Posts Tagged With: beer

Telling the locals that you’re not a Guinness fan, is like telling Rudolph that you don’t believe in Santa.

On that note, off to the brewery we go!  
 Talk about Santa, Hayden was like a kid at Christmas getting the tickets.  I had more fun watching him than experiencing the actual tour! 

I’ll take you on the condensed version of this self guided maze through the brewery in Dublin. Grab a pint and enjoy the ride! 


Reaching the end of the tour meant for a spectacular view and a complementary pint! 
Thank you Hayden for helping me with my drink as I’m sure it’s against some unspoken law to leave a full pint at the Guinness brewery! 


Beer not your thing? Well, in courtesy of you I wanted to show the whiskey side of Dublin.  Come along during our lesson through the Jameson distillery!   



So there you have it, two of the most famous tours done inside the capital of Ireland.  Unfortunatly this was all the time we allowed for in Dublin as we were eager to spend the rest of our time in the country side.  Lace up, take a walk, cross your fingers and buckle up… 

Random thought for the day:

If you were offerred unlimited adult beverages for 10 years at no charge, but you had to drink the exact same thing every time, would you do it?  

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Under de sea!

For our short journey in Tobago, we’ll be staying with a super fella that could go by something along the lines of “the energizer bunny”, but we’ll just call him Duane. He’s a stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, free diving, kayaking, island tour guiding genius that combines all of his hobbies to provide an incredible experience for visitors. What a wonderful place to have spectacular friends!

The first excursion had us driving to the starting point of a walk… to get to the starting point of a swim… that would get us to the starting point of the snorkeling. Tired yet? Nonsense, it’s play time!  

This was the point on the barefoot walk that would have had my mom a bit skittish.  Indeed, you’re looking at the remains of a snake.
  You can clearly see Duane already starting to share his plethora of knowledge. So cool! 

  This is right before we dove in, what a brilliant shot for a handstand.  (Thank you Ryan for the sneak a pic)
     Silly definition of the day: SNELFIE – a selfie while snorkeling. 

I took these to give you an idea of just how far out we were.  This wasn’t your shoreline disneyland of a playground.  I thoroughly enjoyed being encouraged to take the not so easy route to see what was beyond the sandbox.  
  This was a cool shot, Ryan caught me taking a photo of him taking a photo of me.  You can see Duane’s arm in both pictures.  
  This made me giggle (like so many things), look how graceful these fine gentlmen guide through the water.  Then there’s my defense pose after seeing an eel.  We have photo reviews underwater. I love it. 


 I feel like the photo below exudes the natural high that comes from being active in the elements surrounded  by healing saltwater and quality people. This picture also announces that my mask was too tight.
 After an aquatic workout like that, a local meal with a few cold beverages seemed to be the perfect way to finish off the evening. At Joanne’s, they post what she made for the day and you simply pick whatever you’d like to fill your take away box.  I went with a small portion of fish, provisions, peas and patchoi.  
One must always appreciate a sunset! First night in Tobago… Magical.  


Categories: Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Hot Springs or a Brewery? Both!

Im going to start right off with some fun comparison photos from past and present travels with this power group.

First photo is a picture we snapped in the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Without knowing what the others were doing, we all agreed this would make a great album cover!


Second album cover comes from Yosemite, California.


Girls will be girls… Night trek to Aguascalientes followed by volunteering in Huambutio and a night in Mammoth.




Ninja shot in Machu Picchu!


Ninja shot in Yosemite!


Attempt at an over the head group shot…


…and again in The Redwoods!


Well that was fun! Now moving on to a local brewery in Mammoth. This is the tasting room in which they eagerly share their latest creations while bragging on their oldies but goodies. If you’re a beer connoisseur or even just a fan of trying new things, this pit stop is well worth it!







Back to the outdoors as they treat us to our last night in this beautiful part of Central California. Do you see that street with hot springs and camp sites? Me neither. That’s the beauty of this hidden gem!


