Tuesday, October 9, 2007

GABF 2007: Getting Here

Writing now from Denver, having just arrived. To tell you I am excited about this weeks beer fest would be an understatement, but I am trying to remain a bit level headed about this whole thing and remember how I was at my first OBF... and how I was the second day of that event (it wasn't pretty). So, moderation, that seems to be the goal. We'll see how well that works out.

The flight getting here were good and I was happy to have a good beer in both the Sacramento and Las Vegas airports. In Sacramento I stopped at Capital Brewery (not a brewery) and had a bowl of barley / split pea soup with a pint of Sacramento Brewing's "Red Horse" ale. This was a whole hell of a lot better than I remembered it - less Vienna malt character and a bit more like an American Red Ale, complete with a wonderful hop character throughout. Very nice, indeed. I'll have to talk with Peter this week and see if he's tweaked this like he has their IPA.

In Vegas, well, it just wasn't as good. Here I had a crappy pizza that was typically overpriced to go along with something called "Sin City". I don't know who made it, what it was or anything - and frankly I am a bit too tired by the days events to care enough to look it up, sorry. The beer was good, I'll give it that, but it was a beer I only wanted have a glass of, and when I left the other half still in the glass the barkeep seemed a bit miffed. It clearly wasn't worth the "Vegas" airport price, which seemed to be a couple bucks higher than a glass of Sacramento beer.

A couple side notes:
  1. I really don't like Las Vegas all that much. Sure, I love the shows, and the magic of it all, but I just don't have any desire to gamble, and slot machines annoy the hell out of me. I can't even be in the same room with these monsters and their annoying noises and irritating flashing lights.
  2. Parents can suck. I sat one seat in front of a girl who had to be around 7 years old. Now, evidently she was upset at something, but I (sitting right in front of her) heard no crying or complaining whatsoever... but that mother! She was raising her voice, chewing her out and making a big scene of god-knows-what. It was shocking really. The whole time the mom practically yelling (yelling with an indoor voice) to her kid to stop crying because they were on a plane and she was embarrassing herself. Now, I am NOT a parent and I suspect that is the ONLY reason I found it in me to sit there and say nothing.
  3. Bloody Mary's... I don't think I enjoy these frequently enough. On both legs of the trip I asked for a glass of the Bloody Mary mix - no alcohol. It wasn't great, but it was good. While sipping away at my second glass I was reminded of some truly fantastic Bloody Mary's I've had in mornings. I had a homemade version once with a bright horseradish bite to it that was, well, memorable. Do you have a Bloody Mary recipe? I figure I'll need to try and make up a batch someday soon, that non-alcoholic version, as bad as it may have been by your standards, just hit the spot.
  4. Denver Hiways - they SUCK. Sure, these roads are clean and easy to navigate, but leaving the airport to get to my uncle's place for the night, I literally hit FOUR toll booths, each wanting 2 bucks, cash! I was on this road for 20 freaking miles! And cash? I just spent the last of my cash at the airport, all I have is plastic (which is fine at toll booths in the west - even the Coquahala in BC, middle of nowhere, takes cards... c'mon!). So, I now have 48 hours to call some lame phone number and give them my payment over the phone. Yeah, that's cool. I can't imagine this happening in California... that is just nuts. Ever ten miles you pay a 2 dollar toll? Oh, and some exits costs 75 cents to use, "exact change". I sure hope, for the good people of Colorado's sake, that I found the crappiest freeway in the state to travel on.
  5. Drink of the night? Water. Lots and lots of water.
Thanks to all the nice emails regarding our kitty. It was a super rough way to start our days and I'm still pretty bummed by the whole thing. My wife and I both appreciate your kind words and well wishes, thank you.