Happy Start to 2016

Christmas Martini

Trying to fix the perfect Christmas martini.

Ok, my son was overheard to say that he doesn’t know what happened to his parents.  Someone replaced them with these crazy college kids.  I guess I don’t blame him, since we have been acting more like college students than retirees … but that’s a good thing, right?  If you aren’t much into the craft brewery scene, maybe you should just skip this post.

Winter Adventures

Noonday Creek Trail

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Noonday Trail Hike

Walked and then biked part of the Noonday Creek Trail from Hwy 41 (KFC) to Bell’s Ferry Road trailhead and back.  Great trail, but easy access parking along the way is just not available.  Nice to see rental bikes, though.  Great project for the Town Center Community Improvement District — keep it coming!

Silver Comet Trail

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Bike helmets are not flattering!

We went for a 10 mile bike trip with our granddaughter from about Florence Road south.  This is such an easy and fun trail to bike, but like all rail trails, it is an out-and-back trek rather than a loop.  Still, I am so glad the County and State have worked on this rails to trails project to provide a great recreational opportunity.

Woodstock

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Reformation crowd

Did you notice the warm, wet Christmas holiday?  That’s probably to blame for the start of our winter adventures that seem to be more about visiting craft breweries and drinking flights rather than taking flights somewhere else.  Continuing our mission to visit local craft breweries, we met up with friends in Woodstock in December to check out Reformation Brewery and loved it.  Great vibe and some beers that suit our tastes.  Our favorite is Cadence, a Belgian-style Ale, but Union was a refreshing one with notes of citrus and coriander.

Marietta

Red Hare

Red Hare Brewing

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Cheers at Red Hare

New Year’s weekend, with Alex and Bethany along, we found Red Hare Brewing in Marietta and took a tour with samplings.  Again, a nice vibe, some live music and several samplings that we liked.  Watership Brown is one they are known for and we also liked Long Day Lager.  Sticky Stout, an oatmeal stout, was their seasonal, but I don’t care as much for stouts and porters beyond a sampling.

Bluffton, SC

Fat Patties

A flight at Fat Patties

Word about our youthful behavior gets around, so when I was visiting my parents this past week outside Hilton Head Island, my brother said “Let’s get together at Fat Patties in Old Town Bluffton tonight”  Sure thing.  What I heard was “Fat Patty’s” and was expecting some country cooking and fried chicken from an oversized woman named Patricia who would welcome you in with “Come on in, boys, and have yourself some fatback and greens.”  No, it was a great burger joint with fat hamburger patties.  Adam, Vickie and Jeff were great sports to join in the flight beer samplings … well, maybe it wasn’t that difficult to convince them (although I think Vickie had her eye on a grapefruit shandy).  They are now convinced I can’t drink beer unless it is in small glasses on a fraternity paddle.

Yummy, thick burgers (I had a blue cheese one) with a flight of beer all around.  If I recall, I had a wheat beer, Red Hare Watership Brown, a red ale and a Belgian Dubbel.  The twist on burgers is you can order beef, turkey, shrimp, chicken or black bean as the pattie.   If you are down that way, I recommend it.  They are just starting up their Salt Marsh Brewery upstairs, so local brews are on tap along with regionals.  Unlike Georgia, they can sell directly to consumers.

Chattanooga, TN

Gallery

“Meet the Artist” Judy Klich

My sister-in-law Judy had a “Meet the Artist” night featuring her work in the River Gallery in Chattanooga this past Friday, so we met up with her for the reception.  We were wondering if she was going to be considered goldfish cracker or crudite/cheese and cracker level artist (our informal scale).  She was crudite-worthy and the Chardonnay was crisp.  Judy is an amazing artist who works in Encaustic (beeswax) to create some gorgeous realistic and abstract pieces and commissions.  You should check out her work.  Anyway, Alex was on tap to suggest dinner afterwards, so off we went to Beast and Barrel Gastro Smokehouse in North Shore (other side of the river), Chattanooga.  We got an odd response when we said we didn’t have a reservation, but seeing as how the bar was hardly full, we finally convinced the manager we could indeed be seated at the bar-top table for six.

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Cheers to the Artist!

Beast and Brew 2

A flight of Eastern TN brews

Beast and Brew

Pastrami on Rye

A round of flights for us all – we did an East Tennessee flight that featured local brews (Terminal White Shadow Belgian Wit, Chattanooga Brewery Chick Bock, McHale’s Scottish Pride, Mayday Velvet Hustle Pale Ale, Fat Bottom Knockout IPA, Hutton & Smith Vanilla Stout Nitro).  My favorite was Chick Bock.  To eat, I had the Big Katz, a pastrami sandwich that had thick slices of meat, marinated, smoked and grilled topped with house-made kraut on Neidlov’s marble rye.  Hands down the best pastrami sandwich I have ever had.

Woodstock Return

Reformation

Jackie, Barb and 6 Cadence

Got a text on Saturday that two friends were at Reformation in the afternoon, so we hustled up to join them for a bit.  Teri, husband Dan and Barb have upcoming play dates at Burnt Hickory Brewery in Kennesaw, so look for Blind Fate to show up there or off the square in Marietta from time to time.  Cousins Maine Lobster Truck was serving up lobster rolls outside — you might recognize them from Shark Tank.  Another fun afternoon.

So now the treadmill is our latest best friend.  That, along with some brisk fitness walks around the neighborhood, is going to get us back in shape so we can be ready for some of the more active adventures we have planned for 2016.  A Christmas present book “Hiking Georgia” will be the start of some hiking and biking adventures around the state.  These craft brews are great, but they don’t burn off the way they used to when we were in college.  So maybe we are more like retirees after all … NAH!

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