Tuesday, March 30, 2010

springtime snowshoeing

Aspens, sunshine and snow in Park City

On Sunday we made the trek to Park City to reconnect with Captain Mike whom we hadn't seen since around Thanksgiving. It was a gorgeous day and he'd offered to take us out on snowshoes. Since it's been so sunny lately and with no new snow to speak of, we had to find a trail that was mostly on northern-exposure slopes, so we ended up doing that hike up through the Silver King mining operations that he'd taken us on this fall. Despite the terrain being somewhat familiar, it all looks a whole lot different with several feet of snow covering everything.

Action shot!

It was a great excursion with plenty of snow and sun. On some of the uphill slopes I found myself panting like I was during some of our Alta traverses - even with the running and skiing I've been doing, snowshoeing apparently uses some different muscles. H struggled with his equipment some, having to keep adjusting the straps of his s'shoes and sliding sideways on the angled traverses; and I wished I'd taken the time to dig my gaiters out of whatever box they're in. It was a lesson learned: when Captain Mike offers you the use of his equipment, take it. He knows whereof he speaks.

Taking a break just above the Silver King mine (PC lifts in the background)

Monday, March 29, 2010

end of an era

Despite the Friday night snowfall in the canyons, H and I had to bite the bullet and deal with something that we'd been putting off, because we could put it off no longer: we had to go finish cleaning out the apartment. There wasn't much left to do, really, just pick up a few odd ends like the crockpot, a fire extinguisher and a bunch of lift tickets from early season ski days, as well as scrub down the kitchen and bathroom and run the vacuum one more time. It didn't take us long.

It was kind of sad, actually, although we were only there for 4+ months: it was a great apartment and our first Utah home and the view west out across the valley was magnificent. Still, it was time to say goodbye and hope the next tenants like the place as much as we did.

Since we were already out and about, we decided to take a quick drive south to scout the route for a bike ride H has had his eye on. There's a high ridge where the Wasatch mountains come westwards a bit and taper down to "Point of the Mountain." H's plan is to ride up and over the ridge, down to Lehi on the south side, and then ride around the PotM and back home. Plus, we'd seen houses up atop the ridge and figured their view of the Salt Lake valley must be pretty good.

Pretty good? Try spectacular. These homes (McMansions, most of them), located in Draper, have an amazing view looking north, encompassing the line of the Wasatch front, the northern mountains up by Ogden, Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake, the Oquirrhs off to the west and the entire, glittering valley in the middle. And just on top of the ridge, those houses have an incredible view, down into the Utah Valley, and Utah Lake, and the mountains reaching to the south.

Also, that ridge is really, really steep. H thinks he can manage to ride up it - he did ride his bike up Mt. Washington and all - but the descent could be a little fast.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

eastern skiers' last stand

Andrea and Chris had booked the red-eye flight home this past Monday so they could get one more day of skiing in.  I got up and went to work and thus missed all the morning's drama:  the boys were ALL tormented as to whether to ski or not.  They were achy, tired and sore, and when they dragged themselves out of bed, they spent about an hour checking the weather channel on the television, the online snow reports and staring out the window at the skies over the canyons.  Andrea, however, played it cool, saying that she didn't care if they skied or not - but if not, she'd like to go out to Antelope Island - and as soon as that masterful bit of reverse-psychology was offered up, H and Chris decided they'd all better go to Solitude.

Chris's legs must hurt too much to smile

Andrea reported that although it wasn't a day where they were flying up and down the mountain, they did do pretty much nothing but bumps trails all day.  Since there hadn't been any new snow to speak of, they gave up on Honeycomb Canyon after one toothy run.  They managed a full day of skiing and when I rejoined them at home at 5:00 p.m., they were enjoying an apres-beer, all leaning up against the kitchen island since if they sat down, they'd likely fall asleep.

Our guests got cleaned up and packed, and we went to the Porcupine for dinner (Southwestern salads for Andrea and me, chile verde burrito for H, and some kind of chicken sandwich for Chris) before dropping them off at the airport.  I hoped that they'd be tired enough that sleep would be a possibility - red-eyes are just brutal.

