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Friday, June 24, 2016

Connecticut Breweries

There are a few states that are known for their awesome breweries. For example, we have California, with (as of 2013) 268 craft breweries, and Washington with (as of 2013) 136 craft breweries. Its a little hard to compete with those numbers.  But my East Coast loving friends, we can't let the West Coast get all the attention. Vermont also makes the ranks of a state with good local beer, home to big names like Long Trail, Magic Hat, and Harpoon. 

Beer Sampler at Ninkasi Brewery

But what you probably didn't realize, is that the little state of Connecticut, sitting between New York and Boston is rising in ranks of breweries. I feel like I moved away for two years and BAM breweries were popping up all over the state. I even moved in virtually next door to a brewery, Beer'd Brewing Co.  Why the sudden change in CT?  A 2012 change to state liquor laws, allows breweries to have onsite tap-rooms, really helping the fleet of craft brewers.  You can read all about the trend of New Breweries in CT here.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Scuba Diving: Kings Beach, Newport, Rhode Island

If you have talked to me for half a second you probably already know I am obsessed with the state of Rhode Island, and with lobsters.  And I am very very very fond of scuba diving.  So a day that combines these things together on a beautiful sunny Saturday in the middle of June is about as good as it gets for me. It was one of the weekends that puts you in such a good mood, that the weekend almost feels long and you are in such bliss that you don't even let Monday knock you down. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Cross Country Drive (Moving East Recap!)

Driving across the country is an experience. While you are driving, you keep saying to yourself "Why did I do this to myself.  Why didn't I just give a moving company all my money, my left limb and my first born to move all my crap across the country so I could just have a nice leisurely cross-country drive with company and a comfortable easy car".  But then looking back, I can look at a few photos, remember a few funny moments, and laugh.  And then I look at the bills and the money I saved and say it was all worth it (The moving truck along was going to run me >$5,000).  In the moment its always a stressful situation, a WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF, but looking back, it all worked out for the best.  A drive of this length, with all of your stuff in a pretty big Penske moving truck will come with a lot of laughs, some tears, and a wholllle lot of coffee and bathroom breaks. 

Like I said above, the moving company just to move my stuff was going to run me over $5,000.  And we would still have to drive one car back with the animals, paying for gas, hotels, food etc. After doing a lot of math, stressing out, and calling various companies, I decided to rent a truck. Once I decided I was going to rent a truck, I had to figure out which truck (what size), what company, and if we would tow the second car or drive it. There is a lot of work in moving across the country and after 2 big moves, I think I have the process down to a science. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cuyahoga National Park - Ohio

First Impressions:  Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the most confusing National Park I have ever been to.  I am up for our beautiful country taking a special plot of land, putting it in the National Park System, and preserving and protecting it for years to come (especially one so accessible, close to I-90 and the city).  But after visiting at least 10 National Parks in the last few years, ranging from the amazing canyons of Zion in Utah to the rocky shoreline of Acadia in Maine, I was just confused about this park in the middle of the two in Ohio. 

For starters, the National Park kind of blends in with the town.  There was no grand "National Park" entrance sign that I love to pose with, commemorating my trip to another National Park.  There weren't even signs within the town directing you to the park.  It kind of felt like, wait, there is a National Park here? Oh, I guess this is it?

The visitors center was not this grand building at the entrance of the park, but instead, in an old historic house.  While I love the history of the building and its location in the park, it wasn't that inviting COME ON IN and learn about how beautiful our park is.   The park boundary lines are not well defined, instead following the Cuyahoga in patchy sections that mark traveling through the park confusing and difficult.  I went in with low hopes after hearing a few people's opinion of Cuyahoga (well, from a few Ohio natives now living in SLC).  They said its pretty and all, but it really should just be a state park.  And after spending time in Utah's Mighty Five, I could see their point. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Joly Green Giant of Blue Earth, Minnesota

I feel like you are all probably wondering why I am blogging about crazy random things like corn palaces and jolly green giant statues. Well the truth is, that these are the main attractions along the highway. If you too find yourself traveling through Interstate 90 through our beautiful country, these are easy photo ops and a chance to stretch your legs. I mean, theses places are included in the lists of America's unusual or notable roadside attractions.  You stop to pose with a Jolly Green Giant and your cat when you get the chance. And you have to stop in any town with the name "Blue Earth". 

As I mentioned in last weeks post about the Corn Palace, I did not have any stops planned for this day and I was intrigued to find out about these grand American attractions right off the highway. The corn palace was the real deal, with food, bathrooms, and a store. But the Green Giant was a little more low key (unless you consider the dairy queen next door.....).