Sunday, January 31, 2010

Samuel Adams

The other night, while looking at Brad's work schedule for February, I realized that yesterday was going to be the last adventure Brad and I will get to take for a few weeks.  He's been making subtle hints (ok, maybe they lacked subtleness) about going on a brew tour.  We've tried to plan on going to numerous breweries throughout Vermont over the past couple of months, but the plans have always fallen through.  So, I thought yesterday would be as good a day as any to take him to the place where his favorite beer is brewed.

After dealing with locating a parking spot (as Brad said MANY times throughout the day... "you would think the largest American brewery would have more adequate parking available").  There were probably 20 parking spaces in the available lot that was home to a number of cafes, schools, and the brewery.  But, after many laps, we finally found a spot, only to find that the brewery was PACKED with primarily college frat kids looking for free beer.  As stressed as that made me, we decided to kill some time at the nearby cafe with a nice warm bowl of tomato basil soup!!!  It was so yummy!!!

Our tour began at 2:20pm, and as expected, once it began we were some happy people. :-)  Brad has been home brewing for a few months and this was like going on a field trip for him.  Half way through I remembered the tour guide saying there would be a quiz at the end... I was thinking, "I should probably start paying more attention or I'm bound to fail."  However, I don't think there was much of anything on the tour that Brad didn't already know, but boy was he like a kid in a candy store when we walked into a room decorated with dried hops.

I personally thought they looked beautiful & all I could think about is how I wanted to decorate my kitchen with them (in place of dried herbs).  I don't think Brad would object, however I may find them gone after he brews his next batch of beer.

And, of course, my favorite part of the tour was the free sampling at the end! :-)  We were able to sample three different beers: 1) Sam Adams Lager (which I was shocked with the number of people who had never had their signature beer); 2) Sam Adams Winter Ale; and the third and most exciting: Sam Adams Brick House Red.  What made this exciting wasn't the beer itself... I wasn't actually that fond of it, being that it was a RED beer, but the fact that you can't buy a case of it, it's not packaged in 6 packs, & the only place you can get it is at select bars throughout Boston, was overly exciting to me!  :-)

On a very sad note, I learned that Sam Adams will be discontinuing my favorite beer: Sam Adams White Ale and replacing it with Sam Adams Noble Pilsner (which should be out in the next few weeks).  This news almost brought a tear to my eye!! 

For a $2 donation from each of us, we walked out with a head full of knowledge, a belly full of beer (well, I did anyway... Brad had to drive), and a Samuel Adams sample glass (which, as Pam knows, my collection of small glasses are my favorite and they really come in handy when the little ones come to visit).

We had a nice day trip to Boston, even though my plans to go to the aquarium were diminished by the lack of time.  But, this was Brad's day.  After dragging him along to see Warren Kimble last week, it was only fair that I had to go taste test beer this weekend. ;-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

What are you doing?

It's 10:23 PM... What are YOU doing?  As I'm sure most of you are going to bed, or at least nestled into your pjs and relaxing at the end of your day, I am trying to stay committed to my goal of losing that dreaded 5 pounds in January.  With two days left to the month, I'm only a pound away, but as simple as it seams to lose it, it feels more like I'm trying to lose 10 pounds overnight!!  And as I put my workout off for today as long as I possibly could, I figured now was as good a time as ever to get that workout in for the day.  So, I got on this:

(I cannot wait for spring so I can start running outside again)

And this:

I <3 my Wii Fit (although I don't use it as a workout... more to keep me on track and accountable).

I am now WIDE awake and remember why I usually try to get my workout in right after work!  But, luckily tomorrow is Saturday and, unless Brad has come up with something to do, I have nowhere to be... except back on the two items above at some point in the day.  Oh, how you have to love the ongoing struggle of weight loss & fitness.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hidden Treasure?

