Archive for the Vacations Category

Here’s a Tip…

Posted in Friends and Family, Good Times, Hiking and Camping, Vacations on October 7, 2012 by Verge

When you are in the desert, take pictures, because you might die later…

Sam’s Visit and Mullica Hill Backpacking

Posted in Friends and Family, Good Times, Hiking and Camping, Vacations with tags , , on April 24, 2012 by Verge

Sam came into town to spend some time with friends for her birthday.

she brought us presents as well!

Monika got cat decals for the walls to go with the robots we already had.

I got a mixed sixer of all Ohio craft beers.  We enjoyed them throughout the week with each other.

To kick off the week of festivities, we decided to go on the backpacking trip through Wharton State Forrest I’ve been trying to make for a few years now.  It starts at Atsion Lake, and ends in Batsto.  After posting the excursion on Facebook, it was down to only four of us:  Monika, Sam, Jimmy and I.

After dropping the one car off at Batsto, paying our fees, and being firmly reminded several times there was no camp fires and no alcohol in the park, we headed to Atsion. We set off with nearly two liters of Maker's Mark and enough matches to burn down the whole forest!

This is a walking shot of the Mullica River. Now, it's used for kayaking and that's about it, but back in the day, if was a very important waterway for trade. It was used by many local mills and glass factories, and served to connect Atsion to Batsto.

Finding good walking sticks was a pretty high priority. The trail was blazed kind of poorly, and at one point we were lost for a few miles. Not too big of a deal, though. I had my phone and a decent GPS signal, so we found the site no problem.

The first leg to the campsite was 6 miles.  Once we got there, it was down to tent building and what not, so I don’t really have any pictures.  We were the only ones staying for the night, which is just the way I like it.  The site had a few  out houses, or privy pits, that were surprisingly clean, but none of us needed to use them anyway.  It also had well water, and I filled my base station with fresh drinking water for all of us for the night.

I had bought Sam a brand new backpack and sleeping bag for her birthday, so once all that stuff was set up, I worked on getting a tarp set up over our tents.  It had stalled raining until just after I was finished setting everything up.  And, thank god I did, and did well.

Oddly enough, even though there was not supposed to be any camp fires, next to the obviously well used central camp site fire pit was a stack of freshly chopped wood for us to burn.  It was definitely left for campers because there’s no way to get that wood back to the site, and there was literally no wood around the sites to break up or hatchet up.  It had all been used up over the years, so it must have been driven in.  As we sat by the fire, sipping whiskey, it began to rain.  We had our emergency ponchos, and we were able to hold out past midnight.

Overnight, the rain and wind picked up considerably, and ended up raining out Jimmy’s tent, he had it a little rough.  Ours faired better.  It was fine, didn’t leak, and we all made it through the night unfazed.  Next morning we had some breakfast over a small fire.  it had dried up fairly well, so our packs were’t too weighed down with water.  We set off pretty early for Batsto Village.

another 6 miles, some with Sam in bare feet, wading across a shallow Mullica river when we discovered the bridge washed out.

It was a great success.  The easy, flat-ground hiking was evened out with the difficult night.  It was well worth the 3 dollars a piece it costs us.

The rest of the week, Sam bounced around to see friends and her family. One night, we got custom mustaches at Jack's Twin Bar.

it was dark, and late, and I didn't stay for very long because I had to work in the morning, but I'm told they had a great time.

It was the last chance to see Sam before she went home to Ohio, so there were a ton friends that Monika and I hadn't seen in a while.

The day before Easter Sunday, we had a huge breakfast outside on my patio in the sunshine. It was a beautiful day. In fact, so beautiful that Sam couldn't get herself on the road, and she stayed another night.

Always good times...

Sam’s Visit

Posted in Daily Pictures, Friends and Family, Good Times, Vacations with tags , , on August 23, 2011 by Verge

I met Sam back in 2005 or so when I was the manager of Sam Ash and one of my employees, Tom, suggested I give her a job.  She was working at Tower Music with him at the time, and was only 19 years old.  I didn’t know when she walked in for her interview that she would become one of my best friends, that I would care about her so much, that she would become such an important part of Monika’s and my life.

She and her boyfriend drove in from Ohio for a weekend of, well…

They arrived Thursday evening and the first order of business was a stop at Eulogy.

but we soon headed to Triumph across the street for some home made beers

this appears to be a flight of beers, but you'd be foolish to not assume it's actually a round of whiskey shots.

the girls express their fondness

this is Donovan who works with me at Films, and John, the friend that tagged along from Ohio, hanging out on Chestnut Street close to 2 am.

