Category Archives: vacation

Memory Lane (plus Giveaway Winners!)

I had an amazing five days in California seeing wonderful friends! I must say, I miss the 80 degree weather while sitting on the patio at Ladyface and the gorgeous sunsets from the beachfront hotel room in Oxnard, but it is so nice to be home in Colorado. I really do feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Now for a picture-heavy recap of the trip, plus the winners of the Craft Beer for the Homebrewer book giveaway!
am11Remember how I said that me as a 27 year old wouldn’t be skipping workouts? I may have lied to both you and myself and taken the rest of the trip off. Oops.
am13Story Tavern in Downtown Burbank on a beautiful patio with even better temperatures and amazing beer. It was a rough start to the trip.
amBirthday breakfast at the hotel! A half serving of Eggs Benedict and copious amounts of horrible hotel coffee.
AM2CUSTOM MELT to see my favorites Thomas and Phil! I was headed to the beach so I got some sammiches to go and sat around catching up with these two wonderful men.
AM1I may have also tasted some of Enegren’s beer that I can’t get way out here in Colorado. Sniff.
AM3Nothing Bundt Cake! I picked up a red velvet bundlet as my birthday cake and did a happy dance out the door.
AM4No, we didn’t actually stay here, seeing that it’s abandoned and decrepit, but I had to swing by and say hello to one of my favorite formally-local hotels.
AM5Once I got to the actual hotel, I scarfed down my Custom Melt sammich of choice – the Crispy Chicken: Thomas style. Fried chicken smothered in buffalo sauce and topped with carrots and celery in a creamy heaven sauce. My arteries were aching and it was so worth it.
AM6A slow stroll on the beach followed by a relaxing sun-bath on the lifeguard stand.
AM7Just because I’m artistic and stuff.
AM8I hit the hotel hot tub to warm up and then sat out on the back deck to enjoy the sunset.
AM9Blissed out.
AM10Overpriced hotel salmon and cous cous for birthday dinner.
AM12Sunrise the next morning.
AM32Overwhelming beauty.
AM33Okey, I am definitely missing this right now.
AM13Lunch with my other favorites at Ladyface Alehouse in Agoura. The weather was to die for.
AM15Beautiful mother and daughter!
AM14And so very stylish, Avery! Now please stop chewing on Becki’s sunglasses…
AM16I had to. I always have to. The mac ‘n cheese with bacon and jalapeno is too good to turn down, especially paired with the Ladyface IPA.
AM17After saying farewell to Janelle and Avery, I went out to the mall to pick up some gelato and say hi to my friends who run the place, then enjoyed a walk through the farmers market.
AM18Year round strawberries! It’s killing me to look at this.
AM19Yet another stop on the food list. Andria’s Seafood at the Ventura Harbor.
AM39And another sunset. You bored yet? Too bad.
AM24Another sunrise that will never get old (to me).
AM20I enjoyed a leisurely walk in Downtown Ventura and then drove up the coast to visit more of my favorite people who work at/own one of my favorite breweries. We had to visit The Spot for burgers and shakes while we waited for the brewery doors to open.
AM21Island Brewing Company!
AM34I enjoyed the Avocado Honey Ale with the ocean in the background. A perfect way to spend a Hallmark holiday.
AM35Oh, I miss the ambiance of this place. They’re expanding to the space next door soon, and Mark was kind enough to give me a tour, which basically was him opening a door to a HUGE empty space and telling me to look while pointing out where the gigantic walk-in and canning station will be. Awesome.
AM22Valentine’s Day flowers and sunsets make for a happy Becki.
AM23Once I was back at the hotel I poured myself a Black Market Hefeweizen (all the beer consumed on this trip was beer that I can only find in California, for obvious reasons), and visited the pool for a swim.
AM36More sunsets.
AM37Never enough sunsets.
AM38Sunsets with best friends.
AM40Trying to be artistic again and forgetting to drink my Trader Joe’s Mission Street Anniversary Ale (which is only $2.99!!!). Luckily we have a Trader Joe’s opening here in Fort Collins soon! I missed it so much!
AM41Okey, enough with the art.
AM42The final sunset on the beach. Le sigh.
AM25On Saturday afternoon I drove up to the Burbank area so I could catch my flight early on Sunday and checked into this awesome hotel. What a view!
AM26Golden Road was visited. 2020 IPA and Berliner Weisse with woodruff syrup was had. Fried artichokes were consumed. The hotel was visited and slept in.
AM27Bright and early Sunday morning, I was sitting back on the plane with my face pressed against the glass, trying to will myself not to cave and move back.
AM28Oh, Lord, why?
AM29Once I landed, I had to go and check on the progress of my new house! It was 63 degrees outside and the bathtubs were installed! I breathed in the fresh Colorado air and felt right once again.
AM30The wind picked up last night, followed by an unexpected downpour. I opened up this Enegren Brewing 2nd Anniversary Dopplesticke that I’ve had aging in my cellar since right before I moved and sat by the fire enjoying the company of my wonderful family.
AM41What a glorious trip it was.

Okay, you guys ready for the winners of the book? I assigned all of you entry numbers (you could get up to four), and did a random number generator online. The winners are…..
AMCourtney L. and Aaron C.!!!! I’ve sent you both e-mails to let you know! As for the rest of you…
The publisher has offered up THREE more copies for me to give away! If you didn’t win, your name is going into the next giveaway! As soon as I receive those copies, I’ll put up an extension to the giveaway and three more of you will get this book for free. If you can’t wait until then, here’s a link to buy the book:
Craft Beer for the Homebrewer: Recipes From America’s Top Brewmasters

Happy Monday to everyone!