If you know about this special place, the view will remind you of the short journey it takes to reach the hot springs.



The 2ft deep pool is built of rocks and cement making it just the right size to fit a small group of people. Fed by natural hot springs in the Eastern Sierra, water is piped in and controlled by a hot water valve. This spout keeps the temperatures maintained in the low 100’s, to prevent extreme heat for anyone taking a soak. The pool also faces the Sierra Nevada’s, which makes for an incredible backdrop!



After 2 adventurous days packed with activities, we now find it perfect timing to indulge in natures little hot tub. I must say our wardrobe choices awkwardly compliment one another.






Well thank you amazing universe for this incredible sunset to compliment our midnight dip.


Dear Ann and Colin, from the moment we met, I knew this was a friendship that was far beyond a “hello” and “goodbye” in Ecuador. With Peru following and a reunion in California, I continue to keep my hopes high with another connection abroad!
Hayden, you are what some define as a “trooper”. You jumped in, buckled up and made this ride even more memorable. Thank you!

I am surrounded by quality people that I’m proud to call my friends.

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oktoberfest- Inside the tents!

In the previous post you got to see the outskirts of the festival and the crowds that come with it. Let’s enter the social world of the tents.

Just for fun, here are a few photos from the years past of Oktoberfest.








These fine gentlemen are friends from my home town of Folsom. They were my beer drinking instructors and guides in the first Oktoberfest I attended.


You can go about getting into the tents in a variety of ways.

Option 1: You can reserve a seat (up to a year in advanced) and be able to walk right in and sit in your desired tent at a table at the time you’ve picked. Easiest option, but requires way to big of a commitment for my preference.
Option 2: You can arrive to the festival whenever you want and walk from tent to tent, trying your luck to see which has the shortest line or friendliest security guard. To sketchy for me, inside the tents are worth more of an effort.
Option 3: Wake up before the sun and get in line to the tent you want and stand for 3-4 hours patiently waiting for the ropes to drop while you prepare to be elbowed for a table in the rush of other hopefuls trying to snag the best seat. Winner!

It’s 6:45am and we are dressed and ready to battle the lines of the famous Schottenhamel. It’s the oldest and the largest tent with 10,000 seats. In my opinion, it’s the best offering a variety of characters from youthful travelers to veteran Germans. At noon on opening day, Munich’s Mayor kicks off the festival by tapping the first keg of beer at the Schottenhamel tent… And now we are headed there!

Dressed and ready for day two!


The walk brings a glimpse of sunrise and we are now in line with all fingers crossed that we’ll get in. Here is the first two hours of the day.





We met these lovely ladies in line. Let the list of new friends begin!




As the line inches forward with each small group they let in at a time, your heart starts beating a bit faster, palms get sweaty, tummy starts to growl and… Well, maybe that’s just me, either way you can feel the energy around you start to grow as you can look in and see the next group getting ready as they clear the outdoor tables. Here we all are watching, squeezing and getting ready to be let in!





It’s getting tighter!





And we’re in… the beer garden. Let’s clarify, you can be on the grounds of the tent which is outdoor seating with the same food and same drinks. I rate this a “B-“. At least you’re in, but it’s lacking the live band, people singing and dancing on tables and the other 9,000 friends you haven’t met yet.

First up, 2 beers and some soup (Marshall added some sausage to his order) Perfect breakfast!





When sitting outside, here’s what you’ll see. I’ll start out with our awesome neighbors and new friends that took a train here from the Netherlands. So nice to of met you, and let’s keep in touch!









Although I was thankful to at least get this close, I was far from being settled that Marshall hasn’t experienced the controlled chaos of inside the tent. They’ve locked the doors and are just letting a few people in as some are exiting.

Our plan: I work my way in by showing them a “thumbs up” sign, which means there’s only one of me. Then after I get in, I wait for a minute then ask the inside guard if he can let my friend in because we got separated. Is this sneaky or smart? I’m not sure, but worth it if it works!

