This weekend wasn't epic in terms of travel like some of our recent weekends have had, but it was still epic in terms of laughing with friends and delicious beverages. We'll start with Friday night.
Friday night I was fried from work. I felt like I was almost falling asleep while on the phone with Awesome Girlfriend Megan on my way home from the radio station. I told her I was going to go to Kite's at Minerals for a beer, maybe see some friends, and maybe get my second wind. I arrived at 6, then within minutes more of my friends started coincidentally showing up. I was so happy to see bartender buddy Natalee, who just got engaged last week to her fiance Dave. They're both truly amazing people and I couldn't be happier for them. Nat is like a younger sister to me, she was my 5K buddy over 3 years ago when I ran my first 5K. I enjoyed yule tide cheer with Edward, Natalee and then later JG. I didn't set out for Friday night to be Epic, but I ended up staying up a little past my preferred bedtime.
This weekend was supposed to be my rotation to get Meg in Vernon, but Meg had to be called into work at Rutgers University Saturday. As much as we wanted to see each other Friday night, it just wouldn't have made sense for Meg to drive all the way from New Brunswick up to Vernon for over 2 hours, then have to do a 2 hour commute early Saturday morning, then 2 hour commute back up to Vernon after work. This is crunch time for the Rutgers Foundation with everyone trying to close out year end donation numbers and all that fun stuff. We together made the decision to just have Meg come up Saturday afternoon and return to Hackettstown early Sunday afternoon per usual.
Saturday morning I got some errands done. Dry cleaning, laundry, and pick up of craft beers for the Patriots game Saturday night. Meg and I several weeks ago made plans with our besty / my work wife Shawn. We always joke that she can see Russia from her house because it's an even higher elevation than my place, and I'm halfway up a ski slope mountain Granite Peak. Through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, going to our buddy Shawn's place was light at the end of our tunnel. We just wanted a chill sweatpants night with yummy IPA beers. I didn't take into account ahead of time that my Patriots would be playing during this visit, which I'm sure put a damper on the party for poor Meg and Shawn since I'm a diehard fan.
Saturday night Shawn made us one of those yummy pizzas from Weis Markets, and it was just what the doctor ordered. We brought her a couple of IPA's from my Dad's favorite brewery up in New England, Bog Iron Brewery. We had to bring over to Shawn one called "Soul Cellar," a sweeter, refreshing IPA, and a "Middle Child," which at 8.5% can hurt you if one isn't careful. There have been some nights over the past where a Middle Child has hurt me the next morning, LOL. We had such an amazing time with our bestie. Meg and I realized that whenever we've been over her place hanging out with her, it's always been during a really fun party with tons of our friends. This was the first time that we have ever been over at Shawn's with just her, and it was just what the doctor ordered. We laughed and were so excited to try each other's IPA's that we brought to the party. The way life should be.
Saturday night with the Patriots. Many have been asking me on my thoughts regarding the Patriots. The loss to the Tennessee Titans was sad but didn't hurt me that much. I wasn't overly surprised, this year it just never felt like we really had it. That's okay. Not our year. I am very very very very very very very very very very very concerned about the future for my Patriots and our Dynasty. For years people have been claiming that our team is dead, the run is over, etc. With Tom Brady potentially becoming a free agent and possibly played has last game for our Patriots, this chance is greater than ever. Between all of the coaches the Patriots have lost over the years due to career jumps with other teams, coaches we'll continue to lose, front office people we have lost and might continue to lose, and many of our key veteran players who might be leaving or retiring, this offseason is going to be unfortunately interesting. I've been dreading this one for years. At the end of the day, I still think my Pats and Brady figure out a way to make it work for another year or two. They've been so great for each other. I also think that Brady knows how tough it was to teach our younger receivers during the season, and wouldn't want to start over again and have to train even more people. I'm very grateful for the 20 year run my Patriots have had. The first half of my life, the New England Patriots were often below average to mediocre. We were happy to make the playoffs when we did, never even dreaming that we could ever win a Super Bowl. Then we go on a magical run that I don't think you'll ever see again in football or any sport. It's been amazing.
Sunday morning was low key. It started off with us being impacted by that power outage in Vernon. I couldn't believe we were in the middle of a power outage 2 Sundays in a row. I felt so helpless not being able to help turn power back on for Shawn and Meg. I volunteered / demanded that I would go to Dunkin Donuts. If I couldn't get power on for the very important women in my life, at least I could get them coffee and help them feel a little better at least. Success. By the time I came back from Dunkin, the power had been restored and we were happy with that.
Sunday early afternoon time for mine and Meg's farewell beer at The Cottage. The second we parked, we saw The Space Farms Zoo pickup truck and got excited. We were going to run into our friends Parker and Jill Space, yay! Not to be a diva, but I requested a Guinness poured by our friend Peter to have a fancy clover in the foam. Have you ever had a Guinness with a fancy clover in the foam? It might not taste any different, but it still tastes great and looks really awesome. Parker and Jill were celebrating their upcoming anniversary this week and we are so happy for them. They're so sweet. When they saw me and Meg, they immediately said "Awh time for your Sunday farewell beer right? On Sundays we get sad for you Steve knowing that Meg has to go back to Hackettstown." How sweet was that of them to say. We are so lucky to have wonderful friends. Jill then ended up getting Meg hooked on this App that apparently shows your mail before it gets to you. It's called "Informed Delivery Daily Digest," from USPS. Literally within minutes Meg got hooked on this and we were cracking up.
We then had fun with so many of our Cottage regular friends. I ended up home just in time to watch the exciting end of that Minnesota Vikings - New Orleans Saints playoff game. Most playoff games this weekend were close and fun to watch. Ricky Gervais cracked me up with his politically incorrect monologue. He actually made me literally laugh out loud several times. You can see some highlights of that by clicking here.
Overall we had an absolutely fantastic time with many of our friends this weekend. Grateful for our friends, grateful for so many memories. Time to start planning next weekend. And TOMMY BRADY PLEASE DON'T GO!!!!!!!!!! PATRIOTS PLEASE STAY TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!