Monday, August 27, 2012

Dayton Ale Fest 2012

Can't believe how quickly this year has gone.  It feels like only the blink of an eye, yet it's time for Dayton's Alefest once again.  

'Nother year, 'nother glass

Last year we knew not the wisdom of those who had come before us, and were without pretzel-garb.  Not this year, no sir.  

Pretzel necklaces are an essential part of maintaining stamina

It's not a bad setup at the Dayton Alefest.  It's bottle-pours as opposed to tapped kegs, which is no big deal to me. I'd rather not have double or triple the wait outside.  

However, it was mid-nineties and broiling hot under the cloudless sky.  More tents would have been nice.  One of our friends is sporting a lobstery-red glow for the next few days thanks to minimal relief from the sun.  

Even so, the lines were nowhere near as long as they were at the Cincy Winter Beerfest.  Many lines seemed longer than they were because after a moment you would discover that the people before you weren't in line, they were merely hiding from the sun.  

But everyone was so darn nice, jovial, which is as it should be.  We're all just here to have fun, right?

O-Town's Menu :

Spaten Dunkel : Win
Konig Ludwig Weiss Hefeweizen : Win  
Hinterland Bock : Win (a bit too sweet to drink overmuch)
Wychwood Hobgoblin : Win (I knew this, and should have tried the Wychcraft.  Alas, I lacked good decision-making skills whilst inebriated)
Bell's Oberon : Win (I knew this too.  Continued bad decision-making)
Rockmill Tripel : Win
Something from the Brooklyn Brewery, maybe the Sorachi Ace... I can't remember : Good
New Holland Beerhive Tripel : Really special win 
Troeg's Troegenator Double Bock : Really special win


 Southern Tier Pumking : god-awful.  Smelled like a cheap seasonal autumn candle, which is sort of nice.  Sadly, it tasted like it too, which is less than nice.

Just like last year, a good time was had by all at the Dayton Ale Fest.  For a lightweight like myself though its a great opportunity to get a sippy-cup-sized taste test of many brews at one location.  Price of admission was somewhat high, seventy for the two of us.  That's nothing to sneeze at, and for my husband, it may prove to be prohibitive.  

This year's list is shorter because we got there an hour late this year (Had to help out at the old job Saturday morning) plus it was an hour shorter than last year.  I wonder why...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ogunquit 2, 450am

(I wrote this post in June and never posted it.)

Yes, you read that title correctly.

At around 430am (suspend disbelief if you can), on Saturday during our vacation (months back), we roused ourselves from the black depths of the slumber of those who have eaten and drunk far too much the night before at a piano bar.  

As it was also our belated anniversary, we brought with us not only our cameras and coats, but also a bottle of bubbly.

The predawn was absolutely beautiful along the Marginal Way.  

We hurried, inconspicuous bottle in hand.

We were looking for something in particular,

on the morning of this particular day.

To mark all of the beauty and promise of their new beginning, 

at 515am on the day of their wedding, 

we sat on a boulder by the sea, 

at the edge of a day, and also of a brave and wonderful new journey,

and captured a moment in their history.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deep Breath, Leap, Drink

The truth is, I'd been having kind of a rough time.  No matter what I did, I just couldn't get things to go well.  And the more I tried, the worse I ended up botching things, which stressed me out even more.  I was mighty down.  I begged off blogging, dancing, a lot of things.  

It got to the point where I realized that I needed to make a change.  I needed for something to change, and I had to be the one to make it happen.  I started to make plans to change things in my life.  Taking in more freelance work.  Studying up about how to make that work more profitable.  And then I thought, why not just do this?  Just freelance full time?  Seems marvelous, doesn't it?  The ability to set your own hours.  Stay at home with the kids.  Actually cook and clean (baaahahahaaa).  So I started to look into it.  Started to think, hey, I could do this.  And I told my husband that this is what I was going to do.  


Meanwhile. At precisely that time...

Something else that started out as a shot in the dark a few months back unexpectedly turned into a real, viable career option.  I hadn't really thought about the opportunity, only that I'd be a fool not to try.  I had been surprised to get the second interview.  Even more surprised when they offered the position to me.  

