Taking a Break

Good morning ladies and gents- it is 11 a.m. and I am officially a little more wide eyed than I was 10 minutes ago. As an early riser, I feel like I already missed half of the day, but I’m going on a whim here and saying it was my body begging for some rest. My page was quiet because I went on a mini-vacation to Montauk to go camping at my friend Beth’s site for a few days. I had to remind myself that I’ve never been camping and I also do not like bugs, but I felt confident that I would be into sleeping at a camp site by the beach. Plus, I have never been in Montauk and I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

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me- that barrier island off of Long Island in the green that says Long Beach.

Montauk..keep going east with with your eyes… keep going… keep going… don’t stop going. It’s that last dot. 

We arrived on Monday at Hither Hills state park on a perfect day, but as someone that has never been to a camp site and definitely not one at the beach, I felt like a kid all over again. In my heart and mind I knew we would be sleeping in tents and people would have campers everywhere, but I couldn’t actually process that until it was all around me. What do you mean there are communal bathrooms and showers? Did you say we are lucky if we get hot water? And we sleep in tents?Hither-Hills-State-Park-864x400_cNow, it was clear to me from the start that this was not glamping (glamorous camping), but I was excited for a chance to try something out of my comfort zone. I should also mention that Beth’s family and family friends were there as well, and her mother is by far the most organized and prepared human I have ever met. Hands down. They had everything from the practical camping necessities like bug spray, sun block, and water to the fun things like board games for night time. Hell, Franny even organized costume and theme nights with prizes. Sure, we got rained out for country western night and raccoons may have eaten the ribs, but this woman is prepared.

What to expect if you camp in Montauk?

Monday: We arrived to sunshine and immediately hit the beach for some volleyball. When the weather got cooler and the sun began to set, we traveled as a group to Montauket restaurant to enjoy the sunset.

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We headed back to the camp site to prepare dinner- delicious fajitas, and play Family Feud. We spent the night hanging out, drinking beer, and laughing. As we called it a night and walked back to our tent, I said to John: wouldn’t this be the perfect place for a horror movie? Which led to an over-analysis of every branch hitting the tent from that point forward.

Tuesday: The next morning we woke up to rain- Forrest Gump style, torrential, upside down and sideways, rain. When life hands you rain, go to a winery. Fun fact: Long Island hosts some great wineries out east. I donned a bright yellow poncho that said “FREE PONCHO!” We arrived at Wolffer Estate Vineyard ready to enjoy some classiness. I sashayed in, looking like a sexy ass wack job in a poncho. It was a moment that felt like the music stopped and everyone stared at us. Because damn did I feel poor.

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What I’m trying to say: There were a lot of boat shoes and gingham shirts. I quietly took off my poncho and secretly wished that I had just thrown out my three year old, pilling, Forever 21 t-shirt. Because, Talia, you cannot be forever 21. Let it go. We ordered wine and cheese plates and pretended to know the difference between an oak barrel and fermentation and enjoyed ourselves. I would be a good rich person- so, let’s get on that.

By the time we arrived back to the campsite the weather had started to die down. Suffice to say, country western night was a no go. The overalls I bought that random day for no reason were still of no use to me, but we ate the works- minus the ribs… damn raccoons. We spent the rest of the night inventing a new game and ultimately heading to a restaurant to play trivia where we enjoyed screaming at anyone we thought was cheating by using their cellphones. We did not win trivia.

Wednesday: On our final day on the campsite we took a mini tour guided by Beth. We stopped at Ditch Plains so my friend Mark could go surfing, we checked out the famous Montauk light house, and stopped through town. When we got back to the campsite we enjoyed our last hours on the beach. some surfing (not me), others lounging (me).

I could get used to camping. I could also enjoy glamping. And being wealthy. So if you or a friend know anyone that would like to adopt me, my number is 1-800-555-5555.

** glamping: glamping

A Generic Title: Catching Up on Life

The best thing I could have done this year was give myself the summer off. It’s a wonderful perk of teaching if you allow yourself to pause- most of us don’t. In fact, I’m a workaholic and I usually don’t know how to stop. But I now know that if you have the ability to take time for yourself, you should.

Here’s how I envisioned my summer would go:

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All day, everyday. Mixed in with a ton of gym time, run time, and yoga time.

Somehow none of this came into fruition because I have managed to be busy every waking moment. Until now. At this exact moment I’m sitting on my couch watching multiple (as of right now 5) episodes of Laguna Beach re-runs. Why didn’t I watch more of this in high school? This show is hilarious.

So it’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s just that reality tv has been killing it lately and my thoughts are all over the place. So, let’s fulfill the title of this post.

Let’s see- I did some quality family time:

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And quality friend time:

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And quality food time… Pictures need not apply. I can’t even look at the amount of french fries I have ingested in the past week alone. French fries are the best food group, hands down. Clean eating has never been my forte.

And quality ghost time. Or lack thereof. John and I stayed in Jim Thorpe, PA for a few days to get away from the noise of life. We chose Jim Thorpe based on recommendations of friends for a good rafting spot. Our goal: chill out and stay active. Contradictions = my life story.

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As we walked into the “haunted” hotel, the automatic doors immediately scared the bejesus out of me. I couldn’t even pee alone. Literally peed with the door open and my foot holding the door, just in case a ghost decided to lock me in. I don’t mess around. I may have slept with the lights and television on for two nights. There was no reason for any of this of course and obviously, John was out cold both nights. Despite my sleepless nights and awkward bathroom moments we had an amazing time. We did a 13 mile bike ride one day and rafting another. Unfortunately, we learned they only release the dam for white water rafting on the weekends so it required much more labor for us.

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Another trip is in order for the fall, so book your cabin/tent now. A bear encounter in the woods is much easier for me than a ghost encounter. Unless there are ghosts in the woods. Then I’ll take a five star hotel.

And so I’m pretty into my life right now, but there are some things missing- like running. Between you and me, I have been such a slacker lately. I know why too. I’m not going to lie. Excuses. They are so easy! And in the summer there is so much going on and so many French fries to eat. Now that I’ve said it I think I can get back on track. I need to get my ass in gear and sign up for another challenge or I’m going to fall off the wagon entirely. You’ve been there too, don’t judge. I wish I could say I’m going all in today but I had a volleyball scrapple last night- a team member ::coughejcough:: landed on my foot with his elbow. Clearly, my immediate response was:

“How much do you weigh?!”

But seriously. It hurt. And now I’m bruised, but not broken. And yes, everyone made fun of me for my hobble off of the court. But dammit, I persevered and played for the rest of the night! And actually hit a few balls over the net… Which is a huge task for the resident LVP (least valuable player) of the Atomic Bombs. Get over the name, we know it’s not PC. We are working on future team names- any suggestions will be considered.

So, I shall try to go on a run today, but no promises. Fortunately this time I have a better excuse than the one I gave John yesterday- I am possessed by the ghost and she hates working out. Until next time, my friends.