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Winslow Family Restaurant

Winslow Family Restaurant

The Winslow Family Restaurant is one of my last diners in Gloucester County.  Of course, diners come and go, and this could quickly change, but for now, it’s one of my last!  I met my friend Lisa around dinner time.

Lisa lives down the shore, so Winslow was a good meeting spot for us.  Of course, both of us dealt with traffic but when don’t you in NJ?

Winslow family diner winslow nj

Atmosphere: A
The Winslow Family Diner is massive, and I was not expecting that!  There isn’t a lot online about the diner, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The outside is large and modern, and the inside has a “diner feel” with plenty of booths, tables, and bakery case in the front.  It was quiet when we arrived.

Coffee: A
The coffee was good.  It was hot and fresh, and the waitress asked if we wanted refills plenty of times.  I have no complaints.

Winslow family diner winslow nj

Food: A
The Winslow Restaurant has everything you want or need in a diner.  There are plenty of options from breakfast, to lunch, and dinner.  Despite the menu not being online, believe me you’ll find everything you want in a diner.  With all of the choices, I wasn’t really sure what sounded good.  Lisa mentioned a Greek salad, and I hadn’t had one in a while, so I thought, why not!

When the salads came out, they were massive.  They were definitely two of the biggest diner salads I’ve seen in a while.  I wasn’t complaining though.  There were plenty of toppings including anchovies, two types of olives, onions, more cheese than I knew what to do with, and a green lettuce base.   In all, it was one of the best diner salads I’ve had!

Winslow family diner winslow nj

Service: A
The waitress was kind, refilled our drinks often, and our food came out quickly.  It’s hard to complain about that!

Cost: $
For my salad with salmon and coffee, the cost was $16, which wasn’t bad for the size.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Winslow Family Restaurant, and it’s one of my favorite in the area.  I will definitely be back.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Price: $10-20
Overall: A

You Can See all 187 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
Where is the biggest portions you’ve had?
Is there a lot of traffic where you live?

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Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

One of my goals for the Spring and Summer is to go on more walks and hikes through NJ.  Like going to different diners, it’s fun to see different parts of the state.  Recently, after running the Cape May 10k, I went to the Cape May State Park.  I wanted to spend the day outdoors, but I wasn’t in the mood to ‘just lay” on the beach.  Plus, it was slightly too windy and too cold to do so.

The Cape May Lighthouse is a major attraction in the area.  Since it’s along the shore, the state park has a constantly changing shoreline, several freshwater coastal marsh, and ponds.  What I didn’t know was it was also a well-known location for viewing birds.  Many people travel to view birds, which was neat and not something I’ve ever done.  For those who don’t know, I’m terrified of both turkeys and geese, but other birds interest me.  Of any animal, I find them to have the “most personality.”

cape may state park

There are a few trails.  All are easy, along the coast, and we saw people of all ages walking.  We stopped a lot to look at birds but there is no elevation change and many are even on boardwalk.  If you are looking for a rigorous hike, there isn’t for you but if you’re looking something relaxing and scenic, you’ll enjoy it!

cape may state park

Red Trail:

  • about half a mile long and wheelchair access accessible
  • offers hikers access to both the lighthouse ponds
  • Each of the two ponds has a platform to view the birds, swans, and even osprey

Yellow Trail:

  • 1.5 miles long.
  • My favorite of three due to the different habitats including the shore, wetland marsh, and beach

cape may state park

Blue Trail:

  • About 2 miles long
  • Most floral and fauna
  • Like the yellow trail offers there are many different habitats along the shore.

If you are looking to view birds and nature, both the yellow and blue trails are your best bet. The red trail gives a quick glimpse of the park and access to the lighthouse.

cape may state park

cape may state park

cape may state park

I guess after all of that, I should tell you we did make it to the lighthouse.

cape may lighthouse

I’m glad we took some time to visit another of NJ’s parks.  As I mentioned, this Spring and Summer my goal is to visit more parks.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been bird watching?
What are some of your plans this Spring and Summer?

