This was definitely an Epic Weekend we will never forget. I survived being outnumbered 30-1 by Raider fans during my Patriots Raiders game. My weekend travels took me to Hackettstown, Vernon, Franklin, Goshen, WestTown and beyond. We will start my Epic Weekend with my vacation day that I had to burn Thursday.
Thursday, Awesome Girlfriend Megan had to take her car to the shop. She noticed a puddle of antifreeze in her driveway the previous night. Poor Meg. Awesome Girlfriend Megan has been helping out Awesome Future Stepdaughters out with costly car repairs lately, without much success. Now poor Meg was dealing with car trouble of her own. I was able to do some investigating and found out the name of her normal autoshop that she goes to and supports. I was able to call them up and offer to pay for Meg's car repairs. They gladly accepted and I was able to pay for Meg's thermostat getting replaced etc. Overall success.
Friday night, time for fun. We had fun plans with our besties Jasen and Brendan to have a quiet night in, making pizza and baking Scooby Doo cookies. Quiet, fun, relaxing night planned. That took a turn when Meg called me saying her car was smelling and now overheating. She even cranked up her heat and everything. I dropped everything and drove from Vernon to Hackettstown to go pick her up. The tow truck driver was so nice and said we didn't have to wait around for it to go on the tow truck bed, we could just leave the keys in it and make our way back home. Rough, tough start to the weekend for sure.
Awesome Girlfriend Megan and I finally made it over to see Jasen and Brendan. We did a toast to Meg's late Dad, who passed away 30 years ago last week. Bailey's is the way to go for those kind of toasts I have learned over recent years. While we missed pizza which was fine we had no appetite by then, they were still able to successfully bake the Scooby Doo cookies. How much do they actually look like Scooby Doo? I'm not sure, you can judge yourself looking at the picture. We were able to have a relatively quiet night, after a very loud start to it with the tow truck fun. Hopefully it's just a minor hose issue or something like that, and we get good news on that front today at some point. I definitely wasn't expecting Meg's car to break down 24 hours after I had it fixed!
Saturday morning I was up by 6 and couldn't sleep. Apparently poor Awesome Girlfriend Megan was up from 3-5 and couldn't sleep, I didn't even know. By 6 when I woke up she was sleeping and I couldn't, and I didn't want to wake her up. I got dressed, told her I couldn't sleep and was going for a walk. It was a beautiful walk around Great Gorge Village in Vernon, or as I call it my Campus. The morning fog was basically kissing our gorgeous mountains. It was a wonderful reminder of how lucky I am to live where I do. The walk was so quiet and peaceful, just taking in nature at its best.
Saturday afternoon it was time to venture over to J&G Farms / Blackburn Growers. Awesome Girlfriend Megan threatened to lock me in their beautiful sheds several times. My goal was to do a fun Facebook Live video showcasing their amazing Mum field of 20,000 strong - and hopefully help make Awesome Girlfriend Megan smile. She had such a rough week. Just when we thought her car was all better after a rough week, it breaks down 10 minutes into driving it. It's only a 2016 Chevy Cruze, they should be able to fix whatever else is ailing it. I found a perfect Mum that Meg loved, along with fun Halloween decorations. Meg lit up when she saw those decorations and Mums, so I found myself a cart and started a little shopping spree. It was great to see her smile after our rough Friday night.
Saturday afternoon Meg and I were ready for adventures. We went to Orange County Distillery at Brown Barn Farm for our first time since they were able to reopen. I had a feeling on an amazing Fall day that they would be packed, and I was right. Meg and I had such a fantastic time. We did one beer, and that was honestly all we needed there. We both did a round of their IPA's, and scored a table right in front of their huge sunflower field. I had only been there during winter time, and had no idea that they had an amazing sunflower field right in their yard, making the landscape even more glorious.
Then we ventured over to WestTown, NY to see our friends Jennifer and James. This was apparently their first annual "Beckfest," and they sure did it right! WOW. They had one of their musician friends Pauly playing and singing for everyone on his guitar, and Big Ron's BBQ made food out of this planet. That was the best brisket I have had in YEARS. Fantastic. The only thing better than the food and entertainment was the company. We haven't seen our friends Jennifer and James in a few months, and we picked up right where we left off. Everyone had such a great time. By 6ish, Meg and I felt tired and old. We ventured back to Campus.
While we were relaxing on my deck under our lights, I took a sip of my drink and then immediately started repeatedly nudging Meg on her shoulder. She looked at me and said "What is wrong with you, what are you trying to say?" I then said to her "MAMA BEAR RIGHT BEHIND YOU!" A Mama Bear with her 3 cubs were walking by. They were walking by quickly, so our pictures are less than stellar. Always amazing when you get to see those majestic animals going through life with us.
Sunday morning I grilled some burgers for me and Awesome Girlfriend Megan, before our next Epic Adventure. I told Meg last week that I did not want to do Football Sunday at The Cottage in Franklin for one simple reason: Raider Nation. Over the past few years, many Raider fans go to The Cottage to watch their team. I have the utmost respect for many of them who support their Raiders through thick and thin. They cheer every single time they get a first down. Literally every single time. I didn't want to get outnumbered 30-1. I'm used to being the minority as a diehard Patriots fan ever since I moved here to New Jersey almost 7 years ago. I'm always respectful, and even root for everyone else's teams as long as they're not playing my team.
By Thursday, my dear friend / Cottage owner Damian said to me "c'mon Steve, I'll be here working, and it's the Patriots, you gotta be here!" I agreed to appear. Also, Future Stepdaughter Hailey volunteered to pick Meg up from The Cottage so I didn't have to drive her all the way back to Hackettstown and miss my game. We had a great time. Everyone was laughing especially during the first half when the Raiders were doing much better. Basically even my non Raider fan friends started cheering for first downs with them, "1, 2, 3, FIRST DOWN!" They were all laughing along with me in my first half misery. Fortunately by the third quarter, my Patriots started hitting their stride and the Raider fans quietly left one by one throughout the fourth quarter. They were all good sports joining me for my picture.
Overall, despite the challenging beginnings, we had a fantastic weekend. As we all know, it's not about having the best of everything, but making the best of everything - once we had Meg's car towed I was on a mission to make her smile whenever I could all weekend.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Time to start planning next weekend!