I have eleven days to spend in Colorado! This nice extended vacation has been punctuated with shots of Dayquil, Local Celestial Seasonings Echinacea tea and spicy foods in attempts to fight off this awful bug I brought with me. Sorry, family! Hope you stay healthy!
There’s still snow in spots on the ground outside as I type, and the promise of more snow hangs in the air just over the mountains out the back window. I might actually be blessed enough to have a white Christmas!
I brought a few pre-Christmas gifts with me. Ora Tamir, the artist I used to work for, finally got the finished product of her book!
Ora and I spent months working on this thing, and it turned out perfectly!
So happy and proud!
I even got my quote published in the book next to my favorite piece! I’m officially a published editor and author. Awesome.
The second day I was here, my mumsie and I met up with our best friends from way back when I was in elementary school at the Chocolate Cafe in downtown Fort Collins.
Exquisite caramel cappuccino for my bestie Michelle. Unsweetened jasmine tea for the virus-ridden me.
Grilled cheese (quite sad compared to anything from Custom Melt’s menu) and creamy tomato basil soup split with my mumsie.
Chicken gnocchi soup for me.
Michelle and her mom split the key lime pie. I was dying to try their chocolate ravioli or toffee brownie, but was too full to even attempt it. Luckily I have plenty of time to head back for another go.
Of course I couldn’t get through more than a few days without visiting a brewery. Loveland Aleworks opened July 4th of this year in the quaint downtown Loveland.
Clean and spacious with a high stack of board games. I could see myself settling in here for a few hours playing “Fact or Crap” while the snow falls outside.
My pops, brother and I split a flight of everything. I got the last sip in attempts not to infect them both.
We got these ten brews, plus a taster from the cask.
My favorite of them all was the Russian Imperial Stout. Thick and dark as motor oil and full of sweet dried fruits and rich chocolate. A perfect winter warmer at 9.5%ABV. I didn’t have a single beer here that I didn’t like! I’ll be going back for some more tasters and a tour during my stay this week. I have quite a few tours on the schedule, actually, so keep an eye out for those recaps!
I’m off to bake Christmas cookies, take more shots of cough medicine and drink some nice, hoppy brews in an attempt to battle whatever is raging war inside my lungs. If you’re looking for an amazing Christmas morning breakfast recipe, check out my Savory Christmas Bread Pudding. You won’t regret it.
Merry Christmas Eve!
Last Thursday I got a last minute call to help out Ora Tamir with an art show up in Mountain View. Recalling all of the delicious foods on the way up, I readily agreed. That and the fact that I wanted to help my former boss out. There was that too.
The Firestone Taproom in Buellton was our first stop! I went for one of their beers that is only served in the taproom – Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale that’s 100% oak fermented.
This beer was out of this world. Most oaked beers I’ve tried before have been pretty high in alcohol, so it was interesting to try one at 5% ABV. The aroma and flavor of oak was powerful without being overwhelming, and balanced with a sweet, clean malt. I’m honestly disappointed they don’t serve this outside of the taproom. Oh well, I guess that means more road trips up to try it!
I ordered a big, greasy burger topped with cheddar, caramelized onions, bacon and chipotle mayo and demolished the entire thing. No regrets.
We stayed in the beautiful Domain Hotel again. I did have to do a little studying while I was up there. Big bummer, but I buckled down and learned everything about the history and profile of Oktoberfest/Marzen/Vienna beers.
Breakfast in Mountain View consisted of freshly baked asiago bagels smothered in cream cheese. Super healthy, but again, no regrets.
One of Ora’s future customers. Absolutely precious.
We stopped at Seaside Cafe and Bakery in Shell Beach on the way home and got a veggie scramble with thick wedges of roasted potatoes and crispy bacon…
…and I got the turkey and brie sammich on housemade french bread smothered with fresh pesto. This was a half order and I couldn’t finish it. It was a workout just to figure out how to consume it as it was. Jaws may have been unhinged.
I also had a chance to swing by Island Brewing Company on the way down and pick up a few of their bourbon barrel-aged beers!
Somewhat pricey, but completely worth it! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for them to put their World Beer Cup winning Starry Night Stout into a bourbon barrel! Hint, hint…
It was great to be back on the road and be a gypsy again, even if only for a short time. There are some HUGE changes going on in my life, hence the lack of consistent posting, but I’ll be updating you on that soon enough!
I’m freaking exhausted. Ora and I broke a new record for breaking down the booth today. An hour and thirty-two minutes! The first time I ever did this – 7 months and 12,800 miles ago, it took us four hours. So for this random post, mainly full of random pictures from the last week of things that make me happy, I blame 12,800 miles of driving for my job in the span of 7 months, the two flautas stuffed with guacamole and the margarita (and a half) that I had tonight.
Hanging out with this blurry yet hot chica, eating massive amounts of sandwiches at a kitschy little coffee shop and talking until our throats were sore. There aren’t many girls that I can put up with – Sofia is one of a handful. Besides her being so awesome, she eats massive amounts of food like I do. For that (and her awesome personality I guess…), I adore her.
Amazing elementary school workbook. Is Fred a Hooker, or is Frank a Hooker? Oh, my terrible, immature mind.
MOCHA CHAI! I had one in Monterey on my 21st birthday and never forgot. This one wasn’t quite as good, but I’ll eventually seek out that little coffee shop and relive the experience!
Moustache Man! This epic mustache that stretched from each end of the jaw to the other made my day. I wish I’d gotten a full view, but I was being pretty obvious with my camera phone as it is…
Lagunitas IPA at Grayson’s place. I drank it out of the bottle since I’d had it before and didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and make him wash a glass. I’m accommodating like that…
My first Pliny the Elder. JOY! I saw this on the menu at the pub we went to and flipped out. The nose on this is full of spicy hops and happiness. The first sip was sweeter than I was expecting, which was actually a nice change from most of the IPAs I’ve had lately. It’s nice to get some body and malt along with the bitterness of the hops. LOVE in a glass.
The largest of Grayson’s dogs. Queenie? Maybe that’s her name? Gray, if you had fewer than four dogs I’d know, but seven is just TOO MANY!
Two of my best friends and me. Caption: Grayson ponders the true meaning of the artsy photographs that Joelle (my roommate from college and LA) is perusing. I jump in wearing what looks like a piece of gigantic paper, but in reality is a cute off-the-shoulder shirt that has an unfortunately lame saying on it. I blame the Pliny. I blame the Pliny for that sentence, and for the shirt. I just blame the Pliny.
Food in a cup.
That is all.