I used to be a huge fan of Cake Boss, so eating one of their famous cannolis has been the dream for quite a while. When I realized that a Carlo’s Bakery would be opening in my hometown—even better, during spring break when I’d be back—I knew that this fantasy was finally in reach. Well, kind of.

My mom and I arrived promptly that Saturday morning at around 8 so we could meet the legendary cake aficionado, Buddy Valastro. He and his wife would be there the opening day, but I didn’t expect them to stay for long afterwards (which they didn’t). Their main location was still in Hoboken, New Jersey, and I’m sure that one is twice as busy as ours on  a regular basis.

The line stretched around the entire BLOCK. People from all over the state had driven to witness the grand opening, and I saw many with blankets and lawn chairs—these people had been waiting outside since 3 AM! I think my mom and I lasted around five minutes in line, and then we gave up: there was no way we’d be in there before the closing time.

On my birthday, however, my mom surprised me by going to Carlo’s first thing in the morning. She came home with around a dozen cannolis, as well as two lobster tails and other desserts. I was so excited that I may have gone sliiiightly overboard and eaten five cannolis…in the span of three days. #OnTheBucketListForAReason

The filling was thick, sweet, rich, and delicious. My parents said it was chalky, but if it was, that chalkiness went right over my head/taste buds. I tried the chocolate-covered and original versions, preferring the latter. And while I probably won’t be having cannolis again any time soon, I’m so glad that I got to kick off my 19th year strong (and full!).