Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rows & Rows of Pumpkins

In the (almost) 6 years that Sal and I have been going out, we've done our fair share of fall activities, but each year we always find a way to change it up, whether it's by going to a different location or trying new things. Sure we've gone pumpkin picking before, but every year we go to a different farm. I don't think we've ever been to the same place twice. We decided to check out Alstede Farms this year, a place that Sal's former place of employment took their employees to last year. His friends suggested it to him, and I was certainly up for the ride.

I may have skipped as we walked past the bales of hay stacked up high, with the cloudless sky above us. I felt young and refreshed as I took a deep breath of the crisp fall air. We decided right then and there that we would make this day ours, and we purchased our tickets that included not only a pick-your-own pumpkin, but also a hay ride and a chance to find our way through the corn mazes. 

We ended up with the wrong map, however, and couldn't start until Sal ran and grabbed the right map. If we didn't have a map, we might've gotten lost... okay, we probably would have gotten lost, because even with a map we couldn't even find our way to every number. How we got from number 2 to number 6 is beyond me. We came upon a bridge, and the view was beautiful; corn stalks for what seemed like miles. Luckily, we found our way out, and then decided to try to find our way through the smaller corn maze, meant for children. We definitely made it out in 5 minutes, and I laughed the whole way through. After some pictures in the corn stalks, we found our way to the animals. Sal fell in love with the cows, and made sure he fed them quarters, upon quarters worth of animal feed. I, fell in love with the bunnies, why bunnies were on a farm, I'm not quite sure, but they were way too cute to be ignored, especially the one trying to make a great escape underneath the fence. 

We then hopped on the hay ride and headed to the field with rows & rows of pumpkins. Sal wanted an oblong pumpkin, which was definitely a first. We kept reminiscing about all of the pumpkins we've carved, and how for the most part, Sal's pumpkins looked as if they were carved by a 5 year old. My pumpkins, on the other hand, were all beautiful, because let's face it, I'm a perfectionist. Sal picked his pumpkin quickly, while I kept searching for mine. It took a while, but I ultimately picked the first one I set my eyes on, which thankfully I was able to find again. 

We piled back on to the tractor, along with many, many people, and as we rode back and bounced over bumps, I could not get off quick enough. Pictures were taken on the bales of hay, and then we saw that the wine tasting shack, with wine from Tomasello Winery, was open - which, let's face it, could not be more perfect for Sal and I, as we have an obsession with wines, and tastings. The wine was absolutely incredible, and was probably one of my favorite tastings that I've been to, and I could not get enough of the wine. 

With our souvenir wine glasses, we headed to an early dinner, grabbing slices of delicious pizza before we headed home with our pumpkins in tow. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bonding with My Momma

I'll be the first to admit that my relationship with my mom is far from perfect. She says I used to be such a sweet child, now she often asks herself what happened. I used to think it was a joke, but she might've been serious. We were always fighting, and now I realize it's because we're probably more alike than I choose to realize. Lately though, I've been trying to put life more into perspective. I'm honestly jealous of other daughters who have such incredible relationships with their mothers. I want to have that type of relationship where we can just go grab dinner one night, go shopping and get our nails done, or just go to the gym together. I don't want to come home from work every night and get or give the cold shoulder to my mom because we fought that morning. After my mom lost her mom, it hit me that my mom won't be around forever, and I should take advantage of the time I have with her, while I can, especially since I'm still living at home. She's always been there for me emotionally, as well as physically, supporting me in every decision I've made, providing me with anything I've asked for, and while I've always appreciated it, I might've not always shown it.

So I've been proactively changing my attitude towards her, and it's done wonders. I can now say we're in a great place in our relationship. Just last week, I suggested we go to the mall and then grab dinner, and guess what? That's exactly what we did. We went shopping, buying a few items for ourselves, and then we went to California Pizza Kitchen. We sipped on some wine as we caught up on every day life. We didn't fight (or worry about the calories), rather we enjoyed each other's company.

