Ecuador

No Bloody Drinks

I have asked each place I encountered about making a bloody mary. Not only do they not make a bloody, many of them have never even heard of the bloody.

I did order a Heizenburg. Its a take on a Michelada. Vodka and beer. Its not good. I do not recommend.

Salty and sour. Bitter. No Bueno.
The hot wings were amazing though

Naked & Afraid

I was neither Naked nor Afraid, but I did experience what it is like to be in the jungle and asleep next to the sites and sounds of monkeys, birds and bugs.
I have seen so many unique spiders and butterflies mostly. They are fascinating looking. There was this one, that I can only describe as a transformer spider. It did not transform, but there was spikeys and weird shapes on its body and head.

I was also stung by this devil caterpillar. I hit it with my pinky first as it crawled up my leg. It hurt so the dumbass reaction I had next was to smack it with the rest of my hand. OUCH!!! It stung each of my fingers and it hurt so incredibly bad. Stinging, burning and scary as I wasn’t even sure if it was poisonous or not.

No Halba EspaƱol

When I was in high school, I was required to take a foreign language. Since Spanish class was full, I had to take French class. I had no desire to study French, but it was required and I had no other option. This course did lay a foundation to what could be helpful in the future, but I still struggled my way through. I did learn to play the national card game by using my language struggle skills and of course some charades.

Cuarenta is a card game where the goal is to get 40 points. It is a game for 2 or 4 players and it can be quite quickly. They have large tourneys in the city where some can win hundreds of dollars and no other nation plays this game, let alone even knows about it. I love it and I challenge anyone to a quick game.

Taproom and Tasting

Headless Mumby

One of our favorite brewery locations in Olympia Washington was at Headless Mumby’s. They have an excellent selection of flights available and the owners were right there to help serve.

The best flavor was the smoked rye. Rich and smooth. Not acidic and the unique tea cask was an interesting take on a craft beer. There wasn’t as much IPA or Hazey IPA that we had seen through most of Western Washington so far on our journey.

Its no wonder why the Headless Mumby has won several craft brewery awards.

Oly Taproom

Although the taproom had covid restrictions and there was limitation on seating and how ordering was done, theey do have quiet a selection of brews to try.

Oly Taproom does not have flights but they do some 4oz pours for tasting. Their unique selection of nearby breweries set them apart a bit, but they do have some excellent choices. Our favorite was the Top Rung (Raspberry Summer Ale)

Hunkering our own way in Washington

Helping a friend move… How sweet of us, right? Actually it was well worth the trip. During COVID, the traveling is definitely more difficult. Finding suitable food and beverage places when there are limitations to how many people can be inside can become a hassle.

The Eagle Has Lifted.

Our friends were moving from Alaska to Washington state. Moving is already a stressful event, but they are also parents of five (yes I said 5!) large dogs. Two of which are brachycephalic and cannot fly under the plane. They are also moving a large number of personal items in which need to be driven down the AlCan (Alaska-Canada). This is where Jamie and I come into the picture. The large plane-allowed dogs are to be flown south with 4 large cases full of thirty-plus guns (yes, I said 30+!). We were tasked to accompany these items to their destination, a newly purchased home in Shelton Washington.

It took over 2-hours to weigh the dogs, the crates, the guns and then screen them through TSA in Anchorage. 4:30am comes too early and it was all kind of a haze honestly. I recall a lot of heavy lifting and zip-ties. Once the pups and secured cases made it through security, we ventured through and then awaited the line to speak to an agent at the desk.

I don’t usually complain about the unconscious bias toward the LGBT, but this is certainly one to consider. Our boarding passes list Jamie and I in different rows. I was seated in 10 and she was in 30. This is all during the pandemic where I would assume they would prefer similar-germ people to sit together. Instead, the agent told us she was trying to work on getting family members seated next to one another and if we couldn’t sit toegther then there was nothing she could do.

“Hey. We are married! We are family”. Oh Man! Jamie. Was. Pissed.

After loudly announcing her frustration to the agent, we were promptly moved to sit next to one another. How convenient and easy it was for the agent to do, once she realized her assumption was wrong about the two women that wanted to sit together. After all that, we were off.

Flying during COVID sucks. No booze so I couldn’t add any more experiences to my flying section. No food. No purchased food. Wearing a mask. So hot and uncomfortable, but we followed the procedures regardless.

The Eagle Has Landed.

