top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoe Colaizzo

"You could go bowling.”

That was the suggested alternative from the very helpful lady at the front desk of our hotel.

“Well, you do know this is off season when most things close”.

I knew it was the “off season”, not the “shut down Jackson Hole season”.

At least we would get to hike Yellowstone and see Old Faithful.

“And here is a number to check on the roads to Yellowstone. The weather system that we’re in has the roads closed. Hopefully they open them up while you’re here.”

I asked where the best places for us would be to see bison, bears and moose.

“Well, Yellowstone would’ve been best, but this is the time they start to hunker down. Summer to early Fall is usually the best time. You might get lucky near one of the lakes.”

She really was very helpful.

Joe and I checked into our room and stared at the pile of brochures we collected from the airport. No Yellowstone, No Fly Fishing, No bison. We couldn’t do anything that we


Day One

Since we couldn’t get to Yellowstone, one of the locals we met at the bar said Jenny Lake would be a good place to try. It would be cold, and we would have to deal with the snow but what else was there. Eight miles wouldn’t be too bad.

Five hours later we finished the hike. We laughed at ourselves for thinking we were almost done when in reality we had six and a half miles left to go. And the time when I slipped on a patch of ice and after making sure I was ok, Joe slipped on the same patch. The city slickers were in the house!

Day Two

Our legs still killing us, we decided to find the Granite Hot Springs. It says to take a ten mile, very scenic, gravel road to get there. We discovered that a very scenic, gravel road in Jackson Hole means a swiss cheese style road of dirt, mud, ice all while teetering off of a cliff. After an hour and a half white knuckled crawl where we almost plunged into the ravine, we made it to the springs. As we soaked the tension away, we laughed at that adventure and even more so that we had to cheat death and crawl back.

Day Three

We woke to the sound of pouring rain. Bowling crossed our minds, but we opted to drive to Antelope Flats, a popular migration spot for deer, elk, moose and our holy grail, bison.

The rain filled up the swiss cheese holes and we bounced our way around the flats. Way in the distance we saw a group of dark blobs. Bison!!!! We got out of the car and broke out the binoculars. Magnification is a wonderful thing and as they came into focus, we now saw a closer group of dark blobs. We laughed as we drove back to our hotel, convinced of what we just saw .

Day Four

Sun!!! Now expert hikers, we navigated six miles of Leigh Lake. A really nice hike but at the end our feet were really hurting. Why not test the hot tub at the hotel. Since it was Shut Down Jackson Hole season, we would have it to ourselves.

We approached in only our shorts and debating where to eat dinner when we came upon who I guess was the only other hotel guest. An elderly Asian gentleman was trying to enjoy a meditative soak and I’m sure he was just about to leave anyway. As he left, we said goodbye and he wished us a “quiet and peaceful day”. Was that weird? Or was he being nice? We burst out laughing that he was probably going to put a curse on us back in his room. We called him Kazumi after the Japanese restaurant we wanted to go to but couldn’t since it was closed.

Day Five

Homeward bound. We awoke to the most beautiful day and the notification that Yellowstone had finally opened up all of the roads. We laughed that it was the “Curse of Kazumi”.

The gate agent at the airport told us there would be a two-hour delay. Kazumi!

When we made it to Dallas for our connection, it was cancelled due to bad weather. Our only option was to fly standby and hope we get on the 6:00 AM flight. We found two seats near our gate for the night. Kazumi!

Day Six

The gate agent called our names at 5:30 AM and we were on our way. An uneventful flight and the two exhausted cowboys made it back to Philadelphia. On the drive home we laughed when we thought of the helpful front desk lady, the hiking expertise we exhibited, almost dying while driving to take a bath, those beautiful bison we were sure we saw, the night sleeping in the Dallas airport, and of course, Kazumi.

Yeah, we did everything we wanted.

156 views4 comments
  • Writer's pictureJoe Colaizzo

I’m headed to Yellowstone National Park tomorrow for some hiking with my oldest son. We’ve both never been there before so experiencing it for the first time together should be a blast. Exploring, talking, laughing, evading wild bison, and just getting to know each other better (Come on. How many of you really know your kids?). What a great moment.

Just like all the great moments I’ve had. The wedding! The birth of the kids! The promotion! Graduation! First kiss! First house! First car! First…………. you fill in the blank.

But now I’m staring at all of the piles of stuff I plan to bring, and I find my mind wandering and pushing me to pick “The Moment”. You know, the one most impactful moment of my life.

Not that easy. I’m flip-flopping between a couple of those I mentioned. But there is this one other that keeps popping up. One that I know is there, but I hardly talk about. One that only a small handful of my closest friends and family know. One that is…… “The Moment”.

Have you ever thought about this? Do me a favor. Get to a quiet space, with no one around, with no distractions (you are allowed a drink of choice).

Stop thinking!! What’s that first thing that came to mind? That first thing is your moment. You know it is and don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.

