My Epic Weekend In Pictures: Parties, Drinks, Laughs, Friends, Family.

I think we need a weekend from our weekend! This Epic Weekend In Pictures starts with the Halloween Howl party at Kite's in Vernon Thursday night, takes us through Hackettstown, Sparta, Franklin, and back to Vernon. In my travels I also learned that my Pet Of The Week, Annabelle has already been adopted! We'll start with Thursday night.

I'm not a big Halloween person at all. I despise dressing up. Even when I was little, the ones I would dress up as were people, such as Batman, Hulk Hogan, etc. If I'm forced to a Halloween party, now I wear one of my many Batman teeshirts (how lucky is Awesome Girlfriend Megan, right?) By the way, I'm now learning that when Halloween lands on a Thursday, this means you see people in costumes for approximately TEN STRAIGHT DAYS. The Halloween parties started October 26th, and continued through Saturday November 2nd! INTENSE. The White Claw Halloween Howl party was so much fun for all of us. I couldn't believe we got that enormous turnout on a school night. Even I wasn't that excited for a party starting at 9pm, I prefer to be in bed by 9pm on a school night. Wow was I wrong! The turnout was enormous, everyone had so much fun, and I was able to sneak out Irish Goodbye style at 10:30pm. Success on all fronts. That potty mouth toilet costume was impressive. That costume had to be so uncomfortable to wear.

Awesome Girlfriend Megan had the Awesome Daughters this weekend, so Friday night I ventured to Hackettstown. It was so much fun getting to take the kids out to dinner. We all had excellent meals at The Draught House in Washington. All 6 of us had terrific meals. I was impressed with how quickly our meal came out to us. It definitely helped that I successfully made reservations. You may remember last year when I tried making reservations there, but accidentally made reservations to the Draught House in Washington, DC, instead of Washington, NJ. I had two IPA beers with dinner. The Rogue Batsquatch was a New England Hazy IPA that I picked just because of name alone. It was decent but not one of my favorites. I then ventured off to the Bolero Snort Mooterial World New England Hazy IPA, which I liked much much better. It was one of those "just about right," beers.

After we dropped the kids off, Meg and I went out for an adult nightcap at Czig Meister in Hackettstown, because we of course also love animals and yummy craft beers. That place is always so packed on weekends, god bless them. Meg had a yummy Stout, and I had a delicious IPA. Successful mission on all fronts.

Saturday afternoon we then went to Home Depot in Hackettstown to pick up some paint. This is where I try my best to not embarrass Meg and the girls. Given that my 1st ever job was at a paint store, (shout out to the late great Wallpaper City in Mansfield, Ma) I'm always right in my element in paint aisles at stores. While I was slightly perturbed that Meg went with Behr paint as opposed to my preferred Benjamin Moore, we still had plenty of fun at Home Depot. I took a funny selfie in front of their Christmas Tree display, then played around in the paint aisle with products that were named "Stripper." Meg then knew she had to give me something to do, so she had me go get a quart of trim paint. That made me happy, and helped keep me off the streets.

After Home Depot, we took them to Applebee's where the girls non-alcoholic drinks looked even more fun than our alcoholic drinks. I sat down in the booth the wrong way and my sore chest got the better of me from that car accident a couple weeks ago. Apparently chest contusions can take 3-6 weeks to heal, and we're 2 weeks in so far. Little by little, every day we'll keep getting closer and closer to healing more.

Saturday night fun night at Kite's. I was able to hang with my besties Steve and JG, we were just having a few drinks busting on each other all night. The way life should be, hanging out with friends laughing. Bartender buddy Sam and Manager Aggie were also terrific company per usual.

Sunday was supposed to be low key. It then turned into being Epic. I went grocery shopping at the all new state of the art Shop Rite Of Sparta. I had a major goal. Being from Boston originally, this quarter into grocery shopping cart system has been totally foreign to me. Full disclosure, when I first moved here almost 6 years ago, I almost had a full blown nervous breakdown over this system. One of my first weeks here, I was attempting grocery shopping and couldn't get the shopping cart out of its lock. I didn't know about this quarter system. As I almost cried in the middle of a parking lot in Franklin I was wondering to myself "how am I ever going to survive here in Jersey on my own, when I can't even successfully grocery shop, and get a shopping cart separated from the others?"

Sunday morning I was on a mission to conquer this quarter system. For years I've been intentionally using the grocery baskets dodging the embarrassment of the shopping cart situation. I got into Shop Rite, felt my pocket, and realized I left my Shop Rite Quarter gadget at home! I started to panic in the store opening vestibule debating what to do, whether I should go in, buy one thing, get change back, then reenter the store. I then thought on my feet, saw Shop Rite Liquor next door, bought Tito's Vodka, then with my change back, successfully placed my quarter into the carriage! Everything went great until the end when I couldn't figure out how to get my quarter out of it and lock it back up. Fortunately a good samaritan helped show me how to unlock. Success!

Sunday I went for a beer at The Cottage, where surprisingly I didn't know that many regulars there. As time went on though, one by one they all started showing up after being at another party. I was at The Cottage routing on The Jets with my new friend Dylan who's a diehard fan of them.

I then was invited over to see my besties Jasen and Brendan, hear all about their exciting weekend in The City. I then went back to my place to watch my Patriots lose to Baltimore. UGH. We looked bad. Unfortunately it went exactly as I predicted (which rarely happens.) I didn't like the way their Tight Ends matched up on us, and we need to get our Starting Left Tackle Isiah Wynn back ASAP. Our offensive line needs him big time after all of our other injuries. I won't panic though, it's just one loss, we have a bye week to reflect and keep getting healthier.

Overall, our Weekend was wonderful. I hope your weekend was great too. Time to start planning next weekend!

Steve Allan

Steve Allan

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