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What I’ve Been Waiting All Vacation For

by Courtney on July 14, 2011

Growing up, our family vacation destination was always Wildwood, NJ. Some years we came down just my parents, brother and I; some years I was able to bring friends like Heather and Eileen; some years we even came down with 40+ people from my dad’s old softball team. No matter how many people, it was always something I looked forward to.

In all of those years coming down here to Wildwood, there’s been one tradition that we’ve established; one can’t-miss spot that we always go to…the one I’ve been dying to get to ever since we left…

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And that tradition is a trip to the Sea Shell Ice Cream Parlor.

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My family still isn’t quite sure how we found out about this little ice cream shop, which is located off the boardwalk on Atlantic & Rio Grande Avenues. But however it was, I’m just happy we did.

The Sea Shell is a tiny little shop, actually attached to a motel, serving up homemade ice cream in a variety of mouth-watering flavors.

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Despite the amazing ice cream itself, one of the things that has kept my family and I coming back to the Sea Shell is their sundaes. Not only are their prices great, but the sundaes they serve up here are so large that we make it a point to make them a meal of their own.

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In my opinion, the Sea Shell is a “go big or go home” kinda place. No cones, no frozen yogurt, no shame. So the four of us perused the menu with our empty stomachs, ready to dive head first into what I knew would be some of the best ice cream I’ll ever eat.

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Dad ordered a Hot Fudge Sundae with black raspberry and coffee ice creams.

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Mom ordered a Peanut Butter Sundae with chocolate peanut butter and peanut butter ice creams. (<—the peanut butter ice cream + pb sauce = incredible)

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Jay and I both ordered a Caramel Sundae with one scoop of Toffee Bar Crunch, one scoop of Butter Brickle (caramel swirls + caramel cups) and rainbow sprinkles (or “jimmies” as they call ‘em)

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There really just are no words.

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See? I wasn’t kidding when I said that the portions were extremely large. And when I said that tonight’s dinner would put the “balanced” in “healthy, balanced lifestyle,” this is what I was talkin’ about. It’s alllll about balance, my friends.

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Well, my tummy was a grumblin’, so I immediately dug right in. The first bite? Oh goodness…it was heavenly. Just heavenly. I wanted to savor each and every bite of this enormous concoction in front of me so I tried to take it slow.

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This, however, annoys the crap out of Jay and my dad because they both prefer to inhale their ice cream like vacuums. Even with taking breaks, dad finished his sundae off in about 10 minutes flat, with Jay finishing not far behind. It’s pretty amazing to watch, actually.

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A little while later, I eventually joined the “clean bowl” club, too…

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…which is not an easy feat.

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“Yay! We all just consumed a whole day’s worth of calories in one sitting! Wooo Hooo for being on vacation and not giving a crap!”

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Believe it or not, I left the Sea Shell actually not feeling overly full. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about ice cream that never really “fills me up.” That’s not to say that I wanted to eat any more, but still…

Later in the evening, we all headed back to the hotel room to enjoy some quality balcony time, where I had some fun photographing the beautiful moon as the night got darker.

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Then we had some fun with the black and white settings on the camera.

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And then we headed back inside so I could drool over Ryan Reynolds for the 2 minutes he was on the ESPY’s.

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And then we played another rousing game of Phase 10. I was *this close* to winning AND setting a new family record last night…but my “wonderful, darling, hubby” beat me.

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Today is, sadly, our last beach day (we leave Friday morning) so I’m going to savor every last minute of it!

I just finished a bowl of Special K with skim milk and blueberries out on the balcony, and now it’s time to suit up and head out.

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Hope you’re all having a great week!

Questions for the Morning:

What’s the best ice cream you’ve ever had?

When is the last time you *really* indulged and didn’t think about how many calories/fats/carbs were involved…AND truly enjoyed it?

Did you watch the ESPY’s?

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessamy @ The Rambling Asian July 14, 2011 at 9:13 am

Oh those sundaes look delicious!!! :) I love pretty much any kind of ice cream, no matter what.

I last indulged on Chinese food, Crispy Honey Chicken with fried rice! Oh, it was delicious!

