For the first time in a year and a half, I can say this Epic Weekend In Pictures almost felt "normal," again. I was very happy to get Awesome Girlfriend Megan back up here on Campus in Vernon again. This weekend involved some new adventures, a return to some old adventures, me grilling, and us getting to see a dear friend on his birthday.
We will start with Thursday night. An iHeart colleague who works at with our Boston radio stations among others, reached out to me on Instagram (cheap self plug alert, @SteveAllanRadio,) and let me know that she was in town. Bex informed me that she grew up in Franklin and was home visiting family, asking if she could borrow one of our studios to record some of her weekend shows. I told her how we basically traded places despite never having met before, me growing up in Mansfield, Ma and working at our iHeart stations in Franklin, NJ, whereas she grew up in Franklin, and is working at our iHeart stations in Boston.
Whenever anyone wants to visit our radio station, I always text them our address, 45 Ed Mitchell Ave, Franklin, NJ 07416. Why? Here in New Jersey as you probably know, I think we have 17 variations of Franklins, give or take. Poor Bex mistook her Franklin Township for our Franklin Borough. 1 hour 20 minutes further away than she expected.
When she was able to make her way all the way up here, we were very happy to meet and have her here. She's a total rock star, sweetheart.
Right after my new friend Bex left, the clouds started to get darker and darker. WOW. Friday afternoon was one of the most intense thunderstorms I have ever watched. I'm very grateful that we were able to dodge massive downed lines and power outages etc. As long as there aren't any injuries or damage involved, the thunderstorms are very fun to watch. For 2-3 straight hours it seemed like nonstop booming noises from the thunderstorms.
After the smoke cleared from the intense thunderstorms, the sky turned beautiful. It was in the mid 70s, with a clear sky. Meg and I were ready to join our friends at our Campus Tiki Moonshine Bar. Unfortunately it was closed due to the earlier thunderstorms. We always try to be solution oriented. Instead, we enjoyed our drinks on the veranda just outside Kite's. Perfect. We were able to enjoy an absolutely beautiful sunset. We had such a wonderful Friday night with Jasen, Carrie, Christine, Chris, Spooner, and Patti and Kevin The Plumber too.
By Saturday early morning, I did let Meg in on some of my grand master plans for our weekend. With the weekend being so hot but also dry, this meant I could get back to grilling. Awesome Girlfriend Megan reminded me that I'm likely not the only one who wanted to grill during the weekend, since Memorial Day Weekend pretty much nobody could grill. We went to Sussex Meat Packing right after they opened to avoid risking shortages. We bought two 9 ounce filet mignon steaks and were very excited. I then ventured off to Shop Rite Liquors in Franklin to capitalize on their 25% off wine sale. Meg stayed in the car as she knows I'm always mission oriented. Within minutes I got a little confused. With a grand reopening where stores expand, sometimes you forget that means the stuff you normally get is probably getting moved around to an improved location. I found two normal bottles, Josh and Decoy, and then went on my way.
While I had grilling Saturday night hard set planned, I did keep Saturday day open for us. Meg and I driving back ended up behind a furniture delivery truck. Meg's looking for a new couch, I'm looking for a new mattress and couch. I looked at Meg and said "this is a sign, do you want to go look at furniture?" She agreed and picked Ledgewood. I yelled "let's go, road trip!" Meg laughed at me calling Ledgewood a road trip adventure. She then realized though that while Hackettstown is only 20 minutes away from Ledgewood, Vernon is 49 minutes away per Google Maps. I was kinda right on that one lol.
We saw some things we really liked at Ashley Furniture in Ledgewood and might make a move soon on that. I just need to consult my Ashley Furniture Sales Superstar bestie before I make any commitments. It's always great to "have a guy," right?
Upon entering this strip mall plaza, Meg and I felt like we hit the jackpot. They had an Ashley Furniture new store, a Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory, and a massive Super Walmart. Bam! After Ashley Furniture, we enjoyed a little retail therapy at Burlington Coat Factory. Meg got a cute new shirt, I got a new polo shirt. That reminds me tonight I need to throw out one of my older beat up polo shirts as I promised. We then went to the nearby TGI Fridays after that. It was rather depressing. We ordered a beer and a basket of french fries. We love the seasoning they have on their fries. They gave us both honey mustard and ketchup in those to go little cups, as if we were still in lockdown mode a year ago. That made us a little sad. We did enjoy our fries and beer though, I went with a Sam Adams Wicked Hazy IPA.
Saturday late afternoon, time to start grilling. I first scraped off all the bird see that got in my grill again. Hopefully with my upstairs neighbors finally stopping with the birdseed feeders I won't have to do this again. It's very frustrating for sure. I then had fun grilling our filet mignon steaks. Meg laughed when she saw me walking by with the steaks so excited to grill again. While grilling I had some down time and actually googled what is the best temperature to get your filet mignon steak medium rare. While many beefs the ideal temperature is 145, with filet mignon it's 135. I took it off the grill at 125, and let it keep cooking on my side tray for the next few minutes. Unfortunately it still came out too medium for me. It was still fantastic, but not red and juicy like I prefer/love.
Nice warm, summer evening inside relaxing.
Sunday morning Meg had fun relaxing in the sun on my deck. She loves this hot weather. My irish tail melts in it, but she loves it. We did our goodbye beer at The Irish Cottage Inn in Franklin. We ran into our friends Audrey and Peter there, where Peter was working even on his birthday. When I told Peter we were sad he had to work on his birthday, he assured us "eh don't worry, I'll just make it look like I'm working." They're such hard workers and always crack us up. We are so lucky to have our wonderful friends.
I then did a meat lovers pizza to go, let it cool on my counter while I smoked a stogey on my deck. I then watched an episode of Bar Rescue, then flipped over to A&E for their WWE Biography series. If you're a wrestling nerd like me, these shows are paradise. They're so compelling and show us what life was like for these superstars and their families behind the scenes.
Overall we had a wonderful weekend. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Time to start planning next weekend!