So Much Room for Activities

I did not go out of town this last weekend, the one weekend of September I will not be out of town and what did I do? I drank beer, I did various activities, and I totally watched football.

Friday afternoon I met up with this ballin’ lady for a couple post-work drinks and boy were they needed.  We actually hit up a few places that afternoon but on any given Friday you can find me at Manhattan’s for a $5 Heady Topper.

Disclaimer: I am not one of those “oh my god Heady Topper is the best thing since sliced bread” beer snobs but I am also not one of those “eh it’s so passe” hipsters either (no offense if you are either) but I do enjoy it and I do enjoy it when it only costs $5. End rant.

Maria  We had a lovely time catching up and while we were eating ice cream later that evening on Church St we witnessed what I can only describe as the world’s most polite young people rave I have ever seen.  At one point this one kid (wearing a hoodie with bear ears attached and a raccoon’s tail hanging off of the back of his pants) casually danced (read: straight up RAVED) over by us only to pick up the trash that was on the ground and throw it in the garbage can… only in Vermont!

Saturday Tennessee won their second game and while I did not watch you can bet I was listening to it on the radio! Next week will be a tough one when we take on Oklahoma away… I’ll just be casually hyperventilating over here until then.

Sunday I went for a couple miles around the lake and it was gorgeous, my shins have been bothering me quite a bit lately but I’m really glad I got out there and ran. I am in desperate need of new running shoes, if only they were in the budget right now!

 photo A8C8AFBF-CA78-4A2C-8EA9-85B26BF9CF04.jpg

  We tried out a new bar to watch the Jets game and while they don’t have a kitchen they do order free pizza for all patrons on Sunday’s during football… That my friends, is an epic business plan! Also, the Jets won! Woot! Woot!

After some footballness Zach and I hopped onto our bikes and headed over to the docks at the Community Sailing Center for our company party… perks of working both jobs, both company parties.

Company PartyThey had a bunch of stand up paddle boards you could take out, multiple 30 minute sailing trips and of course, it was nautical themed. If you ever want to go to a good company party you hit up people who work in hospitality. Facts of life!

Company PartyI  mean seriously they killed it on the decorations!

Jason Corn HoleDon’t mind me Mr. Cowboy, just trying to take a picture of some end of the dock corn hole…

Tori and ZachMore corn hole pictures… I felt like I was at a tailgate again

Yesterday after work we went over to park and played flag football for like 2 hours. It was SO much fun! I learned that I’m fairly terrible at flag football but I’m excellent in the pass rush position, “Just be obnoxious and distract the QB” they said.  Obnoxious and distracting, two things I’m particularly great at!

At one point I thought oh I’ll just work out after flag football because I was afraid I wouldn’t get enough physical activity. LOL I just about died on the field from exhaustion! I think I’ll keep it as a work out 😉

What is your favorite football watching food? Mine would have to be nachos.

Have you ever been to a party on a dock? At first I thought I might throw up from the unsteadiness…

Have you ever played flag football? Let’s just say 5th grade gym class Kari wasn’t much of a “joiner”

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Recapping: Vermont Brewers Festival

Happy Monday All!

As some of you already know, Friday evening I attended the Vermont Brewers Festival so this morning I thought I’d recap some of the festivities! Last summer was my first time attending and it quickly became one of my favorite nights of the year. I mean what could be better than an evening with great friends, gorgeous summer weather on the waterfront and of course, the copious amounts of amazing beer!

Arguably the worst part of brew fest is far before the actual event when tickets go on sale… these tickets sell out SO FAST! This year I read that they sold out in less than 20 minutes! In fact, the day the tickets went on sale Zach had an accident on an ATV and had to be taken to the ER for what we thought could be a broken hand. Of course I took him to the ER but not before making sure we had secured both of our tickets… priorities people, priorities.

The gates opened just before 5:30 to let people in to the food area where Maria and I consumed a much needed and incredibly tasty gyro… Ahli Baba’s, you never disappoint me. Shortly after 5:30 the horn sounds, the gate drops and it’s off to the brews! A massive bag of kettle corn, 15 drink tickets and a lovely souvenir glass in hand we made our way through the crowd.

283360F7-202E-47C3-AACD-27C79C3B1408 Another festival, another festival selfie with this lovely lady

In terms of lines there were definitely some long ones for a few places- Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, Lawson’s and surprisingly (to me anyway) Burlington Beer Company. I opted out of waiting as I am fortunate enough to have most of these at my disposal but with a good “line beer” I am sure the wait would have been worth it. I believe I counted 35 Vermont breweries and 14 out of towners, pretty impressive for a tiny state 😉

Zach and IMy handsome date, without a broken hand

Some of our favorite local brews were…

Drop In Brewing Company: These ladies looked like they were having a great time, which I loved. As for the beer, Zach and I are big hops fans, so we tried their Supernova IPA. Zach loved it, I thought it was solid but I didn’t enjoy the aftertaste. I tried some of Maria’s Sunshine and Hoppiness and that was amazing!