So when the opportunity arose again this week, we went again! This time the shopping was all about her, and we were able to score some great deals (anyone love free things as much as I do!?). We then headed to my favorite coffee shop, and ate incredible salads and drank iced teas. We don't have to do anything extravagant, just getting out of the house, and sharing these nights together, is something I'll remember for years to come. I'll look back on these nights and smile, knowing that we both made an effort to be there, in the moment, with each other. Our relationship might not be perfect, actually it's still far from it, but we're in a good place and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New York Hiking

Sal meets quite a few people when he's shopping for fish... to be honest, he meets people everywhere he goes, but that's not the point. When he was buying fish for his tank he started talking to a man that worked there. They somehow landed on the topic of hiking and nearby trails, and that's when the man mentioned of a trail in NY, which ended up being closer than I thought! Sal told me to dress appropriately - for some odd reason, I have a rather tough time picking out clothes to wear according to the weatherl of course it may look hot outside, but I'm never sure if there's wind, or if it's going to get cloudy later, so I always dress like it's winter, despite the sun beaming down on us. This time, I dressed perfect - for the weather and the hiking. Sal packed a cooler with water bottles, and I brought a few healthy snacks: apples, almonds, and bars.

It took no time at all to get to the first lake, but then I realized there were seven lakes. Did we stop at the first stop? Of course not, because we are two people that love to go wherever the wind blows. Seriously, we just kept driving until we found a spot that looked almost surreal, had it not been for the people that were making their own way into the lake whether it was by kayak or foot. Once we were in the woods though, away from everyone... it was just us and nature, and it was as if we were breathing for the first time. The air was crisp and fresh. I felt like the world had melted away from me, and I could take deep, long breaths without smelling anything other than the fresh water, and the rich oxygen that the trees were giving off. While there were trail markers, we wandered off by the lake. As long as we followed the lake we would not get lost, according to Sal.

When we saw the perfect rock, right by the water's edge, we climbed it, and sat admiring the water and just talking. Isn't it great, just to ponder life and all it's wonders. I'm not sure how long we were on that rock, but long enough to figure out you could scream and make silly noises and you could hear the echo throughout the trees. Our voices were all around us, and it was quite magical - for a few minutes anyways.

We hopped off the rock, and kept walking, until we felt as if we had found another lake entirely. We reconvened and decided that it was best to start walking back, following the trail. We took a break beforehand, having a quick snack to refuel. I was in my own world, quite literally; I never even heard two older hikers walking towards us, which nearly scared me half to death! Thankfully, it wasn't a bear, because I don't know how much help I would have been to Sal.

When we were back at the car, we decided to keep following the lakes to see what else we could find. Before we knew it, we were overlooking the beautiful Hudson River. Sometimes, these adventures lead to difficulties, and I find myself asking... "Now how are we going to take a picture of us with this incredible view behind us?!" Fortunately for us, two individuals saw us struggling, and asked if they might take our picture. Perfect, right!? Uh, is that Luke Bryan!?

We still weren't ready to let this day end just yet; just a little ways down the road, and we began to see signs for a trailside zoo! Of course, Sal, being the animal lover that he is, couldn't say no to a zoo. I was all about walking more, and seeing some animals, until I saw that it was free to get in. It only got worse when I noticed that most of these animals were outside, with the highway being right next to them. It's not that the animals didn't seem well taken care of, it's just that sometimes seeing these animals in cages upsets me. I understand some would be extinct if we didn't keep them in zoos, but it just leads to me to think, "what kind of life is that?" I sure wouldn't want to be locked up in a cage, pacing and pacing. I did notice that some of the animals were being moved to bigger habitats though, which is a great thing.

I don't think we could have walked anymore, even if we wanted to. We decided to splurge on dinner and headed to Steak & Shake (if you've never tried their steak burgers or shakes, you're missing out)! Spending the day outside could not have been more perfect, and inexpensive too! Aside from dinner, we didn't open our wallets once! What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's Fall, Let's Go Apple Picking!

Brisk weather, changing leaves, smells of bonfire. 

That's what comes to mind when I think of fall. There are so many wonderful things you can do only in the fall - jump in a pile of leaves, go apple picking, get lost in a corn maze, and carve a pumpkin, just to name a few.  While there aren't enough leaves on my front lawn, Sal and I were still able to schedule a day to go apple picking together. He researched the previous night for apple picking locations, and even found one that had a wine tasting shack as well. Unfortunately, shortly after we arrived, we noticed that the wine tastings only occurred on the weekends. We still grabbed bags to put our apples in when we picked them off the trees, and headed to the orchards. We began to notice how limited our choices in apples were though, as we searched the rows and rows of trees. We were only able to pick two types of apples, both of which weren't our favorites. One was definitely better than the other though, so we picked our apples. Sal and I had fun climbing the trees and hiding in them, despite what he may tell you. We may be getting older, but I swear sometimes I think we're still 17. 

