Weekend Review #1 — Samantha’s Week

Sam was in town for the weekend.  She arrived Friday evening; That’s when the debauchery began.

Friday evening I wasn’t sure if and when Sam would show up.  We played it low key and hung out  at Plunge, a swanky little joint located two doors down and run by my best friend.  Shorty later, Lorie and Sam showed up with Clint, and libations were plentiful.  All three ended up spending the night and Clint was gone when I woke up.


As promised, I phoned my friend Mike in the morning and planned to meet up with him at Atsion for an excursion in the Pine Barrens.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to show up with his daughter or not.  We planned to meet in at noon, and we met at the old Mansion there, among other hikers.  We set off on the abandoned rail line that once ran from Atco to Atsion, along what is now Raritan Ave in Atco, and a simple dirt road called Railroad Ave in the middle of the woods nearest Atsion.

Mike showed up with John, one of his good friends, but also, one of our work peers.  He is also a seasoned outdoorsman and knows the area well.  The six of us found the trailhead easily.  I was looking specifically for some concrete evidence that this was the path of the old rail line.  Mike and I had also loaded around 25 goecache locations into his GPS the day before over lunch.

The planned path was ambitious — around 8 miles.  If you know the area, the hike was this:  Atsion on Railroad/Raritan Ave. to the first intersection, which is Railroad Ave and Sandy Causeway, then left onto Sandy Causeway until meeting the abandoned rail lines which run nearly parallel with Fleming Pike back towards Atsion.

We had a beautiful day for a hike.   We tracked down a handful of goecaches.  Best of all, the hike was not carefree.  We had to navigate huge puddles, thorns and thickets and a seriouss lack of bourbon after the first half.

Here are some Geocache finds….

and another one…

crossing the washed away bridge…


Sam’s friend is about to move to Germany and she was having a sort of going away party at some of her favorite spots in Center City.  We met with her and some of our friends after taking the Speedline.

First stop was the Rum Bar.  I had only been here once before for Dave’s bachelor party.  It was pretty crowded but the music was good and we got to the drinkin’ pretty quick.  The bartender was kind of a freak and I think it may have been his first time at a real bar or something.

Perhaps it was my tips, or his inexperience, or my sharp suit, but he was making ’em strong and I got pretty tore up there. So much so that the bouncer at the bar next door nearly didn’t let me in the place.

I wasn’t surprised that our friend Don and his crew were in the city, but I was definitely drunkenly confused when they showed up at the bar unexpectedly.  But, the bar had gotten crowded and it wasn’t our scene so much.  We poured into the busy streets and hailed a cab to Ulana’s near South Street, a bar I know well and like well enough.

I can’t possibly say that I was completely sober when I took a spill in the club and banged up my arm, thumb and face, but I was soberish.  Monika had cut me off back at Rum Bar, so I was certainly in better shape than earlier.  No matter, though, I was fine and the scrape on my cheek  was gone within days.

We spent some time at Ulana’s until everyone was drunk, tired, or broke.  We found our way back to the train.  It was after 2 and the train was packed.  We didn’t even get to sit down the entire ride from 8th and Market to Lindenwold.

Sam got in an argument with two losers somewhere in Jersey and had a bit of a shouting match with them.  Sam was obviously drunk and they were obviously one of only a few people on the train who weren’t at least buzzing.  She kicked one of them as they slipped through the doors and I tried to hold her back.

This is me the next morning.  That’s a breathalzyer in my hand.  I didn’t feel right.

Monika and I had to work all week, and Sam had plenty of things she wanted to do and plenty of people she wanted to see, so we mostly didn’t see her during the week.  But on Thursday night, we all went to Manny Brown’s for


That’s my cover band.  Anyone who hadn’t gotten a chance to visit Sam while she was in town had their last opportunity Thursday night.  A lot of people showed up and most of the people in the bar were there to see her.  Some friends who had never seen me play before finally got to check out the band.  This includes some people who had never seen me play a bass even though I was their manager for years at Sam Ash.

It was also the farewell show for Faith, a girl I only knew from our shows.  She was there almost every week and was always a sweetheart.  Her husband was serving in Iraq when I met her, and is coming home to be stationed in Washington State.  Faith and Sam both got leid and received their Hawaiian names.  I hope to see her and her husband walk into one of our shows one day when they’re back visiting old friends.


Our last adventure of the week was a day trip to New Hope, PA.  Out of the four of us, I ws the only one who had been there before, and I’ve been there a lot.  I got to play tour guide for the day, which I enjoy.  Let’s face it, I like being the one in charge.  I also like leisurely roaming around with three beautiful women.

three blind mice

We wandered around pretty aimlessly for a while, checked into the kitch antique store and spent a good deal of time there.  I was looking for a good fedora, and the girls tried on numerous things.  We crossed Bridge Street into Lambertville, NJ where the annual Shad Festival was taking place.  Since it’s pretty family oriented, we bailed rather quickly and headed back to New hope for Lunch.

We headed towards Sprig and Vine, a new vegan restaurant that was very recently opened.  The head chef was a former chef at Horizon’s, one of Philly’s finest vegetarian spots.  It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, and we dined on the patio in a peaceful, outdoor setting.  We all ordered something different, and were all satisfied.  Admittedly, their menu was small, but in comparison to regular restaurants, I could eat everything, and so the menu was hugely awesome!

Since Sprig and Vine was a BYOB, and we didn’t bring any with us, immediately following lunch, we headed to Triumph Brewing Company.  A mere 200 ft away, it is  a craft brew pub that has live music, the freshest craft brew on tap, and a great, glass-walled atmosphere.  Here, we had many libations…

Okay, so craft brews are kinda’ my thing, so I (not so) reluctantly agreed to visit my favorite restaurant in New Hope, Wildflowers.  Right on the water in the center of downtown, this place is everything awesome about this town:  great people watching, super nice staff, very quaint, on the water, full service bar, and most of all, amazing home made sangria.  We ordered a nice liter carafe of half white-half red sangria, and I let myself get talked into one of their signature Margaritas.

We wound down here over light conversation and reflections of the week behind us.  Eventually we made it home.  The next night, we drove Sam to the airport so she could finally get back to the one she loves.  But, like an emotional see-saw, I know that she must have immediately missed us as much as we miss her.  On her final night here, she said something to Monika and me that assured us that for the rest of our lives, we’ll all remain together.



3 Responses to “Weekend Review #1 — Samantha’s Week”

  1. Awesome write up Ryan! I’m glad to have her home but I know she always has a amazing times with you guys, her best friends.

  2. […] Brewery has three locations.  Monika and I have visited the one in New Hope (you can read about that day trip over here).  If you don’t get the difference between a brewpub and a brewery, I’ll explain.  […]

  3. wow you are all so beautiful!

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