp,” primarily because they were doing anything possible to dissuade me from going, as my attendance at Swing Out New Hampshire would prevent me from throwing my annual Labor Day party. Tough shit for them, I was going to camp, regardless of what they called it.
Meals were provided at the camp dining hall, and because this was a gathering of dancers, great care was taken to insure that the meals were as healthy as possible. To my surprise, most of the food was actually pretty good.
It had been years since I’d eaten pasta, but I knew I was going to need the carbs for energy. I had some rotini and ravioli with meat sauce, along with some garlic bread, steamed broccoli, and a side salad (barely pictured).
I guess my meager beef jerky and chips dinner wasn’t very filling, so I grabbed some more broccoli and a little baked tortellini. Pasta is pasta, and I don’t know why I have such an affinity for tortellini, but whenever I see it, whether it’s in salads, baked, or just covered in sauce, I need to have it.
For dessert, they served this great cake that had coffee in the batter, as well as inside the icing. I’m not a caffeine drinker, and I’m not a coffee drinker, but I loved this cake.
Every night at Swing Out New Hampshire features a dance, and some sort of treats are routinely served to perk up the dancers. On this night, they had a couple of cookies.
I’m a peanut butter junkie, so the peanut butter one on the right was a no-brainer for me, but the chocolate chip cookie on the left was an unexpected hit. I normally don’t dig those flat, crispy kind of cookies, but this one must have had a pound of butter in the batter because it was super tasty.
I was already beat, and the dance was winding down around 1:30AM, so I decided to retire early and call it a night.