I definitely took this photo illegally.
Where do I begin with the incredibly awesome weekend I just had?
I guess we'll start with Friday.
I was honestly worried that on Friday, the weekend was going to be a bust as I'd been feeling under the weather. Considering I'd been planning this weekend for MONTHS, I was desperately pleading that whatever bug I had would martyr itself via white blood cell for my benefit.
Luckily, that seems to have been the case. After leaving work a half hour early, I spent about 30 minutes steaming myself in the shower. I laid down for 20 more and by the time I got up to pack, I felt a thousand times better. Yay!
I had been debating back and forth about taking Vincent along for the trip. I ended up deciding against it as this was a very rare opportunity for John and I to "recouple" ourselves with the only other married couple we used to spend time with when they lived in our area - Joe and Aubrey.
So we figured it'd be the best move to make this a "couples" weekend. Turns out that was the best decision EVER. :)
Since they now live up in Northern NY, we waited until after 8pm to start the drive. We wanted to bypass as much traffic as possible since we'd be on the road for five hours. In all honesty, the trip went by incredibly fast. We got to talk about all sorts of ridiculous things - most interesting, however, was his decision to talk about God.
Did you hear that, people?
My HUSBAND brought up God.
I have no idea how it happened. I don't really care. The point is, he brought up God and allowed me to lead him on an hour and a half's worth of discussion revolving around random prophecies and actual Church teaching on things like Divine Providence and the gift of Faith.
Sure he heckled me a little bit, but for the most part, he let me run my mouth and asked thoughtful questions that showed he was at least attempting to understand my point of view. I really appreciated that!
I'll be discussing more of that conversation later because the entire end result of it deserves a blog entry itself.
About an hour later, John conked out in his seat for the rest of the trip to their house. We got there around 12:30am, but they were both up and waiting for us!
I got a quick tour of their new house (John had already been up before) and after a brief catch-up conversation in the hallway, we all headed to bed.
The next morning I awoke to John discussing with Aubrey our theological conversation from the car.
WHAT?! He brought it up AGAIN and I wasn't even on the same floor???
I practically leapt out of bed to go running down the stairs to find out what they were talking about.
This time the question was on that scroll some folks are claiming proves Jesus married Mary Magdalene. After a very brief explanation of where us Catholics stand on the issue, Aubrey served up an incredibly delicious breakfast of baked oatmeal, cider donuts, bacon and coffee. YUM!
After breakfast, we settled onto the couch to watch Labyrinth. Why? We're not entirely sure, but it was on, and we were in the mood to poke fun at our childhood nostalgia. That movie is insane, so it was ripe for the ridiculous commentary.
From there, we decided to visit some area staples that Aubrey's been wanting to visit since moving to town. We found what will henceforth be called the "Goat Store" that had blueberry perogies (wha?!), jerky of every sort (alligator, kangaroo, duck) and the most delicious potato chips I've ever tried (Deep River Sweet Maui Onion).
We tried to go to a place called Peanut Principle (which John would've died happily at, I'm sure, considering how much the boy loves peanut butter), but it was unfortunately closed. We did, however, find a great place called Saratoga Sweets. Apparently they're really well known in that area for something called peppermint pigs. Considering how much the owners are obsessed with all things pig-related, that makes sense. Their shop is adorable and full of candy and pig ornamentation. Outside they've even got a little piglet they recently adopted (his name is Willie). Aubrey even got the chance to feed the little guy some cheerios!
Most entertaining part of the trip for me, however, was the excursion we took to Cohoes Falls.
That's right... Joe and Aubrey have a flippin' WATERFALL that exists in their backyard. How cool is that?!
We really enjoyed following the trail and seeing the falls from different heights and angles. Aubrey even spotted a blue heron! Mostly, however, we just had a great time making each other laugh and giving ourselves a workout tackling the steep hills of the trail.
Later on that night (after a glorious nap) we went out to a bar in Albany to celebrate Aubrey's birthday. John and I got to meet some of their new friends and we had a great time! John was thoroughly happy with the amount of craft beers that place offered. I was entertained by the variety of glasses they had with which to serve the beer (I'm not a drinker, so I tend to pay attention to the details more than the beers).
At the end of the dinner, we celebrated with a surprise cake for Aubrey. Joe had asked their favorite bakery to recreate Jonah, Aubrey's kitty, in cake form. The end result was a tearful Aubrey and a fully-satisfied set of adults who devoured half of cake-Jonah's face.
Upon completion of the bar-celebrations, a few of us went bowling as the capstone for the night. We were all relatively terrible (though John, as usual, smoked everyone considering that he's a decent bowler), but we were laughing non-stop. By the time we got to bed, we were exhausted - but happily so.
The next morning we woke up to get ready for breakfast with Joe's parents. They live in a housing development that has a view of Vermont. We were only about an hour away from the Canadian border, I think!
Anyway, breakfast was delicious. It was a great way to relax and savor the festivities of the previous day. When it was time to leave, I didn't want to let Aubrey out of the hug because I knew it'd be a while before we got to physically see each other again. I love those two, and I know John feels the same way.
Considering the four of us married relatively young (early 20s), we were the only ones out of our group of friends to hang out as married couples. Even still, John and I now have two married couples to add to the mix (one recently added two weeks ago). So having another couple who knows the ins-and-outs of the marriage game and being as wonderful as they are... it's great. We appreciate our friendship with them so much, so it's always sucky when it comes time to leave.
But leave them we did and we made our way south for the 5 hour trip home. We made the trip back a little sweeter with the promise of John's favorite sandwich joint. At Rutgers University, there are a series of grease trucks that promote something called "Fat Sandwiches."
These things earned their name for good reason. They're full of every heart-attack inducing food you can think of, and the combinations are endless. John's been trying to get me up there to try one forever, and now that we were driving through, we had a good reason to go!
I ended up getting something called a "Fat Mom." It was made of cheesesteak, egg, french fries, lettuce, tomatoe, and a variety of condiments. I admit... it was DELICIOUS. John got something called a "Fat Nini" which was steak, cheese, fries, mozzerella sticks and chicken fingers.
I don't know how we rolled ourselves to the car to get home, but we did. :) All in all, it was DEFINITELY a worthwhile trip!
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