Last weekend Liz and I planned another apple-picking trip to Fishkill Farms that we last visited in 2013. This time we brought along Lytle, Nancy, Josh and Katie M. We hit a snag of traffic on the George Washington Bridge but we got there without any mishaps - last time a speeding car cut me off and almost caused an accident. The weather was even more gorgeous than last time, which was a blessing because the day before it was very wet.
We got a box of cider donuts and cups of steaming hot apple cider and sat on my picnic blanket on the hill overlooking the orchard. The only annoyance were the bees and other stinging insects that swooped down on us, attracted by the smell of sweet cider. Lytle, unfortunately, is allergic to stings so she was continually on tenterhooks until we started moving again. Liz and I both got tiny pumpkins and Katie got a larger one to carve.
To pick apples we had to drive down to a separate entrance and pay a car fee of $5. It was very crowded because the roads were quite narrow and there were way too many cars trying to get from one orchard to another to pick different kinds of apples. Add to that the beautiful weather and that it was a holiday weekend. We found some pleasant spots to take pictures and there were plenty of apples to be had, but since the line was so long and slow to exit, I put Yoshi into the exit line while the others hopped out and picked apples along the way and caught up with me on foot.
When we got back to the city Nancy had to leave but the rest of us had dinner at a sushi restaurant near Liz's place. We made it back just in time for their happy hour specials, which were pretty amazing. Afterwards we swung by City Swiggers so I could buy more Koppaberg pear cider and Katie found a few things she liked too. I had scored a street parking spot for Yoshi so we left him there for the night, said goodbye to Lytle, Josh and Liz, and Katie came home with me to continue watching our Heroes marathon. Puck came by later to say hello and crash.
The next day we all had breakfast and left together, Katie to go home while Puck and I headed down to Staten Island to get ready for my friend Adele's 50th birthday party in Bayonne, NJ. I don't get to see much of Adele since her life is mostly in New Jersey but she is one of the charter members of my women's group and I used to see quite a lot of her when we were both coming out as polyamorous in 2008-2009 (we first met at her first-ever poly meeting). And I was especially happy to see many of my long-time friends there whom I rarely get to see: Linda (who lives near Boston now), Barbara (who has been living in Phoenix for the past year), Lisa (who runs the NNJ poly group but came to my media training class earlier in the year), and Murray and Lee, who are getting ready to move to a new home together in New York.
The previous weekend Katie and I met up with Lytle and her friend Ryan at the Lower East Side Pickle Festival. It was also crazy crowded but since it wasn't very big we didn't have to go through it many times to find everything we wanted. Again, we were incredibly lucky with the weather, which was dreary only hours before the event started. Ryan also works as a stand-in for TV shows so he and Lytle both have lots of funny stories about it. Plus, he has a refreshing combination of positive energy and respectful reserve that I found very appealing. After eating and buying a few pickles we went to get real food at the nearby Sweet Chick restaurant, a pleasant find for chicken and waffles. The four of us had a really good craic going, which is a rare and wonderful thing. Yes, we are now Facebook friends.
I've been having TSMC events pretty regularly and some have been well attended. Natalia, Puck and I have continued watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries every week, and Katie M and I are keeping a fairly regular weekly sleepover schedule to watch Heroes, which we are both enjoying immensely.