And, of course, that night it started snowing and Alta got another seven inches.  They'll just have to come back again next year.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"don’t tell anyone you skied at snowbasin”

Most of the Easterners left for home Sunday so it was just H, me, Chris and Andrea heading to Snowbasin (after marvelous ham and egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast – thanks, Chris!). Snowbasin is about an hour or so drive from our house, plus doesn’t usually get as much snow as the places in the Cottonwoods, so we won’t be looking into season passes there. But we still wanted to check it out. H was curious to see what an Olympic Downhill course looks like – just how steep could it possibly be? - plus people had repeatedly told me that Snowbasin “has the best food” of all the resorts (always a bonus).

In Sister's Bowl, view to the east

We were completely unprepared for what we found. When we walked into the base lodge, our jaws dropped. Massive timbers, gorgeous burled wood coffered ceilings, enormous chandeliers, granite-inlaid wooden tables, giant stone fireplaces, leather couches and fancy carpeting … in the base lodge. The bathrooms were marble tiled; the individual stalls had wooden doors. It was as though we’d walked into a swanky hotel, except that everyone in this hotel was wearing ski boots. And it wasn’t just the base lodge: the two mid-mountains lodges were exactly the same. It was absolutely amazing – I’ve never seen anything like it.  Of course, I have no pictures so you'll just have to go here and here to take a look.

Something else we’d never seen before: at the end of the day, the detachable gondola cars were switched from the regular lift and stored for the night in an underground gondola car garage. Our jaws dropped then too when we realized what was happening. I tell you what, I’d like to see that garage. A friendly season passholder told us that the resort owner put $130 million of his own money into the resort when the Olympics were coming, some for the lifts, some for the lodges. But he refused to build lodging so Snowbasin is a day-trip mountain only - and the locals like it that way.

We were so overwhelmed by the facilities and the stunning scenery - smallish bowls flanked by massive sheer rock cliffs - that it rather made up for the less than stellar snow conditions. Despite the bright sunshine and fairly warm temperatures, the snow never really warmed up and I struggled with the crusty chop. We also discovered our first Eastern conditions at a western mountain: hard packed, scraped off and some ice. This wigged me out (since the edges of my skis have not been sharpened since February 2009) and I got very tentative. H, Chris and Andrea fared better than I, but they agreed that the day was better taken as a whole experience rather than a snow focus.

From the top of the tram, looking westward to the Great Salt Lake

We did take the tram all the way up to the start of the Men’s Downhill – fabulous view of the Great Salt Lake; the liftie told us that on the clearest days you can see four other states from up there: Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado - and peeked over the edge, immediately gaining a whole lot of respect for those skiers who launch themselves out of those start houses. Really, really, really steep. It was all bumped up so H and Chris gave it a try, reporting that in fact it was softer and less steep than some of what we’d skied at Alta; Andrea and I took the scary switchbacks down to the women’s start instead, finding that much less intimidating.

Apres - note the cushioned chairs and granite-topped tables

After we finished skiing (the other three skied right to the end of the day while I quit a few runs earlier), we grabbed a locally-brewed beer on the sunny patio, soaking in the mellow ambiance. Snowbasin is cool. But don’t tell anyone I told you so: at least two different people told us not to say we’d skied there – “tell’em you were at Park City or Snowbird” – because they want to keep it like it is, uncrowded, undeveloped, hidden, precious.  You just didn't hear it from me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

saturday at alta

I love these dark blue skies

Saturday dawned with a few inches of new snow, clear skies and bright sunshine, and rather chilly temperatures around 17 at the base. After Chris made breakfast for us, we headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon, meeting Melissa, Judy and Will up there. It looked as though it was going to be crowded but once the first chairs cleared out, we never really had to wait in lines again.

Traversing is a lot of work

Will had been to Alta several times before and H and I were more than happy to let him lead the charge. The charge, however, meant a LOT of traversing and hiking to get to the less-tracked snow. Judy and I managed to hang with the boys for nearly the entire day, which brought me to some terrain that I’m certain I never would have tried if left to my own devices. We did one long, uphill traverse into a trackless bowl and, once I could breathe without panting, flung ourselves into it with abandon. I managed to get two turns in before flopping down into an impressive face plant.

The lunch bunch

Another one of Will’s selections landed us in a tight, tree- and rock-lined chute; he was the only one to attempt it as the rest of us found a slightly wider out. One of the last runs Judy and I did with the boys involved another fairly long, climbing traverse that brought us out on top of a steep ridge. We dropped in before we could psych ourselves out too badly over the height and, at the bottom, Will finally admitted that this would probably be his last “challenging” run – he’s a telemark skier (like Chris) and his legs just couldn’t take it any longer.

