"Just so you know, we're dropping Melissa off at a bridal shower first."
Well... shit.  . 
Or at least that was my first thought... to myself, that is. Our hiking plans had just gone from going vertical to circuitously horizontal (aka from a mountain to a reservation).
Tony and Melissa have been together for 11 years. Real-life high school sweethearts. We all grew up together in Sayreville, NJ. You may have heard of it because it's known as the place where Bon Jovi came of age, the home of Starland Ballroom, and the setting for Getting The Band Back Together, a short-lived Broadway play that riffed off the 'Ville as Jon's hometown and turned the plot of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story into a post-2008 suburban reckoning and battle of the bands competition.
Tony, aka Tommy, had to drive Melissa, aka Gina, to a bridal shower party. Gina's in the wedding, but has an icy relationship with the bride-to-be. I digress.
On the drive down, we talked about Coronavirus (because, of course we did) and our hometown. Some of the things we talked about from our hometown included Big Wally's (the greatest sub shop), a couple random people I hadn't thought about since graduation, and a couple people I wished I talked to more. 
Tommy played 104.3, a classic rock station, through all of this, and loved that they were doing an 80's weekend. Basically, it was Queen anthems and KARS-4-KIDS commercials.
Eventually, we got to our hiking destination after a stop at Wawa for coffee and sandwiches. We circumvented the entire reservation, saw a deer and a woodpecker pecking away at, you guessed it, wood, questioned how a hurricane was greeted with a mild and collective shrug (because #2020), and even stopped at a CVS midway through for a blue Gatorade.
As anyone in New York City or the general area across the Hudson (I know, I know... ew) knows, it's a literal breath of fresh air to get out into nature.
So, we went to a diner after.
It's called Chit Chat Diner. You'd think it'd be an old-timey, 24-hour diner in the sticks of New Jersey that's endured decades of generations endlessly ordering mediocre coffee with their massive omelettes and towering burgers that comes with a side of finely chiseled coleslaw and a half-sliced, sweetly sour pickle.
It's gorgeous and intricately decorated, inside and out. Bronze statues of kids on a slide and monkeys eating bananas on a bench lines the walkways that appear to lead you into a miniature medieval castle. Inside is a kaleidoscope of china, espresso machines, and Alice-in-Wonderland vibes (a scientific term), making for the most confused Instagram influencer's dream.
So, we sat in the parking lot and ate under a tent.
It was delightful despite the horrible parking job.
Tommy, aka Tony, and I went to a craft brewery afterwards. We sat in a parking lot, again, but this time to drink a pint of a Fruity Pebbles Blueberry IPA. It was delightful despite the horrible parking job.
While waiting for that beer, ESPN was airing professional cornhole, and we found ourselves learning that cornhole:
     a. has a professional league
     b. has professional indoor venues
     c. has a standardized distance of 27 feet between each board.
Then, we were on our way. 
We hung out at his apartment with another kid named Zack, drank a saison ale called Of Love & Regret, watched Eddie Murphy's Delirious, and then found ourselves eating Detroit style pizza in the outdoor patio of a nearby bar.
It was delightful, and we didn't have to worry about parking.
And Tony, aka Tommy, gave me his Boosted Board to test drive for the next couple of days. I don't why, but he insisted, just like he insisted that we had to drive an hour to drop Gina, aka Melissa, off at a bridal shower before driving another hour to go hiking.
It was a strange, but spontaneous, go-with-the-flow, and enjoy-who-you're-with kind of day.
And these days, or any day for that matter, embracing the quirky adventures with good people and simple plans are beautifully underrated, criminally overlooked, and so, so appreciated.
We never know what's to come, but sometimes, the dumb, dog days of summer are all we can hope to relive and cherish over and over again.

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