The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

My mom’s family has a ranch in Mexico and when I was growing up, we used to spend summers out there, camping with my cousins, aunts and uncles.  I remember running around playing games, telling stories and singing Mariachi songs around the campfire, and counting the stars until we fell asleep.  I moved to New York when I was kid, so I would spend the entire school year dreaming about going back to the ranch and getting away from the craziness of the city.  I still have that same feeling I did as a child, so whenever I get a chance (which isn’t very often) I head for open land.  Every fall or winter, I’ll take a few days to go hunting in Alabama with friends, but this summer (since I’m gearing up to open new restaurants in Stamford, CT, and New York), I’ll only have a day off here and there to enjoy the fresh air and blue skies.

My Tio Mario accompanied me on my day adventure, so we decided to wake up early, make some food (beans and rice), pack a cooler and head out.  We brought along our REI Screen House and Flex-lite chairs, so we could stay cool and comfortable in the brutal summer heat.  We found a little place in Connecticut, on our way to the restaurant, and decided to set up camp.

We had no trouble setting up the screen house and chairs; after all, Tio Mario was a boy scout when he was younger.  It only took us about 10-15 minutes to set everything up, which was good, because we just wanted to relax!

It was a perfect day.  We told stories, shared a lot of laughs and had some good food.  It’s a great way to unwind and get away from the stressed out and rushed mentality that all New Yorkers seem to have.  Even though it was just a day, it brought me back to those times at the family ranch, and left me rejuvenated and feeling like I could take on the world!


Post in partnership with REI. All opinions shared here are my own.