Step one accomplished! I’m in and now standing in the adult Disneyland with my poor friend outside pressed against the door window like a puppy locked out in the rain.

His view through the glass.


My view. Can you see his sad little face through the window?


Step two, I approach the guard and before I open my mouth he shakes his head no. I look at Marshall’s eager eyes and give him the deep sigh and “I’ll try again” look. Step three, four, and five are identical to step two.

Final attempt- I went to the door man who appeared to be not German and used my Spanish… Thank you español! He smiled and responded by pointing to Marshall’s bearded puppy face and literally pulled him in by the wrist as the surrounding hopefuls grumbled under their breath in jealousy. WE DID IT!


From this point forward you walk around and wait for the opportunity for an open seat a table with people who are willing to let you slide in. (This is of course because we didn’t have reservations or anyone else there saving a table).

Between his friendly face and my enthusiastic smile, we score yet again! Here’s the next 4 hours of our celebration!



















…and the Prost!








Look who it is… The first pic is from last year at Oktoberfest, followed by us this year! Thank you Tim and Marion for the smiles and open arms to this amazing celebration!




The refreshing walk home was complemented with a little rain, open air and nothing but giggles. What a day!



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Oktoberfest – Outside of the tents

Our train to Munich was my first experience in a spacious sleeper cabin. When I say spacious, I mean large enough to stand next to your bag with one foot on the bed and an elbow in the sink. We had to take turns getting ready but that was a tiny price to pay for a decent nights rest and saving night in a hostel.

The first year I did this journey, I had a seat in the night train next to “Sir Snores All Night” and an innocent child that was clearly tired and miserable. The following year my dear friend Tiffany and I chose floor space in the doorway and kept ourselves entertained. Here’s a shot from that “seat”.


Considering the last trip on ground that was twice as long on a bus in South America, this sleeper car was beyond luxury!





We woke up in time to hear them announce our soon arrival, woohoo! As we hopped off the train, we find a fellow backpacker adjusting his bag… its Alan! You’ll see more of Alan later, but just know we met him in the hostel back in Amsterdam. All of his friends had bailed so he was traveling solo for this portion of his trip. Not now, he happen to meet us at the right time in the right place! What a coincidence. You all know I don’t believe in those, so what a perfect path crossing!

He joined us for a walk around Munich before we parted ways to check in for the weekend. (I’ll show you more of Munich after the Oktoberfest posts).

We checked in to our new temporary home and are ready for day one of our 48 hour whirlwind of Oktoberfest. This is Marshall’s first time, so I thought we’d take it easy and experience the outdoor portion first. This of course means we are saving the “tent” shinanagins for the bright and early start on Saturday!

Step one: Suit up! If I don’t say so myself, I think we did a fantastic job of sporting the traditional outfits. I’m in a dirndl that I got the first year I attended and have proudly warn ever since and Marshall is well fitted in his shiny new lederhosen!

I think our “welcome packages” were adorable! The heart cookie necklaces are traditional this time of year, similar to the American “Valentine”, you adorn your sweetie with a phrase of your choice. I have no idea what our says… I just know they’re not for eating (yes, I tried a nite…its a cookie!) Aside from the necklace we got the Oktoberfest beer, a sample size of local liquor and a mug shot glass.


Step two: Finish the outfit with an awesome hat that says “Tourist… Who me?”


Step three: Take in the sights! Outside of the beer drinking tents (that are actually huge buildings that fit 6-10 thousand people each) there are rides for all ages, food stands, souvenir shops, and thousands of energized people. Many dressed in the appropriate clothes, others in casual wear and my personal favorite are the elderly couples hand in hand in what appears to be authentic outfits they’ve probably had for generations!













I wish I could of recorded the verbal exchange when I was asking this young German couple if they would be a part of my handstand picture, hilarious!


These guys were at a beer garden we visited that was just outside of the festival. We entered a conversation of “tough countries” and naturally it ends up in an arm wrestling match. I dedicate these photos to “The Young Family” in Oklahoma.