When Will's legs finally got tired

After that, Judy and I rejoined Andrea and Melissa for a couple of cushy “girl” runs in a lower bowl, then the whole group camped out on the Alta patio for PBRs in the sunshine. Will thought about it long and hard and said he just couldn’t come up with anything wrong with the whole day – I think he pretty much nailed it there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

let the wild ski-rumpus begin

I haven't posted in AGES but the last houseguests just left last night.  I'll start catching you up post-haste:

Will and Chris all smiles at Alta

Starting with that fabulous day at Snowbird last Wednesday, the Great Utah Ski Tour of 2010 was off and running! I had to go back to work for the rest of the week, but H herded a gang of four Easterners to Alta on Thursday for lots of hiking, traversing and great skiing; and then six of them, plus a local resident, to Brighton on Friday. I was surprised that they picked Brighton but the thought was that since Thursday night had been cold, the snow on a mountain that had slightly less elevation was oriented slightly differently – like Brighton – might not have seized up so hard. And the thought was right: they had a great day skiing in the trees, plus three of them had their season passes from Sunday River and Sugarloaf with them, and got comped their day passes as Brighton is a sister-resort.

Melissa and Judy enjoying the view at Brighton

I met up with them Friday night at the Canyon Inn, after having picked up a non-skiing Eastern spouse after her luxurious spa day at Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge, where the skiers were very much enjoying the cold pitchers of local brew. It was a slight struggle to come up with a place for dinner for all nine of us on a Friday night with no reservations, but we managed to get in at Buca di Beppo’s which, since the pasta is served in massive family-style bowls, ended up being a perfect place for ravenous skiers. The restaurant is a little kitschy, but the food tasted good, the service was prompt and the prices were reasonable. As you might imagine, it was not a late night – off to Alta in the morning!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

spring skiing at snowbird

With the first installment of the next wave of visitors from back East having arrived Tuesday night, H and I made plans with them to ski at Snowbird on Wednesday.  (My first vacation day!)  Although it was forecast - this time correctly - to be sunny and very warm, our friends Melissa and Judy were advised upon checking in at the resort that it would be pretty crusty first thing in the morning and taking the first chair was probably not what we wanted to do.  So we leisurely got up, swung by the Lift House for tickets for everyone ($54 chair tickets - those tram tickets are a total rip-off because there's a chair from the back side of Snowbird that takes you right up next to where the tram unloads) and met the girls as they were finishing their breakfasts at the Forklift restaurant at Snowbird Center. 

By the time everyone had gotten organized and in line at the chairlift at 10 a.m., we were already overdressed and sweating.  The snow hadn't softened yet, however, so we rode the Peruvian Express chair to the tunnel through the mountain to Mineral Basin on the back side.  Here, in the bowl, the sun was beating down fiercely and after a couple of groomed runs we were ready to tackle the traverses into the rough stuff.  We stayed over at Mineral Basin all morning, then had lunch (expensive and not that good, but the lunch we'd packed and left in the car was waaaaay too far away at that point) at the Mid-Gad lodge. 

Way overdressed

After lunch, everything had softened up, even the snow in the shade under the trees, and we had a blast.  We skied tons of bumps runs - huge, soft moguls - over in the Gad Valley, flirted with some trees and bowls and just road the Gad 2 and Little Cloud lifts all afternoon.  By about 3:30 our legs were beat - Melissa and Judy were wicked good sports, having only gotten about 4 hours of sleep the night before - and we took a steep (Cirque Traverse to Lower Cirque) and bumpy (Lower Silver Fox) run out.

Judy and Melissa look pretty happy!

It was just awesome, probably the best day of spring skiing I've ever had.  The sunshine and scenery were spectacular - Snowbird is quite dramatic - and the snow, although there wasn't a ton of it, was marvelous: soft and creamy, sticky only in a couple of places and never deteriorating into slush.  Magnificent.

Don't know who this is, but just look at those mountains

We split up for a couple of hours to shower and change and then re-met Melissa and Judy for dinner and brews at the Porcupine, which was completely slammed what with being St. Patrick's Day and all.  Still, we got seated, fed and rehydrated ... and H and I were on our way to the airport at 9:00 p.m. to pick up the next arrivals.  To be continued!