Have you ever completed one of those puzzles where you have to move all the objects without doubling up? Similar to the Tower of Hanoi. That is how we had to move the crates with canines and the arsenal from the baggage claim to the curbside. Back and forth with one of those $5 luggage carts and heaving one 120# pooch on before returning back to Jamie whom had to wait curbside to protect our property. So much lifting, those guys were heavy and awkward.

Everyone survived and we all made it to SeaTac. Now to find our way past Olympia and into Shelton. So hot out, we felt so bad for the dogs, being crated the flight and moved to the truck and headed down at highway speed for another hour before reaching their final destination. They were so ready to get out and stretch their bodies. They were happy to be at their home.

Olympia Washington

I think it was the Bella I enjoyed the most.

I personally am not an oyster fan, but Jamie sure enjoys them. I will try them occasionally but on this trip I learned what “briney” truly meant. It is a salty seawater taste that I assumed was part of the package. Apparently it is not, in fact there are many flavors of oyster. Get a flight of different locations and you will discover a “buttery” flavor that is much more delectable.

This picture above is a selection from the Olympia Oyster House (not much imagination in the name). They had a great selection of oysters to try and their shrimp taco is yummy!

What is also neat is they have a ton of recipes for oysters and seafood dishes lacquered into the tables. You can learn while you eat and drink.

Oyster stuffing

Model T

We were enjoying a few beers inside the Shelton Cabin Tavern, when the lead cook told us the “best place to get a bloody”. He gave us the name of Model T only a “30 min” drive for a good bloody. The bartender was great. The cook there was friendly and funny. She had a Covid mask that said “Sexy Sheila” and she was quick with making food.

Filling and cheap. Must try the fried pickle spears.
Meat straw. Just the way I like it. A tool you can eat.

Thank you Cabin Tavern for telling us about Model T. If you are in the area of Hoodsport Washington, this place is a must!

Las Vegas Rugby 7’s

2020 was the year Jamie and I were invited to assist in the medical care during the Invitational Sevens tournament in Las Vegas.
What a blast!

So much food and drink after the games. We learned so much about the sport than we had previously know. It was great. We also learned that rat-tails and mullets are coming back.

Yes, you read that correctly. RAT-TAILS and MULLETS. Okay, so I get the mullet. Hair gets in the eyes so you cut it but you are also a little lazy and don’t wanna deal with the back. Sure. It can make a majestic mane or a great country song.

The rat-tail though. That is time-consuming, purposeful, self-hatred. That is a voluntary act.

Tiny lobster tail with big expense.
This horse even has a (reverse) rat-tail
This bloody had some kick!

The craft brewing in Vegas has grown.

Yum Yum Taco Time

The last time we were in Vegas there was less micro-brews. Now there are so many more and they have so many delicious choices. It is amazing how much variety there are in pilsner, lager and porters.

Two Words…. Tacos & Beer.

Beer battered avocado on the left and the “Crunchy” on the right

Clark Gable; a lost love; and a crooked poker dealer.

The Pioneer Saloon just outside Las Vegas is an old saloon with a infamous history. Walk in and remnants of the past are plastered on the walls. There are stories of the old ghost from a poker game shootout and the bullet hole remnants.

Micro-brewing in Henderson

In a warehouse/stripmall section in Henderson, you can find three craft breweries. It is off the main streets and you may feel like you took a wrong turn. Trust me, these places offer a plethora of refreshments.

The Hardway 8 in Henderson has a pee chee folder cover and baseball card style menu for the drinks. It is an inventive way to display their beers. Excellent Henderson choice. I had the fried bologna sandwich and it did not disappoint.

Fried bologna sandwich @ Hardway 8
LoveLady Brewing. We had to go here, its like it was calling us.
Get the Paleo. Its like liquid Reese’s Pieces.

No Dam Gambling

Boulder City is a cute little town with a love of shorts (movies). Known for its logistical construction location, it is just outside the dam. Whether you want to call it Hoover or Boulder Dam, the people there know its true name.
The city also has a standing history of short films and film festivals. The Boulder Theater showing films for that last 16 years in the Dam Short Film Festival.
It is also one of the few places in Nevada that does not allow gambling. That means no annoying slot machines everywhere. No computerized multi-games on the bar.
Super cute. They light their streets using strings of lights around the trees. It is neat. You will have to see the town and walk the streets.

Last, but certainly not least. Rugby.

The whole reason for the travel to Nevada was to assist in the Invitational 7’s Tournament by providing medical support.

