Monday, April 30, 2012


July use to be my favorite month. Before I left Michigan. 

July was the heart of my summer growing up. It meant being carefree, warm weather and best of all boating. The 4th of July was my favorite holiday. 

This year July is something different. A turning point. 

July is a few very short months away. 

My lease is up at the end of July. 

It is time to make decisions. Decisions to stay or go. Leaving means more than feeling bad about leaving a job early. 

Now it means leaving people I've met behind. But that's life. 

It also means leaving an opportunity of a lifetime. An opportunity that would have worked best if it had come with different timing. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Colorado Living - Colorado Beer

Another Friday, another Colorado Living post. Today's post falls on a perfect day, M is actually on his way back to Denver for the weekend for work. Lucky him.

Since M was going to be out of town, I decided to volunteer to work this weekend. Today marks day one of another 8 days in a row. I hope I survive. I guess if I am burned out by middle of summer, I won't feel so bad leaving, will I?

Today I am going to share with you one of the best things about Colorado. The beer! Colorado has some fantastic breweries. Two of my favorite breweries are in Denver and one of them is in Boulder. 

M and I tried to make it to as many of Colorado's breweries as we could. We even went on a camping trip to Durango just to visit a few specific breweries. Durango is completely across the state from where we were living and of course we hit as many breweries as we could on the way. 

Colorado has a pretty cool idea, there is a map that is sold called the Beer Drinker's Guide To Colorado. It highlights all of the Colorado breweries. Here is a small portion of the map. 

I tried to take as many pictures as I could when I remembered but of course I wasn't blogging at the time so simple pictures such as my favorite breweries, places I frequented quite often, I don't have pictures of. Fail.

I'll begin in Denver. As you can see, Denver has a plethora of beer! Two of my favorite places were Strange Brewing Company and Drydock Brewing Company. 

Strange Brewing Co was one of the newest and smallest breweries in town. It was run by volunteer workers out of what could be considered a garage. They have awesome beer. Two of my favorites were Cherry Bomb Stout and Cherry Kriek. They get their cherries from Michigan which is way cool. 

Drydock Brewing Company was a favorite of mine because they have Firkin Friday. Every Friday at 3pm they would tap a firkin of specialty beer, such as Strawberry Blonde or Raspberry Framboise. A firkin is just smaller than a keg. I would rush from work, where I would get out at 3:30pm and M would battle the traffic to barely meet me by 4pm. Sometimes I would order the very last pint they were serving and save it for M. Their beers are phenomenal and just thinking about that place is making me miss is so much. They run their brewery out of their homebrew shop. We would go there to get supplies to brew our own. 

Boulder is also loaded with breweries. One of my favorite breweries in Boulder was Twisted Pine Brewing Company. Twisted Pine brews a ton of different styles of beer. One of my favorites was their Espresso Stout, brewed with espresso. 

Boulder Beer Company put on an even last April, a beer scavenger hunt. M and I were quick to sign up and we had a blast. You are basically on a scavenger hunt though Boulder and you find clues to lead you to the next bar. At the bar you get free beer while you are there. There are certain things we had to collect on the hunt. I do have pictures of the crazy time we had. 

We played jenga in a bar, rode a bull, had to find specific things to take pictures of - all while getting free beer. One of the funnest events I've done.

In addition to the local breweries, we also visited breweries in Grand Lake, Breckenridge, Estes Park and any small brewery on the way we could find. Oscar Blues Brewery was in the small town of Lyons, CO which we passed though on our way to Estes Park. 

We also went to the big breweries, New Belgium and Odell in Fort Collins. However, I can only find one picture from that trip and I know I have more.

Odell Brewing Co - spring 2010

As I mentioned, we took a trip across the state to visit a few breweries in Durango. On the way, we hit up as many as possible. We stopped at a teeny tiny brewery in Del Norte to find that it was closed. On our way back from our Durango trip we stopped again to find it open. We go to great lengths to visit breweries. 

Small town of Del Norte.

On our way back we were lucky enough to make it inside. It was an experience to say the least, the smallest brewery in existence. It is also where I learned that I am very fond of sour beers. 

After Del Norte and before Durango we got to Pagosa Springs. We spent some time at the brewery there. 

When we got to Durango we had Durango Brewing Company, Steamworks and Ska. Ska was basically the reason we went to Durango and all of the rest were a bonus. 

After Durango Brewing Co and Steamworks we found out that Ska was closed! It would be open Monday morning at 8am. I couldn't believe it. We had driven 7 hours, there was no way we were missing out on Ska. We camped in Durango and sure enough on Monday morning, bright and early, on our way back to Denver we stopped at Ska!

Morning flight!

