The Restorative Power of Mountains, Oktoberfest, and Lots of Garlic

So, the past few weeks have not been ideal.

I stopped dating (and consequently, blogging), the Pats lost for two weeks in a row, and I had to deal with some other life drama that is totally blog-inappropriate (although, my definition of blog-appropriate includes some pretty questionable things — so there’s a good chance that my other life drama is actually totally apropos by normal-people standards).

In light of the above, I decided to drop everything on Friday and spontaneously join two of my best friends on a trip up to the Catskills for a long weekend of nature, Oktoberfest, and garlic — three of my favorite (totally non-questionable) things.

It was awesome and pretty much fixed my life.

Our first morning there, we engaged in an rousing session of moving wood from a big pile in the yard to a neatly organized stack on the side of a shed.

                                                      Bringing lanky back.

Yeah, I’m basically a glumberjack. (That means “gay lumberjack,” for those of you who don’t spend much time in glumberyards.)

…Or maybe I’m just Big Ang. (This is what happens when I obnoxiously try to display my buff chest while my friend struggles to take a picture that actually includes my face.)

Later that day, we encountered a random group of horses quietly standing still in the middle of a circle.

I know, right? It was weird to me too.

                     “Oh, don’t mind us. We’re just chillin’ with our saddles on.”

Naturally, I felt compelled to loudly declare, “THOSE ARE NOT REAL HORSES!” So I did.

And then my friends looked at me like I was the weird one. And then the horses moved and I stood corrected. And then I tried to explain to my friends that those horses were freakin’ bizarre — because a brilliant Mariah Carey music video from 1997 taught me that real horses, when left to their own devices, like to run wild and free with abandon into the sun.

And then they looked at me like I was weird again, and I was like, “Listen, y’all, if we weren’t in the mountains right now and had cell service, I’d settle this immediately by YouTubing ‘Butterfly’ and this whole argument would be moot.”

And then we all stopped caring about horses because we realized it was time for Oktoberfest.

After a glorious afternoon of beer and German food, we decided that the best way to end the day would be with some good old fashioned cigars while overlooking the mountains from the house we were staying in.

           Gangsta. (Or just nerdy gay man with a cigar and a chalice. Either one.)

For some reason (and by that I mean, “probably because of all the beer”), I felt compelled to try to be a tough guy and inhale all of my cigar smoke for the first time ever. So I did.

And then I proceeded to throw up three times.

Frazzled, I thought I was dying and promptly took to Google while my friends watched A Time to Kill starring Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock and insisted that I was just having a bad reaction to the fact that I inhaled an entire cigar.

Thankfully, Google agreed with my friends. Turns out that inhaling cigar smoke is totally okay if you’re a chain-smoking professional. If you’re a glumberjack who only smokes on special occasions such as Oktoberfest, New Year’s Eve, and Carrie Underwood album release days, then you should avoid it at all costs. (You’re welcome for the warning, glumberjacks.)

By the way, did I mention that there was lots of foliage already and I freakin’ love being in nature?

                                         Fresh mountain air heals everything.

Our final day in the mountains involved hitting up my first-ever garlic festival. And it was heaven.

Turns out I’m a big fan of garlic burgers, garlic fries, garlic pancakes, garlic ice cream in garlic waffle cones, garlic sausage, and (non-garlic) bottled water.

At the end of it all, I feel like the trip (combined with Sunday’s incredible Pats win) really put life back into perspective.

And I didn’t even have to watch Titanic this time!

But I did have to move some wood, throw up a little, and eat probably nineteen cloves of garlic.

Totally worth it.

 

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