Weekend Outside NYC

For someone who gets bored of surroundings quickly and loves to travel, the fact I stayed in NYC for more than three months is pretty hard to believe. I arrived back in New York from my project, before the firm - and basically the country- halted all travel, on March 13th.

This past week, I hopped on a train at a very empty Grand Central Station and arrived in New Haven, Connecticut to visit my friends Dominic and Jen. I used to live in their basement back in my Connecticut days and we’ve remained close ever since.

Dom picked me up in New Haven, we grabbed some food and then headed back to their incredible house in the sprawling woods of East Hampton, CT.

While I’m not taking any time off during this visit (I’m working from their guest bedroom), it feels like a mini vacation as you’re just surrounded by nature, there’s a beautiful pool in the backyard, and work is finally a bit slower so I feel like I actually get to enjoy my weeknight evenings so far.

Connecticut is always so relaxing for me. We had a brilliant first weekend that included a good mix of chores around the house, golf, cooking, eating outside, sipping wine around a fire, and many in-depth conversations.

Dom and Jen have recently purchased some ducks and chickens to raise in their backyard which is super cool and means they’ve had to build a chicken coop and essentially parent the animals til they’re fully grown and feathered - it’s been fun to watch and take part.

The ducks and chickens during their daily hang on the lawn

On Saturday night, after a solid day of “achievements” including a family walk along the Connecticut River in Glastonbury and some carpentry work in the chicken coop, we had their neighbors over to test out the backyard stone oven for the first time. It was absolutely amazing. We chopped veggies, made sauces, and prepared the homemade pizza dough, then we did a make-your-own pie and cook it in the pizza oven.

The pizza oven

Everyone loved the food, and even loved the plant-based versions. It felt like we had our own little pizza shop. We finished the evening with another swim, playing Marco Polo with the neighbors kids and then the customary night cap and snooker match.

On Sunday I woke up early to run a half marathon. Running in the Connecticut countryside is a whole different ball game to NYC running. The rolling hills and long roads create a completely different mindset compared to staring at monuments, famous streets, parks, bridges or expensive stores in Manhattan.

The hills are no joke. My 13.1 mile run featured more than 1100 feet in elevation gain, so my quads are certainly feeling it on Monday morning. After the run, we took the ducks out for a little run around, refueled and then went golfing (my first round since the boys trip in February). It was a scorching hot day and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, despite how poor my game was.

Dom and Mike on a perfect day on the links

I’m ready to tackle a solid week of work now and hopefully get in a few more runs, evening swims, guitar practice and tasty meals. Times like these definitely make you appreciate your friendships as these guys are so thoughtful, generous, and absolutely hilarious to be around - non stop laughter.

Jen and Dom on our Glastonbury walk

Thanks for reading.

Mike