It dawned on me the other day that there was something special amongst the "stuff" out in our shed.  Our storage is full of totes and totes of memories of mine and Brad's childhood... things we keep for whatever reason.  Whether we ever use any of it again is a mystery, but while sitting at work last week I remembered that one of the many items I found, while cleaning and packing up my room at my mom's house four years ago, was my dad's camera.  For years this camera was in the faces of my brothers and I, but I couldn't remember the model.  I was secretly hoping it was a Canon so I could put the lenses on my camera.  I remember there being an unfixable issue with this camera (the film used to jam up on a regular basis... yes, it's a 35mm), which is why I think it was given to me in the first place.  But, to my surprise, it wasn't a Canon at all, but a Minolta.  It's a neat looking camera... so vintage!!!  And along with the camera and original lense was another toy:

Boy, how happy it would make me if we were able to find affordable adapters for these so I can use them.  They are in desperate need of some TLC & professional cleaning.  This will be a project for me once I find a reputable camera store in the area (and find out if they're even worth the time and money).  In the meantime, I'll play with the two new filters that were connected to these lenses.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Warren Kimble

I received an email on Wednesday that my favorite artist (thanks to my mom), Warren Kimble, would be opening his studio to the public today for demonstrations!  It's so funny because I never knew his studio was only one street over from where my family lived in Brandon!  I always knew he lived there, but really had no idea where all of his art came to life!!!  So, I conned Brad into making the trip up north for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I was sad to see Warren Kimble wasn't demonsrating his traditional folk art, but rather a printing effect.  Don't get me wrong, what he did was beautiful, but not the Warren Kimble artwork I know & love!!  It was still a pleasure and he was such a funny guy!

I even convinced him to capture a quick picture with me!! :-)  I also was able to get the truth out of him about the infamous "Basset Hound" picture that my mom insisted, for years, was a painting of our dog, Sheldon... Warren Kimble stated that it was just a generic dog... I'm going to pretend he lied to me.

Brad and I packed our snowshoes in hopes to get a hike in today, but at under 20 degrees, we decided not to.  I still took him up to Goshen in hopes to see a moose, but no such luck. :-(

It's ok... It was a beautiful day & fun to see the old stomping grounds.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today we took advantage of both of us having a day off from work and went snowshoeing in the Berkshire Mountains!  The weather was perfect!  We had a fresh snow fall last night & the temperatures were up in the 30s... I know that must sound cold to everyone down south, but when you're hiking up a mountain with a million layers on, trust me, it's perfect!!!  Brad and I did some research and found a hiking trail in Williamstown that I had never heard of.  Actually, there are quite a few trails owned by Williams College in the area that we're going to have to tackel over the next couple of months!  The Pine Cobble Trail was a two mile trail from the base to the summit.  A good start to our snowshoeing season!!!  We had a great time & took a few pictures on the way up!

A polarized lense is next on my list of items to purchase... That sun would have turned out AMAZING with one!!

Brad seemed less than thrilled at the summit.  Not sure why, he settled right into the snow for a few minutes of peaceful rest and relaxation.

The views of Williamstown were stunning!  I can only imagine this in the fall!!!

We had some fun at the summit before descending back down the mountain!

I do believe Brad and I need more days off together!  We had a blast and can't wait to find another trail to explore!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love Her...

...and would love to go see her on her upcoming tour.  She was awesome opening up for the Dave Matthews Band in 2002 & it's been way too long since I've seen her perform.  The Fall is a FABULOUS album!  Maybe we'll make a trip to Boston or Philly in March to catch a show... :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A new do and fun in the snow...

I got my locks cut this morning!!! :-)

Usually I go in and tell my stylist the same thing... "Just a trim and fix up the layers."  Well, after having the same hair for the last 10 years (if not more) I did something drastic (for me)... I GOT BANGS!!!  Not full fledge bangs... that's a little too drastic, but I went with a nice little side bang!  And on top of that I got even more intense layers than ever before.  Megan had 2 hours to kill so she went all out to straighten my locks.  SO MUCH FUN!!! :-)  This picture doesn't come close to displaying how much fun it is!

