Road Trip to Delaware


Tied up as many loose ends as I could this morning, then packed Patti, Maddex and Liam in the car and pointed the car south for Delaware.  Reheboth Beach to be more specific.

Why Delaware?  1.  It’s on the way to our final destination in Virginia.  2. It’s awesome. 3.  I have fond memories of this area. (always a catch isn’t there?)

It was the last vacation I ever took with my immediate family.   It was the summer of 06 and I was in a very isolated point in my life.  I had just withdrew from College and lost my finance in the same day that past February.

I entered a state of seclusion where I hid from the outside world.  Only emerging  work in restaurants, which was about 80 hours a week.  I had a couple of close friends that refused to let me become a total hermit.

However, my mom besieged me to take a week off to drive her, my grandmother, and younger brother down to see my Aunt in Delaware.

The trip was very therapeutic.  I spent the week thinking about how there was so much more out there.  That I was barely living a “half life”.  When I returned I enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program and began piecing my life together.

Surviving the car ride is the hard part.  Getting down route 81 and then horrifying  476 when you get to Philadelphia and traffic turns into a slow crawl for a good hour.  You’re in the homestretch once your cross into Delaware’s RT 1S.

We made it to our destination about 430PM.  Let the vacation begin.




I know I’m Lame…but I miss Quiznos. 



846eae2ed0503e9e95e8baf1cd4fe7e0Dec. 30st

Like so many other people, I found 2016 to be a not very good year.  But my year was bad because of politics, the economy, or the vast string of celebrity deaths.  As 2016 drew to a close I found myself to probably me the most unhappy that I have ever been.  Unhappy with my work, my marriage, and with life in general.  The problem was that the reason for my unhappiness was unclear.  I had a have job, a recently purchased house, and a beautiful family, but I found myself constantly trying to escape to a new life.

I knew I had to find a way to fix these feelings of discontent.  It wasn’t until I found an audio book named THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, by Gretchen Rubin that I hoped would point me in the right direction.  The Happiness Project Chronicles a year in the life of a NYC wife and mother of two as she makes 12 months of resolutions all centered about making her happier.  Was it easy for her? Of course not.  But after a year of blogging about her experience she found herself the happiest she had ever been and it didn’t require a major life change.  It inspired me to start my own Happiness Project.  January 1st is just around the corner and I can’t wait to get started



December 31st

A little bit about myself before I dive into why I am starting a Happiness project.

I’m 30 years old living in a small suburb near to Syracuse, New York.  I am married with 3 boys.  Maddex (11) technically my step son but I love and care for him like my own, Lucas (5) lives with his Mother in Buffalo when he is not with us. Liam (2) we had shortly after we got married.  My wife Patti and I have been together almost 5 years now.

I work as a General manager in a local restaurant and my wife works a server at a different restaurant.  We don’t rely on babysitters so we have to work opposite shifts which can prove very difficult.

So Why am I starting a happiness project?  As I said about there was no major, defining reason for my unhappiness.  Just a lot of small ones.

– not on the top of my game a work : after three straight years of being in the upper tier of performance in my company, my performance seems to have peaked Now i have slipped into the mediocre at least in my own mind

lack of close relationships: Throughout my life I have only have a couple close friends at a time. My two best friends in my adult life  have both more off intro their own adult lives

lack of relationship with,  my wife Patti : Patti leaving her job and going back to Zebbs (restaurant) added new stress on our relationship. Sure she was making more money which was a huge source of stress when she wasn’t. But now she was working 5 nights a week and going in at 5. Which gave us a few minutes together each of those days. And Monday nights. sometimes we would get luck with a Friday night or Tuesday morning but that was occasional.

amount of time seeing  Luke: my first son Lucas, I have had trouble coping with only seeing him every other weekend. his mother has recently gotten engaged with has been this anxiety escalate.

struggles with work – loosing my right hand and assistant in the middle of the year has proved a challenge. My current management team is good but we still have a lot of growing to do

It’s NYE obviously,

Check out my post explaining exactly what a happiness project consists off.

