Birthday Surprise-Montauk!

So all last week I was super excited because I knew that Don had something planned for my birthday! I got off work early and we left around 2:30. He had even packed a cooler full of dr pepper for me!! I really don’t know New York that great so I had no idea where we were going. Traffic was horrible and we didn’t get out of the city until about 5:30 or 6.

I started thinking we were going to Long Island, but he was all like “no…didn’t you bring a book to read?” of course I hadn’t so I read some story in one of his books.

Then it started raining and storming and I started seeing signs for the Hamptons!! I was getting so excited but I didn’t want to say anything to ruin his surprise.

It was like 7 and we were starving and places to eat were getting few and far between. Then we started worrying because we forgot to get cash…and most places probably wouldn’t take credit. Luckily good old Chase saved us and we got some money.

I was starting to get tired and cranky from lack of food and he told me we were going to Montauk! I was so excited because one day I was looking at a map and mentioned I wanted to go there because it was last place in New York and after that it’s just the ocean!!! So we found a burger place and then went to our hotel…which was only a small street from the ocean!!! We could hear the freaken Atlantic from our room!!

After settling in I realized it was almost 11 which I thought was weird because I remember it was like 8:30 when we were in the car last….more about this later. The weather had gotten better and it was no longer raining so Don suggested we go to beach. I was a little hesitant at first because it was so dark and kinda cold but then I was like okay….and I was pumped!!! So we walked over to the beach and he had a backpack with him which I really didn’t see as weird because we had stuff like our phones and towels.

When we got there I noticed some people sitting around a bonfire and I said “wow, it would be cool to have a fire!!” but he didn’t really say much and we kept walking. Then he stopped and said “what would you say if we could have a fire….?” Then he started pulling out supplies to make a fire from the backpack and I was like oh my gosh!!!!!! I was completely surprised!! He had kept this a secret from me and it was so freaken awesome! It was amazing to sit around the fire and hear the waves and see a lightning storm that was going on far out on the Atlantic.

At the end of the night we saw some kids trying to get a fire started but failing repeatedly so we decided to ask them if they wanted ours. It was still going good and we were ready to go back. They were so excited and we didn’t have to deal with putting it out haha.

The next morning I woke up and looked at the clock and it said 7:16 which I thought was weird because I have a phone alarm that goes off everyday at 7…I was wide awake and decided to get on my laptop..the time said 6 am then I looked at my phone and it also said 6. Then I realized we had been living an hour ahead because the clock in the room was wrong!! Thanks a lot people hahaha, but it is nice realizing you have more time.

So we got up and had breakfast at a diner. The weather was beautiful and by 9:30 we were on the beach because it was supposed to rain in the afternoon. The beach was amazing!!!!! The water was cold but I just loved being there.



Around 11 Don said he had a restaurant in mind that he wanted to go to for lunch. So we got in the car and started driving. Soon I saw a lighthouse and we pulled into parking lot of a park. As were getting out of the car I’m like “where’s the restaurant?” He opened the trunk, pulled out some charcoal and said “right here!” There was an area to have a picnic…and there was only one other couple there. It was awesome!!!


Keep in mind that he had brought along a cooler with us, which I thought only had dr pepper and the entire time up until this point he was constantly saying “we should get ice, we need more ice, let’s get more ice!” and I was like “why do we need ice?! It’s only dr pepper it will stay cold forever in that cooler!” Now I knew why because at the bottom of the cooler in a bag he had prepared steaks and vegetables wrapped in foil and there were even Italian sausages! Hahaha it was amazing! So as were cooking the fog was rolling in from the ocean and you couldn’t even see the lighthouse that was right in front of us!!!! Then all the sudden the fog was gone and the sky was so clear!! The weather was beautiful!!! As we were eating though we had some crazy seagulls always trying to get our food when we were not looking. They were really terrorizing the other couple there though, one was trying to get in their cooler to get out food haha!!! Seriously though, I had NO idea we would be cooking out!!!!!