Flying while under the influence

If you don’t try this drink, you are missing out. I have been mixing these 2 for about 2 years now, when Alaska Airlines flight attendent suggested it as a good coffee alternative. I have been hooked ever since. If you want a creamer boozy beverage for the remainder of your flight, buckle your seat belt, lower that tray and ask for the Crater Lake Espresso Vodka and a Baileys Irish Cream.

Austin (business and pleasure)

Although this trip to Austin was for business there was still going to be food and beverages consumed. I had to rely on input form my peers and I even joined my instrucotrs for lunch at Torchy’s.

It was a very short trip but here are some highlights if you are in South Austin area and looking for lunch or dinner.

Decently made lemonade. I don’t know if I would call it Damn Good.

I don’t know if I would call any of the food at Torchy’s anything special. It was satisfying and was good. It is an Americanized chain taco restaurant with a cherub devil logo. The Lemonade was not horrible but maybe my Alaskan taste-buds needed more sugar or even more fruit flavor. It was enough to wash down the taco. It was a little different having a chicken finger in a taco. I did enjoy that and their guacamole was spot on. Overall, its cheap and calms the grumbling tummy sounds from hunger.

Texas BBQ

In Austin, everyone recommended BBQ and tacos. I was unable to get to Franklin’s BBQ as they’re so busy you must get in line before it opens. It will have to be a future endeavor with Jamie. I did try another place, simply named Texas Ranch BBQ. The BBQ trailer is run from inside the Papalote Taco House restaurant and you can order BOTH tacos and BBQ. If you have a indecisive belly, this is a great option for you. Get your hunk of red meat followed by some new takes on the traditional taco.

Texas Sandwich Meat of the Day was pulled pork.
and the pulled pork was juicy and amazing!!! Melt in you mouth good!

Now the highlight of my Austin trip was the brewery located 1 block behind my hotel. You cannot beat a location like that. They were friendly and had a great selection of beers and swag. I love my swag, and I ended up grabbing some stickers for Jamie.

The Smoke N Brew was the least favorite of the 3 from my evening at Skull Mechanix. It wasn’t a peaty taste, but you can taste the smoke flavor. The grain is smoked for over 4 hours before being brewed into a lager. It wasn’t bad and I bet it would go really well with a BBQ.

Albany, NY beer drinking capital.

WOB

I spent the entire afternoon from my class workshop bar hopping. A classmate of mine and I went to the World of Beer at the Crossgates mall. They have a massive selection of beers, all of which you can sample in the form of a flight.

Nine Pin

Nine Pin Cidery. Of all places in Albany, my Uber driver recommended this Cidery and it did not disappoint. Of all the places I could have been, there was a fellow Alaskan working behind the bar. From Fairbanks he was used to the cold weather and we had shared some good laughs about the differences in layers worn by Alaskans and L-48ers.

I recommend getting a flight and checking out the different flavors of cider, all grown in New York State. It is quite a delightful refreshment.

This is an awesome idea. New cider every 2 weeks and try and get them all! My version of Pokemon.
Strawberry Sour, Cherry Jubilee, Gooey Centers and Earl Grey.

New York

Albany New York, State Capitol, and not nearly as big as I was expecting. Not here for pleasure, this is a business trip, but what kind of person would I be if I didn’t share some food and drinks with my readers.

Albany is pretty neat. There is this large Egg shaped building, appropriately deemed “The Egg” and I believe it is an amphitheater. Unique design for sure. If you go downtown to see the Egg, make sure to stop in at the Firefighter memorial as well as the Museum.

The New York State museum is FREE to enter. There is a recommended donation box, but it free to enjoy. There are some really cool booths to look at with manikins and props to show how life was like in prehistoric, colonial and early American times.

The most important and memorable moment in the museum is the 9/11 exhibit. It has the all the feels still attached to all the articles and remnants from that disastrous day. Stories of lost and stories of survivors. If you only see one exhibit, make sure this is the one you see.

Heineken

Heineken Beer. Not usually my go-to in beers. There sure was a lot in Amsterdam.
A little history of the beer, courtesy of Wikipedia. Started in 1864, but the original closed in 1988. It is now co-owned by SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch. Although it has american influence now the draft beer in Amsterdam tastes COMPLETELY different than the beers you can get here in the US. The flavor is lacking in America, there is little flavor but the price is usually a little cheaper.

I do remember drinking the mini-keg as a teenager thinking it was the greatest invention in drinking ever. Now as an adult it is not the most delectable beer. It is worth getting in Amsterdam. It is also one of the ONLY beers in Amsterdam. When you walk into a bar, don’t expect many varieties of beer on tap. What you do have is a choice of which Heineken tap you would like to drink from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heineken_N.V.