This was one of my most Epic, action packed Weekend In Pictures of all time. My travels took me to Boston, Newton, Sussex, Wantage, Franklin, and Vernon. We enjoyed some yummy beverages, terrific food, and many laughs with some of our amazing friends. I EVEN TRIED CHEESE, AND THERE'S PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF! I took an extremely rare half day on Friday, traveled up to Boston, and back to Jersey leaving at 5am the very next morning. It was for my Dad's (Padre / Mike Allan) union retirement ceremony and thank goodness I did this. Padre is officially retired after 34 years as a Lieutenant Corrections Officer. Many of my first responder buddies refer to Corrections Officers as "unsung heroes," and I completely agree. For many years, my Dad worked at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole, MA where they were a medium to maximum security prison. We always joked growing up that my Dad got all of the celebrity convicts, because those who committed the worst crimes and were kicking off the 6pm TV news, always ended up at Walpole. My Dad risked his life countless times being surrounded by dangerous people for many years, all for me, my Wicked Awesome Sister Suzanne, and Madre. It was always very stressful when he was forced into mandatory overtime, we always knew because of where he was working, the situation was likely dangerous.
The last 10-15 years of Padre's career he was able to work at the minimum to medium security prison in Bridgewater, MA which always helped us sleep much better at night. I'm very proud of Padre being able to retire. CONGRATULATIONS! Thank goodness I made it home. Even though we got back home in Mansfield, MA just before Midnight, and I had to wake up at 5am to drive back to Jersey for all of our fun live events, it was definitely well worth it. Life isn't a dress rehearsal, my family and Awesome Girlfriend Megan are my everything.
Saturday morning, 5:15am came very fast. I was able to do our quick family teary goodbye, and hit the road running. Roads weren't too bad, I made it from Mansfield, Ma to Newton, NJ within 4 hours, which is as good as can be expected. I got fuel at QuickCheck, then more fuel at Hampton Diner when I wolfed down a burger and fries for breakfast. Victories all across the board.
Saturday from 11am-1pm I did my live broadcast from Audi Of Newton, Awesome Girlfriend Megan and my friend Wally finally were able to meet each other. Meg laughed at us because we always seem to have the same positive, upbeat energy. I did admit that if I spent my Saturday morning mulching like Meg did, I may not have been as upbeat and positive, lol. We always have so much fun getting to meet new friends who have been listening to me on the radio and want to see what I look like. Credit to Wally for keeping everything fun and upbeat at Audi Of Newton, lots of smiling faces everywhere.
By 1pm, Meg was understandably ready for a drink. She didn't have to twist my arm. We love exploring places that are new to us, always viewing them as adventures. Even if we end up in a dive bar, it's still a win for us because we usually end up laughing and get great stories. Meg wanted to try The County Seat in Newton. I have heard for years that their food is terrific, but because the outside of the building looks so scary, we have never gone in. Meg wanted us to be brave and try it out. Why not? Like I say, even if we end up in a dive bar somewhere we usually just start laughing together about the comedy of our adventures, even when they're Epic Fails. We went in very cautiously. We met bartender Michelle, and even owner Roger. The place was fantastic! Classic reminder that you cannot judge a book by its cover. We took Awesome Daughter Caitlyn out for a drink, and they had fantastic meals. I was still stuff from my breakfast burger, but the girls were fed and very happy. Success. We will be going back there really soon. btw, thanks for listening bartender Michelle, and Roger!
Saturday afternoon the comedy gold of our weekend continued. Meg and I swung by Nielsen Ford where Steve Andrews was doing his live broadcast for the $100,000 contest. Within minutes, my friend Bill Snouffer requested my help to attend to the 20 foot tall inflatable gorilla. The wind was intense on Saturday, making the inflatable gorilla collapse. There were Bill, Shawn and me all struggling trying to keep the gorilla upright. I yelled that I felt like I was being gobbled up by Godzilla. Awesome Girlfriend Megan took one of the funniest pictures of me during my entire radio career as I'm struggling with the inflatable gorilla. When you work in radio, you end up with many hilarious, bizarre stories.
Saturday later afternoon we were able to go out with our bestie Shawn at The Cottage in Franklin. We haven't hung out with her in quite some time, so this was just what the doctor ordered for us. We had yummy drinks and laughs. Shawn loves a great IPA like we do, so I forced her to have a Perpetual IPA for her first round. Stinnett was not disappointed!
Saturday early evening, it was on me and Meg to walk my nephew Spot. Our besties Jasen and Brendan were in the city, so Meg and I were more than happy to help. Spot always walks further and fast when he's with us, to basically show off. He then at one point acted like a toddler, lying down when we were trying to bring him home. Total comedy gold.
Saturday night, time for a Campus party in Vernon. We started at Carrie's, then were able to end up with Jasen and Brendan. The positives, they had my ultimate vice of red soft licorice bites. I am way way way too addicted to those! The not as good? I tried cheese. I don't remember what kind of cheese it was, I tried it, didn't hate it, but didn't like it. Thank god for Awesome Girlfriend Megan taking me on!
Sunday, time to rest! I got one text from work at 6am, but fortunately this time I didn't have to go into the radio station as I have several of the past weekends. Meg and I were up and doing stuff around my place during the morning, then I was able to talk her into taking a quick Sunday early afternoon nap. She always laughs because I'm absolutely terrible at napping, but this time I was so exhausted that I actually slept for a little bit. These Epic Weekends can take a little bit out of you, when there's so much travel involved.
Sunday afternoon we were able to hang with our friends at The Cottage, and just keep on laughing. They're those friends who are always easy, and can always make you smile, even on a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon. Meg then had to return to Hackettstown welp welp. I then ended up with my besties JG and Steve on Campus at Kite's. It's our weekly Sunday night weekend recap to each other basically during happy hour, and we love it.
Overall, this Epic Weekend In Pictures was fantastic. I will definitely never forget this weekend. So proud of my Dad. I always say that with my family, I hit the jackpot of life. Then Awesome Girlfriend Megan came into the picture almost 3 years ago, and it somehow became even more amazing. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Time to start planning next weekend!