My Epic Weekend In Pictures: 1st Time Getting My Fam Here In 1.5 Years!


Sorry for the delays with this Epic Weekend In Pictures. My computer apparently thinks that it's still Memorial Day Weekend.

This was definitely a Memorial Day Weekend that we will never forget. First and foremost, we thank those who served, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We wouldn't be here without them.

This Memorial Day Weekend I brought back a tradition that we had to take off last year due to the pandemic, having my parents, Madre and Padre (also known as Karen and Mike,) visit me from New England! Last year during Memorial Day weekend we had so many travel restrictions, plus no indoor nor outdoor dining at the time, I told them to just stay home and we will make it up later. I never thought it would be a full year until I could get them back here without so many restrictions, nevertheless here we are! Then later last week, I found out that my younger sister Suzanne was going to also visit me. I was tickled pink. My sister is amazing and works 3 jobs, when friends asked me if she was coming back I said to them "honestly I haven't even asked her, I doubt she could get the time off from all 3 of her jobs." Talk about icing on the cake! I got my parents and sister to visit me! Woohoo!

While my parents and Zannie were always more than willing to visit me the past year and a half, seeing so many of my wonderful friends, I always told them I didn't want them to drive four or five hours, and not be able to see so many of the things they love here. I always told them "I know you love places like The Cottage in Franklin, Brown Barn Farm Orange County Distillery in NY, but if I can't take you guys inside those places, it isn't worth the drive."

My family was always fully supportive and understanding. MY GOODNESS IT WAS GREAT TO HAVE THEM BACK HERE!

Being a career bachelor, I of course spent much of last week deep cleaning my one bedroom condo apartment to prepare for their arrival. Even a one bedroom condo can get pretty big when you're deep dive cleaning, right? I think I still reek of alcohol from all of the Clorox wiping and cleaning I've been doing for several days. I'm like a walking sanitizer bottle at this point. Between sweeping my deck several times, due to my upstairs neighbors birdseed issue, swiffing the floors, wiping down counters etc, I wasn't bored last weekend, that's for sure.

Friday night heading into a long weekend, I was more than ready to unwind and relax with friends. I was able to go to Kite's, inside, fully vaxxed up and maskless for the first time in a year and a half. The bar was back! I remember placing my jacket on a chair beside me to save a spot for my friend soon arriving at the bar. WOW. Even that felt weird / cool / normal, sitting at a bar, placing my coat on a chair to save a space for my friends.

One of my close friends Brad had a special occasion: his out of state son and daughter both had their significant others with them, visiting New Jersey. I was so happy to take a selfie with them during their first time ever being in the same room together at the same time, all 5 of them. Special moment. My close friend Steve had his daughter and her fiance there, and with my friend JG we were all laughing all night. A bunch of close friends busting on other and laughing, the way life should be.

Saturday morning the deep cleaning continued, Awesome Girlfriend Megan came over and helped find the spots I missed. She even moved my microwave to clean under that. My place was really clean, but I didn't take it to that intense level! She also helped me put away our Christmas tree. Yes, last week I finally took off the ornaments and she helped me slam it into the box so we could put it in my closet. Why before my parents visited did I finally take down our tree? Simply, the outlet we need to fill up their air mattress in my living room is that same one. I've had a transition plan in mind for months, and it finally came to fruition.

My parents gave me something I almost bought last Fall but could never find the right deal. A Whiskey Bourbon Barrel bar! It's half of a barrel, with shelves so you can put liquor bottles and glasses in it. Last Christmas, my bestie JG gave me battery powered flameless candles that are awesome. I was able to replace the ambiance that we loved from our Christmas Tree to my new mini bar woohoo! I was so excited. My family is so amazing. Padre wrapped up the barrel twice, padded it and super duct taped it to his truck to make sure it would make the trip okay through four and a half hours of COLD RAIN.

My family is amazing. I'm beyond blessed. Normally we spend a ton of time on my deck when they visit, but with our cold, rainy weekend that wasn't possible. We still made our time count and tried to have fun wherever travels took us.

After they started relaxing after their long drive, I swung by the McAffee Hardware store. Padre loves relaxing on my deck with a cigar, enjoying nature and the beautiful mountain views from my place. Unfortunately the cold rain made that a challenge. I bought an 8 X 10 tarp. We stapled it to the top of my deck. With my deck having a neighboring deck on top of it, if it rains, I might as well have no coverage whatsoever. We spent a solid half hour stapling up the tarp. It lasted a couple of hours basically before we had to re-staple it up, in the rain.

Our first stop was to The Cottage in Franklin. They're always so sweet to us, my family counts down the minutes until I can take them back there. We had great drinks and my family was able to see so many of our wonderful regular friends, Margie, Artie, Buckeye Paul, Mayor Paul, Packer Fan Patrick, Patriot Fan Friends Colby and Paul, Kenny, plus several others. Great times.

Our next stop was Kite's, where we were able to see more of our amazing friends. One of the biggest struggles? My selfie stick. Over a year and a half ago, to help aid my Epic Weekend In Pictures, my bestie Jasen gave me a selfie stick. With the pandemic, I haven't done any indoor big group selfies in a year and a half. I charged up my selfie stick all morning. As I gathered the crowd, I struggled. It was embarrassing. I felt awful. I asked my sister for help. Zannie is much more tech savvy than I am. We realized that since I got a new phone last November, I hadn't yet paired my selfie stick with my new iPhone Mini. That's why it wasn't working! I was able to get it to work, but I was too shaky. JG came through in the clutch taking the big group picture of us.

It was great to see Jasen, Brendan, JG, Brad, Steve, Carrie, and so many others.

Sunday, I took my family to Orange County Distillery at Brown Barn Farm in Hampton, NY. This is now one of my parents favorite spots, and now my sister loves it too. I got a bottle of single malt whiskey that I'll be enjoying very soon I'm sure!

Sunday afternoon, back to Kite's where we saw our besties Sally and Douglioso. Wow. It felt like all we did was laugh and tell stories for hours. It was simply amazing. Great time. Such a great time.

Monday was when my family started their working vacation. Madre and Zannie did a phenomenal job helping reorganize my closets which will really help with my efficiency. Padre helped put in my new bathroom towel bar, and new blinds over my slider. Success.

I took them out to our goodbye lunch at The Cottage late Monday afternoon. The least I could do was feed them after all their hard work and travels, right?

Overall we had a great weekend. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Time to start planning next weekend!