I am glad your vacation is going so great! :)

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2 Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories July 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

Oh man, I will take one of those sundaes right here and right now! It would make a delicious breakfast. ;)

My favorite kind of ice cream is HEAPs of Love, which can be found at a pizza parlor in Jenks, OK. It has pretty much anything you could want in ice cream–cookie dough, brownies, caramel, walnuts…Yup. Absolutely delicious!

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3 Lindsey July 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

I had peanut butter ice cream the other day that was pretty darn good. But the winner for me though not technically ice cream, was the coconut gelato I had in Costa Rica, no ice cream, froyo or anything has been able to compare since!
At Christmas, I never worry about nutrition, it is about enjoying the time with family and friends! Me and my Mom go to a dessert night and eat plates of desserts, I love it! I also can’t wait for the fair next week to eat greasy fair food with no guilt!

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4 Kelly July 14, 2011 at 9:21 am

My favorite ice cream is a local Texas brand called Bluebell…the cookies and cream flavor is the best!!

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5 TheBloggersBrother July 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

And Dan got strawberry ice cream with strawberry topping with whipped cream

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6 Courtney July 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

We missed you :(

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7 Kristine July 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

and this is why I love your blog! Thank you for being REAL and eating REAL ice cream. That seriously looks heavenly. Ice cream is by far my favorite food in the world and I could probably finish that in 10 minutes flat as well! ;)

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8 Courtney July 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

We all have to really indulge once in a while, right? ;)

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9 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life July 14, 2011 at 9:29 am

That ice cream looks amazing. I need a huge sundae in my life ASAP!

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10 Sarah July 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

mmmm those sundaes look AMAZING! I might have to go make one for breakfast!

I love the dress you are wearing. Where is it from?!

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11 Courtney July 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thanks! It’s from Target :)

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12 alyssa - fashion fitness foodie July 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

Ice Cream for dinner sounds like a dream come true :)

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13 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out July 14, 2011 at 9:42 am

Yep, that sundae looks INSANE. Congratulations on finishing it. :D

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14 Bethany July 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

I had some homemade ice cream while I was in Key West. It was a tiny little shop and the ice cream was TO DIE FOR. We got peanut butter and it had chunks of homemade peanut butter fudge in it and chocolate covered peanuts. It was sooooooo delicious!! They also made cookies the size of my face. I wanted a peanut butter cookie too, but I knew that would just be over doing it a little :)

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15 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy July 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

I love toffee bar crunch ice cream! They used to sell it in the stores here, but I can’t find it anymore! When I was in high school I used to (well, my friends and I all used to) eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s…by myself. And I really didn’t even care. My metabolism was fast enough back then that it really did nothing to me!

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16 Diana July 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

Best ice cream eva is definitely from a little ice cream shop in Nobleboro, Maine near the summer camp I used to work at called “Round Top” that has its own dairy farm and a HUGE array of delicious flavas – my fave is “Eagle Tracks” which is pb cups + oreos in vanilla ice cream, because no one should have to choose between pb cups and oreos!! During the school year in college, my boyfriend and I definitely drove the hour + to pick up ice cream there…more than once. YUMMO!

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17 Courtney July 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

That sounds amazing!!!

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18 briana July 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

I love Ben and Jerry’s oatmeal cookie chunk, but there is a real ice cream parlor here in Denver called Maroon Bells and they have awesome ice cream I love the banana pudding and rice krispie treat!

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19 Courtney July 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

That Ben & Jerry’s flavor is one of my favorites too!!

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20 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake July 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

O.M.G. those look so, so good! Is it bad I’m drooling at my computer? ;-) My favorite ice cream is this peanut butter flavor that a local store serves… it’s delish!

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21 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen July 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

Those sundaes look amazing! I would’ve picked the same flavor combo as you did. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a sundae, that’s sad! I usually go with the vanilla cone with the cherry dip stuff that hardens. I don’t want to know what it is, but I love it!

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22 Cait @ Cait hates Cake July 14, 2011 at 10:01 am

I think the best ice cream I’ve ever had was at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Museum in Le Mars, IA (the self-proclaimed ice cream capital of the world). I had mint chocolate chip, which is a long-time fav of mine. I noticed your water glasses at the table. Why is it that ice cream makes us so thirsty??