We quickly left soon after, but not before trying one of their apple cider doughnuts. I'm usually not a huge fan of apple cider or doughnut, but my mom raved about this particular type, so I figured I'd give it a try. One bite and I knew I was not a fan, so out the window it went! Hey, I'm sure some animal was happy to eat it. 

We left after quickly finding a winery nearby, because we refused to leave the area without tasting some wine like we had intended to that morning. I found the Warwick winery was close enough to where we were, and as we rolled down the window, I began to breath easier, taking in the fall views, and the cool air. Something about being away from all the commotion of every day life, enables me to relax and unwind. I don't have to be on a luxurious vacation or a sandy beach, just give me wide open spaces and the country side. 

When we walked into the Warwick winery, I was not pleased... there were boxes every where, and it did not have a great appeal on the inside, which surprised me because the outside had such a great feel to it. There were picnic tables and an area where they held tastings outside and I loved the look of it. We still wanted to try the wine anyways, so we ordered two wine tastings and picked our wine. The lady behind the bar wasn't talkative, and didn't really tell us too much about the wine, which I'm always interested in hearing about - whether it's what the wine has hints of or what to pair it with when served. Then when the wine made it's way to our lips, we were extremely disappointed, but we finished our wine tasting anyways, and proceeded to head to lunch. Usually there is at least one wine that catches my attention, and makes me buy a bottle, but there were none, for either of us. 

We began to look for a restaurant on the many lakes we drove by, and after driving in a complete circle, compliments to Sal, we finally arrived. The restaurant had a beautiful view of the lake, and we were able to eat outside on the deck. The sun was shining, and I was able to bask in all of it's glory.  At that moment, I could not have been more content. When my salad was placed in front of me, I was in awe, it was such a great looking salad, that I just had to take a picture of it, which didn't surprise Sal, because I take a picture of most of my food anyways. Maybe that's why my computer crashed.. food picture overload anyone?? 

Despite enjoying the view and food for as long as we could, I was upset that I had to get back into the car and drive home. I always wish gorgeous, memorable days like that could last forever. I don't think anyone would mind really.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Some days Sal surprises me... Okay most days Sal surprises me... Whether it's the sweet words he says or little gifts that just shows me he cares and he's thinking about me every minute of the day.

Before Sal I was never treated this way. In my previous relationship, I never received flowers, just because ... Or for any other reason. Sweet words were far and few in between. This is how I know that what we have is real and the love we have for each other is powerful. 

There is nothing that could break this, not even when I kill the flowers he surprises me with! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Turtleback Zoo

It was gorgeous out, and Sal and I refused to spend the day inside, even though our original plans had been to spend all day in bed watching movies. It was just way too nice out to stay in all day. We wanted to soak up as much sun as we could, especially on my days off, because I don't see the sunlight during my workday, except from a window. Sal suggested we go to the driving range, but even I knew that would only last as long as the bucket of golf balls. It at least gave us a place to be outside and talk about where we could go and what we could do for the rest of the day.

So we swung and hit a few golf balls, but before long Sal had a great idea and suggested we head to The Turtleback Zoo. Now mind I hadn't been to this zoo in YEARS, probably since I was in elementary school on a class trip! I was hesitant because I didn't know how far away it was; however, my reluctance didn't last long! Before I knew it, we were on our way, parking, and walking into the zoo! Anyone looking for an inexpensive date? GO TO THE ZOO, especially a local one!

It was completely transformed, but I guess that's what donations and over ten years does to a place! Immediately, I saw a sign for the penguins, and like a little child, I ran to see them. There were a few, but most of them were hiding from the sun. I swear, if I could have a pet penguin I would. We walked around the zoo, stopping at each animals home, and admiring the way they sat there, the way they interacted with one another, and the way they reacted to our presence. It was incredible to be able to see them, while not exactly in their natural habitat, in a habitat that would help them live longer and healthier, keeping them protected, some of them from extinction. 