Happy camper. Literally.

Ska was all we hoped it could be and Durango was beautiful. We were rained out camping but we still managed to have fun and I am so glad we were able to see the things we did. The road trip was pretty epic too. 

We also had the chance to visit the many breweries in Colorado Springs, without pictures as usual. Bristol Brewing Company, Trinity Brewery, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company and Colorado Mountain Brewery. 

I've also previously mentioned visiting Aspen Brewing Company. There are some others that I haven't mentioned and that I don't have pictures from that we stopped at in passing. It was a goal of ours to make it to as many Colorado breweries that were feasible and I have to say we ended up being pretty successful. 

Check out my other Colorado Living posts!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Memories Of St. Maarten

Yesterday and today are my days off before I begin another 8 days of work in a row. I had big plans for yesterday. Plans that consisted of laundry, blogging, errands, blogging and starting a project of cleaning out my closet and packing clothes I won't be using in the next few months away.

Yesterday was suppose to be a chilly rainy day. Not unusual for my day off. It seems all of my scheduled days off though the month of March fell on rainy days. No big deal, like I said, I had big plans of being productive. 

Instead, this is what happened yesterday.

The predicted rainy day turned into a beautiful clear, hot 75 degree day. I dropped everything and headed outside to the beach. 

It was a pretty big deal because its been about a week since I've seen the sun. On the beaches of Southern California we have what you call May Grey, June Gloom. The sun doesn't come out on the coast for a couple of months. Straight. The coast is covered in a marine layer and literally half a mile in the sun will be shining. May Grey seemed to make an early appearance last week.

It looked like this every day since my mom left last week!

Anyway, I got a little toasted in the sun yesterday. 

Today I am guest posting for Katie over at Priceless Adventure. Katie is living a Caribbean dream right now. She lives in Dominica. Pretty cool. She's on a mini vacation to St. Maarten and she asked me to guest post about my St. Maarten adventures and experiences. If you are dying to hear about my travels to St. Maarten, go check out my guest post and her blog!
Katie also designed my blog. She also made the little banner you see above. If you like her work, you should check out her design website. She's pretty talented!

My skin almost feels like I spent some time in St. Maarten myself so I am off to find some aloe!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Day I Became A Wine Club Member

While my mom was in town I took her wine tasting in Temecula. We met one of her childhood friends up there. I planned on taking a bunch of pictures and creating a whole post about it. 

Instead, I took out my camera twice, once before we started tasting and once at the very end. To say I am disappointed in myself is an understatement but we had a blast and thats all that matters. 

The weather ended up being terrible. It was cold, rainy and windy. Not my ideal day to take my mom wine tasting. But like I said, we had fun and thats what counts. 

South Coast Winery from the parking lot. 

We tasted at three different wineries. We started at Maurice Carrie, one of my favorite wineries. We ordered a baked brie sourdough loaf and carried it around with us for the day. The loaf is bigger than your head and absolutely the most amazing thing you could eat. Why I didn't take a picture is beyond me.

Our second stop was Danza del Sol. I had never been there before but wanted to check it out. Boy am I glad we did. After we had a little wine in us, my mom's friend began to tell her about the wine club memberships the wineries offer. Before I knew it we were signing up. With my membership I get free tastings for myself and up to four people! Temecula isn't that close to San Diego but now I'm going to have to make it up there more often that I would have before. 

After we became wine members and had more brie sourdough, we went to Keyways Winery. My expectations were set high for Keyways and I'll just say it wasn't one of my favorites. 

The next night my mom, M and I killed a couple bottles of our new wine on our balcony. 

I can't wait to enjoy my new club membership!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Scenic SoCal

While my mom was visiting, my aunt, uncle and cousin came down for a day. M, my uncle, cousin and I went on a little adventure to Torrey Pines Glider Port and we hiked down to Black's Beach.

My little cousin and M on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach
For those of you not familiar with San Diego beaches, Black's Beach is a clothing optional beach. Although we chose to keep our clothes on, it seemed some older men chose to bare it all. 

Torrey Pines Glider Port is close to Torrey Pines State Reserve. Although M and I have been to the State Reserve many times, the glider port and Black's Beach were places we've never explored. 

It was such a beautiful, crystal clear day. A perfect day to check out the glider port. It was incredible how the gliders just stepped off the cliff and were instantly just gliding along like a bird. The views from the glider port were amazing. The ocean was overwhelming. 

View of La Jolla Shores and Scripps Pier. I work down there!

This has to be the coolest lifeguard station I've seen.

After hanging out at the glider port and taking some pictures we headed over to hike down the cliff to get to Black's Beach.

It was a pretty steep hike down!