An Appropriate Labor Day

By the way: I have a sweet sleeping bag.
I spent every day the last week working at a new job, at En Japanese Brasserie. Today marks both my seventh, straight day working, as well as the first official day, having finishing job training! While the job is just part time, to allow me more time to focus on writing, the timing perfectly caps off my August of unemployment, which ended stylishly, culminating in an epic farewell to lazy days.

I had the great fortune, this Labor Day weekend, to camp with my fellow JET Programme Alumni
and other friends. This was the first time in five years that I camped. By "camping" I mean, pitching tents and sleeping in bags. I am not counting staying in cabins, because although I still prefer the privacy and comfort of a cabin, there is a greater appreciation of comfort that comes from the end of an actual camping trip.

Despite what I just said about roughing it, we ate like kings! My alumni group excels at planning and teamwork, and the food committee really outdid themselves!
Here was the "itinerary", which read more like the menu at a gourmet, hipster restaurant:
Even before our trip began, this earned it the title "Glamping", a portmanteau for glamorous camping. This became a recurring phrase, most frequently overheard at meal times.
When our first meal started with these appetizers, we knew this wasn't your typical camping
For my part, I worked transportation, picking up a rental car from LaGuardia Airport, driving my girlfriend and three other campers to the Spruce Run Recreation Area, near the Pennsylvania border in western New Jersey, and five home. (For keen readers, this points to a longer story, you can ask me about in person.)

When we weren't eating, or hanging out around the campfire, we hiked, hung out on the artificial beach at the reservoir the campsite was built around. We also played games and stargazed at night. The plan included getting in a boat or kayak at some point too, but a string of bad luck with the reservation office meant we had to cross that off the list. We turned that negative into a big positive though! Jumping in our cars, we made a trip to nearby brewery and tap room for Weyerbacher, maker of the Merry Monks Belgian-style Tripel! 

I enjoyed the opportunity to finally camp with my friends. It was great to spend a few solid days together, without having to worry about rushing off to the next obligation.  

I brought my SLR on this trip too, snapping pictures of friends and nature. 
I'll leave you, this weekend with a few choice shots:


Vegetarian Chili, an interesting choice for the menu, given how much bacon also featured!
Rick earning his title as Magnar of the Royal Oak Society
I need to a tripod...


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