Filed under Giveaway, vacation

A Weekend Getaway

On Friday the parental unit and myself went up to Fraser, Colorado for a nice long weekend getaway.
AM12Stunning views from our cozy little cabin. The temperature ended up hanging around between 20-32 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time.
AM13I don’t think the fireplace turned off for longer than five minutes the entire weekend. It was chilly! On Friday night we went out to find a place to warm up and stuff ourselves.
AMThe Library Sports Grille and Brewery is a brewery (durr) in Winter Park, right down the street from Fraser.
AM1The pub has seating that overlooks the little 5bbl system. I obviously chose that seating.
am5They have seven beers on tap, so we ordered a flight.
am8AM2AM3My personal favorite was the Big Nose ESB – malty, clean and simple. Sometimes you just need a straight forward beer.
am9Sometimes you also need fried pickles. I tried fried pickles for the first time a few years ago at my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner at Coopersmith’s in Fort Collins and fell in love! Since then I’ve always preferred fried pickle spears, but these worked out just fine as well – especially with the spicy dill aioli they came with. Drooool.
am10We also got potato skins stuffed with smoky bacon and overloaded with cheddar cheese. Droooool again.
am11Those pickle chips and potato skins were accompanied by the hottest wings in the universe. Or at least the hottest wings in Winter Park. I had two of these and had to raise a white flag in surrender.
am4We returned to the cabin, restarted the fire and relaxed with a growler of Loveland Aleworks Robust Porter and a movie.

The rest of the weekend was taken up by exploring the local lakes and small towns, and we finally made it into Cheeky Monk – a Belgian beer bar located in the middle of Winter Park Ski Resort.
AM15They had a pretty nice selection of draught beers. I’m assuming that the Denver location probably has more because distribution is easier, but I was happy!
AM14My pops got St. Bernardus Abt. 12 – notes of raisin and molasses with a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. Just what he needed for the freezing day.
am17I perused the bottle list for a while, wiping the drool from the list before it could smudge the ink and finally settled on a nice, crisp Bud Light.
AM16I’m beyond joking! I went for Delirium Tremens Golden Strong – spicy with hints of white pepper and an extremely dry ending. Truly a beautiful beer.
am18When we got back to the cabin it started to snow, so we turned on the fire (again) and enjoyed the misty view.
Cabin ViewSometimes you just need a quick getaway/vacation. I feel so blessed that we’re only two hours away from such a nice, quiet town like Fraser (which everyone calls Freezer thanks to the low temperatures, apparently).
Winter ParkI also feel blessed that such a quiet, secluded town is still just a short distance from some awesome beer bars and cute little restaurants. And pickle chips.

Ever tried fried pickles? What do you like better – spears or chips?


Filed under vacation


Last weekend Commander Matt and I went up to Kern Valley for a weekend of camping and mountain biking. It was a much needed getaway. The disposable camera decided to join us instead of my fancy camera. Old school!
We decided to camp at Alder Creek –  a primitive campsite set three miles down a windy road with an elevation drop of 1,000 feet. It was secluded and FREE! It would have been quiet if there hadn’t been a huge family who brought their 30ft long trailer down and left the generator on the entire time.
We set up the campsite before the trailer arrived, then lifted my awesome lightweight tent and walked it down a ways to a site where we couldn’t hear the generator purring nonstop.
Ahhh, much better. As soon as the site was set up, we hopped on our mountain bikes and got to exploring.
We went from fire road to trail and got lost quite a few times.
We stumbled across the skeleton of either a deer or a cow. The national forest was stuffed with cows and steer. Afraid of bears? Nah, no big deal. Come across a herd of cattle? Um, let’s turn around and bike the other way… Seriously, those steer will STARE YOU DOWN! And after seeing/hearing/feeling a stampede, I wouldn’t want to take them on.
We rode for about two hours, uphill, with places so steep we had to hike with the bikes. It was wonderful and painful.
The views made all the pain worth it.
It was quite a dusty ride. That shoe tan is absolutely horrendous.
We grabbed some brews from the back of the truck, hiked down a ways and found a wide section of the creek where we washed the trail from our legs and enjoyed the last rays of sun.
Commander Matt decided to build a fire. We tried to go au natural before resorting to our purchased wood supply. Matt decided on a small tree…
Which he promptly “chopped” with a rock. Au natural.
I went gourmet and cooked up some sundried tomato chicken sausages and boiled some sundried tomato and goat cheese ravioli a la Trader Joe’s. The joys of being able to drive the truck directly to the campsite. We were prepared to trek the cooler all 3 miles in!
Quality disposable camera food shot. Lovely.
The next day after having coffee and breakfast by the creek, we headed out for another bike ride. Remember that 3 mile long drive in with the 1,000 foot elevation drop I told you about? We biked up it. The entire road.
Complete and utter stupidity. But man, did it feel good to get to the top and be able to cruise all the way back down!
We passed out quite early that evening, in extreme amounts of awesome pain.
Once we got back to real life, we decided that another bike ride would be a good idea.
We explored some more. We found an abandoned oil rig.
The end.


Filed under vacation