Let the time of the pumpkin begin!

TravWolaverSo, every couple of months my husband’s office goes out and buys a bunch of cases of beer and mixes and matches them. Currently, we’re working on a batch of pumpkin brews and Oktoberfest beers.

Now, I’d like to say something about the pumpkin wagon. Specifically, that I am not on it. It seems like a lot of breweries are content with throwing some cinnamon and sugar in a beer, thinking up a clever name, and slapping a pumpkin on the label. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of thought put into the end product of the beer. That said, I’ll start my reviews with the best of the bunch.

The Traveler Beer Company: Jack-O Shandy (5):

This beer is pretty, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” Cinnamon and citrus with a juicy pumpkin taste. All the flavors are balanced and my husband had this finished before I got more than a few steps. I’m not familiar with this brewery, but I’ll keep my eye out for them.

Wolaver’s Fine Organic Ales: Pumpkin Ale (3):

It’s okay. A bit of a bitter aftertaste. Some cinnamon. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this brewery. They’re consistently mediocre.

Penn Brewery: Pumpkin Roll (2.5):

Sweet, cinnamony, pumpkinish, and a bit cloying in the heat. A better beer to split than to have alone.

Drinking at the Beach

darkandstormy

An important part of any beach vacation is booze. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been drinking for my week on the beach.

Dark and Stormy:

My sister introduced me to this drink. A small glass filled with ice, ginger beer (although I suppose you could substitute ginger ale) and dark rum, and if you’re feeling frisky some bitters, and you’re done. It takes a minute to make three (one for you, one for your husband, and one for your mother-in-law). The spiciness of the ginger beer is a perfect complement to the dark rum. How much from you add, is up to you. There was a hefty dose in mine, and I was feeling pretty good by the end of the glass. Be careful though, lest you end up with a dark and stormy morning. We bought Reed’s ginger beer, and Gosling’s dark rum. The ginger beer was decent. I highly recommend the rum.

Yuengling:

This beer is pretty much always in my fridge. It’s cheap and delicious, what more do you want from a beer? The answer is nothing. You want nothing more from a beer. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t drink other beers, as I do enjoy variety.

Leinenkugel Orange Shandy:

I can neither pronounce nor spell the name of this brewery. That hasn’t stopped me from buying their beer. I liked the orange shandy, although I would describe as being sweeter than their normal summer shandy. It had a very strong orange flavor with a bit of cinnamon. I’m not sure if everyone else really liked it, but my husband and I enjoyed it.

Mirassou Pinot Noir:

A lovely red wine, smooth and warm in your mouth, with little to no sulfites. So, you could probably drink half a bottle and not be hung over. I only had a couple glasses, which I really enjoyed.

Vacation Wardrobe: Week at the beach

Whenever you’re packing, you need to ask yourself a few questions. What’s the weather going to be like? Who am I trying to impress (because let’s be honest, if you’re lingering over your sartorial choices, it’s someone)?

For Labor Day week at the Outer Banks, it’s normally mild to warm, perhaps a bit cooler at night.  I’m not really trying to impress anyone either. Okay, people at the rest stops. I like to have a cute t-shirt to ride in the car in. Beyond that I pack for comfort!

empty bagSo, what goes into my American Apparel duffel bag? (As a side note, I’d like to say I’m pleased with how well it’s held up, because honestly, it seems awfully flimsy, but I take it everywhere with me!)

A lot of soft well worn t-shirts (about six), a fistful of underwear, a couple of pairs of shorts and bloomers, a few cover-ups (including my 70s miu miu), some swimsuits, a hoodie and a long sleeve shirt, a canvas bag and a book, and we’re ready to roll!

Super important at the beach: reading material! I actually brought two more books and my Kindle. I love this Gloomy Bear canvas tote. I take it everywhere! It's an unobtrusive way to be fashionable.
Super important at the beach: reading material! I actually brought two more books and my Kindle. I love this Gloomy Bear canvas tote. I take it everywhere! It’s an unobtrusive way to be fashionable.
Two sensible Speedo one pieces with a boonie hat, and a cute Fables by Barrie bikini with a Ralph Lauren hat.
Two sensible Speedo one pieces with a boonie hat, and a cute Fables by Barrie bikini with a Ralph Lauren hat.
Ladies--always pack more panties than you think you'll need. Trust me. It's the one thing you want to over pack!
Ladies–always pack more panties than you think you’ll need. Trust me. It’s the one thing you want to over pack!
Ah, the fruits of my labor! Snuggling with a sandy tired dog. Don't worry, we both wear sunscreen.
Ah, the fruits of my labor! Snuggling with a sandy tired dog. Don’t worry, we both wear sunscreen.