My Epic Weekend In Pictures: Pools, And Another Bear

Talk about a classic summer weekend in Sussex County, New Jersey. My Epic Weekend In Pictures started with a gorgeous sunset poolside, and ended with a BEAR five feet from my ground level end unit deck. Weekends without Awesome Girlfriend Megan are always tough, she's helping middle Future Stepdaughter move cross country to Portland, Oregon. I'm very proud of her for taking this courageous step as she starts her new job today. I know first hand how intimidating it can to be to move somewhere away from your family and friends not knowing anyone. Almost 8 years later, I think it's worked out pretty well for me here in Jersey.

My bachelor weekends are very different than they were years ago before Meg. One of my biggest missions this weekend was to try saving my sunflower. It grew to be 5 feet tall, but the sunflower is starting to droop down. I elevated it and rested it beside one of the beams on my deck that goes up. Maybe this week I'll try scotch taping it to that beam. Man vs. Sunflower, the comedy continues. At least it was really beautiful for a couple of months. I did have fun watering the sunflower almost every day and watching it grow. I'm wondering if last weekend when we got six inches of rain that hurt the sunflower? I was hoping it would last until mid September but ah well. We shall see.

Friday night I met up with work besty Shawn for a happy hour drink at The Vista 180 Pool at Crystal Springs. One of my most favorite places, ever. Even though it wasn't that sunny out, we were still at our happy place for sure. Plus there were EAS warnings for severe thunderstorms. We figured as long as it wasn't raining, we were going to take a shot going there. It ended up staying dry with the thunderstorms staying to the west of us. We made the right move in this case. Even though it wasn't sunny, I still got a decent sunset picture where you can see what's left of the sun almost kissing the pool. Talk about peaceful and serenity, right?

I had a quiet Friday night planned, to just go home and rest up watching preseason football. I'm so happy to have football back, I even was even happy to go home early and watch preseason football, the Jets vs. Philly! In the meantime, I drove over and had a drink at Moonshine Tiki Bar. As I was walking in my dear friends Michele and Linda were getting ready to leave. I was able to twist their arms into joining me for a drink. I was home on my couch before 9, more than happy with my Friday night and then to relax watching football. Football always gives me escapism from the real world. I think it's because I love watching all of the situations and analyzing their possible outcomes and strategies.

Saturday morning I woke up in the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep. Naturally my go to was to log onto Netflix and watch my The Departed movie. Normally I can't do any movies longer than 90 minutes, I'm just not a movie person. Many of my friends are diehard, I just can't do it for whatever reason. (I know, yet I can park my Caboose on the couch and watch a football game for three straight hours. My hypocrisy isn't lost on me here.)

By Saturday early afternoon, I was ready to finally venture out into the real world. It was cloudy but at least the rain held off. I went to Orange County Distillery at Brown Barn Farm. My dear friend Nick is going to start selling good craft beer he's brewing once allowed by the state. I'll definitely be keeping close tabs on that situation! In the meantime, I bought a bottle of single malt whiskey. That's my favorite occasional treat from them. Before I picked up the bottle I took that selfie in front of their gorgeous sunflower field. I was trying to talk to the sunflowers "how do you guys all stay up and so tall?" Fortunately nobody was around who would probably think that I had already started drinking whiskey earlier, LOL.

Saturday night, I brought over a jar of Kilhaney's spicy garlic pickles from The Kilhaney's Pickle Store in Hackettstownto my besty Carrie. Yes, they have a great kick to them and are fantastic. She was happy to see me and my pickles. (Yes, I know how awkward that potentially sounds, LOL.) I may be guilty of occasionally making jokes about my pickle, but that's for another day.

Sunday the goal was to chill and relax. I went to George Inn and bought a stogey. Ruh roh, both of my lighters weren't working! Probably because I left them out in one too many Epic rain storms. Fortunately I had a little book of matches, and for my first time ever was able to light my stogey with matches! Usually I struggle both lighting and keeping it lit with good butane lighters.

As I was able to enjoy might lit stogey, all of the sudden, I could see that from approximately 40 yards away that company was heading towards my deck. Welcome back, Mr. BEAR.

He was entertaining, even I must admit. He walked up to my deck, got about five feet away at one point. He found something from the woods to nibble on. He was definitely a relaxed bear, as at one point he was just hanging out washing himself beside my deck. I know, get a room for that or something, right? It's like last year when one bear was scratching his caboose against the tree nearest to my deck. He then ventured his way past my deck and towards the dumpsters.

One fun part of this. My sister Suzanne always complains to me about how of all the times she has visited me here in Jersey, she still hasn't had her first BEAR encounter yet. This one was so chill and relaxed just sitting down parked in the woods by me, I face timed her while she and my cousin Bette were on vacation in Florida. I was worried if they would be able to see it or not, I'm not a big Face Timer, but immediately when they picked up they both said "OH BOY YOU GOT A BEAR!" That was great comedy gold.

Sunday night after that, I was happy to return to my couch. I enjoyed watching my Patriots play the Giants in their final preseason game. I cooked my frozen Cape Cod Cafe pizza, straight outta Brockton, Massachusetts and it was delicious of course.

Overall we had a terrific weekend. I hope you had a great weekend too. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Time to start planning next weekend, and it will start with Tee It Up For The Troops!

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