Sacuony Ride ISO Shoe Review

Sacuony Ride ISO Shoe Review

Recently, I’ve been running in the newest update of the Saucony Ride. Instead of calling it is the Saucony Ride 11, it’s now called the Saucony ISO.  Saucony is moving towards using their ISO upper for all of their shoes, so my guess is we will begin to see this for many of their shoes.

saucony iso shoe review

Ride:

One of my favorite shoes to write about the Ride is the ride.  Just because I can say that.  The newest version of the Ride is a well-cushioned shoe and a good option for speed work, long runs, and causal runs.  Like the Brooks Ghost, it’s a good shoe for pretty much everything.

The shoe itself is light but springy. The shoe feels soft but springy.  It consists of two layers: the thinner Everun and PWRFOAM on the bottom, which absorbs the shock of running. Thinking out loud, it doesn’t feel as soft as a Hoka shoe but is soft.

saucony iso shoe review

Fit:

The fit is definitely the most significant and prominent changes to the Ride. Like the Saucony Triumph and Saucony Freedom, the Ride now includes the IsoFit upper system.

Saucony has made some critical changes to upper and midsole which make the shoe feel slightly different.

The Ride ISO is more true to size and wider than Ride 10.  I typically wear between a 10-11 wide in running shoes and was comfortably in a 10.5.

What is Isofit?

A series of individual “fingers” that wrap around the top of a foot and allow the lacing system to create a near-custom fit.

The IsoFit makes the Ride have the ability to fit more foot types.  If you have a wider foot, higher instep, or bunions, then it could be a better option than previous models.

Conclusion:

I like the Saucony Ride ISO.  To me, it feels extremely similar to the Saucony Triumph ISO 4.  As I’ve told our rep, I feel as though the Ride has taken over the Triumph.  The Ride feels too similar to the Triumph for $40 cheaper.  I’ve put about 100 miles on the Ride ISO, and I’ll wear through this shoe.  If you’ve run in both, I would love to hear your opinions about them.

My Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Hoka One One Mach, Brooks Glycerin 15, Diadora, Saucony Ride ISO

Workouts: Saucony Type A, Nike Fly

Races: Saucony Type A

Hiking: Brooks Cascadia

Questions for you:

What is your favorite running shoe? Have you changed recently?

 

Xterra trail 10k (50:54)

Xterra trail 10k (50:54)

I had no plans to do this race until about 15 minutes before my husband left the house.  He had mentioned during the race Saturday night but I had just hoped he would forget. I woke up around 6:15 and my husband’s words at 6:30 in the morning were: “I am seriously doing this race”.  That day, I had planned to do a workout by myself but after thinking about it, I thought it might be fun to get out of my comfort zone.  I didn’t do anything I usually do to prepare for a race and just threw everything in a random bag and got in the car.

The 10k was down in super south NJ, just outside of Salem County.  It’s the part of NJ most people don’t even think exists and most of it is covered in farms or parks, which is great for trail racing.

Like most of the East Coast recently, we have gotten a lot of rain.  It’s rained on and off since last Friday and is supposed to continue most of the week.  Needless to say, the race was very muddy.  Even the “elites” said it would be a tough day on the course.  Always good to hear your first anything will be tough.

We got to the race a bit later than I particularly like and had time for about a mile warmup. I hadn’t charged my watch so ran about 10 minutes and decided that was a mile.

We were given course directions at 7:50 and the race went off at 8.  It was two loops (5kers did one loop and 10k did two).  It was a combination of grass, single track, and about 200 meters of road.

I self-seeded myself directly in the middle of the crowd.  I had no idea what to expect and didn’t want to be too far in the front but also not in the back either.  The race went off and it reminded me of a mass country style start.  We were all in a field, and it quickly funneled into the trail.  I found myself boxed in for the first mile or so.  My goal for the race was just run my own race AND NOT HURT MYSELF. If you know me, I am most likely to hurt myself in a cushioned room.

xterra mudlands 10k alloway nj me running

I thought the first mile must be taking forever.  I wasn’t sprinting and just running.  The course wasn’t “bad” as I thought it would be.  There was mud, but nothing too drastic.  I was running with a large pack of men.

During the second mile, I passed a couple of females and we headed into a much more challenging part of the course.  I had no idea what shoe to wear (TBH, I probably should have worn the same shoe I hike in: The Brooks Cascadia.)  I had opted to run in an old pair of college flats, which was a bad idea.  I shoud have run in spikes over those flats.