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23 Emmarie July 14, 2011 at 10:12 am

I love that you call them Jimmies too.
And I can’t decide what I like more about this post, the ice cream or Ryan Reynolds!
Double YUM!

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24 Courtney July 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

I actually don’t call them jimmies! I call ‘em sprinkles, but they call them jimmies there.
And I agree…double YUM with Mr. Reynolds ;)

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25 Jodi July 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

That ice cream shop is adorable! I would’ve opted for the very same flavor you did because caramel=love. Something about eating sweets on an empty stomach makes me totally sick, though. Have fun on your last day!!

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26 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss July 14, 2011 at 10:17 am

hahaha. I love the faceplant in the ice cream. you’re a champ.

and I’d say I indulge without thinking of calories, oh…. every time I drink? is that bad? ;)

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27 sweet and savvy July 14, 2011 at 10:31 am

Beach pics are great!!:) those sundaes look amazing! As for the whole, entire days worth of calories in one setting.. I’m pretty sure calories don’t exist on vacation. :)

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28 Ruthie Hart July 14, 2011 at 10:36 am

wow! It is 9am and I am craving a giant sundae! Those look delicious! My hubby and I are currently on a froyo kick!

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29 Maria@La_Piattini July 14, 2011 at 10:36 am

That sundae looks amazing! I had some incredible ice cream recently in Peddler’s Village- it was called something weird, like “Muddy Tracks” maybe and was just a combo of vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips, and peanut butter- amazing!

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30 Jordan July 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

that ice cream looks amazzzing! there’s a place near my sister’s house in FL that looks similar to that one. it’s a little local place that serves the absolute best homemade ice cream. i would be in BIG trouble if i lived nearby!

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31 Kristen @ notsodomesticated July 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’m seriously not trying to advertise my blog… but I literally just posted yesterday about the best ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s actually custard, in Sarasota at a place called Sweet Berries. I have pics under “Utterly Reece’s”…. sooooo delicious!!

The sundae I got looked similar to the one your mom got. I love peanut butter with ice cream (or anything, really)! :)

Looks like you guys are having an awesome time!

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32 Brooke @ bittersweetb July 14, 2011 at 11:04 am

I fully endorse sundaes for dinner!! I love that they call them jimmies, thats what we call them in Philadelphia. Now that I am in DC people look at me like I’m crazy when I ask for jimmies.

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33 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

We have a house right near Wildwood, in Ocean City, and I’ve never even heard of that place!! Those sundaes look AWESOME. Best ice cream I’ve ever had is the raw mint chocolate sundae at Pure Food and Wine, though…hands down!!

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34 Jen @newellnd July 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

Those sundaes look amazing! My boyfriend and I invested in an ice cream maker last summer and to date our favourite flavour is apple pie. Basically we make a vanilla base and then add in apples that have been sauteed in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. It is delicious on its own or with caramel sauce. My dad loves it sandwiched between peanut butter or ginger cookies and refers to it as a portable apple pie.

Enjoy family vacation!

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35 Laura @ Unchartered 20s July 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

Those sundaes look AMAZING!! Me & my hubby were driving around one evening and stumbled upon this cute looking ice cream shop. When we walked in, we were transported back to 1955. They had all homemade ice creams and a ton of different combos. It was awesome!

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36 Mallory @ It's Only Life July 14, 2011 at 11:56 am

I am more of a fro yo girl, but when I REALLY want to indulge I’ll get “Birthday Cake Remix” at Coldstone. It consists of: cake batter ice cream, brownie pieces, lots of sprinkles, and fudge. To die for!

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37 Shayla @ The Good Life July 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Amen to indulging once in awhile…you gotta live life and enjoy it! :)

I pretty much like to indulge every Saturday, let loose a lil bit, and not think about those calories…I make healthy choices during the week so that I can have those indulgences that day…if I didn’t I’d go craaazy!

Best ice cream I’ve had lately would have to be Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream…so amazingly delicious…I can hands down eat that whole carton by myself ;)

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38 Cat @Breakfast to Bed July 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I have a pic of my sister and brother at the same ice cream shop! love wildwood.

