This Epic Weekend In Pictures involves a ton of travel in a short time, filled with many amazing memories that we will never forget. I found myself in the middle of a massive and special band performance in my old neighborhood. I also found myself wearing a weird, creepy mask at a Hibachi restaurant. From Vernon to Hackettstown, to Boston, to Rockaway Mall, and so much more. We'll start with my Friday night in Hackettstown.
Awesome Girlfriend Megan loves Christmas and everything that comes with it. This year, she admits to having trouble getting excited and into the spirit. I'm betting that it's partially due to being worn down from work, and the challenges of being a single Mommy to 3 teenage daughters. God bless Meg. Friday night she was able to get her Christmas tree and decorate, which is one of her favorite things to do. I don't do a Christmas tree at my bachelor pad because I'm always in Boston visiting my family Christmas Day anyway. I have a feeling Awesome Girlfriend Megan will be making that change happen at my place in the near future. Friday night I surprised Meg and showed up on her doorstep to help Christmas Tree decorating. I drank yummy red wine and supervised while they hung all of their ornaments. That seemed to get Meg into the spirit slightly more. Nothing beats watching good old Christmas movies while decorating, right?
Saturday morning I was on the road by 6:40am heading back up to Boston. It might not seem wise nor practical to make this trek back to back weekends, but this was the best opportunity to see my best friends from home. Even though we're lucky enough to text each other and everything on a regular basis, I miss getting to see them in person tremendously. The Holidays are such a busy time, I wanted to make sure I could at least see them in case I can't next weekend.
I arrived in Mansfield, MA at my parents by 11am. Not bad at all, 4 hours door to door. They took me and my Wicked Awesome Sister Suzanne out to lunch and I scored on a prime rib special. Success! We then went back home, just in time for a massive birthday party / parade extravaganza. Our next door neighbor Luke was celebrating his 14th birthday, and he knows how to throw quite the big party. Luke is autistic, and it's been so amazing to see this boy grow up. Whenever I'm back home and he yells "Hi Steve!" it melts my heart. Luke's favorite thing in the world is a parade. Over the past couple of years he's been starting a tradition of having everyone at his birthday party be part of our parade. Our marching band is apparently called "The Walnut Street Unicorns," and I wouldn't miss it for anything. Seeing Luke smile after spending so much time lining up every single one of us in perfect alignment made everything amazing. Luke has quite a way of helping get us in the Christmas spirit even more.
Saturday night, my friends and I went to a terrific nearby Hibachi restaurant and had so much fun. It seemed like a great, routine fun night until people started singing. Chris, who is my bestie on my Naughty list for ending The Radioboyz Fantasy Football season (not to whine but I was 12-1!) told the restaurant that it was my birthday, just to have them sing and put a weird, creepy mask on me. We then were able to all venture back to The Allan Tavern and enjoy a great night with my parents. Nudd my nemesis, Kayla, Leah, Matt, Rob, Laura, Kyla and Steph all made my weekend fantastic.
Sunday, back to work. I left my parents by 6:45am because we had a job to do, our Gifts For Goldens at Rockaway Mall. It was a tiring drive because of the nonstop heavy rain the whole entire trek through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, then New Jersey. I was able to successfully multitask, taking Awesome Girlfriend Megan and her Awesome Daughter Hailey to lunch at Cheesecake Factory. A couple years ago I had Hailey try Dulce De Leche cheesecake for her first time, and we then created a monster. LOL.
Awesome Girlfriend Megan spotted a deal recently with Apple and iPhones, due to a recall, on many models you can get a new battery for just $29. The team at Apple will put it together for you, the challenge? I had to be without my phone for 2 HOURS!!! OH THE HUMANITY! I did alright because I had my friends Steve Andrews and Gary Cee with me, so if anything bad happened at the radio station they were nearby thank goodness. Awesome Girlfriend Megan was enjoying watching me go crazy without my iPhone. We had a fantastic time doing our annual Gifts For Goldens at Rockaway Mall. It's so humbling when you see the basic, simple, inexpensive items that the citizens at Homestead Rehabilitation and Healthcare were requesting. They were requesting just sweatpants or socks. Within two hours, thanks to our amazing listeners the tags on the tree were all gone. All gifts had been purchased by 3pm again. Another reminder of what's really important in life.
Leaving Rockaway Mall ended up being an adventure. I exited through the wrong door at Macy's, and was lost looking for my Jeep in the rain for 10 minutes. I somehow became rather disoriented by this. Hard, pouring rain. I then went back into Macy's to exit through the correct door, then got into my Jeep. I somehow got lost leaving Rockaway Mall and took a long, long way back home. Apple didn't charge my new battery, so I couldn't do Google Maps immediately when leaving. After getting that sick feeling of going in the wrong direction, I was able to plug in Google Maps. I ended up on a nice drive by Lake Hopatcong somehow. I still have no idea where I was.
I got home with minutes to spare, just in time to watch my Patriots lose to the Steelers. OUCH. To make matters worse, as I'm driving home I get a text from my besty Nudd congratulating me on my win. He does this to jinx me and always drives me insane. Surely enough, despite going 12-1 in our regular season and getting a first round playoff bye, The Radioboyz lost this weekend. I'm also losing in my other fantasy football league too. AWFUL football weekend. Pats lose. Meg's Cowboys lose. Both of my fantasy football teams lose. I said on the phone to Meg "WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES AGAIN?" UGH. Despite one of the worst football Sundays in my career, we overall still had an amazing weekend. We had a great weekend with family and friends, plus we were lucky enough to be reminded often of what's really important in life. I didn't go into this weekend thinking that I would be in a marching band, but psyched it worked out that way. Whether it's being part of a massive marching band called Unicorns, or buying a pair of sweatpants for a senior you don't personally know, little things can be big things. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Time to start planning next weekend!