Archives For Fall

Last weekend was of the long variety for me; with an abundance of vacation to use before the end of the year, it won’t be the final time that happens in 2016 either.

It was also the last weekend before I began one of the craziest but also most enjoyable stretches of my year: flying to Los Angeles to cover the “American Music Awards” and then back to New York for the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” So I knew that over the course of the three days I needed to find time to rest, run a few errands and work out.


While completing all of the above, I also decided to try something new on Friday night: I got a massage. My buddy Nick is a former massage therapist, so I called him for some advice on where to go and what to look for price-wise. I ended up choosing the performance massage at my local Equinox, which was the perfect way to wind-down from a day that included a 5.6 mile run.


On Saturday I got another run in before hopping aboard NJ Transit to pay Newark a visit. My Sabres were in town to play the Devils and even though I’ve adopted the Devils as my local team (I mean c’mon, they gave me a jersey with my name on it!), I had to show up to support the blue and gold. Yes, New Jersey won but me along with my colleague Dan and his son Justin had a great time at the game. Our seats weren’t too shabby either. Big thanks as always to Kerry and the Prudential Center for having us!

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The weekend wrapped with, you guessed it, another run – followed by a Football Sunday and a trip to H&M to pick-up a few last-second items for the trip west. It was a very productive weekend, which was perfect, because I had a very busy week waiting for me.

The original plan last weekend was to attend a colleague’s birthday party, but then said colleague was under the weather and the festivities were cancelled. Suddenly, my final weekend in October was wide-open.

Last year, I spent almost every fall weekend on the road. This year, I was looking to do the exact opposite; minimal planning, light travel and lots of free time. Fall is my favorite time of year, and although I enjoyed all of last year’s adventures, I wanted to try and relax a little more.

New York, and its surrounding areas, is also pretty scenic during autumn. I felt that I didn’t really have a chance to experience that last year. But now a weekend to do exactly that presented itself.

And so, off I went on Saturday morning in a rented Zipcar. I jetted up the West Side Highway, over the George Washington Bridge and on to the Palisades Parkway with an inadvertent detour in to Fort Lee.

My only set-in-stone plan was to make it to the Bear Mountain Bridge, where according to the “I Love NY” tourism website, I would witness fall foliage during its peak weekend. I was about 10 minutes out when I noticed a sign advertising an Oktoberfest happening at the nearby Anthony Wayne Recreation Center, right off exit 17.

I mean, it’s not like I had any other plans.

The quick detour proved to be a great decision. Apparently the celebration happens in this park every weekend from September through the end of October. Beer, German food and live music were plentiful. The views through the wooded valley of the mountain were spectacular.


After scoping out the scene and treating myself to a hot dog, I hopped back in my car and up to the Bear Mountain Bridge. There was parking about a quarter-mile up from the bridge in a scenic overlook area, so I stopped there and took in the view. Then, I made the not-so-smart decision to walk from my car down to the bridge. It was an ill-advised move because on that particular stretch of Route 6 the shoulder is at times non-existent.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale and witness the Hudson Valley in all of its glory.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


I capped off the day with a trip to Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers and a pit-stop at my buddy’s house just to drop off his gift and make sure he was doing alright.

It also worked out well because I was able to tell him about this cool Oktoberfest where we should celebrate his birthday next year.