My Epic Labor Day Weekend In Pictures: Lots Of Miles - Well Worth It!

Our Labor Day Weekend was keeping us busy traveling to see so many of our wonderful friends. Have I mentioned lately how ridiculously blessed we are? We hit Franklin, Sparta, Vernon, New Jersey and Danbury, Connecticut. This weekend was action packed, and filled with congratulations and well wishes from so many of our friends we were able to finally see after our August Maine Engagement.

We'll start the Weekend with Thursday, not because of Thirsty Thursday but because of French Fry. French Fry is my current Adopt A Pet Of The Week. He was rescued from a hoarding situation in North Carolina, and had a terrible infection in his hind leg. They unfortunately had to amputate the leg. When my friends from Father John's Animal House offered me French Fry, I knew this was going to be a huge opportunity to help him find his new Furever Family. Within one hour of being my Pet Of The Week, French Fry had found his new Furever Family!!! We broke a record. A doggy down to 3 legs, was able to find his new Family thanks to the power of our radio station. I teared up a little Thursday night, and knew we were going to have a wonderful weekend ahead.

Friday night, Awesome Girlfriend Megan met up with me for a drink at The Cottage in Franklin. With Meg living 54 minutes away from me in Hackettstown and having many more responsibilities, it's been tough at times these past few weeks getting so much love and well wishes without her being here in Sussex County with me. When I made the mistake of telling her how tough it was, she then responded with "You're right. You can't go to the Cottage without me. You can go anywhere, anywhere else in Sussex County, but not there. It's OUR place." I know, we can probably start the jokes of "wow, just engaged, and already your life is changing, Steve!" In this case she was right though, it just wouldn't have felt right getting the love from all of our friends without Meg.

We walked into The Cottage with an Epic Rock Star like greeting from everyone. Just merely walking in on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend when we were expecting it to be quiet, we received a thunderous (and humbling) ovation from so many of our friends. Artie, Buckeye Paul, Packer Fan Patrick, Amy, Pats Fan Kenny, Steeler Fan Kenny, Tony The Pony, owner bestie Peter, and more. I was so overwhelmed and touched, believe it or not, I forgot to do a huge group selfie. You know it's a big deal when even I get humbled and forgot to take a selfie. Our friends one by one started to leave, Meg and I were ready to follow suit. Then upon leaving, we literally bumped into our bestie, JG. We of course had to stay for one more round. Walking back into the bar led to plenty of laughs from everyone still there. Then we had a late night Friday nightcap at Carrie's, where she had her typical fantastic party on Campus. Great times with our besties, Jasen, Brendan, Carrie, Chris and Christine. Just hanging around with your best friends busting on each other, nothing better.

Saturday morning, I was probably too excited about merely grilling hot dogs for me and Meg. Everyone teases me because I even use my meat thermometer on hot dogs, despite them being precooked. I love using my electric grill which Meg graciously assembled for me just a short year and a half ago. (Is she a keeper or what?) I had fun using my meat thermometer and my Patriots grilling tools. Bring on football season!

Saturday afternoon, time to go to Danbury, Connecticut. This was an Epic Birthday party for my bro Nate. Still tough to believe we've been friends for almost 15 years. We both worked at the same radio station, became friends, and before you knew it, we were always scheduled together because we were the only ones who could put up with each other. Our careers have both ended up with pretty amazing results too, and hope to keep getting even better. Nate's wife Lauren put together a great party for him. The bros of Nate, Jake and Dan are an amazing bunch, and they treat me as if I grew up with them through middle and high school, even though I met them after college. At Nate and Lauren's wedding, during his best man speech, Jake officially welcomed me into their group of The Boys. I'm still honored to this day. The birthday party was a fantastic hang out, another case of best friends all busting on each other laughing all night. You know those friends who can just always make you smile? These are those friends. We laughed so hard we almost ended up in tears, several times. Nate, Lauren, Dan, Tori, Jake, Bri, and so many others gave us an amazing night filled with so many laughs. 90+ minute drive back and forth to hang for a couple hours with them? Worth every minute and every mile. Even though Saturday night we had a random impromptu detour as we were approaching Pine Island. Warwick was absolutely gorgeous this time of year, in the middle of the night as Meg was navigating this way and that. We never want to make anything too easy anyway, right?

Sunday it was time for an End Of Summer party at our dear friend Terri Ramieri's place. Terri is one of those friends whose energy is contagious. I swear it's like the more she was doing, grilling, multitasking, the more energy she had. Meg and I had a wonderful time. At one point, I was even blown away / borderline intimidated by Terri slaying away at the grill. I think I counted 12 burgers at a time she was flipping. At one point I counted 16 kids in the pool all at once. The kids were happy in the pool, and the adults were happy just hanging out, enjoying each other's company and beverages. Then when our friend Tina showed up, the party immediately became more Epic. She also has that Life Of The Party contagious energy. I'm also very happy that Meg and I left right as they were pouring a round of shots. Being able to dodge the shots helped me wake up much easier the next morning, lol. Sunday afternoon, it was that sad time once again when Meg has to go one way to Hackettstown, and I have to go the other way to Vernon. Welp Welp.

Monday: Epic Labor Day. Holiday weekends tend to be tough on the restaurant / bar service industry, and having so many friends in that industry I try hard to support them. Monday I made up for lost time and ended up back in the Cottage. Enjoyed quality time with Mayor Paul, Amy, Stef and Damian. We were nice and dry inside the Irish Pub watching the rain come down. Then after that I ran into my old friend Ron and his son at Moonshine Poolside Bar. By then the rain had gone away, and the weather was actually gorgeous. It's like we had Tiki Bar at Minerals Sports Club all to ourselves, and I enjoyed a Sam Adams Octoberfest. Yummy, the weather was just about right for that.

Overall, we had a fantastic Epic Labor Day Weekend In Pictures. I hope your weekend was wonderful too. Now time to start planning next weekend! New Jersey Taco Festival at The Fairgrounds. #WhatCanPossiblyGoWrong?

Steve Allan

Steve Allan

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