After eating we went up into the lighthouse and then we walked around this rocky beach that is on the eastern most part of New York. So it’s really really really ocean!!! The beach was also beautiful and the waves were big crashing against the rocks. It was an awesome day…I don’t know where the rain was because it was so nice and I got sunburnt haha.





Then we went back to the hotel and grilled out again for dinner because they had an area to do that there. We decided to go back to the beach again that night to make another fire. This night there were so many people there making fires and hanging out!! It was awesome!! Once again at the end of the night we gave our fire to someone else haha and we didn’t have to mess with putting it out again.




The next day we had to check out of the hotel and we drove to a place called Star Island. It was a very touristy area, with little shops and restaurants every where. We saw the coast guard base there. We also watched lots of boats coming and leaving since this was the area where all the boats passed by the bay to get out to the Atlantic. There were huge fishing ships! We ate a restaurant and then decided to get on the road to go home, but we also decided that if we saw anything cool we would stop.


Our first stop was a state park right on the ocean. The beach was really nice but mostly it was just a huge camping area so we left. Then we wanted to go to a nature conservation area that we saw on the map. Once we got there though it was really just a beach area and you had to have a resident pass to park there. We got ice cream and left.

Then we saw a fruit/vegetable market that said “pick your own strawberries”. So we stopped and got some strawberries haha.


The last place we stopped was a petting zoo. This petting zoo was awesome! There were so many animals and they gave you a huge bucket of food and a bottle of milk to feed the baby pigs. I had fun feeding the animals and then I had an encounter with a llama. I was just feeding some llamas when all the sudden a giant one ran up to me and I thought “man, he must be hungry!” but when I tried to feed him he wouldn’t eat. Then all the sudden he raised his head and spit everywhere! I started running haha luckily none of that spit got on me!! It was hilarious!!!


So then we got back on the road to go home…we were in traffic for like 2 hours. And now I’m home….I didn’t want the weekend to end!!!! We had a blast!!! Honey if you’re reading this…..thank you so much for this awesome birthday surprise!!!! It was really really really amazing!!!

Ender’s Game

This one is for you Val. It may be sometime until you read it though.

Today I finished reading “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Before I start to read online commentary about the book I wanted to get some of my thoughts down first.

Around the last chapter of the book I decided that I wanted to and needed to reread the book. It’s one of those habits I picked up from a college English lit course. You can’t really understand a book before you read it a second time. Picking up on everything you missed and understanding how all the subtle events at the start of the book lead to the major events at the end of the book.

My first reactions after reading the last word of the book was “I like it!”. There were some parts that were obvious like the big reveal the main character receives towards the end of the book, but all in all I completely enjoyed the experience. A second reaction I thought of after finishing it was “I want to read Sun Tzu’s ART OF WAR”. I think I have a copy of it somewhere, but if I don’t I think I’m going to try to find a version of it with commentary; like a Norton Anthology version of it. Though I don’t know much about Tzu’s work, I feel that Ender’s Game employed a lot of important battle strategies that probably came from Tzu. There was also a good amount of concepts of psychological behavioral that were used throughout the book. I found all of it very interesting.

A third reaction I am having after reading this book, is the same reaction I always have after reading a book that I felt has improved my way of thinking; and that is “how can I use what I have learned to somehow improve upon my own life”. Its an odd thing to come about from reading fiction. But its mostly related to liking the main character so much, that I want to be or emulate that character in real life somehow. I guess its akin to the way kids like to dress up like their superheroes. Only instead of dressing up, I want to behave and think like them.

There are few fictional characters that I’ve experienced as of late that I have come away feeling like this. The most recently notable are Ender Wiggin of Ender’s Game, Joe Ledger of Patient Zero, and L of the Death Note series. All of them extremely talented strategists. Beings that have the ability to think in a multitude of ways always ten steps ahead of their opponent; although L is the only one who is eventually defeated.

So other than just simply enjoying a piece of fiction for the simple satisfaction of having read a good story, How can I use this experience to improve my life?