I believe we all have a moment that only we (and maybe a select few others) know. A moment that has shaped who we are. That Is embedded deep in our souls. A moment that we (unfortunately) might hesitate to share with others.

I hope your moment is a great one. The moment you realized that all of your hard work has paid off. The moment you knew you met the love of your life. The moment you heard “Congratulations, you are getting promoted”.

But, for some of you, your moment might be way different. The moment the phone rang with awful news. The moment you realized the love of your life was no more. The moment you heard “Sorry, but we have to let you go”.

And maybe your moment lies somewhere in between (a good moment in the midst of a really shitty time).

How does your moment make you feel? Thankful? Energized? Excited? Bitter? Angry? Confused? Whichever emotion you might feel, I certainly hope you are owning your moment as a defining part of your life.

Realize that all of these moments, these very brief periods of time, good or bad, share one very important thing in common. They are all in the past. They’re over. Done. But aside from the memory, what lives on is how you responded to your moment. This is incredibly important.

You got that promotion……. Did you thank others who supported you? Did you teach others what led to your success so that they might succeed too? Or did you just bask in the glory and claim your throne as king of all humanity?

You got fired……. Did you respond with grit and initiative to never quit on yourself and find a new role? Or did you retreat, regress, and allow self-pity to overtake you?

Your response to your moment is arguably more important to your story than the actual moment is. If you do not like how you have responded, even if your moment happened a very long time ago, there is always time to re-respond. It’s up to you.

Now one other question for you. If this moment is so important to who you are and the life you lead, have you shared with anyone how important that moment is? If you have, what was their reaction? If you haven’t, why not?

It’s very personal, I get it. And why should you share yours when I still haven’t shared mine. That’s a pretty big ask. Not sure I want to share it.

At least not yet.

At least not here.

Chapter One………

87 views1 comment
  • Writer's pictureJoe Colaizzo

A new favorite place of mine is the third seat from the end of the bar at the pub across the street from my apartment. It has a great view of the lone TV, the ability to quickly assess who walks in and it’s right in front of the fruit which I can sample when no one’s looking.

Usually I just pass the time with a bourbon and flipping my gaze between whatever is the game of choice and the latest news, posts, and pics on my phone. But there are times when sports and apps take a back seat to some good back and forth banter with a stranger or two.

Last Friday night a couple older than me, and obviously married for a long time, was seated to my left. They decided to get a night out and I thought it was pretty cool that they would hang out at the bar as opposed to getting a table in the dining area. Somehow, we started talking and that evolved into a conversation about the stock market, which then evolved into wealth, which then evolved into cars, homes, vacations and things like that. How great it is to be able to have those things and see those amazing places.

I’ve said that too.

The mansion in New Jersey was built to every detail that I could dream of. That was then parlayed that into an even better home in Pennsylvania. The weekend in Paris. The escape to Cabo. The wine tasting in Napa. Those trips were amazing. Everything I always wanted.

A text from my daughter brought me back into the real world. We have developed this method of communication where a gif is all we need to send to let each other know what we are thinking. I got the kitten snuggling under a blanket and I knew she was wishing me a good night. I quickly sent her the emperor penguin looking down at his chick. She knows I love her.

The bartender saw my drink was waaay to low and asked me if I wanted another bourbon. Like he had to ask. He’s a very personable guy who bounces between this location and the original bar a few towns away. He just got married to the love of his life. She is really smart, incredibly successful and apparently very hot. The total package. She was going to meet him later and they were going to keep the weekend going. “I am never getting divorced” he boasted as I raised my glass to him.

I’ve said that too.

I got married soon after graduation and lived the most amazing life. The things we experienced, the laughs we shared, the obstacles we overcame. We had lots of fun making babies and the four kids we raised are all incredible and arguably have taught us as much as we have taught them.

I will see my ex tomorrow when I pick up the boys for the weekend. Sometimes husband and wife are also best friends. And sometimes husband and wife become best friends. A little different don’t ya think? We’ll talk about the kids and make sure we are both doing well. We will be there for each other just as best friends would.


As I'm writing this it’s been a couple of days since a funeral I attended back on Staten Island. Roy was a great man, a World War II veteran and the close companion to my godmother for about 15 years. He was the most positive, full of life person you could ever have the chance of knowing. And that coming as he couldn’t even walk (he was 95). When I would talk to him, I always felt like I got the perspective I needed at that time as to what really is important in life.

At the luncheon following the funeral I heard my godmother saying how she can’t believe she will never see him again. I wondered if there was anything she wanted to say to him that she never did or had the chance to. Or if she felt like she took anything for granted in their time together that she wished she appreciated more while he was here.

I said goodbye to everyone (many that I’ve never met before and will never see again), got in my car and headed back home. I reflected on the day, Roy and trying to keep the perspective that Roy would make sure I had. I am committed to never take this life, or the wonderful things I have experienced, for granted ever again.

Go ahead……. you can say it.

111 views0 comments
bottom of page