Then check back  for January’s resolutions

I have no idea what I’m doing but I know I’m doing it really well

If they was one quote that sums up my early years as a DM of Dunkin and as a GM of my current full service restaurant.  “I have no idea what I’m doing but I know I’m doing it really well”   Andy Dwyer

I will admit here and now.  I was not qualified nor prepared for either of those positions at the time I got them.

Luckily, I had the right attitude, work ethic, and a great team that recognized those things who would go one to help me accomplish my goals.

And that’s my advice kids that I meet when they’re  first coming up in the industry or going to college.  Have the right attitude and be willing to learn on the job.   You will never start a new job or career knowing everything.    It takes a least 7 years to master a job.  And where do you learn all you need to know in 7 years?  From the people around you.  From the tools provided to you.


Finger Lake Circuit : Otisco Lake

Time to take a mini-adventure south of the city to the first of the Finger Lakes that I am going to visit this summer; Otisco Lake

If you aren’t from the New York, the Finger Lakes are a series of long, thin lakes ,that on a map, look like the fingers of a hand.    The area is known for its vineyards and scenic beauty.  

I have actually never been to this lake so it was exciting to head somewhere new.  

It’s a spectacularly calm and relaxing place.  The picture here is of the “causeway”. Where you can fish and swim, if you don’t get caught.  😂. 

Liam was pooped from the ride so I just let him sleep in my arms while I took it all in.  I had forgotten how wonderful and majestic these places can be.  

 He woke up eventually

Not much here in terms of hiking.  Baltimore Woods is nearby, hope to check that out another day. 

Such a isolated little lake.  And that’s a good thing.  I counted one pizza place, one gas station/ convenience store, one Restaurant.  Everything else was lake houses and farms.  Some old and abandoned.  Reminded me of Jeepers Creepers or Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  

Find an area of refuge

I feel that’s important for everyone to have their own place.  

A place to be alone.  A place to reflect and clear the mind.  

For me.  I actually have a few places I go to write, to think, to be happy

The home office : George Carlin once said “I just need a little place for my stuff.” And that’s what my former pantry, hide away is.  The family can have the rest of the house.  It can’t be more that 6ft by 6 ft.   But it contains 30 years of memories.

The back deck: Not many things more relaxing than sitting out on the back deck while the sun sets after a long day.  

Empty Road or Trail at 5AM: inner peace and an endorphin rush.   Jogging as the sun comes up before the rest of the world rushes around you and sweeps you away.

The Restaurant Roof: when things get stressful in work or life there is one place I can go where no one will find me.  Up the utility ladder of my restaurant.   Whether is early in the morning or after a punishing rush.  15 ft in the air feels like miles away from all troubles.  

What If You Could Control Your Dreams?

Here is where I might lose some of you.  

Long before marriage, children, career, and home ownership.  I used to have hobbies and interests.  I know right?

And one interest can be considered a little weird.  

I was fascinated in the subconscious mind;  Lucid Dreaming,  Astral Projection, and O.B.E.  (out of body experience)


Lucid dreaming is the ability to become aware that you are in a dream while dreaming.  If you are good enough at is you can manipulate your dreams.  

Astral Projection and O.B.E.  was essentially the same thing.  The act of separating ones mind/consciousness from your body to explore other realms.   We will take that down the road 

Still with me?   OK.

This month I start working on my goal of achieving Lucid Dreaming.   It can take some time so I wanted to work on making the process a habit.  I know that result can take longer to accomplish.

So one resolution is wear my sleep mask.  I purchased a sleep mask last year called the “Remee – REM enhancing eye-mask”  (REM stands for rapid eye movement.  Which is the part of sleep cycle where dreaming occurs)]

The Remee is basically a blindfold with a few circuits inside.  Under the blindfold it “emits light patterns that can appear as visual amonalities in your dreams to trigger lucidity”.    That means that if you see these patterns in your dreams it should help you realize that your dreaming.  


Imagine if you could control your own dreams.  What would you do?  Where would you go.  

It kind of like being the “One” of your own “Matrix”  When Morpheus says to Neo, ” When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit”  

Would you fly away?  Would you swim under water?  Would you practice tennis ?  As one lucid dreamer reported doing.