Sal and I couldn't get over how new and beautiful everything looked. They even built a new touch tank, and of course, anything that has fish, especially fish you can touch, Sal is all for it. That was when Sal turned into a child, and threw his hands into the tank of stingrays, touching one after another. I'm not sure why, but stingrays still scare me, despite their stingers being taken out. This little girl across the tank showed no fear and almost went as far as jumping in with the stingrays! Thankfully her parents stopped her. The one thing that hasn't changed though, that I can still remember quite well, were the prairie dogs. Yes I know they're most likely not the same ones, but their habitat didn't change at all! We were still able to crawl into tunnels to get a closer look, and while I'm sure I fit a lot better when I was younger, that didn't stop me this time! I made sure to get up close and personal with them! 

When we reached the birds, I have to admit I wasn't excited, nor was I excited when Sal found out we could feed the birds using a stick with bird seed on it, but when I walked through the door, I was in awe. The color surrounding us was beyond incredible, the birds were talking and flying around, and I was speechless. Sal held out the bird seed stick and we watched and waited for a bird to land. When one did, I swear it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Eventually Sal bought another feeding stick, so that we could both feed birds, and I soon let go of the fact that we had paid $2 each to feed birds. I'm still not convinced on having birds in our house when were older though. I'd rather see them in zoos and in trees in my backyard. 

The otter was another awesome animal, swimming with strong strokes in the water, putting on a show just for Sal and I! When the zoo was closing, even though I made sure we had seen every animal, I didn't want to leave! We had such a great time walking around, exercising without even realizing it, and seeing such unique animals, especially those known for living in NJ! I would definitely go back again, as I'm sure Sal would agree! It seems like day trips decided on last minute seem to work out well for us! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Matching On Our Road Trip

Sal & I love to travel, whether it's near or far, we're always looking to go somewhere new and have memorable experiences, which helps us keep having new "firsts" together. We can only go on days I have off of work though, so it's like I'm always going, going, going. Who needs sleep anymore right?!

One week I decided that we should take a day trip to Baltimore, Maryland, so we could visit The National Aquarium, a place I knew Sal had been wanting to visit for quite some time now, since he has an obsession with fish. Not only does he go fishing, but he also has a huge fish tank in his room, filled with fish (okay so they're pretty awesome, but still)! He picked me up early that morning and we headed south. We didn't realize that we actually had on the same exact color orange, which was pretty funny when we took a picture together. 

It was a long drive, but with country music blasting, the time quickly passed. I am the last person to suggest a road trip if I have to drive; thankfully, Sal loves to drive, so I was able to sit back in the passenger seat and relax. When we arrived, we realized that it was hotter out than when we left. The sun rose high in the sky and I began to see that my jeans, shirt, & jacket was not going to last long in the heat. This isn't the first time we've been to Baltimore, so we should've known that on the harbor the sun shines bright, and it is not a good idea to dress in jeans. The last time we were there was when we went to a Mets game vs. the Orioles. Let me just say that I've only ever felt that heat twice before in my life and those two times I had a heat stroke. It was so hot, and we were sweating the entire game. No trees or coverage in sight, where we were sitting. Needless to say we ended up with sunburn. Fortunately, this trip to Baltimore didn't include sunburn. 

We parked and walked into the aquarium on the harbor, after paying for our tickets. Did you know during the school year on a weekday, there aren't many kids at aquariums, but there are many, many elderly individuals. It was funny listening to their questions, okay that was mean, but it was a little funny! 

We wandered around, seeing the new Black Tip Reef, which was beyond incredible - filled with sharks, stingrays, turtles, and so many different species of fish. The set up of the aquarium made it that much better, walking down and around, up and into the rainforest, over the bridge and into the dolphin area. 

Sal's favorite was probably the sharks, and as I watched them swim around the tank, I couldn't believe that we actually swam with sharks in Dominican Republic last year. While they were only nurse sharks that we swam with, I was still in shock! My favorite animal was the puffin! Penguins are my favorite animal, and puffins are very closely related. They were adorable, and we were able to catch the trainers feeding them. They all knew it was dinner time because they waited by the door for the trainer to come out.

 Eventually we made our way to the dolphins, and Sal was extremely excited because he thought there were going to be dolphins shows since the last time he had been there, years ago, there were dolphin shows. Well they stopped the shows and just did small training educational shows. It was nice to see the dolphins, but I'll admit I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see them do more tricks. Dolphins are amazing animals, having swam with them as well, I know first hand. 

