Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Food, Glorious Food

And some glorious libations, too!

My main reason for heading to Colorado is always to visit Ryan, but another big reason is the incredible variety of food and drink that is available in Fort Collins. Our little town in NJ has a population of 4,000 while Fort Collins is a college town that is home to 144,000 people, so comparisons aren't really fair, but I make them anyway. Most of our restaurants here are boring national chains, with only three or four independent places to eat, and to be honest, they are not great. On the other hand, Fort Collins has an incredible variety and availability of food, and very few chain restaurants. I don't think that Chili's and Chipotle can compete with all the other delicious offerings!

We have a tradition of having a reuben almost as soon as Ryan picks me up from the airport shuttle; this time we chose Choice City. After many reubens over the past five years, theirs is the best, but there are also at least three other places that serve delicious sandwiches. We waited outside for our reubens, but they were so good (along with garlic mashed potatoes) that I didn't take time for any photos.

A new place that we tried was PizzaRev. I think it is a national chain but there aren't many locations so far. You choose your dough, add whatever toppings you desire, they bake it, and you have a tasty, custom pizza ready in just a few minutes. 

The pizza was good, but the real genius is the beer tap system.

I think there are at least 28 taps, each with a digital display of what it's dispensing. You give them your license and they give you a wrist band. You grab a glass, hold the wristband fob up to the PizzaRev logo and dispense whatever volume of whatever beer you want. I think it's brilliant for tasting, and after trying small samples of five or six different beers, I settled on a raspberry basil saison. It sounded a little strange, but through the magic of tasting, I found out that it is absolutely delicious.

When you're done, you return the wristband, get your license back, and pay only for the beer you dispensed. It's probably a good thing I don't live there because I would be tempted to taste and try too many beers on too many evenings.

We had breakfast at Lucile's with fresh beignets, trout, and poached eggs. (I think there is one in Boulder if you happen to visit this summer, Kym!)

There was iced dirty chai and chess at Alleycat Coffee House, 

and beer at The Mayor, a place with 100 beers on tap. Ryan doesn't go there very often because it's a bit over budget for grad student beer drinking, but not when Mom is visiting. They have almost too many choices.

We also ate at some of our all-time favorite places, Taqueria Los Camales (mmm ... tacos al pastor),

the good Thai place (Cafe de Bangkok),

and The Welsh Rabbit.

Ryan insisted that we go to a place that was new to me, and it turned out to be one of the best evenings (ever!). We headed for the gyro cart located in Old Town around 9 pm, but the gyro guy was just getting started and told us to come back in about 45 minutes. We wandered around for a bit, and ended up at Ace Gillett's, a bar with live jazz. Ryan and I both ordered caipirinhas, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça. I've never been able to find real cachaça, and lots of places substitute rum when making a caipirinha, but these were made with the real thing and were amazingly delicious.

After deciding that we really shouldn't each have a second caipirinha since one of us was driving home, we made our way back to the gyro cart, and I enjoyed the best gyro I've had in 30 years. We ate and talked while walking back to the car, and it was just a night of perfect enjoyment with Ryan.

Justin and I recently had a conversation about what would be the best superpower to have (so we are prepared and ready when they are handing out superpowers), and we decided it would be the ability to teleport. I wholeheartedly agree, and I would teleport back to Fort Collins for time with Ryan, a gyro, and a caipirinha (maybe even two this time)!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sometimes Monday ...

... is a good day for a quick update. I had planned to be back to posting sooner, but things got a bit busy. In the last two weeks, I have:
  • Had a wonderful time in Fort Collins with Ryan
  • Enjoyed lots of interesting beer and delicious food
  • Cleaned out Ryan's gutters, window wells, and weeded and repaired his patio
  • Visited The Loopy Ewe!
  • Played chess (very poorly)
  • Wondered how someone who has absolutely no interest in gardening (I'm referring to Ryan) can grow such a lovely clematis
  • Had the world's best gyro and caipirinha
  • Been insulted (in an indirect and slightly amusing way) by a stranger in the Denver airport
  • Visited my mother-in-law who was in the hospital with congestive heart failure, and helped set up her hospital bed, Meals on Wheels, and other arrangements when she came home
  • Celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary
  • Turned 61 years old
  • Bought a house in Maryland
  • Tried to get caught up on laundry; I'm still trying!
I'll tell you all about the details of these things over the next few posts. There will be photos of yarn!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

On My Way

If everything has gone according to plan (including setting my alarm for 4:00 am and not pm, Thanks Vicki!), I'm on my way to visit Ryan in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I'm very happy about it! I've looked forward to reading and knitting time while flying, great food, excellent beer, visiting The Loopy Ewe, and of course, having fun with my older son. I'll see you in a week or so and tell you all about it!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sometimes Monday ...

... reminds you that Murphy's Law and Catch-22 are very real! I'm taking three minutes to drink a cup of tea, breathe, post, and then get to work on settling these issues so I can pack and get away from all of this for a while. 

I hope your Monday is starting your week off gently!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Right Now June 2018

Here's what's going on for me Right Now on the first of June ...

