This was definitely an Epic Weekend In Pictures I'll never forget! I had so many laughs and smiles back home up in Mansfield, Massachusetts with family and friends. This past weekend was my family's annual Saint Patrick's Day party! Before the pandemic, our party would normally get anywhere from 50-75 people over at my family's raised ranch home in Mansfield. Is that a large amount of people in a small place? Yes. Is it at times absolutely amazing and almost magical? Yes.
The past few years we really haven't been able to do as large scale Saint Patrick's Day parties, but this year we brought it back in a big way. The Allan Tavern was ready to go. My family goes all out for this making 15 pounds of corned beef. That's right. 15 pounds of corned beef. It's almost like an Irish Thanksgiving for crying out loud, lol. My parents and Uncle JDawg (Jeff,) worked together for quite a few years perfecting the recipe, which is of course even tougher to pull off with such a large quantity. I would say over the past dozen or so years they have had it perfected. So much so, I even brought corned beef back for our WSUS morning guy Steve Andrews and our NNJ morning guy Borasio. I joked that we were bringing them precious cargo from my family.
As we got closer into the weekend, things started to get a little more complicated.
Meteorologist experts were predicting 7 inches of snow to fall in Vernon, New Jersey from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. This could have major challenges for my drive from Jersey to New England. By Friday morning, they upped the timing of their predictions from the snow starting at 3pm instead of 5pm. I didn't want to take any chances of my trip getting jeopardized by weather. I also wasn't in the mood to wake up early Saturday morning, shovel out my car, then drive 4 hours to Boston, be tired from the drive, try to make it through the party, and then turn around and come back to Jersey the next day. That prospect just wasn't appealing to me at all.
I made the executive decision to leave early Friday afternoon to minimize complications and challenges. I ended up making the absolute right move! I know, a rarity, lol. Due to multiple bad accidents on 84 in Connecticut, my drive back took me 5 hours instead of 4. All good. At least I wasn't driving through elements, as the snow was staying here in Jersey for the most part.
Another silver lining? By making it to Mansfield, Ma before 5pm I was able to join my Dad (Mike) and sister (Suzanne / Zannie) at their usual Friday happy hour brewery, Bog Iron in nearby Norton, Massachusetts. Success! Whenever I go there it feels like a wonderful homecoming. Everyone who works at Bog Iron are also wonderful friends. We are always watching each other's stories on Instagram and more. Gabby, Liz and Rob were psyched to see me and I was so happy to see them. We had a wonderful time hanging out and me decompressing after my 5 hour drive. Just what the doctor ordered! Then I was able to go home, see Madre (Karen) who was just getting home from work. Later on, our friends Matt and Tracy were able to swing by and hang out with us. Matt's been one of my best friends since high school, he's one of the bros from home I went to Florida with last year. Needless to say, he was more than happy and tell stories from high school all through these days when I embarrass myself LOL. Nothing better than best friends busting on each other, the way life should be.
Originally one of my besties from Jersey was going to be joining me for my family's party. I was going to take bestie Carrie up to see Boston for her first time and enjoy my family's party all the same weekend. Unfortunately she ended up with a work conflict, which happens for us from time to time.
Saturday morning I looked at my sister Zannie and said "I think I'll still go up to Boston anyway." She looked at me and said "really?" I explained how much I've missed going there and seeing it in recent years. It's probably been a couple years since I've ventured into my home city. I was planning on just going to the Fenway Park area. Even if it's offseason, the Fenway Park is still a really fun place to go. They have so many fun restaurant options all over the place, you'll never be bored there. Ever. Even if it's snowing out LOL.
Zannie said "I can go with you." Even better. It was probably just over ten years ago when Zannie and I did a Boston trip together where we just acted like tourists all day and had a blast. It was a beautiful August day, and Boston is often called the best walking city in America. Zannie mentioned to me how her friends laugh when she tells them about that day and how it was one of our favorite days. It was definitely one of my favorite days too.
We went to Fenway Park and started walking down Lansdowne Street which is the street right behind Fenway Park's Green Monster. It was cold and windy, with rain and snow flurries, but we still had a great time. We went to nearby Lansdowne Pub, and Irish pub that's within a stone's throw to The Green Monster. Their prices usually aren't that over the top despite being in such close proximity to Fenway Park.
The streets were like a quiet ghost town. Zannie and I entered Lansdowne Pub and both said "OH MY!" Apparently that's where all the people were! Folks were doing an enormous Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day Pub Crawl. Everyone was in good spirits and many of them were wearing matching clothes. Zannie and I did one drink there, left and Zannie looked at me as we were leaving "hey Steve...I think we weren't supposed to be there...they might have rented out the place and I think we might have just accidentally crashed their pub crawl!" WHOOPS. My sister Zannie is a Friends TV show diehard fan. I texted her yesterday joking that if it were an episode, it would be called "The one where we accidentally crashed a pub crawl in Boston on the Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day."
We had a great time, even if it was only for probably 2 hours. It felt so great to be home. When you're in a city that you love and have so much comfort and familiarity with, it's a great feeling. Saturday night: Party time!
I didn't need to be reminded of what a lucky person I am. This weekend did that regardless. I'm so blessed to have so many amazing family and friends both up there and here in Jersey. We had so many laughs and smiles together with my family. Whether it was me taking selfies with everyone, or us busting on my Uncle "Leisure Paul," for his tendencies of getting pulled over while driving. We all had great fun laughing together. I saw some friends I haven't seen in years, like Carole and Keith. They helped build The Allan Tavern back in February, 2008. So amazing. Everyone was loving the corned beef and irish beverages. Our neighbor friends across the street, Karen and Sam were hosting their own Saint Patrick's Day party too. At one point they left their own party because they claimed ours was more fun. So much fun, laughter and love all night. It was wonderful. I got to be back up home with my family, which was absolutely heaven for me.
I had a wonderful time getting to see my family. I hope you had a great weekend too. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Time to start planning next weekend, where I know Saturday the party will be at Weis in Franklin and Newton with our Backpack Snacks For Kids food drive!