Step four: Partake in your choice of typical Bavarian festival food! Note to future Oktoberfest attendees: Do not… I repeat do not try and pump your own mustard unless you would like a small bruise from a local German vendor operator.


The walk back brings some great night shots of the energy and lights that keep the festival going.






Tomorrow brings a 5:30am alarm to get ready for our attempt at getting in to the most famous of the tents, the Schottenhamel.

Categories: Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

La Tomatina in Spain!

I’ve “Prost” through Oktoberfest in Germany, beaded my way through Mardi GRAS in New Orleans, danced through Kadooment in Barbados, spent Australia day in Sydeny, and dressed up at the Sevens Tournament in New Zealand… Now what?

La Tomatina Festival in Spain!

Welcome to one of the largest food fights in the world. A battle where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets at tens of thousands of participants.

At around 11 a .m., the first event begins. A ham is placed on top of a cockaigne pole (a large, greased pole), and the tomato fight can begin only when someone is able to climb up and bring it down. People struggle against the huddle while climbing on top of one another. This is necessary in order to be “the one” to pull down the chunk of pork. With this victory (that I’m sure is claimed till the following year) a loud shot is fired from a cannon and the tomato-throwing begins.

After exactly one hour of chaos, a second shot sounds and all throwing stops and turns directly into a dance party in the streets!

Just a reminder, I’m with Ian and Bevan. Ian is my long time friend from Folsom California who randomly jumps in and out of my journey around the world. Argentina is where we last met the pleasantly crazy (I mean that with love) Australian, Bevan!

To reach the small town of Buñol the beginning of the festival it was necessary to catch one of the first trains out of Valencia.

Here we are before the crack of dawn patiently waiting at our bus stop.
Banana… Check.
Beer…. Check.
Goggles… Check.






Once you arrive you see food and drink vendors with hundreds of eager adults dressed in whatever the day calls for. In this case, clean clothes (to start with), protective goggles and shoes you plan on dumping in the garbage directly exiting the venue. Most of them have a beer in hand, a slight skip in their step and a smile that says “ooh pick me, pick me!”

Notice how clean we all are in the start of the walk towards the central of the fight.





We’re getting closer so we figure now is the time to fuel up for the day ahead. The boys make a pit stop for some pork in buns (I’m sure they would describe this meal with much more enthusiasm). Judging from my face at their kind offer for me to try some… I went for the tuna sandwich that, to my delight, came with fresh green olives and a Spanish hot pepper! Of course all of the above is nicely complimented with the local beer.








As we continue to march towards the center, the crowd grows to a massive sea of some of the biggest kids I’ve seen. Not one tomato will be thrown until the fire of the first cannon. This means we all mob to squish as close as we can to the road where the trucks will launch from.







As soon as the cannon sounds with a large puff of grey smoke in the air, the people go crazy!

It made me giggle because we were so far back, that when it fired the crowd went nuts and nothing happened for awhile. It was like the lights going off for your favorite band to come on stage and you scream… then shout and jump… and wait…. and yell again… and wait. Then you all kind of look around… and wait some more until finally, show time!

This is where I would normally insert dozens of photos of the real life action. However due to the fact that we only brought Ian’s camera and it was so mashed that you literally couldn’t move your arms unless you got aggressive, we only captured the before and after.

So, here is the walk back towards the train. Imagine dance music being drowned out by the sound of voices, these of which you can barely understand because they’re either really intoxicated or from another country… or both for that matter. The smell of acidic sauce sizzling in the sun with spilt beer flooding the streets. The sweaty liquid keeps the lost articles of clothing afloat as it all drifts down the road towards the center.











As you near the station, several of the locals bring out buckets of water and hoses to wash off all of the participants. Nice and refreshing after a day in the sun and paste everywhere. Sun dried tomatoes if you will (please snicker just a little bit here, for the jokes sake).





So the crowds have dispersed, the tomatoes are crusting over everything in site and we are heading back to recoup. I’ll give you one guess on what we DIDN’T have for dinner…


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