After my haircut and lunch with a great friend, Brad and I decided to head up the mountain to see the scenery.  We got a tip from a good friend that the top of the mountain was beautiful & photo-worthy, so we went to play.

But, we couldn't play long... It was soooo cold!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Two Years...

Today we celebrate two wonderful years of marriage! 
It's often times very hard to believe that it has been two years already!!!  They go by so fast!  If I could freeze time, I would, but I wouldn't want to miss all of the wonderful moments our future has for us, either!

Brad has been my rock!  He has the patience of a saint and a heart of gold.  He's determined and excels at EVERYTHING he does!  He is the most selfless person I've ever met.  He would LITERALLY give anyone the shirt off of his back.  He is a hard worker and has so many plans for our future!

He keeps telling me that 2010 is going to be a big year for us!  I can't wait to see the plans God has set for us!  I look forward to so many amazing years with my soulmate!


Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just for laughs...

When we told you we killed the tree...

...We weren't kidding!!!
Notice all of the pine needles on the floor!!!

I've never killed a tree before... well, not before Christmas anyway!  It was really sad... and scary.  We were very hesitant to turn the lights on, but when we did we had the fire extinguisher handy! haha.

This was the clean up after dragging the tree outside.  I'm pretty sure there was only one pine needle still standing on the tree when all was said and done!  So sad... We really did get the perfect tree this year! :-(

PA - Take 2

After Brad went back to Vermont & after spending the first half of my vacation with family, I ventured out to Philadelphia to spend the second half of my vacation with my bestests!

Please forgive the pictures... they were taken with a camera phone...

Rockin' the scarves!!

Happy Birthday, Erica!!!  You can't beat ringing in the new year with a birthday celebration!!!

Joey, Erica, Brett, & moi!

Joey was sporting the NYE glasses!  Nothing beat the ones that Erica's parents got us from NYC... unfortunately, somebody broke into the bedroom we were all staying in & found them sitting on the desk.  We couldn't enjoy them to their fullest!  But, we didn't let that ruin our evening!!

Happy Twenty-Ten & Big Birthday Wishes, Erica!!!

Christmas Fun

I have so much to update on!!  Let's go back to PA...

We got some amazing stockings from Arizona!!  I don't think I'd ever seen stockings so big!!!
Thanks Mom & Dad!!!  We loved them!!!

I got to spend a lot of catch-up time with my favorite niece!!!  **I can say that because she's my only niece**  She is a piece of work and has a sense of humor like no other 4 year old I know.  I could laugh with her all day!!!

Brad enjoying the Blankenbiller Christmas party.

And then we made it to the Muthersbaugh Christmas party.  We can't have a party without a picture of Grandad and all of his great grand kids!  **So Cute**

Christmas was a lot of fun & seeing family was the best part about it!  We don't get to spend enough time in PA!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

I have to admit I was very fortunate to have had a steady drive through New Jersey and up the Thruway, however, this is what it looked like when I reached Hoosick Falls:

and Bennington:

What a mess!!! 

I wish I could say the circumstances were different and that I could have stayed the extra day to see family again, but I'm so grateful to have made it home safe & that my entire trip didn't look like this.

I'm not sure what Damon was more excited about... seeing me, or the snow!  I will admit that the only thing I love about snow is watching the delight on his face everytime he goes outside!!!

A fun filled week comes to a close...

I can't express the fun I had this week with family & friends!!!  I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life & so fortunate to have been able to spend the holidays with them.  Unfortunately, I have to cut my trip short by a day and head back to Vermont...

...Why, you ask?  No other reason than mother nature and her dreaded snow!!!

This is a picture of the Kingston exit on the Thruway (only half way to my destination).

Although the roads are clear now, a blizzard is heading up the east coast & lasting the entire weekend & I DON'T want to get caught in that.  It breaks my heart to be missing my nephew's 9th birthday party tonight & I pray he forgives me!!  :-(

I'll be dreaming of this my entire ride to Vermont:

Who is with me?!?!

Pictures to come from the week when I'm home safe and sound!