Thursday, January 23, 2014

Delaware Road Trip

One of Adam's favorite breweries is Dogfish Head and it seems that we have made it an annual tradition to trek out to the Eastern Shore each year since our return to the mainland (2013 with my parents, 2012 for Adam's birthday), and for 2014 we were joined by the Pennocks. We have been friends with Jake and Sarah since we all lived in Hawaii, both of the guys coming back to work for Cyberpoint. Instead of a day trip, we opted to make this an entire weekend excursion, and designed an entire brewery/winery/distillery tour around it.

Our Weekend Itinerary:

Fordham and Old Dominion

Fordham/Old Dominion

First beer of the day

11am is not too early for the first beer of the day

Fordham/Old Dominion tour

Housed in old Knob Creek Bourbon barrel 

16 Mile Brewery

16 Mile Brewery


16 Mile Brewery

The workers have their own taps for when they are packing boxes

Dogfish Head Brewery

Palo Santo wood, what the holding tank is made of...SO heavy

All of the breweries and tours were awesome. This statement is coming from a non-beer drinker, mind you, so I think that is saying a lot. Fortunately for this crew, it meant that there was a built in designated driver. Of note, both Fordham/Old Dominion and Dogfish Head also "brew" their own soda lines, so there are things for the non-beer drinkers to taste. While I am not a big fan of soda at all, all of them were REALLY amazing. Fordham had a non-alcoholic root beer, ginger beer, orange creme, and black cherry soda, while Dogfish Head had it's beach (root) beer.

Our entertainment for the evening

Adam juggled for us while we were enjoying the wine and cheese hour at the hotel. We picked Avenue Inn & Spa because it had the highest ratings of all of the places to stay in Rehoboth, and it did not disappoint. It was really economical and completely worth the price. The Inn has a complimentary wine and cheese hour (not the greatest, but at least they offer), complimentary breakfast that is AWESOME (freshly made, delicious, and plenty of healthy options), outdoor hot tub on the roof (which was really nice in the arctic temps actually), a steam room, a sauna, and a huge indoor stainless steel heated pool. We took advantage of all of these, so remember your swim suits!

The juggling redhead

After our entertainment, it was off to the Brewpub to sample the new beer flavors that they were trailing for production, as well as their distillery line of flavored vodkas. While here, we broke out a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity (I warned you, I am obsessed), and it was hilarious. Even our waitress was having a good chuckles. It was amusing to watch people trying to figure out what the 4 of us were doing with cards in the middle of a really busy restaurant on a Saturday night. My opponents did not disappoint with their answers.

Dogfish Head Brewpub

Cards Against Humanity at the Brewpub

After sleeping in for the first time in about 2 months, we woke up to enjoy an awesome breakfast, and then passed a few hours of the morning enjoying the hot tub, steam room, sauna, and pool. I am still thinking about this Inn and really was perfect. Before heading out for the day, we meandered around Rehoboth checking out the little shops (being successful in the tea and spice shop, for sure) and getting a few moments on the beach. I will take sun, surf, and sand any way that I can get it now...even on a pathetic cold winter day where I cannot get in the water. The pictures look good minus the fact that we are wrapped up in winter attire to tolerate it.

Rehoboth Beach

Beach love

After a full day of beer tasting, it was time to enjoy other libations, so to the town of St. Michael's we went. This was our first time visiting this town, and after being there, that is very disappointing to say after being back here for almost 3 years now. It is an awesome little town!!! I know that they have a huge wine festival here every year, but it seems so far away (about 1.5 hours from Baltimore)....well, it is not too far for all that it has to offer.

St. Michael's, Maryland

St. Michael's Winery

St. Michael's Winery these guys!!!

