The most recent holiday season was the first time I was celebrating it in my very own home, which translated into me wanting to do everything I normally do, but on steroids. I started listening to Christmas music in late October (no joke). I hosted gift wrapping parties with myself, drinking hot cocoa and blaring holiday tunes. I made handcrafted gift tags. I put up a tree and other greenery with white lights. These types of behaviors are typically reserved by my sister, who has an unhealthy obsession with Christmas. But my favorite occurrence of all was the fact that:
I embraced eggnog.
I have tried eggnog in the past and thought it was just okay. This year, I realized I was always missing the bourbon. Try it and tell me I’m wrong. It’s delicious. A little glass with some ice, Maker’s Mark and nog? All of the lactose-induced farts were worth it.
Fun factor: 8
One of Brad and my New Year’s resolutions was to see more live music. We accomplished that. We’ve been to one music festival, one music cruise that included around 10 bands, and a handful of concerts in different venues. One of the biggest names we saw was that of domestic fame:
I saw the Boss in concert.
I obviously knew many of his songs by virtue of growing up both in the 80’s and the midwest. The Boss and I also share a love for bandanas. What blew me away was the E-street Band! There were so many musicians and instruments. Like a lot. The whole affair was great.
I think you have to drink an American watery brew before any Springsteen show, right? We threw down a few at Sheffie’s beer garden.
Wrigley Field provided a fun venue for an outdoor summer concert:
Post-concert milkshakes at the Hollywood Grill.
Fun factor: 9
In the 4 years since I started this blog, I’ve noticed two consistent trends within the content of my posts. #1 I eat a lot. #2 I drink a lot. Just an observation.
I toured a bourbon distillery.
Good friends Emily and Willis visited us in October and we wanted to show them some of the outskirts of Kentucky in the fall. We took a drive to Bardstown, and then we toured the Maker’s Mark distillery. From my basic education, I knew that alcohol came from fermenting grains, plants, oats and corn, but I didn’t really understand what that may look like until we were standing over this vat of what resembled vomit:
What human thought up THAT process way back when… You know what? I’ve been thinking. I bet if I leave some oats out for a long time and mix it with some shit and leave it marinating, it will form a liquid that I can then strain, refine and imbibe. After that, I’ll probably streak my neighbor’s house while listening to power ballads.
Maker’s Mark was adorable and incredibly efficient from what we could gather on the tour. They only have like 25 employees who maintain the distillery that supplies the entire world with their goods. (Emily was a little less trusting than the rest of us and couldn’t shake the impression that our tour guide was hiding something.)
All of their buildings are painted in this black and red. Not just for looks, though. The warehouses that hold the barrels are painted black so that the sun’s heat flocks to them and ages the bourbon. I’m a wealth of knowledge.
Fun factor: 10
Brad is from Louisville and was missing his hometown a lot last weekend, because he’s never missed a Derby in Louisville. We had to do something so:
We hosted a Kentucky Derby Party!
First step: Roses, duh!
Step #2: Local delicacies…only got a “before” picture on this. Just use your imagination to insert pimento and benedictine sandwiches, mini hotbrowns and bourbon balls. I had so many bourbon balls in the days after the party that I was permadrunk.
Step #3: Two words- MINT JULEPS. We had a mint julep bar that included HOMEMADE mint simple syrup.
Here’s the extra mint for garnish:
Step #4: Have a Betting Parlour.
Step #5: Have a best-dressed contest.
The remaining steps – in no particular order- involve a beer run, breaking out the bourbon brought as a hostess gift, line-dancing and crashing a new neighbor’s Derby Party.
Fun factor: 10
Last weekend, I went out for dinner and decided to have a pre-dinner cocktail beforehand. I was born to be an extra in Mad Men. And:
I went to a bar housed in an old bank vault.
The Bedford was dimly lit, mysterious and fun, but a little disappointing. As Brad accurately surmised, I always imagined bank vaults to be more like the Ducktails version, with Scrooge McDuck diving around in piles of gold coins and paper money while wearing a striped singlet. Instead, it’s a bunch of boring safe deposit boxes lining a square room.
Fun factor: 7
I ate at a vegan restaurant.
Last Friday, Brad and I went to this restaurant and not until we were waited on did we realize the restaurant was vegan. The spot is on our street and always looks so adorbs. The menu items use terms like pork, crab, chicken and cheese, which threw us off a little. For example, we ordered the cheese plate and sort of still expected actual cheese. Because we are morons. Instead, we were presented with 5 pieces of raw vegetable ground up with some mystery ingredient. Pretty good, though. Entrees were portabella steak with potatoes and “crab” pasta. Overall, everything was pretty good. Then again, this was the same meal that I fell back off the wagon…
Fun factor: 7
Side note- just noticed on my stat dashboard that people arrived to my blog by searching “mom is doing the babysitter” and “balloons play.” I’m going to go take a shower.
Anywho, I enjoy a cocktail or five once a in a while and so I thought it might be nice to pull the breaks a bit and slow down the beverage intake.
I stopped drinking alcohol for 20 days.
I realize there’s a few things that might be cause for concern here. Have I never gone 20 consecutive days without drinking? Of course before I turned 21 yes, but since then, I’m not so sure. Not that I am chugging Boones Farm every weekend but I probably haven’t gone 20 consecutive days without having a least a beer or glass of wine, no. The sad reality is I aimed to go for a month and caved on day 20. I felt good for the 20 days and only once did I miss it terribly, when Emily and I went to our favorite margarita-day-drinking-joint, Big Star. I powered through, though.
Unfortunately, I did notice that some of my loved ones seem to enjoy my company less during my 3 weeks of spiritual enlightenment, making comments like “isn’t that over yet?” “Why, again, are you doing this?” “This is stupid.” And my favorite, “please don’t become an alcoholic because that would suck if you had to get sober for good.”
About to be back off the wagon.
Feelings of guilt ensue.
Fun factor: 6