So  far his month I have practiced wearing the mask over night.  It takes a little getting used to.  Now that I am used to wearing it.  I will work on my ‘Dream Recall”.  Step one is to keep a dream journal as soon as I wake up  

I will keep you posted on my progress



Verona Beach State Park

Within walking distance of Slyvan Beach is the scenic Verona Beach Satete Park overlooking Onieda Lake.

The park has gotten quite the face lift in the last few years since I last visited.  

It has something  for everyone.  Complete with playground, baseball field, basketball court, ice cream shop, and food stand.  

A very quiet beach with shallow water.  Safe for the kiddies.  

Just down the road is the historic Verona Lighthouse

Make time for mini adventures

Talk the hand dad…no pictures please

A Walk Around Minoa

I’ve been busy since returning from vacation and I just needed to get outside for a hour in between rain showers to clear the head and get the blood flowing.

There’s not much to say about my little town of Minoa.   It’s primarily just a residential community with a few charming spots.   

You can tell is was a big farming community with in close proximity to the Eerie Canal and a creek running all the way around it. 

Just a 5 Minute drive from Green Lakes State Park. 

Minoa has just about everything you would need if you didn’t have the luxury of a car.  But the businesses have no competition and they know it.  Just their justification for jacking up prices.  $4 gallons of milk anyone?

Just down the road is the park trail

Behold.  Minoa’s “Shopping Center” can’t go wrong with booze and Chinese.  Beware the price though

Train tracks run right behind my house

Nice to see a local hardware store still going strong. 

Volunteer Fire Station with a very small library behind it.  I suggest the Manlius Library instead

Sorry Minoa.  You’re still old

Scenic creek I talking about

I could probably get a deal on a house with a cemetery in the back yard

These dogs heard about the deer on the roof in Syracuse.  

No town is complete without place of worship

Trappers 2 is pretty awesome

  This is where everyone hangs out.  Young and old.  Beer and pizza with happy hour and game specials. 

Lewis park

Cute little Ice Cream stand by Lewis park,. Cash only and at little hole in the wall dive bar, Charlie’s.  Not even 100 yards from my front door. 

Not too exciting but it was a nice walk with the kids.  

Productive Hump Day

“You don’t stop running because you get old.  You get old because you stop running”  Chris McDougall, Born to Run.

Back to the jogging training.  Boilermaker Sunday is less than 4 weeks away and I have a lot of work to do if I’m going to finish the entire 15 kilometers without stopping to walk.  That’s something I haven’t done since 2012.

What happened?  Why did I stop?  All I have is a bunch of excuses.   First I became a GM, then I got married, then we had Liam.  Then it’s 4 years later and I’m 30 pounds heavier and a miserable workaholic.

That’s the difference in this first half of 2017.

I recovered much faster from this years TM.  I usually limp around for at least 4 days.  But here I am running 4.5 miles on a calm Wednesday morning.  I surely broke a sweat 🙂 but it felt so good.   Now I’m ready to take on the day.


I took the day off so that I could take Patti to the hospital.   She’s been having tummy problems for a long time and she needs to get the o’le camera down the throat to take a peak.  Don’t worry.  Everything looked good.

She was pretty out of it after being knocked out so I  left her to relax a bit.

I hit the gym, which his all new equipment that I hate.  Ugh.  I need a new/old gym.

Then I got a much-needed hair cut.  If you follow my Introvert Problems,  you know how much that takes out of me.

Stopped at the restaurant for a short meeting.  Nothing earthshaking but its good to get your management team together as often as you can so that you can all stay on the same page.

I bent the blade on my lawn mower before I went on vacation by hitting a rock.  I replaced the blade but now the mower shakes violently.  I read that it means the balance is off .  If anyone has any advice on how to balance one, let me know.

I bought a cheap replacement.  one of those 1950 models…you know a reel mower.  No motor, no gas.  Just blades.  So Funny.

Maddex had a concert tonight so my wife and mother in law headed to that.   I wanted to go but my experience with Liam at last years concert was horrifying.    Liam…don’t do concerts.

So Liam and I grabbed some food and killed some time in the grocery store.

He was so cute and good for me.


Trying to explain to me why I should buy him M&Ms

Brrr…it’s cold

Today was a good day.