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39 Presley (Run Pretty) July 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Ice cream for dinner? So jealous.

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40 Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Wow that ice-cream looks so good! The best I’ve ever had was in Rome a few months ago – I had it several times a day so that I could experience as many flavours as possible :)

I never count calories when I’m on vacation or during the holidays.

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41 Jessica @ Bake a Little July 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I love that you ate this sundae! I am a strong believer that a day without ice cream is no day at all. Check out my ice cream extravaganza yesterday! WOOT! http://bakealittle.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/a-day-without-ice-cream-is-no-day-at-all/

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42 Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) July 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Those sundaes are incredible. I have no words haha!

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43 Melissa July 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I bet that was one quiet table while you all were devouring those sundaes! YUM!

I am a huge gelato fan and there’s a place in West Michigan that serves pistachio gelato with oreo crumbles and caramel sauce. It is to die for. I’m going to be thinking about that for a while! :D

Last Friday, my parents took me out to a fancy dinner to celebrate my new job. I ordered everything I wanted and enjoyed every last bite with NO guilt whatsoever. The best!

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44 Khushboo July 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Sundaes for dinner should be mandatory. They all sound great, especially your mommas!

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45 Diana July 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I have been reading your blog for about a month now, and I love it! I found it through pbfingers. Your and Julie’s blog are my favorite! I usually do not comment, but I had to when I saw this post! There is a place near Ft. Lauderdale, FL called Jaxson’s that is very similar to this place, but the serving sizes are actually bigger!

http://www.jaxsonsicecream.com/menu/menu.php

if you ever come down here you must go! It is so delicious! It is a very eclectic place with old license plates all over the walls. There is always a wait, but it is worth it! I always have a hard time picking which one I want, but I always finish it and love every bite! :)

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46 Mandee July 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

my heart belongs to pinkberry (coconut and tart swirl with mochi, capn crunch and kiwi!) BUT i was in spring lake, nj for 4th of july and had ice cream at hoffman’s… they have a MILLION flavors, but i swear the one i got was the best. toasted coconut… i was going to try more to decide, but once i got the sample, my mind was made up. it was AMAZING! def the best ice cream i’ve had.

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47 VanessaG July 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I am drooling!!! I would so love to eat the one your Mom got. Pb=happiness! Vacations are times to not worrying about exercise and calories. Althoug that’s kinda hard to me to do, I plan on doing exactly that next week at the beach! Boo, for you having to leave. Don’t you just wish we could live their yr round? Yeah, I’m dreaming.

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48 Mary @ Bites and Bliss July 15, 2011 at 1:53 am

Hubba hubba that ice cream looks ammazing!! I don’t know when they last time I *actually* indulged in something was. No matter what, even if I don’t care..the thought “this is (so many) calories” pops into my head for a split second. That’s a hard habit ot break..

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49 R July 15, 2011 at 2:13 am

Wow those sundaes look pretty darn good I have to say ;P . I also have to say that people don’t always need to think about how many calories/fats/carbs involved when eating something. They should more view it for how it will nourish their bodies and keep them happy and healthy. People are too consumed with numbers now a days …

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50 colleen @ thegiftofmondays July 15, 2011 at 8:18 am

ice cream as a meal? you’re my kinda girl! and now since it’s only 8:17am, i want ice cream for breakfast…looks like it will be a GREAT day :)

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51 Jenny July 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I LOVE ice cream!!!! I wish I could have one of those sundaes right now! I’d have to say the best I’ve ever had was the gelato in Nice!

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52 kristen July 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

There is a place here in stlouis called ted drews- its is frozen custard and AMAZING! If you come here, you have to try it!

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53 Kerry @ Half Healthy, Half Nuts July 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I am now CRAVING a sundae. Those looked delicious!! My favorite ice cream flavor is peanut butter and I can never find it anywhere, so I was super excited that your mom got a peanut butter sundae with peanut butter ice cream. YUM!

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54 Tara Burner July 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

the best ice cream was this little place in middle of nowhere somewhere in PA I think..I just remember my dad used to take us there and they served up HUGE servings and it was sooooooo good….course that was like 35 yrs ago!

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