Monday, March 15, 2010

the first wave

The Easterners are coming! The Easterners are coming!  In fact, we already skied one of them into the ground at Solitude on Sunday. 

Our friend Tom (one of H's oldest friends from Portland) has business in SLC today and tomorrow, so he took advantage of the location to see us and flew in Saturday afternoon.  We picked him up at the airport, right in the middle of a snowstorm, and drove him through downtown to show him the sights - except that said snowstorm had the cloud ceiling at about the tops of the SLC skyscrapers (which aren't that big actually) and you couldn't see the mountains at all.  Regardless, we drove down Wasatch Boulevard, commenting on all the stuff he would be seeing if he were able to see, and stopped in at the Porcupine for beers and dinner (chile verde burritos for the boys, Thai chicken pizza for me, Squatter's Full Suspension Pale Ale for everyone).

Sunday morning dawned overcast but no longer snowing and although we had three inches at our house, the Canyon roads were clear.  We'd already picked up tickets so after a strong coffee and bagel breakfast, we jumped in the truck and headed to Solitude where Saturday's storm had kindly left eleven new inches.  It was, of course, great: the groomers were soft and creamy; the ungroomed light and puffy.  Even when the ungroomed runs got chopped up, the snow was so light that you could cruise right through the clumps.  Tom stuck to the blue runs mostly, trying to get used to his longer rental snowboard, but H and I got him on a couple of black bump runs and he was a wicked good sport about it.

The only downside was that the weather was totally socked in.  Any of the higher peaks were completely encased in cloud so that the visibility was not only poor, but rather nerve-wracking.  The wind was blowing pretty strongly and we caught snatches of blue sky from time to time (and also an occasional face-scouring from the blowing snow) but it wasn't until sunset that the clouds really began to open up.  Still, the snow was soft and plentiful, the temperatures were quite comfortable and the company was good.

The smiles are sunny even if the day isn't

By 2:00 p.m. Tom's legs had given up so we called it a good day and headed back to the house to clean up.  He was staying at a hotel downtown, right near Squatter's where we stopped in for dinner and more Full Suspension before dropping him off.  I think that H is going to try to meet him after work tomorrow before he heads back East; even if that doesn't work out, it was great to see him and catch up.  He's a really good guy.

The next wave of folks from back east starts arriving tomorrow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

cleaning up

We're closing in on being fully applianced, what with the new washer and dryer having recently been delivered, installed and put through their paces.  Having new appliances is pretty cool, not least because they work, but also because they're so quiet.  The first time we ran the new washer, B walked right up to it as it was swishing softly and stared at it, doing that adorable head-tilt that dogs do when they hear something new for the first time.  Super-cute.

In my mind, the last accoutrements that we need to purchase are a gas grill, because I'm tired of cooking indoors, and the oft spoken of/longed after beater beer fridge.


That was my inner commenter bursting forth.  I promise to have non-appliance posts in the very near future as we are about to be descended upon by various and sundry friends of the skiing/'boarding variety.  Fun and downhilling to commence shortly!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

right outside my front door

I don't really have that much to say today - work, gym, laundry, blah blah blah - but I thought you all might like to see what I get to see when I walk out of my house.  I wish I were a better photographer but you get the general gist.

Looking east and very slightly south (Little Cottonwood Canyon is just to the left)

Looking east: Little Cottonwood Canyon is just to the right of this peak

Pretty! but will block the view of the mountains come leaf-time

Monday, March 8, 2010

tb or not tb?

That was the question; the answer, fortunately, is no, I do not have tuberculosis! And now my mom is frowning, wondering why such a thing would even be an issue.

It’s an issue because way back in January, for my 40th birthday H got me the opportunity to be a Zookeeper for a Day at SLC’s Hogle Zoo. The ZfaD program is a fundraiser, basically, where you can pay (and call it a charitable donation) for the privilege of following a real zookeeper around for most of a day, and help clean cages and feed animals. But to be allowed to be a ZfaD, you have to prove that you do not have TB so as not to infect all the zoo critters.

This was actually an easy way to establish a presence at the new doctor’s office (yeah, established as the crazy lady who requested a TB test) and it went smoothly. I didn’t have an appointment but walked in around 4:45 p.m. last Friday; they injected my forearm with a small amount of tuberculosis squirmies and told me to come back in 48-72 hours to have the test “read” – but if the injection site got red, hot or swollen, I should come in sooner. Because that meant I definitely had TB, you see. I stopped back in this morning on the way to work and a NP took a quick look at my arm – no bump, no heat and no redness, just a teensy bruise – and deemed me ready to be a zookeeper. Well, not in so many words but that’s the effect anyway.