Ready For - The garden to produce something we can eat. I have picked some spinach, but what I'd really like are some sweet snow peas (soon) and delicious tomatoes (not for another couple months).

Looking Forward To - Leaving bright and early next Tuesday morning to visit Ryan in Fort Collins! I haven't seen him in person for eight months, and that is just too long. I feel like a contender for the worst mother award, but I'm going to remedy that, eat, drink, shop for yarn at The Loopy Ewe, and enjoy the company of my older son.

Looking Forward To # 2 - The combined first and third birthday party for two of my grandnephews right after I return from Colorado. They are adorable kids, and it will be a wonderful family gathering, which doesn't happen often enough.

Grateful For - A much-needed return to meditation. It seems as if I abandon the practice just at the times I need it most, but with Kym's reminder about five daily requirements, I'm once again making time for meditation and myself.

Getting Rid Of - This one is a maybe, but the more I think about it, the better it sounds. We've got some stereo equipment (turntable, tuner, cassette deck, and multiple CD player) that we haven't used in decades. It's 37 years old (I know because we bought it with money we received as wedding gifts!) and not worth anything. John has wanted to keep it "just in case", while I've been lobbying to get rid of the stuff and free up a whole side of the double cabinet it's in. John leaves for Italy mid-month and I'm wondering if that might be the perfect opportunity to dispose of it. I might have to say something before he goes to assuage my guilt, but Swedish death cleaning needs to continue.

Excited about - The five blossoms that are now on my lime tree. I wonder how soon I'll have limes? :-)

Enjoying - My new grill. I cook something on the grill most nights for dinner during the summer, so our grill gets a lot of use. The old one was falling apart, and I had replaced the grates and burners once already, so it was definitely time for a new one. I was expecting to lug home a big box and then spend an afternoon putting it together, but Lowes made it easy. It was already assembled, on sale at a great price, and two helpful Lowes guys removed the lid so it would fit in my car. I've been making hamburgers, chicken, brats, and shish kabobs on my new cadillac of a grill and thoroughly enjoying it.

Making - BLT Pasta Salad. It goes well with everything, and sometimes I have it all by itself for dinner. I don't add onion or use a whole pound of bacon; I usually do mix mayo and bacon ranch dressing, use plenty of halved cherry tomatoes, and add shredded romaine. I'm sure you're all clever enough to do your own modifications if you make this. 

Drinking -  Vodka gimlets. Simple, delicious, and I'll be able to use my homegrown lime crop.

Listening To - This Is Water. It's David Foster Wallace's commencement address to Kenyon College graduates in 2005, short and powerful. Thanks to Kym's recommendation, I listened to it, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I got it from Audible, but you can read the transcript here or listen to DFW give the speech here

What's going on in your world right now?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Three on Thursday

Joining Kat and Carole for Three on Thursday, and today it's with three good things. Yesterday I wrote about encountering a rude pharmacy clerk, and if I'm honest, lately I may have been a bit on the grumpy/rude side myself. So I've made a special point to pay attention to all the good around me, and I'm sharing some of it today.

We've had loads of rain and humidity lately, which isn't terrific, but it has led to this floral display in my garden. My little red columbines have gone crazy, and there are also yellow, white, and blue columbines in there, too. And don't forget those poppies with their bright beauty in the back. I love looking out the kitchen window while I do dishes and seeing this riot of flowers. 

My neighbor's new fence is all done and I've been thinking that it will be the perfect place to display my Match & Move for photos when I'm finally done. I'd thank him for being so considerate and building a knitting photo prop, but I don't think he'll quite get it. It is inspiring me to stick to my knitting!

And lastly, Karen from pumpkin sunrise was very kind to let me know about a blogger comment workaround she found. She told me that after I publish, I just need to comment on my own post, check "notify me", and I'll receive the comments for that post and be able to reply to you. I tried it with my post yesterday morning and it seems to work! So that 's why you'll see me commenting on my own posts for a while. 

It's the good little things that all add up to make our lives better. Here's hoping that you've got plenty of good, big and small, in your life.

Head on over here to read more Three on Thursday posts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

You might have seen this photo on Instagram yesterday - my knitting waiting patiently in the hotel room in DE, watching Scrubs, after learning that the first two houses scheduled for our tour yesterday were already under contract.

There's been no change in the can't-find-a-house situation, and no real change in the knitting, so I'll bring you along with my knitting and I to the fascinating places we visited this morning.

We started with an early morning doctor's appointment. The waiting room had too many patients in it to make a picture possible, so here we are at Quest so I could get my blood drawn.

Next, we were off to Walgreen's for a prescription. The pharmacy clerk was having a bad day, and my knitting wanted to ask her if she could try not to be so rude, but I didn't think a confrontation (especially with a crazy lady saying she was speaking for her knitting) would really improve the clerk's day.

Since the Beverage Outlet (I don't know why they don't just call it a liquor store) is next to Walgreen's, my knitting began pleading to go in, you know, just to look around. We've got plenty to drink at home, and definitely don't need anything alcoholic to drink at 9:30 am, so it was back in the knitting bag and back home. 

My reading is pretty much the same as last week, but don't worry, I'm not going to subject you to another tour around town with How to Change Your Mind

What are you making and reading this week?