Around mile 2, a young kid asked me if we were at the 5k yet and I told him I thought we were about 2 miles in.  Turns out later, he won the 5k overall!  Since it was a two loop course, we went under the finishers shoot at 5k.  I hit the 5k around 25:30 minutes.

xterra mudlands 10k alloway nj me running

As we headed back through the field we started at, I was able to pass a few more people.  I could tell, I had more leg speed (from roads) but they had more technical skill through the mud and single track.

Mile 4 and 5 went uneventfully.  Around mile 4, a male in front of me fell.  I asked if he was okay and he said yes and got back up quickly. The course was much more torn up because of all the people that had come through.  I stepped in ankle deep mud and just plowed through.  My only goal was not to hurt myself.  I had no remorse if I had to stop, walk, or take things easy.

The last mile felt as though it never-ending.  I saw it was about 8:45 am and thought I probably had about 10 minutes or so left of racing.  I just kind of plugged along.

All of a sudden I popped out of the woods and saw the giant finish line ahead.  As I crossed, the announcer said I had won for females.  Then proceeded to ask if I was wearing road racing shoes.  I wasn’t expecting to win, and it was pretty cool to do so.  I had no idea I was even in first place because it’s hard to tell who is in front of you.

xterra mudlands 10k alloway nj me running

In all, I had a great time getting out of my comfort zone.  My only regret was not wearing a trail shoe but I didn’t hurt myself so it ended up ok.  A lot of locals said it was “the hardest trail race they’ve done’ but I don’t have anything to compare it too.

It reminds me a lot of open water swims because you can’t race for time, just on the conditions for the day!  I wouldn’t say I’m “hooked on trails”, and prefer the speed of and consistency of roads.

xterra mudlands 10k alloway nj me running

We were asked to do a jumping shot and I didn’t fall holding glass which is a rather big accomplishment for me

Questions for you:

Have you ever done a trail race?

What is the hardest race you’ve ever done?

Training: Unpredicted Changes and First Trail Race

Training: Unpredicted Changes and First Trail Race

Last week started off well but then so much unexpected happened.  In the middle of the week, my husband and I were supposed to go to NYC, but that didn’t work out.  Then I ended up feeling like garbage on Saturday, and I missed a road 5k.  Somehow on Sunday my husband convinced me to do my first single track trail 10k on Sunday.  It wasn’t a “bad” week, just not what I originally thought would happen.

Anyway, as I said in my April recap, my only plan for the rest of May is just go along with the punches and have fun.  So far, so good.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: 12x400s averaging 88 seconds with 400 jog between
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Hike Bear Mountain (around 4-5 miles of hard hiking)
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 45 minutes
Sunday: Xterra Wetlands Trail 10k

My husband and I were supposed to go to NYC for a Broadway last week but plans changed, and we ended up in the Nyack/West Point Area.  We made the best of it and still had a great time.  We even got an afternoon to go hiking at Bear Mountain.  It ended up downpouring about halfway through our hike!

Between that and hilly runs though the Westpoint Campus, my runs were “easy” but harder than the pancake area I typically run through.

Tuesday: 12X400 88 seconds with 400 jog in between

This workout went better than anticipated.  The weather was good and the sun was out.  Like most of my workouts over the past 6 months, it was on the road through my neighborhood.  Once school lets out for the summer, I’m hoping to be able to take advantage of a local track.

I had planned to do a local 5k on Saturday but I woke up exhausted.  I can’t put my finger on it, but something told me not to do the race. It was torrential downpour and my gut told me it wasn’t worth it.  So I didn’t.  I didn’t really have a direct reason “not  too”, other than my body was tired and my gut told me not too.  I slept in and ran easy in the rain.

Trail 10k:

Which leads me to how I even got to my first single track 10k on Sunday.  My husband has gotten more into trail races lately and wanted to drive down and do it.  I woke up late that Sunday and did nothing I “typically” do before races but was able to quickly pack clothing and jump in the car with him.