14th Star Brewing Company: I’m pretty sure this was the only place I spent two drink tickets for one beer and it was completely worth it for the Double Honey IPA. Sweet but stilly hoppy, I was a big fan.

Kingdom Brewing Company: I was just kidding about that previous statement, I also spent two drink tickets on the Kingdom’s Out of Bounds IPA and it ended up being my favorite beer of the night. It was smooth and easy drinking but definitely packed a punch of hops. I would get into trouble drinking these all day!

As for the Out of Towners:

Portsmouth Brewery: I’ve actually been to the brewery in New Hampshire but I had never tried their I.L.L. which was quite literally a hoppy lager that I really enjoyed.

Brasserie Dunham: These guys from Quebec had some of the coolest names for their beers, Maria tried a Leo’s Early Breakfast IPA which combines guava puree and earl grey tea… what??

LadiesTaking photos with these attractive babes in front of the bathrooms, because there wasn’t a gorgeous lake right next to us or anything…

As I’ve said before, this is one of my favorite events of the year. I feel like the 5:30-9:30 time slot is the perfect amount of time for going at your own pace and enjoying the evening with friends. The 15 drink tickets always seem to be too little at the beginning and then by then end you still have 3 left and are well on your way to that beer-induced “happy place” for the rest of the night. I love that people from all over come to join in on the fun and the location (though poorly documented in my photos) is hard to beat!

Jason, Maria and INot sure why I have two full beers in my hand

Also, just an important fact about me… I am a sucker for swag- coaster swag, sticker swag, I’m down with all of it. If you share this feeling with me then the brew fest is absolutely a must!

SwagSwag for days

So there you have it, my time at brew fest was just as awesome as I hoped it would be and (insert incredibly dorky terminator voice) I’ll be back!
Yep, I did that.

Side note: I’m quickly realizing that this blog started as a fitness/lifestyle blog and has quickly turned into “Kari drinks at various fun events across the state, oh and sometimes she works out.” I mean when in Rome, right?

How was your weekend?

Have you ever attended a Brew Fest?

A Weekend at Home

As much as I love traveling and getting away for the weekends I can’t help but really appreciate weekends at home.  If I’m lucky they end up with the perfect amounts of fun and relaxation, this weekend was certainly no exception!

On Friday my sister, Katie and I went over to the newly renovated taproom at Switchback Brewing to hang out with our cousin who is a brewer.  The new bar is gorgeous and I was surprised by how spacious it was in there, even when the after-work crowd started pouring in they definitely had the space and the staff to keep up!  In terms of beer, my friends and I aren’t exactly beer snobs (read: we sort of are and can’t help it) but if we are at the bars Switchback is our “easy drinking” choice.  I really love their new Pale Ale and I get excited to see it on tap around town.

   Switchback Pale Ale

We weren’t sure if you could have dogs in the taproom but they quickly informed us that Maggie was welcome so we brought her in and after being pretty forward with a few humans she calmed down.

Maggie at Switchback

This also happened…

Maggie at Switchback

After Switchback we did a quick costume change and went over the the South End Truck Stop, as I mentioned in my VT Bucket List post, I have been wanting to get over to the truck stop this summer so I was pretty excited to make it happen.  I didn’t take any pictures but just know that the food trucks smelled delicious but I will admit it was very busy, like almost too busy.  I ate a pulled pork sandwich from Southern Smoke and it was one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had!  After living in the south I have semi-high standard but it was literally incredible!

I promised my friend Tori (who writes the Hotel Vermont Blog) that I would stop by their Milonga Tango Argentine dance party, so Maria and I headed over to the courtyard to listen to some great music and watch the very impressive tango dancers!  We arrived at the tail end of the party, long enough to get asked to dance but not brave (read: boozed) enough to say yes… but we still had a blast sipping on a couple glasses of wine in the beautifully decorated courtyard and chatting away.  If you get to the Burlington area and need a place to stay definitely check out Hotel Vermont and the Courtyard Burlington Harbor! Seriously can’t go wrong with either- but I’m wicked biased 😉

On Saturday Katie and I walked down to Church St to test out a new Italian restaurant, Pascolo Ristorante.  Pascolo was opened by the Farmhouse Group who already have one of Burlington’s darling restaurants (and one of my personal favs) with The Farmhouse Tap & Grill. The service was great and all of our meals looked excellent.  I had accidentally eaten breakfast an hour before so I wasn’t starving by any means but I did get this pretty boss caprese sandwich on focaccia bread. I also just ate a piece of leftover Margherita pizza that was excellent cold… I think I’m the only person on the planet that enjoys cold pizza over hot.

Caprese

After lunch (and a quick stop at the Shaved Ice cart on Church St) a few friends and I gathered our stuff and headed out to another stop on my bucket list, Niquette Bay!