We saw everything from jelly fish and an octopus, to starfish and monkeys! Of course, we took a quick break for lunch. Afterwards, we wandered around the harbor, but I was quickly drenched from the heat, and took advantage of the shops nearby. I picked up another outfit after trying on what seemed like twenty. Whoops! We headed to dinner on the harbor at Phillip's Crab Shack, although we weren't too pleased with it. I enjoyed cracking my own crabs - that being a first - but the food wasn't all that great. Having the beautiful views definitely helped though. 

Before we knew it, we were heading back home, talking about our favorite animals and admiring the pictures we were able to snap. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our 2013 Family Reunion

Family reunions have become a thing every year for my family, and I must admit I absolutely love them. I love being able to see and talk to family members that I don't see during the year and catch up. It's a joy to see new family members being added each year, whether it's due to a marriage or the birth of a baby! Every year I seem to forget how big my family is and it still surprises me each time! 

Everyone makes a dish or two and brings it to the reunion. The spread on the table is huge. Appetizers and entrees are served at the same time usually, and an hour or two later dessert is served. The first year I made mini cheesecakes that looked like the American flag, topping them with fruit and powdered sugar.  The next year I made firework cookies, and then I took a break because of time constraints. This year I volunteered again to cool, but I asked Sal if he could do the cooking. We ended up bringing pesto pasta salad, which is our own creation, and is delicious if you ask me, and the tomato salad that Sal made for our picnic in Pennsylvania. Everyone asked who made it, and while I was tempted to say I did, I was honest and told them Sal was the infamous chef. 

We spent the day outside, catching up with everyone and playing with my cousins. Before dessert we took our annual family picture in the front yard. Seeing how big our family actually is was incredible, and it didn't even include everyone!  We split up afterwards to take group pictures by generations. It's funny because my brother and I fall into the third cousin category, and with us were our much younger cousins that were mostly under 5! Of course there were our older cousins too, but most were extremely young. 

Before I knew it we were saying goodbye, with hopes to see each other during the year, but if we don't, we know there's always the reunion to look forward to! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Summer into Fall

As I sit here in the passenger seat of Sal's car headed to a pumpkin patch, I'm reflecting on my first summer as an adult with a full time job. I honestly thought I wouldn't have been able to do half of the things I did, because of time constraints and working 40 hours a week with a 10 hour commute a week, but thankfully I did, plus I had the money to do it!

I was able to complete three 5ks (June, July, and August), running more than I ever have, and also working out quite a bit even without a gym membership. 

I spent days down the shore with my friend, although no matter how many days spent on the beach, it's never enough! We packed our bags full of towels, books, and sunscreen & had a cooler full of cold drinks and fresh fruit. The sand was hotter than I've ever felt before, so we actually went into the ocean multiple times, and anyone who actually saw us must've thought we were hysterical trying to inch our way in, because no matter how hot it is outside, the ocean is always way too cold to go into right away. We also saw someone get arrested, which is always a sight to see. We called it! 

During another beach trip, another friend joined Amanda & I, and it was too funny. All I can say is, the lifeguards know things they shouldn't and I will never go to a Dairy Queen ever again. 

Fireworks and nights out by the bonfire with smores were among my favorite summer nights. 

My brother turned 21, an age that you never think your baby brother will turn! He was extremely stressed out all month leading up to his birthday due to the MCAT test that he had to take, but we ended up going out the weekend of his 21st with friends and family to celebrate. We raised our glasses to him and I couldn't believe that he was actually able to drink legally. Even though I had work the next day, that didn't stop me from celebrating. I remember the days when we were younger and we'd always try and stay up late even after we were sent to bed. We knew we weren't allowed to leave our rooms, but we'd still sneak out and cross the hall to slip notes underneath each others doors. Yes, this was before cell phones. He's my best friend, and I don't know what I'd do without him as my brother. 

Dinners with friends, a country concert, trips for ice cream late at night, and traveling near and far - these are the days I will remember; these are the days that will make me wish it's summer, but I'm excited for pumpkin picking, the leaves changing colors, and the brisk air of fall. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

You Spent How Much?!

Every summer Sal and I usually have a long list of country concerts that we want to see, and in the summers prior to 2013, we have seen many, many country artists... Especially at PNC. This year was different though, because we both had full time jobs... his at night, and mine during the weekend.

