Well, this holiday weekend ended up being much more Epic than I originally planned. It was a President's Day / Valentine's Day weekend we won't ever forget. There were times it was a bittersweet weekend. The past few years, I have had my parents visit me here in Jersey to enjoy President's Day Weekend so we can watch skiers from my deck. I have told them I learned shortly after moving here 7 years ago that President's Day is one of the biggest ski weekends and weeks all year long. They always laughed and said I was making up holidays as an excuse to get them to visit me. Then a couple years ago they saw first hand how fun it can be to watch skiers from my deck on a beautiful winter day. The people watching can be such comedy gold, especially hearing their conversations on the chair lift.
Last year they surprised me with my Uncle Jeff, also known as JDawg. It was one of my favorite weekends ever. I grilled them all awesome filet mignon steaks on my grill, and they fell in love with some of our favorite spots here. With the pandemic and travel restrictions, I convinced my parents and JDawg to wait a few more months before visiting me. Maybe Memorial Day weekend I'll try to get them back down here to Jersey.
Friday night we started off having a just what the doctor ordered chill night in with Jasen and Brendan. Awesome Girlfriend Megan spent her Friday house cleaning and throwing out old things, when she stumbled on a book that she's apparently had for several years. The book was about how your cat is secretly plotting to kill you. Funnily enough, ever cat owner I told this too agreed immediately. This book is absolutely hilarious.
Brendan came home after shopping with several bags of funny surprises. One of them was a cutting board from Christmas Tree Shop in Middletown, NY that said something along the lines of "with wine and cats, I'm fine." Meg loved it. I didn't over structure / plan our weekend, so I offered to take her to Christmas Tree Shop at Rockaway Mall. Meg was excited with this plan.
She then came up with another plan of her own. Have me drop her off at Christmas Tree Shop, and then I go to nearby Miller's Ale House for an ice cold beer so she could shop. It was absolutely the right decision by Meg. We have learned over the last couple of years that I don't shop well with her. She loves to look around and find bargains, whereas I like to go in, get what I'm looking for or not, and then get out. After a couple of shopping adventures which always result in me pacing back and forth, we have learned it's not a best practice for me to shop with Meg.
After a couple sips of my Sierra Nevada Hazy Little IPA, I came up with a slightly different plan. I was going to take Meg to Cheesecake Factory for lunch with a gift card I had. Instead, our new plan was to get an entire Dulce De Leche (my favorite) cheesecake. We would see one of our friends later, bring it, and enjoy the leftovers. We would get Meg's ring cleaned at nearby Kay Jewelers, success. We got an entire Dulce De Leche to go, and did lunch at Miller's Ale House. It's decent for a chain. Meg and I have always enjoyed the ambiance there. It dawned on me that it's been a full calendar year since I've been to Rockaway Mall. WOW.
Awesome Girlfriend Megan and I stopped by The Cottage Saturday afternoon after our successful day. Meg was able to get tons of fun things from Christmas Tree Shop. I wasn't around annoying her while she was shopping. Victories left and right.
We then heard back from our friend that she wasn't feeling well enough to see us. I looked at Meg and said "maybe this is a hidden blessing, we can stay in for a quiet Saturday night on my couch." We then came up with the plan to watch the documentary NY Times Presents Framing Britney Spears. It was decent, perhaps slightly overrated. Still worth a watch. Awesome Girlfriend Megan lost interest probably 75% into the documentary.
Then after that, I had Meg pick our next movie. I told her she has me, and I gave her free reign to watch any chick flick or romantic comedy she wanted.
Meg picked a movie called "Wine Country," that came out in 2019. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, found myself laughing out loud several times. I recommend it. We had a good Saturday night on my couch relaxing by my electric fireplace heater that does more for ambiance than actual heat.
Sunday morning we already had our day planned out for a couple of weeks. Sunday was Valentine's Day. I'm very lucky that Meg, like myself isn't big on Valentine's Day. We joke that we are anti Valentine's Day people. We try to do nice things for each other on normal days, not a Hallmark holiday.
We didn't mean at first to make it a tradition, but our fun habit just kept growing. Every Valentine's Day when Meg and I are together, we take out one of our good single friends for a drink. This year went perfect, we hadn't seen our besty Ty in months. We met up with her for a drink at The Cottage in Franklin. We had such a great time catching up with each other. Meg had a fantastic martini where Audrey even made an adorable heart with the syrup. Ty had a wonderful berry mule beverage, and I enjoyed a well poured Guinness.
We then later met up with our besties Artie and Margie. They're both such sweet friends, and combined together I swear they know everything, LOL. They know things.
Sunday night I was left to my own devices. I tried watching Nascar's Daytona 500, some years I can get into it, some years I can't. This year I couldn't get into it. Then I turned on my Amazon Firestick, and was able to stumble on The Departed movie. The Departed with Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, etc, is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Monday I was able to enjoy my day off and go to Trinity Rehab in Sparta. I was able to try light jogging for the first time in over a month since I reinjured my caboose from falling while sleep walking. It felt great to make that huge, scary progress.
Right before I left, at 10:15am, we lost power at my place in Vernon. I could see on social media that it was a town wide outage. The projections I saw had us getting power back around 1ish.
My strategy sounded pretty decent. I went to The Cottage for a couple of beers and food to go to try and stall. I was attempting to wait out the power outage. As I was leaving, the projections of getting our power restored were pushed back from 1pm to 3pm, then from 3pm to 6pm. I got home by 4:45 figuring okay, it's only an hour or so without power, I can do this. I called my parents and Uncle JDawg for my weekly Monday check in call. I told them I was just going to relax, try to stay warm and an ice cold beer.
Just a man alone, in the dark, drinking alone in the cold. It almost sounds like a sad Lifetime movie right? I went to bed at 6pm. I was tired of being so cold on my couch. I was in my bed, in a hoody and pants, under all the blankets on my bed I could find. I was happy that my candles helped light my place. That reminds me I need to get a new lighter.
We finally had our power restored at 9:07pm. Almost 12 hours. Apparently at some point when they tried to restore power for Vernon, they inadvertently knocked out power for 9 of our surrounding towns. Ouch. This was definitely an Epic Adventure.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Our weekend was usually wonderful. I hope you had a terrific weekend too. Time to start planning next weekend!