Z at Niquette

We went sort of later in the day so it wasn’t as packed (score!) but we still managed to have a blast swimming around in the surprisingly warm water and jumping off the cliffs! The sun had moved beyond our spot so we didn’t get scorched out there which was a super nice change to my recent burns.

On Sunday we had people over to our oven of an apartment to watch the World Cup Final, 2 box fans between 10 people means things got real sweaty real fast. Props to my friends for sticking it out 😉  Zach is obsessed with the Germany squad so I definitely leaned towards them over Argentina… sorry for your loss Messi- welcome to being cursed.  I knew I wanted to make some sort of dessert to fit the theme (I am all about themes people- ALL about them) but I literally had an hour to prepare so I went with this recipe from CookiesCakesPiesOhMy for Black Forest cupcakes… Germany- Black Forest- World Cup- Cupcakes, you get the theme.

Black Forest Cupcakes

The recipe could not have been easier and while I was worried when the batter was so thick they came out perfectly moist and got rave reviews from the friends and family- even Zach ate one and that never happens. Please ignore my happy birthday cupcake liners, I forgot I didn’t have any regular ones when I started making them.  Seriously though, make these cupcakes, they will not disappoint!

Did you do anything new and exciting this weekend?

Did you watch any of the World Cup games?

VT Summer Bucket List (Part One)

You guys I struck THREE people out last night in our company softball game… I should be receiving an invitation to join the US Women’s Softball team any day now because that NEVER happens.

TeamA team of happy Wombats post win!

Onward,

Vermont in the summer is amazing. Plain and simple, it totally rocks!

Waterfront I mean look at this, just waiting to be loved.

After working for a thousand years (read: 6) in the hotel industry I am so excited that my new jobs allows for weekends off. The list of things around the area I’d love to do this summer is crazy long but I thought I’d share a few that I plan on getting to in the next couple of weeks.

Niquette Bay or Colchester Cliffs

…I was not aware until last summer that these two places were the same… oops!
Living in downtown Burlington we are fortunate to be a couple blocks off of Lake Champlain with a few great beaches but when I want to try something a little different I love hitting up Niquette Bay a short drive away. Once you park you “hike” in about half a mile to the lake front where you find a series of cliffs big and small. There isn’t a ton of land to hang out on but what is there is beautiful and a great way to waste an afternoon in the sun. These are a few photos from two summers ago, I can’t wait to get back!

FlipI do believe this ended poorly for Joe…

FlipI actually think this one turned out okay for Jared…

FlipJust proud of my pansy self for doing it!

Summervale

Intervale

This is one thing I have never been to but can’t wait to go! Held at the Intervale Center in Burlington on Thursday evenings, Summervale is a community event that combines incredible locally sourced food, great beer and of course fun music. It is a free to enter, learn if you want to, bring your own chairs to hang out and take advantage of the amazing food and drinks sort of event. While I don’t necessarily fit the “Vermont- eat local or die” wave of humans I do appreciate all that this little state has to offer by way of food and drink. I will one day be a foodie I promise…

South End Truck Stop

Another great way to spend a Friday evening from 5-9 in the summer is at the South End Truck Stop. Located at Arts Riot, and literally stumble distance from my office, this event brings everything I love all in one place. A bunch of food trucks (WHAT?! YES!) Great beer from Fiddlehead Brewery (one of my personal favorites… second fiddle, get at me) And of COURSE some live music! I haven’t gone yet this summer but I went last year and it was awesome, I’m planning on venturing over there this Friday so I’ll be sure to give it a good ole’ review for you guys 🙂

Brew Tours

I’ve been to a bunch of breweries but I just cannot keep up with all the awesome ones popping up all over the state (not a bad problem to have) This summer I’d love to hit up a few that I haven’t made it to yet.

Hill Farmstead Brewery… In 2013 CraftBeer voted it the Best Brewery in the World!

Lost Nation Brewing… I’m a fan of their Rustic Ale.

Otter Creek Brewing… Hop Session for the win!

Tilt Arcade and Ale House

I am basically terrible at video games, except for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2013… I CRUSH TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 2013! It had to be said, it’s incredibly important that you know this about me. I also enjoy the heck out of some arcade games which I am legitimately bad at. I also enjoy drinking beer… obviously. So now that Tilt Arcade and Ale House is open I am pretty excited to get over there with my nerd friends (read: handsome boyfriend) and let the good times roll! The menu looks delicious, the beer list is on point and the games are going to keep me occupied for those rainy summer days.

Heather and ZachThis is a throwback to Zach and one of my very best friend’s Heather (who’s coming home for a week in 37 days!!!!!!!!! Not that I’m excited or anything) getting their video game on hard. They NEEDED to wear the jerseys to get into the right mindset. Nerds 😉

Now I must go make all of these things happen…

What are some of your favorite local things to do in the summer?