I don’t have my zoo keeping date scheduled yet but I’m hoping to go sometime in April when it’s a little warmer but schools (and multitudes of school children) have not yet gotten out. And in the meantime, you can all rest assured that I am TB-free!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

taste of punjab

Remember that story about how on my birthday we tried to go to this Indian restaurant that my coworker Jody found for us, only to end up driving all over the east valley because that Indian restaurant was closed for January and also February?  Remember that?  Well, we finally went back and lo and behold, Taste of Punjab (1241 E 8600 S, Sandy) was open!

We got there around 7ish on Friday night.  There were several tables already seated in the pink and fuschia restaurant, and lots more parties arrived right after we did.  We did notice as we were leaving that we'd been the only table who had beers with their dinner; seems like this restaurant might be a favorite with the local LDS residents.

No wonder if it is, because the food was great.  We had a couple of orders of naan, one garlic and one chili, H had tandoori chicken and I had lamb korba.  The naan was delicious, piping hot and both crisp and chewy, and the chili version was blanketed in bright green and spicy ground up chilis.  My lamb korba was fantastic, spiced to medium upon request, with lots of tender chunks of lamb and a thick, tasty sauce with golden raisins and cashews.  I made liberal use of both the naan and the basmati rice to soak up every bit of it.  The star of the show was H's tandoori chicken, however.  He ordered it spiced to hot and it had a great burn that did not detract at all from the depth of flavor of the thick, deep sauce.

Taste of Punjab has a sizable menu (including many different kinds of lassi and several desserts, as well as bottled beer) and we'll definitely go back and explore it further.  Especially since the reviews I've read wax nearly ecstatic over the "butter chicken" - stay tuned!

Friday, March 5, 2010

bbq in slc (I)

H and I loooooove barbeque (a/k/a barbecue a/k/a BBQ for the rest of this blog).  We once started planning a BBQ road trip whereby we were going to fly to Charlotte, NC, trace a circle on the road map with a 300 mile diameter (or maybe radius, I disremember and am also no good at maths) and then hit as many BBQ joints as we possibly could within that circle in a week.  We are so going to do that trip some day.  I'm drooling just thinking about it.

When we moved here to SLC, we noticed that there didn't seem to be an overabundance of BBQ places.  Greater Portland (ME) has a bunch, all of them different, all of them good: Beale Street BBQ (in So. Portland and Bath), Buck's Naked BBQ (Freeport) and Norm's (Portland) were our most frequently visited spots, and I know there are more that I'm forgetting or don't know about.  [Sidebar: Is Uncle Billy's still around anywhere?]  We asked around and found that two places were recommended the most: Pat's BBQ (heartily endorsed by that kid at Lumpy's who couldn't say half a sentence without dropping an F-bomb) and Sugarhouse BBQ which I drive past twice each day.

There were a couple of H's coworkers from back east in town this week and we got together with them for after-work beers and BBQ at said Sugarhouse Barbeque Company (2207 S 700 E).  Even though we hadn't scoped it out for ourselves yet, we figured how bad could it be?  It's got smoked meats and hoppy brews - it's gotta be good!  And good it was.  They do Memphis-style - which is one of my favorites since the meat is cooked with a dry rub and served with sauce on the side - and also Carolina-style pulled pork - which is another of my favorites because of the tangy vinegar-based sauce - and also Texas-style beef brisket - which I know next to nothing about but am always willing to expand my BBQ knowledge base.

Two of us had the brisket platters, a large serving of chopping smoked brisket served with cornbread (kind of dry) and choice of two sides; two of us had a one-third slab of Memphis ribs (4 ribs) which were good sized, meaty and not too fatty, with a choice of two sides.  Sides include BBQ beans, mac & cheese, collard greens (the greens were quite good - not cooked into mush), several styles of potatoes and etc.  The sides themselves are fairly small but you're really there for the smoked animal parts, so whatever.  There's plenty to eat.

They had several local brews on tap, including Squatter's Full Suspension, as well as Bud bottles and PBR tall boys.  The best part about the beers was that they were only $2 that night.  Whether that's a Thursday night special (there were also musicians setting up to play later on) or an early bird price, it didn't matter. $2 beers are just a bonus when there's BBQ on your plate. 

