Steve Allan

Steve Allan

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Epic Weekend In Pictures: Great Time With My Parents Visiting Me

I was able to enjoy a wonderful holiday President's Day Weekend with my parents. We've been having this tradition of me often enjoying them visiting me here in Jersey during President's Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends. I always knew that February vacation week was such a fun, big deal for many while growing up in Massachusetts. What I didn't realize before moving here to Jersey 10 years ago, was how it's one of the biggest skiing and snowboarding weekends all year long. One of my very favorite things about living where I do is getting to watch skiers and snowboarders from my deck. There's so much fun energy across Granite Peak at mountain Creek. Now that I started learning how to ski last month, hopefully next year I can keep building and end up skiing on the same slope I've been living on and watching these past 10 years. My parents joked years ago when I first talked them into visiting me here in Jersey for this fun weekend that "the boy was creating fake holidays to get them visiting him in New Jersey." LOL. My parents also known as Madre + Padre, Mike + Karen, and also known as The Clowns, think they're quite hilarious sometimes. LOL.

I always put so much unnecessary pressure on myself to deliver a great weekend for my family when they visit. I'm so beyond blessed to have my parents, they've been my best friends since day one. I'm beyond lucky to have so many amazing friends, both from my native state Massachusetts and here in Jersey. My parents and sister are my best friends. I know some of my friends like to bust on me for having so many besties and bros, but it's never lost on me how lucky I am to have everyone whether they're in New England, Jersey, Florida, Georgia, and beyond. The preparation for my parents visiting me started last weekend. That's when I really did a solid deep dive clean of my condo. I always feel weird calling it my condo when it's a place I rent. All good. I had a pretty successful cleaning couple of hours last weekend. That definitely made Saturday morning less painful. I will admit to loving that scent and feeling of a freshly cleaned home. Especially with less clutter, that makes a huge difference.

Friday night I was able to have a fun night with some besties (there we go with that word I use so much again,) at Kite's in Vernon. It was a fun night with some besties that I planned to see, Tory, Kyle, Lauren & Steve, then some ones I wasn't expecting to see, Jasen, Brendan, Carrie and Ty. We had fun. It was a fun way to unwind before my upcoming action packed weekend with entertaining my parents.

Saturday morning wasn't anything too crazy. I was able to do minor normal errands like dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, then doing minor touch up cleaning and organizing my place. I definitely didn't need to deep dive clean, that's for sure. That was a minor victory. My parents arrived on Campus in Jersey at 1:30. They left at 9:30, so 4 hours without traffic is as good as one can expect with the Mansfield, MA to Vernon, NJ drive.

Even though we got 2 inches of snow in Vernon Saturday morning, fortunately my parents only had to drive through minor flurries on their way down to see me. I usually call them at least once during their drive to check in on them and see how their progress is going. Madre said "we're driving through a freakin Blizzid (meaning blizzard without a Boston accent,) just to see you! You better appreciate this!" (she was just busting on me.)

When they arrived, I had a minor store bought charcuterie set up for them. (That reminds me should probably be throwing that out soon since we opened it Saturday afternoon.) We enjoyed watching skiers and snowboarders for a little while as my parents were able to stretch out their legs after the long drive. I tried very hard to not over plan and over structure their weekend. I was definitely guilty of that my first few years, and my poor parents were exhausted by later in the weekend. I always wanted to take them out for nice, fun adventures like Buttermilk Falls, High Point Monument, and more. After all that driving on top of all that driving they did just to get here before going back two days later, it was just too much.

Saturday afternoon I took them to Industry Kitchen And Bar in Sparta for their first time. They LOVED it. I knew they would, as there's no other place like it, and of course I have several friends there and at Mohawk House. I had to take Madre out for a glass of wine and Padre for his first ever Smoke & Embers. When I explained it to him, the process of them basically setting bourbon on fire, he was intrigued. He might have been a little reluctant at first until I forced the issue a smidge, (I ordered it for us,) Padre was more than happy to take a picture of the drink on his phone. For my Dad to take a picture of something at a restaurant on his phone, that is a BIG deal. We were then able to have a great late lunch early dinner at The Irish Cottage Inn in Franklin. I was able to take them to a place that would become one of their new favorites to one of their always favorites The Cottage.

Saturday night we were able to see so many besties at Kite's. It was a great time getting to see besties Jasen, Spooner, Kate, Bryon, Brendan, Carrie, and Steve, Tory, Kyle and Lauren. We definitely had a great time and I was psyched my amazing friends came out to see my parents when it was freezing outside. It was great they were all able to catch up with each other, and yes bust on me at times. Haha all good. I'll take my family and friends together laughing, having a great time busting on me anytime!

Sunday morning my parents were tired. They had a long drive, then a long albeit fun day. I was able to get them breakfast sandwiches, made them coffee on my Keurig and help them slowly but surely get up to speed. We had fun going to Pine Island Tap House which my parents really enjoyed both last and this year. I then took them to downstairs at The Glenwood (formerly Smokey's Tavern,) and they loved both the ambiance and our fun company of Bestie Marky. Marky is just one of those sweet, down to earth, and hilarious friends.

We then were able to venture over to work bestie Shawn's place in Vernon for her niece Ruby's 21st birthday. Ruby is honestly like another niece to me too. We enjoyed seeing them for a brief cameo, because we still had more plans ahead. I took my parents across Vernon, back to Campus seeing both bestie Jasen, and his new kitten Cheeto! I was able to meet Cheeto last weekend, and my parents were able to meet him this weekend. I had to take a picture of Cheeto to send to my sister Zannie because if not, then it clearly didn't happen, right?

Mondays are always tough for me. Whenever I have to leave my parents or they have to leave me tears happen every single time. I think in my 10 years there was one time where I didn't have a teary goodbye, because scheduling lined up where I was going to be able to see them in Boston the very next weekend. It's so much easier saying we'll see each other the next week as opposed to next month or later. I'm happy that we'll be each other March 16th weekend when I go back to Mansfield for my family's annual Saint Patrick's Day Party!

We had a wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Time to start planning next weekend...I need a nap! (Well worth it though.) :)

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