Monika hanging outside with Hurtuk

Sam and Donovan, laughing. Alcohol does that sometimes

Friday morning an immediate trip to LBI was in order. Neither Monika nor I had to work that day, so we headed off early after Cory and Erica arrived.

we went swimming, even though there was a ton of jellyfish, and the storm clouds were rolling in. Got in a decent Frisbee toss as well. The girls did some beach yoga as well.

and then we finally found Lorie, and headed to a local pub for some dinner over a live band.

the six of us had a great afternoon. I hadn't been to LBI in years.

then, that night, we headed to Yakitori Boy for some good old fashioned karaoke! This is the traditional elevevator snapshot.

Sam and Monika sing a along with some Queen

the next morning we met up with Steve and headed to Gloucester City to visit with Sam's family.

Sam made a ton of gifts for everyone. I played football in the front yard until I was covered in sweat.

Saturday night we stopped by my brother's birthday party, but we couldn't stay long because I had a show at the Indian Chief, both of which produced any memorable photos. And then, as crazy as the weekend was, Sunday morning Sam headed off to the speedline to return to Ohio

it's always sad to see her go, and I'll have photos from our Ohio trip hopefully sooner rather than later.

gone...for now

Sam brought us a bunch of hand made gifts and left us with a bunch of memories.  We hope to make more of both with her and Steve for many years to come.

Last Night of Cape May…Britney Spears

Posted in Daily Pictures, Vacations with tags , , on August 14, 2011 by Verge

Yep, that’s right, you read that correctly.  We headed to Atlantic City to see Britney on our last night of vacation (Britney Spears Atlantic City 8-6-2011).  Now, you might think that it is completely normal for Monika to want to see Britney because, well, that’s the music she grew up on…and it is.  You also might think that my taste in music is questionable for also wanting to see Britney as much as Monika, and I guess that’s kind of valid.  But honestly, I love all kinds of music…yes, even country sometimes.  Britney is a pop superstar.  She is one of, if not the best pop star of my generation.  I’ve never seen her before, and it was a perfect opportunity to close our vacation with a concert in AC.

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The concert was wonderful, even though she lip syncs a ton of it.  And even Lady Gaga was there to hang out with all of us.  Our tickets were cheap by today’s standards (62 a piece, compared to the 110 a piece for the Taylor Swift show in Philly the same night), the venue was awesome (Boardwalk Hall, which I had never been to), and we got to see Britney perform 20 or so of our favorite pop songs of the last decade (some of which you can check out here, albeit poor quality).  Well worth the money.

We had car trouble leaving the parking garage at 11 at night, and by the time we got home to Cape May, everyone was asleep.  But one last story.  When we got home, Kreg and Kat were asleep on the couches, not in their bed.  Kreg stirred and got up, clearly confused as to where he was.  As Monika and I began to make ourselves a nightcap, he wandered outside.  I chased after him, knowing that he had no idea he was outside.  I found him trying to get into the pool area, unsuccessfully because he was sleep walking.  He informed me that he was going to the bathroom, which was not in that direction whatsoever.  I laughed my ass off as he fumbled with the gate lock!

Eventually, after I had my hilarious question and answer session with Kreg, I led him back inside to the actual bathroom.  That’s what friends are for right?  Monika and I had a martini and talked about the Britney show for an hour or so while everyone else slept their last night in Cape May.  What a week, and this blog only skimmed the surface.  And we’ll do it again…stay tuned.

Cape May Continued…Cape May Winery

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times, Vacations with tags , , on August 10, 2011 by Verge

Kreg and Kat came to spend a night or two at the house, to play some pool, swim in the pool, and have some fun…

hmmm...what can we do that might be fun, and involve alcohol?

let's visit a Winery!!!

got us some drinks...for free!

all right, there's not much to say about this photo

this is much more adorable

at Cape May, we were allowed to hang out in the vineyards, and explore the winery

flowers among the grapes

there was a band on the back deck who was quite entertaining

and we hung out there, among the grapevines, in the wind among bamboo from the Atlantic, sipping local spirits...

...among friends

Cape May Continued…Cape May Lighthouse

Posted in Daily Pictures, Vacations with tags , , on August 9, 2011 by Verge

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Cape May Continued…Turdo Vineyards

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times, Vacations with tags , , , on August 8, 2011 by Verge

After visiting the Cape May Lighthouse, we found one of the two local wineries in Cape May, Turdo Vineyards.

Much like Valenzano, the tasting room is around the back of the owners beatiful home.

the tasting room, which came with a rather attractive wine server and a delicious assortment of red wines, and an amazing dessert white.

looking into the vineyards and a sunny, beatiful day...

and looking down the driveway. the tasting room also sold wine by the glass, and had this very quant European-like outdoor cafe.

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