We weren't able to go to any of the country concerts, that is until Luke Bryan - I made sure I took off of work that day. My brother and his girlfriend already had their tickets a weeks before, having known someone who was selling them. Usually lawn seats are extremely cheap; they're the seats for the real fans, the fans that want to be there to enjoy the music, the artist, and nothing else... Okay maybe (definitely) some tailgating too. However, this year, due to the debut of Nash FM - the first country radio station in the NYC area in YEARS, and Luke having just won entertainer of the year, tickets, even in the lawn, were astronomical. Sal and I decided to hold off on buying them... Thinking the price would go down... It didn't and Sal ended up spending way more than he should have on lawn tickets. I was more than grateful, after getting a little upset to say the least. He always knows just what I want, even when I don't want to admit it. If I didn't go to that concert with my brother, I would've been more than a little upset. 

Sal bought our tickets as he was out shopping with my brother for our tailgating essentials - beer, burgers, & chips! None of it was healthy, but that was definitely the last thing on my mind. We had our tickets in hand, my truck packed, and we were headed to my friend's house to meet up with everyone before heading to the concert. Once we got there, we had a minor mishap getting separated from half of our friends. Thankfully Sal has quite a way with words and makes friends easier than anyone I've ever met and was able to get us out of the parking lot and to the one where our friends were. That's when the party started! Someone started up the grill, Sal got the game corn hole out, and someone else put the pile of hay in the middle of our parking spots! We blasted our country music and enjoyed the hot afternoon in the sun. I can't say that I won any corn hole games, but despite that I think I laughed more that night than the whole summer, especially when it came to going to the bathroom! 

When we knew the concert would be starting soon, we packed up the trucks and started walking up to the concert! It was a long walk, but worth it of course, especially when Florida Georgia Line & Thompson square started signing, and then Luke Bryan came out and the crowd went even more wild, if that's even possible. I had seen Luke prior to this show, but it's as if he just keeps getting better! 

While I knew almost every song, it was funny to listen to the songs that everyone else knew - most didn't know his older songs (those fans being the Nash FM fans), but after a while I just enjoyed him shaking it on stage. At one point, he even brought a little girl on stage who knew all the words to "Someone Else Calling You Baby." Let me just say that Sal was in love, and could not stop talking about how cute the whole scene was. I swear he's going to be wrapped around his daughter's finger. Being with my brother and his girlfriend, just made the night that much better, because we're the four best  FRANDS that anyone could have! 

The concert continued on, and I can honestly say that I didn't want it to end. Hopefully he'll go on tour again next year, this time we'll make sure we buy tickets much, much earlier.

When we walked back to my truck, we all jumped in, but when Sal turned the key in the ignition, it didn't turn on. The battery had died; we later figured out that having my trunk open for hours on end, kept the overhead light on and thus caused my truck to die. Out of no where it seemed, a lady with jumper cables came and helped us out. As we sat there talking with her, we realized that we live extremely close to each other. When she broke out sandwiches and Calandra's bread I knew that she could be my best friend. Michele, my brother's girlfriend, and myself immediately helped ourselves to the deli meat and delicious bread and I kid you not it was the best tasting sandwich I've ever had ... EVER. She had come to the concert by herself because her friends couldn't at the last minute. I was shocked she went to a concert, especially a country concert. When my truck was ready, we left, thanking the lady that had helped us, when we got in our car, I kid you not it was like she disappeared. It made us all wonder if she was even there at all. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chasin' Waterfalls

I'm not sure what it is about waterfalls, but Sal and I always seem to find them - unintentionally at first, but now we've made them 'our thing.' So when I had off a short time ago, Sal decided we should head over to Pennsylvania to explore! We didn't have set plans, but we were together on another adventure. Sal packed a homemade picnic lunch, consisting of an incredible tomato salad and sandwiches, water, and healthy snacks!

When we arrived we realized there were more than enough adventurous things to do in one day, so we decided to start with a bike ride along the river, and then eventually make our way back and attempt a Segway tour around the lake. 

Well it turns out that our little bike ride, ended up being a 15 mile long bike ride, with Sal carrying our picnic in a backpack the entire time, which weighed way more than I thought, even after we stopped for lunch.

 Sal kept wanting to turn around, but I was determined to keep going, not only did I want to push myself and rack up the mileage, but I also felt a pull to keep going. Sal wanted to stop for lunch, but I pushed him a little further, and we were both glad I did, because we found a beautiful waterfall with a picnic table that seemed to be open just for us. 