We definitely have to check Pat's out to see how the two compare, but I'm relieved to know that there's at least one place in town where we can get our BBQ on.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

a good deal at faustina

On one of the first days of our arrival in SLC we had breakfast at The Other Place diner where I noticed another restaurant, Faustina, across the street. I wrote it down in my little notebook so I wouldn’t forget that I wanted to check it out. Lo and behold, my work neighbor Jody announced that we were going to lunch there last Friday!

The lunch deal at Faustina (454 East 300 South, SLC) is great: $10 UPDATED on 3/8/10 $11 for any item on the lunch menu, plus dessert. I had a great salad, the Smoked Sonoma Chicken Salad, with mixed greens, dried blueberries, mild gorgonzola cheese, toasted almonds, shredded smoked chicken, green apple “laces” and served with a pomegranate vinaigrette. Jody and our coworker Susan had the steak sandwich: grilled beef tenderloins on marble rye with lettuce, onion, roasted red peppers and gorgonzola aioli.  With the sandwich, you also got a little salad - nice mixed greens garnished with crispy sweet beet chips.  The dessert that came with was a decent-sized slice of moist and tasty vanilla chiffon roulade cake.  I don't usually eat a dessert with lunch, and the salad and cake was way more than I usually eat in the middle of the day.

The restaurant itself is funky, sleek and modern with warm yet earthy colors, great light fixtures and funky modern art.  It seems like it would be a great place to go in the evening for cocktails - low-key yet chic.  The dinner menu has many of the lunch menu items on it (but not that great $10 deal) plus a bunch more.  The highest priced entree is a nightly three course special for $25; the rest of the entrees range from $16 to $22, so it's certainly not crazy-spendy.

I'm definitely game to go back for the lunch deal whenever the ladies want to go.  I'd also like to try dinner there if H and I are in the mood for something slightly sleeker than our usual pub grub go-to.  Faustina is simply fine!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

" i think i like ... bumps"

This is a quote from me, midway through Sunday's excursion to Alta, despite the flat light (which meant you couldn't see anything, including the bumps), my having no legs to speak of (a result of skipping the gym for over a week) and our not having skied for a month.

Alta is cool.  The vibe is way mellow.  It's an older crowd with lots of locals, and no snowboarders - they're just not allowed.  I was intimidated to ski there but once we started, shaky legs notwithstanding, I realized that there's nothing there that I can't ski (cliffs notwithstanding) - there's just parts that I'll ski slower than others. 

These are on one of the Sugarloaf Lift towers - Maine represent!

There's lots of terrain - something for everybody, really - and we skied a bunch of it, staying away from the real steeps, but dipping into the traversing and dropping into the choppy powder bowls, bouncing our way down tree-lined ravines filled with big, soft moguls (I fell three times today but it's so soft that it doesn't hurt), soothing our screaming thighs on the groomers.  Although we were socked in with clouds for most of today, the temperatures were warm enough to be comfortable and we'll just save the bluebird skies for another day.  Because I already told H that I want to go back, after a week on the treadmill, and see how those bumps fit me then.

Bumps, baby.  And here come falls #2 and 3.  This is heading down into Glory Gulch.

And afterwards we stopped by ... not the Porcupine, because we'll go there Wednesday for our move-iversary, but to the place next door: the Canyon Inn.  It's pretty local and not too many skiers there, despite it being at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We caught the end of the U.S. v. Canada hockey game and had a pitcher of Emigration Amber.  The bartender and the other folks sitting at the bar were friendly and good times were had by all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

friendly face

You know, I just knew the minute we bought a house, people from back east would start showing up.  This last week, our friend and H's coworker, Steve E., was in town, travelling for business, and we were lucky enough to coordinate schedules to have dinner (and beer) with him Wednesday and Thursday nights.  We went to Squatter's (where Steve reported that the mac & cheese with sausage was quite tasty) and to Fiddler's Elbow (where the pasta fagioli was yummy, if perhaps slightly over-intense on the seasonings).

It was delightful to see him (well, H probably wouldn't use the word "delightful" but I was thrilled to have someone besides H and B to talk to), to catch up on his family and the folks back east, and fun to play local for someone from away.  We promised him that next time he was in town, we'd even have the house cleaned up enough to have a beer there.