i woke up early so we could get a jumpstart at the beach. christine and christina were already up and getting ready to leave, to go to christine's mother's birthday party. i said good bye to them and then soon afterwards the other people started to wake up. it turned out that only john, dan, and i were going to the beach -- just the boys -- but then megan and roseanne decided they wanted to come with us as well. so we all piled into john's car and drove down to the local beach while blaring tunes from the mp3 player.

when we got to the beach, the first order of business was to apply some sunblock. while the girls helped each other out in the application of sunlight protective cream, the boys basically opted for an "every man for himself" approach to putting on the sunblock. 2 hours later, back at the house, we (the guys) realized what a terrible mistake that was not asking for each, as each and every one of us had bands of sunburnt flesh on our backs from where we missed a spot. my back was like a cave painting, you could actually see the palm prints from where i put on sunblock and the burnt area from where i didn't.



john & dan

so back at the house we decided to relax a few hours more before getting dressed and going back out to the wine country part of long island. for lunch we just ate leftovers from last night's delicious dinner.

we had to take two cars to wine country because not everyone could fit into just one. megan drove her vehicle with deanna and roseanne, while john drove dan, cymara, and myself. we had actually driven through this area on our way to deanna's place friday night, but that was in the dark and we couldn't see very much. during the daytime it was a different story. a whole stretch of road lined with either vineyards or farmsteads. we got to the area pretty late, the sun was already starting to set, so a lot of these places were closing up or already closed. there was also an abundance of motorcycles on the road, and i almost got whiplash from turning my head everytime i heard the roar of a bike engine. the weather was perfect for riding too, warm and clear blue skies. we visited a vineyard called pindar, which on a previous trip john had seen a whole field of sunflowers, but when we finally found the place, it was already closed and all the sunflowers had been cut down and harvested. assuming that probably all the vineyards were closed (sorry, no wine tasting folks!), we decided it was time to grab some dinner.

we first stopped off at pagano's. after looking at their menu outside, we decided it was too pricey and hopped back into the car to find a cheaper joint. we stopped at this other place that looks like a no-name brigham's, but their kitchen was closed for the day and the only thing they were serving tonight was ice cream. finally, we arrived at joanthony's. while john and megan went to go park the car, the rest of us went into the restaurant to grab a table. although joanthony's wasn't any cheaper than pagano's, this was our third restaurant and nobody wanted to keep on searching so we ended up staying. the inside of joanthony's is all decorated with b&w photos of celebrities from bygone eras. marilyn monroe, babe ruth, joe dimaggio, marx brothers, w.c.fields, etc. the place was dimly lit except for colorful stained-glass tiffany lamps dangling from the ceilings. it seems to be a haunt of local senior citizens, as most of the patrons were of a significantly older age. after a long wait and no appearance by john or megan, deanna went outside to investigate. turns out they turned out of a one way street and was nabbed by the police. apparently that place is a favorite police trap to catch people accidently coming out of a one way street. both john and megan got ticketed, and when john finally arrived at the restaurant, it was all he could talk about. the waitress overheard our conversation and told us that the police had been heavily patrolling this area for driving infractions, and although it was kind of too late to say it now, that we should be careful around this town. i ordered the blue cheese steak, which came with homefries and a small soup. everyone else had the burger.

after dinner we drove cymara to orient point, where she caught a ferry back to new london, because she had to return to boston for classes the next day. we barely made it in the nick of time, and later dan told me that at new london cymara had missed her connecting train and had to flag down a bus in order to get back to boston.

so with cymara gone, dan finally let us know that he was in some considerable pain and would need to visit some sort of health clinic, or maybe even an emergency room hospital as soon as possible. so we drove him to the east long island hospital. the ladies went back home, while john and i took dan into the emergency room. it really wasn't that dramatic as it sounds though. dan walked in on his own power, albeit rather gingerly. inside the emergency room, it was empty and almost seemed like there was nobody around. we saw some nurse, who, when asked, told his to register at the front desk. while dan filled out the prerequisite forms, john and i went looking for a bathroom. walking around this little hospital, it almost seems like a ghost town, nobody around. apparently they don't get a lot of action around here. we went back to the emergency room waiting area, and a few minutes later dan was called in to see the doctor. john and i waited outside, read the magazines and children books lying around (somebody had left a copy of watchtower with the cover story, "is satan real?" on the cover -- yeah, he's really all right, and he lives inside of dan's stomach!). there was also a wall-mounted television tuned into the yankees-red soxs game, mike mussina pitching again david cone. we were probably in that hospital for a good two hours. at one point we saw dan come out of the doctor's room in a gown, lying on a stretcher. we thought maybe he was getting operated on, but they were just wheeling him down to get an x-ray taken. after the first hour, these group of people arrived at the waiting room. they were here to drop off their elderly mother (mother-in-law), who had some sort of serious colon issue. while the doctor was treating their mother, they watched the game on tv. can you guess which team they were rooting for? yankees of course! if they only knew they were sitting next to two diehard red sox fans from boston! i tried to play it cool, didn't make a big effort to let them know that i wasn't rooting for their home team. i figured, hey, we're in new york, it's their place, they should be allowed to root for the yankees. john on the otherhand had no qualms about dropping little hints that we were from boston and that we were red sox fans. he asked me, within perfect earshot of our yankees fans, about the time i met trot nixon, and the last red sox game i went to, and whether or not mark hickey was at the game we were watching on tv. i sort of cringed, i didn't want it to get messy here in the hospital waiting lounge, start a fight with some yankee fans! it got really interesting when the game drew to a close, because mike mussina was a couple of pitches shy of throwing a no-hitter/perfect game against the red sox. when carl everett hit that blooper to left field for a hit, john and i were cheering (i was cheering very quieting in my chair however), while one of our neighboring yankees fan got up, rolled up his newspaper, and hit carl everett on the tv. it was about that time that dan came back out. he told us what it was he had -- lower intestinal inflamation -- and he had to stay off the solid food for awhile and take some anti-inflammatory drugs. after he signed some release forms, we left the hospital. i felt really good for some reason. sure, the evening started to appear that it would suck, with john miller getting a ticket, dan going to the hospital, and the red sox getting swept by the yankees in the weekend series. but with dan pretty much okay (we originally thought it might've been a cracked rib, or something more serious that'd require surgery) and the red sox ruining the no-hitter, things felt okay again.

the car was low on gas so we decided to visit a gas station. there we had a celebrity sighting: dave pirner from soul asylum! who? yeah, that's what i said. i just recognized him, with his greasy dreadlocked whiteboy look, but john miller actually recognized him enough to know his name, and when john went to pay for his gas, he was able to verify that it was indeed dave pirner.

back at the house, we found the ladies all huddled together (ahh...so cute!) on the sofa watching a lifetime network movie, murder of innocence (1993). ohmigod, that has got to be the freakiest movie ever! it was so awful, you couldn't turn away, you just had to watch it! i can't even begin to describe it, but suffice to say that valerie bertinelli sure can play a crazy woman!

i downloaded the photos i took that day onto my ibook during the movie. when the made-for-tv film was over, it was time for bed. tomorrow, last day on long island! we're going back home!

tomorrow: the final installment of my long island weekend!