THIS WEEKEND | IN THE PICTURESQUE POCONOS + BY WAY OF A RAINY ROOFTOP FIREWORK DISPLAY FOR THE FOURTH

I kind of forgot - honestly - what the straight-up forest looks like. Envision miles of tree after tree; winding dirt roads; sunsets glossing over glass-like lake water. It's no surprise, really, if you're in the country. But this city girl, she rarely gets woods-deep these days. 

That said, this weekend was spent at the Forest Lake Club in the Pocono Mountains with Kels and Steph, and Kel's most hospitable (+ fun) family at their family summer home. It was a refresher course in how to feel remote; and further, how to slow down. 

And while each weekend always has it's (multiple) highlights, I'm just going to preface that the highlight of this one was recalling how to literally slow down. For me, it's always a most-necessary reminder that people don't always operate at a million miles per hour. I think I slept the soundest I have in months - perhaps slipping into a momentary coma at certain points throughout the night.

Other things? Thankfully summer was calling and let us take a break from the urban scenery to take in the serenity of two outrageously beautiful, yes outrageous, sunsets in the remote part of upstate PA. Let's have this moment to take a look at these colors; so beautifully bold.

We spent all of Sunday setting sail on a lake while taking in countless rays. Boating will never get old.

Our days were also consumed (or shall I say, we consumed*) with so much wine (too much?) and tequila. And... Naturally, all of the snacks. 

As for the Fourth? It was spent back in the city - rooftop style with an eclectic bunch. The way things come together in New York, with people from all of the world - quite literally - to gather and celebrate America's Independence, is actually quite remarkable. 

That being said, a group of about 11 of us gathered on the rooftop of apartment 88 for a night of fireworks, an insta-worthy assortment of summer snacks (including some kickass guac made by Alina) and of course, multiple bottles of rosΓ©.

Sometimes I wonder if my friends and I were fish in a past life the way we are so easily inclined to sip these sorts of liquids... 

And while we did have to duck inside of our apartment for a moment, due to a torrential downpour, we all managed to jigsaw our bodies into an extremely quaint space. My college education skills in spatial planning were put to use.

Not a bad place to park yourself, if I do say so myself. 

Not a bad place to park yourself, if I do say so myself. 

Strangers + friends; foreigners + Americans. All united. New York has brought the most awesome legends into my life. Ain't that America? 

Strangers + friends; foreigners + Americans. All united. New York has brought the most awesome legends into my life. Ain't that America? 

So, if you haven't gathered from the above, my Fourth was festive and made me feel fortunate; for some seriously firm friendships and this little thing called freedom we sometimes (or often) take for-granted.