We got to the race around 7:30, had time for about a mile warmup, and all of a sudden it was time to go.  I ran cross country in college, so racing in the woods isn’t 100% new to me, however, a legit single trek trail race is.  I self seeded myself in the middle.  I didn’t want to be overzealous in the front, nor did I want to be in the complete back.  I probably was a bit too far back because I found myself passing people the entire race.  It has rained the last 3 days in NJ (with it only continuing), so the trails were deep. I ran in a 5-6 year old pair of Nike LT flats which was not my best idea.  My only goal was not too hurt myself.  I finished in about 50 minutes and was even first women, which I was surprised!  I had a lot of fun and I’m glad I got out of my comfort zone.

Even though the week wasn’t what I had planned at all, I had a lot of fun getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things.

Posts from the Week:

Skin benefits from Collagen

Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands 

Questions for you:
Have you ever done a trail race?
What was your best workout of the week?

Sand Castle Diner (Beachwood)

A few weeks ago, before walking around Cattus State Park, I went to the Sand Castle Diner in Beachwood.  I remember reading the Sand Castle Diner making one of the “top 40 NJ diners” so I was excited to have the opportunity to stop by.

Atmosphere: A
The exterior of the Sand Castle Diner is cobblestone.  It’s not a big shiny diner, like many, but it’s a nice modern diner.  The inside is big with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  It’s a very modern building, and it appears to have had been updated.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. There wasn’t anything unusual about it, but it was good coffee.

Sandcastle Diner toms river

Food: B
The Sandcastle Diner has every type of food you can imagine in a diner.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  I was indecisive of what I wanted.  Ultimately I decided to order a breakfast special which came with eggs, pancakes, and ham.

Sandcastle Diner toms river

The special was good.  It’s hard to mess up breakfast but everything was cooked well.

Sandcastle Diner toms river

Service: B

The waitress was friendly and brought us refills when we needed them.  In all, the food came out and quickly, and I have no complaints.

Price: $
For my salad and coffee, it was $16.

Summary/Would I Come Back:
I liked the Sandcastle Diner, and it’s definitely one of my more favorite diners along the shore. I would go back!

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: B
Price: $10-20
Overall: B

You can see all 186 diners I’ve been too here.

Questions for you:
Where is the biggest salad you’ve gotten?
Do you have many beach trips planned for the spring and summer?

Dynasty Diner (Tuckerton)

Dynasty Diner (Tuckerton)

Recently, I got dinner with Ariana at the Dynasty Diner.  One of my many goals is to go to more shore diners this summer, and when Ariana was in town for the New Jersey Marathon, it worked out.  I’ve followed Ariana on the internet for a long time, so it was great to finally connect.

We arrived around 4:30 for dinner and it wasn’t crowded.  The Dynasty Diner was a lot bigger than I anticipated.  I hadn’t been to Tuckerton before, but it’s a cute small shore town.

Dynasty Diner tuckerton nj

Atmosphere: A
The Dynasty Diner looks like a typical, chrome, shiny diner.  The outside was big, shiny, and metallic.  If you are looking for a stereotypical NJ diner, the Dynasty Diner meets that.

The inside had a full-length bar, with retro booths, and tables.  The Dynasty Diner meets all stereotypes of a NJ Diner.

Coffee: B
The coffee at the Dynasty Diner was good.  It was brewed hot and fresh, and I didn’t have any complaints about the coffee.  I could have used more refills but other than it was good.  The Dynasty Diner serves Lacas coffee, and you are even able to buy it up front if you choose.

Dynasty Diner tuckerton nj

Food: B
The Dynasty Diner serves everything a stereotypical diner would serve.  It follows the unwritten “diner guidelines.”  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  It also has a page dedicated to Greek specialties.  Originally I had planned to get a gyro, but when that wasn’t an option, I ordered the Greek salad on the fly.

Dynasty Diner tuckerton nj

When the Greek salad came out, it was massive.  The waitress said it was enough to feed four people and she wasn’t joking.  Enough to feed four people ended up being me.  I liked the Greek salad, however, there were a few things it was missing including anchovies and onions.  It had plenty of lettuce but could have used more toppings.  The dressing was good, and in all, I enjoyed it.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out extremely fast.

Cost: $
For my salad and coffee, the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I had a great time at the Dynasty Diner, and it is definitely one of my favorite shore diners.  I would love to go back sometime!

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: A
Price: $10-20
Overall: B

You Can See all 185 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
What are your plans this summer?
What is your favorite salad topping?

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