But... what about my business?  My own business?  

My independence will keep.  Independence merely waits for me to declare it.  But this opportunity is now, and it will never come again.  It's a chance to learn and grow and network and make friends.  I avail myself of it.  If I hadn't been focusing on the future filled with possibilities, I might not have done well in those interviews.  Life has a strange sense of timing. 

Blah blah blah.  

D tells me he wants to take me for a relaxcation to celebrate my ... Change of Life?  No, no that refers to something else.  The End of My Midlife Crisis?  Ha.  Fat chance.  Let's just say career advancement, shall we?  

Anyway, he gets the idea that we'll go on vacation in Daniel Boone National Forest.  He wanted to see a monument (ha) called Natural Bridge.  

Bobby was excited to go..!

Until he got carsick, making him nervous for the rest of the trip, and my car smelly.

 Bobby covertly threw up in the back seat on the way down to Kentucky.  We didn't see it until the next day, after it had crusted over.  It explained why we couldn't coax him into the car for the rest of the trip.  But other than that we got there in one piece, though I was pretty nauseous from the winding kentucky roads and irritated that there was no plan.  But we hopped from Cave Run Lake to the National Bridge vicinity.  So there we were, tromping in the underbrush and dropping our jaws when we were told that we couldn't bring our dog into the forest.  In the forest.  

Is he going to wreck the forest?  On a leash?  We have poo bags, though, what if  Alright then.  

It had taken an hour to drive there, so we weren't going to drive an hour back to deposit the dog at the hotel.  And we couldn't leave him tied up somewhere because... well, he's adorable and some dastardly dog lover might abscond with him.  So, with Dog in car in the shade, we aggressively tackled an hour up-hill slog in half the time.  Panting, blood pumping like mad, pissed off (me) we made our way up the surprisingly steep incline.  I'm sure the scenery would be lovely if you were strolling along and taking it in.  But we couldn't stroll, Dog was in the car and it was hot. We had to stare at the ground and our feet so as not to faceplant onto the trail.  Even so, at our heart-attack inducing pace it was all we could do not to trip on tree roots and such.  I resented the forest.  I resented the monument.  I resented my husband.  I resented relaxcation.

Relaxcation my arse.  

Soaked with sweat and gasping we reached the top and stood on a massive rock (stupid rock) down at sweeping views of the forest (stupid forest).  I sniffed and sneered and (internally) said some very heated things.  Then down we went again.  Eyeballing our footsteps for roots and rocks and trying not to break our ankles.  

I think people have different ideas of relaxcations.  Winding, carsick inducing road-trips through uuuuuup and dooooowwwwn rolling hills, with heart-pounding speed-hikes for an encore are not my idea of relaxing.  

Hey, different strokes.  God love D for trying.

We left the rock bridge thing whatever to go get some food.  We tried nearby Winchester, drove it from end to end only to discover that nearly every restaurant except Subway was closed after 2pm on a Saturday.  While calling around to all the local cafes, D got as hungry and frustrated as I was, Finally he got a restaurant that picked up (they were closed).  But he asked the staff if he could recommend a good restaurant.  Hall's on the River was a gem of a tip.  If you're ever in that area, look them up.  They saved our vacation.  

All hyperbole aside, Cave Run Lake was quite pretty.  
Cave Run Lake
Cave Run Lake (That's D and Bobby)

see it?

We only actually spent like an hour there before our ill-fated idea to venture to Natural Monument.  

Nature, beautiful, wish you were here, etc.

Lesson learned. 

On our way back to Cincy the next day, we stopped at a winery near Lexington called Equus Run.  

Finally, after sipping and swishing, we sat outside on the shaded patio drinking our bottle of wine and listening to live music.  Dog was at our side, being fawned upon by folks at neighboring and practically spraining his tail in his wagging elation.  

The weather was gorgeous, the skies were blue.  The music was good, and everyone was in good spirits, myself included.   

 It was quiet, and peaceful, and nowhere to rush to and nothing to worry about.  In that moment I was able to let go, disconnect, and relax.  


Luv-drunk Dog

 Relaxcation : Fail.  Success.