it's official: we're on vacation! thanks to a wonderfully non-crowded airport (LOVE you, RDU!), we were able to make our flight even though we cut it pretty close. i was glad to have packed all of my clothes head of time. we did some last minute packing in the wee hours of the morning, adding essentials such as snacks and the all-important camera + laptop combo.
several of these glo bars came along for the trip! i bought a sampler and am super-excited to dig in, especially the cranberry pumpkin spice variety on top.
by 10:00, we had arrived in havertown, the philadelphia suburb where i grew up and my parents still reside. apparently they had made some upgrades to the yard . . .
we dropped off our things but didn't stay long, because i had planned a tour + lunch at the victory brewing company! some of my favorite beers come from this brewery -- i fell in love with the (ridiculously strong) golden monkey the first time i tried it.
victory beers are now sold all over (in 30 states, as i learned on the tour, plus canada), but they started less than an hour from where i grew up. we piled into the car on a little family trip to check the place out.
"kids" in the back seat
on the way we passed the very first anthropologie! sadly, i missed my chance of getting a shot of the historic landmark.
after fighting main line traffic (and our GPS), we arrived at the brewery! it looked pretty industrial from the outside, but there were friendly signs at the front pointing out the brewery and restaurant.
there was a standard bar, and also seating areas. lots of space!
only victory brews served here!
lots of people brought beer with them on the tour -- including the guide!
i think he was a little buzzed, but he was also very knowledgeable, about beer, the brewing process, and the victory company history. i'd show more of the behind-the-scenes stuff, but basically it was just a bunch of big, scary-looking metal canisters.
i had fun just learning about the basics of the brewing process -- even things like what makes ale brewing different from lager. i really hadn't known much about it before! i thought of matt when an experienced home brewer started asking technical questions.
after the tour, we hit up their restaurant for lunch (interesting fact: the spent grains from their beer go to feed the local animals served up in their burgers and other meat dishes! it's like the circle of beer). i was impressed with the menu -- who would expect this selection of salads at a brew pub!?
you could order beer by the full glass, or in 4 oz tastes. josh and i ordered a rack of 5 tastes to share.
i appreciated being provided with this ordered list so that we knew what we were tasting (right-to-left, below)
we all had a good time sampling and comparing notes.
my parents. my dad asked, "will this make the blog!?!?" oh yeah, dad, you're famous now!
i enjoyed the red curry chicken salad that i ordered, although oddly i thought it was UNDERDRESSED (i almost always have the opposite problem). the flavors were good though and it certainly wasn't too mayo-y. i also had some of the warm soft pretzel we ordered -- mmmmm.
if you live anywhere near downingtown, i definitely recommend checking out the victory brewing company. it was a fun experience with high quality beer + a fun place to have lunch.
my aunt, uncle, and 4 cousins live right nearby, so we decide to drop in on them. we only found my uncle, and his childhood friend, and my 13-year-old cousin.
we also found this gorgeous pair of christian louboutins:
OMG. unfortunately, they were not for me. my uncle's friend had driven all the way from pittsburgh to the (giant) king of prussia mall nearby and bought them for his daughter! it was fun even getting to hold them, though. this is probably the closest i'll get to a pair . . . ever.
we also played with the dogs (though only with the louboutins safely packed away). i ALMOST got a good picture!
and we reminisced about past thanksgivings. one year, my uncle made his own wine (from grapes he grew himself . . .) and named it "sambenali" (guess what my first 3 cousins are named!). i remember everyone drinking it but i guess at 14 i was too young to have any.
fortunately, we are now! we arrived home and my mom set up a lovely cocktail hour. apparently, all we do on vacation is drink alcoholic substances and lie around.
not today, though! i'm about to head out for a run. i have yet to find a good route around my childhood home -- it is just so small-scale that it's hard to get any distance in without hitting busy roads.
so, off to go in circles in the neighborhood! the philadelphia adventure will be continued . . .
GOOD LUCK to anyone running the philadelphia marathon today! i have to admit i'm a little jealous, even though my race is just 3 weeks away. susan, i'll be thinking of you!