We set up our lunch and began eating. Sal was so hungry that he inhaled his sandwich, while I was still enjoying the tomato salad. The food was incredible, but knowing that we had to now turn around head back, on bike, wasn't the most comforting idea, with our bellies full. 

We still thought we could make it back in time for our Segway tour, which was quite funny because we definitely weren't even close to being there. I will blame myself for that one, but we weren't even upset about it because we could always do that another day, another time. Still, we tried to make it, pedaling faster than ever before, until we both felt like we were going to be sick, and we weren't about to let that happen to our delicious lunch, so we slowed down and enjoyed our ride back. When we made it back, we thought about going zip lining, but the place we found seemed like it was for kids, and we wanted to make sure our first zip lining experience was memorable, so we began looking up nearby places that could spark some interest. That's when Sal remembered Bushkill Falls, a remarkable place a coworker had mentioned visiting recently, a place that they knew we would love! Why would we love it? Well why else ?! There were 9 breathtaking waterfalls to see, and a hike! 

We headed there and luckily made it before it had closed. We grabbed a map and started our hike, which seemed easy at first, until some of the falls were deep in the forest. My favorite waterfall was the one that was flowing so fast that when you walked by you got soaked, but not before seeing the way the light hit the water, creating a magnificent full rainbow. 

Everywhere we turned, I felt like I had to stop to catch my breath. I was literally in awe that this was all so close to me, that the world could be this beautiful just down the road. It makes me wonder what else am I missing out there, in states I had never visited and countries I've only dreamed of. Needless to say while our trip ended that night, my longing to travel only grew. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Surprise, Surprise!

A month or two ago, while I was on lunch at work, Sal and I were talking about going out to dinner that night. Usually he picks a new place that we haven't tried, and most of the time, the places are actually quite good. It gives me something to look forward to after work, instead of thinking about the hour drive I have before I get home. I usually just ask him what I should wear, something more formal or casual. I figured I'd just wear jeans and a nice top, but Sal had other ideas in mind. When I got home from work, I stopped to talk with my mom in the kitchen, and noticed a text from Sal, asking again what I was wearing, even though I had already told him... And he answers "still?!" At that point, instead of thinking he was up to something, I was annoyed. Yes still! My mind didn't change on my way home. 

But when I got in my room, this is what I saw. 

A beautiful dress was laid out on my bed, along with a card, roses in a vase, and my cowboy boots that I was obviously supposed to wear with the dress. My mom was in on the whole thing, having had to let Sal into the house. She walked in after me with a huge smile on her face. I was in awe and was honestly speechless, I just secretly hoped the dress fit. 

The note read: 

I quickly hopped in the shower and slipped on the dress, and let me just tell you that I've never had a dress fit more perfectly...ever. I found out later that Sal had went to Target, and after finding nothing, headed to the mall... Guess, to be exact, and immediately asked the saleswoman what would be the best dress with cowboy boots. The woman was confused and asked what for, and he told her it was a surprise for his girlfriend who he was taking out to dinner that night. The woman loved the idea and told everyone else that worked there, explaining what an amazing boyfriend he is. He eventually showed her a picture of me to figure out the right size. It was more perfect than anyone probably could have guessed. I was even shocked that a dress I hadn't tried on before, fit better than dresses I actually tried on in the store. He had gone through all that, just for me, and I couldn't have been more grateful. 

He picked me up at 7 sharp, and we headed for dinner at the Blue Morel, a restaurant and wine bar - come on, could it have been more perfect for us? Wine lovers. 

The wine was crisp and sweet, because we got a bottle of Riesling, of course. We ordered appetizers and eventually dinner and dessert. Everything was presented quite incredibly and tasted great. We both had salads, but while Sal ordered the steak, I ordered the swordfish. I wasn't a fan of the sauce, but everything else tasted pretty good. Dessert was a sweet sorbet, which I don't normally have but Sal convinced me and I'm glad he did! 

It was nice because there weren't many people there so we felt like we were out to dinner by ourselves. I felt so beautiful in the dress he had picked out for me, beaming with confidence and feeling the love around us. It felt like I was imagining the entire night and I could not stop smiling. You only see these things in movies or read about them in books, and I was living it. 

If I could choose again, I'd still choose you.