My Epic Weekend In Pictures: It Really Can Be A Small World Sometimes

Well this weekend was definitely Epic at times, that's for sure. We will start my Epic Weekend In Pictures with Thursday night. I started off my Epic Weekend getting a much needed massage from my favorite massage therapist, Elaine. She kept cranking out my knots left and right nonstop. At one point while cranking knots of of my neck / shoulders / back (I know what you're thinking, how lucky is Awesome Girlfriend Megan?) she yelled at me and said "Steve Allan, you realize that these knots are NOT part of your anatomy, right?" Complete comedy gold. Then I was so happy to see football being played between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. I'm very happy to have football back in our worlds, even though I do spend entirely way too much time, energy and emotion on it between my New England Patriots die hard fandom, and my two fantasy football leagues.

Friday night we were able to see our besties Jasen and Brendan. Jasen warned me "come on over, we're doing chicken." Okay, fair enough. I tend to not eat at night anyway, but I knew Meg likely had an appetite by then from not eating enough during the day. Great to hang out with our bros, Carrie and Spooner. They basically converted their kitchen into a Thai restaurant for the night. The smells were very entertaining. For some reason they accidentally overestimated the amount of rice they would need, and ended up with a ton. We joked all night that they would be having rice cakes for the next three years. Complete comedy gold.

Saturday morning I was too lazy to go out and get us breakfast, so I grilled hot dogs for me and Meg. We ended up with middle future stepdaughter Hailey and were very happy to let her join my Epic Weekend. She loved the nature views from my deck which worked out perfect because she apparently has bird watching homework from one of her Rutgers University classes. This worked out quite well.

Saturday later morning we were on our way to Shop Rite Liquors of Sparta. I figure they tend to have a strong selection and I would be well supplied for the cook out fire pit night we were getting ready to attend. As we were cruising down 94 from Vernon to Sparta, Awesome Girlfriend Megan then started to worry about whether or not she remembered to give her cats enough food for the weekend. We joked that they are so well fed, each one of them could use a diet anyway. Meg just had one of those moments where she was getting worried about the cats.

I told Meg that since we were out in Sparta, that's halfway from Vernon to Hackettstown anyway, we might as well go to Hackettstown and make sure the kitties had plenty of food for the weekend. We could easily do the errands we needed to do there anyway. We went to Hackettstown and the kitties were happy to see us. They had plenty of food anyway, but it was worth it for us to have that peace of mind.

Then after successfully doing some shopping, I took Meg and Hailey to Czig Meister Brewery in Hackettstown, one of our favorite places to hit. We did New England style IPAs, and Hailey did some red one that really looked and tasted more like a fruit punch. Ah well, she loved it. We then start talking to a new friend at a nearby table. He complimented my Patriots mask. We start talking more about the Patriots and how much we have loved them. New friend Jason then explained he "grew up there in that area." I meet people from New England all the time, no big deal. I asked him where he grew up. He then gave an answer I never expected. "Foxborough, actually Mansfield, it's the next town over." WHAT! He grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts too!!!! He was class of 1997, I was class of 2000. We were even in high school at the same exact time and never knew! Unreal. I always tell people I'm from Boston, it's just easier and quicker that way, then when they ask more I further explain how I'm originally from a town called Mansfield, a suburb that's 40 minutes southeast of Boston, and is a 12 minute drive from Gillette Stadium where my Patriots play.

Saturday night our besties Kim and Bill Eid had us over for a cook out / fire pit night. Bill spent years building their beautiful backyard patio, and he really did a fantastic job turning it into a backyard oasis. It was so fun watching Kim and Bill go into couple entertaining mode you can tell they have so many great systems.

All during this, we had a mini bag toss / cornhole tournament. I was paired up with my work bestie Shawn Stinnett, who may be even more fiercely competitive than I am - and that's saying something. I think we ended up going 5-0. I had my A Game going as if it was 10 years ago when I was in my cornhole prime usually doing well at my friends backyard cookouts. At one point I joked with my friend Jim and said "why can't I catch a break and just tear my rotator cuff?" He cracked up. We just couldn't stop, or be stopped, LOL.

The burgers were amazing. They are legit grill masters over there, that's for sure!

Sunday, opening football Sunday for the NFL. This is a day I've been absolutely dreading for 8 months, because it would be the first football Sunday of Tom Brady being in a uniform other than my New England Patriots. I loved my Patriots before Bill Belichick and Brady, loved them during, and will keep loving everyone forever. I'll always root for my Patriots, and still always root for Brady as long as he's not playing against my Patriots.

Not to make my life sound really sad, but Sunday morning while Meg and Hailey were getting ready, I was alone on my deck watching Tom Brady highlights on my phone while crying. We had a phenomenal run. What's that expression, smile that it happened or something like that?

We were able to venture over to The Cottage for Football Sunday. Watching football on their covered outdoor patio was so much fun. It was great to see so many of our friends. Also great to feel the energy from it. When you're watching a game there, you'll have Raider Nation a block of die hard Raider fans in the back all together. They'll be cheering loudly at random times during their games. A table near us had a few Packer fans who were very happy with their team performance. I was of course screaming like a yahoo nonstop good or bad at my Patriots on television. It almost, almost, almost felt like a quasi normal football Sunday.

We had a wonderful weekend. I hope you had a terrific weekend too. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Time to start planning next weekend!