Lyon Distillery

It was unanimous among my car poll, Lyon Distillery was our FAVORITE stop of the whole tour. This place just opened last month and Ben (the guy giving us the tour) is the sole proprietor. His enthusiasm and passion was so captivating, and you know that he will be completely successful. That and the fact that his rum and moonshine are delicious. Yes, you heard that right. DELICIOUS. This is the first rum that I have ever had that I can enjoy drinking completely straight. It has the heat of the rum without any of the burn. I did not even know that was possible. And when have you EVER had moonshine that tasted good?!?!? Not only did it taste good, it didn't hurt going down. What!?!??! I know. That is why I know this will be an outrageously successful company. This was the first "thing" that I have ever encountered that I would feel confident investing in...and of course he doesn't want any investors, wanting to remain sole proprietor.

Learning from the distillery owner

Final Stop: Eastern Shore Brewing Company

After all of this, we were famished...and wouldn't you know, there is a quaint little cafe right next to the brewer: Gina's Cafe. Very intimate with AMAZING homemade food. They have an awesome local alcohol selection. Adam and I shared the crab and corn chowder and mix plate of all of the appetizers....I am seriously salivating just thinking about how good the food was. Jake and Sarah also ordered dessert, which was a cheesecake wrapped in cinnamon and sugar tortilla that was fried, that they graciously shared, and was TO-FREAKIN'-DIE-FOR. An epic conclusion to such an epic weekend.

Sunset from the Bay Bridge

Perfect conclusion to a perfect weekend

Monday, January 20, 2014

Holiday Time: Mayer Style

With Christmas and New Year's Day falling on a Wednesday this year, and us both working the day before and after for each, we celebrate both holidays the weekend after their occurrence. Friday evening was spent at the Elks, catching up with the Meyer clan.

Mayer and Meyers

Meyers and Mayer
 Saturday was family time. The morning was spent visiting the cemeteries to pay homage to the grandparents who are still dearly missed and picking up a very excited Amy from the Brown house. All was peaceful in the car until Adam went and mentioned presents. My dear husband is always the one stirring up the trouble. For us being so difficult to shop for, the family absolutely NAILED it with gifts for us this year. One of them I want to share with you:
It is like a library card to all things awesome. For a base fee per month you can read AS MANY BOOKS AS YOU WANT. This includes many brand new and bestselling books. I read 3 full books within the first week alone. BEST GIFT EVER for anyone you know who loves to read, and you can read it on any of your mobile devices. Also, we were bestowed with Cards Against Humanity, which is an awesome card game of all things offensive, creative, and hilarious. We play this game at pretty much any gathering that we go to and an awesome time is had by all. After playing the entire desk between just the four of us, we F I N A L L Y ventured out to Woodside for an evening out with family and friends.

Breaking in Cards Against Humanity

Mom and her boys
The final day, Sunday, was spent at the Elks hosting a spaghetti benefit to raise funds for a family friend who had suffered a traumatic brain injury a few weeks prior. We volunteered to help out in what ever way possible. Sum total, we raised over $7000 in an afternoon, so I think that was pretty fantastic!

The following weekend we finally ventured to Pittsburgh to check out Michael's new digs, the townhouse that he had bought back in September, and get some quality time in. Friday evening was a wonderful time spent inside (it was about 10 degrees) with a small gathering of new and old friends, enjoying libations, snacks, and another awesome round of Cards Against Humanity. I am seriously obsessed with the game. Between the last game and this one, we had bought all 4 expansion decks, which are even more amazing and take the game to the next level of awesomeness.

Cards Against Humanity Round 2!

Saturday was AWESOME. We ventured downtown to the Carnegie Science Center and had a fantastic time. I love love LOVE science centers and this was not a disappointment. If you are in Pittsburgh, spend some time here, it is definitely for all ages! They have live demonstrations every hour, the planetarium was fantastic, and the aquariums held Adam's wonder for a long time.

Ahhhh...don't spill the coffee!

Earthquake time!

We are limiting our earthquake experience

View from the science center

Closed for the winter

This snail was larger than my fist

(Wo)man versus machine
Our evening then led to drinks and then dinner at Butcher and the Rye. Amazing atmosphere, amazing drinks (hello endless unbelievably tasty Moscow mules!), and AMAZING food. It was the perfect way to wrap up the holiday season and fully embrace the arrival of 2014.