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Our Full Day in Vermont

I believe I was up at 5:30am on a Wednesday, while on vacation, just to get my speedwork in. I may or may not have driven 30 minutes to the “nearby” school just so I could get my speed work in.

It had been raining and the track was covered in slippery worms!
It had been raining and the track was covered in slippery worms!

We had one major thing planned for this day in Vermont and it was to visit Hill Farmstead Brewery. I had only had  a couple of the beers from there and they are quite elusive since they don’t distribute to Ohio so I was really excited to visit the brewery.

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I thought by going on a Wednesday, during the week and as soon as they opened that we would be the first or only ones there. Unfortunately they decided last minute to do a beer release, meaning more people would be there. About an hour before they opened there was already a line formed. It was cold out so we waited in the car and watched the to see how long the line got.

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About 15 minutes before they opened, we got in line and were only about 20 people back so we figured it would move fast. We were wrong. We also thought we could hang out there for a couple hours and drink some good beer but we were also wrong.

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It was basically a place to pick up beer. We stood in line for almost 3 hours just to have our growlers filled. They did allow you to purchase samples while you were in line but you had to drink them in the order they wanted you too. Kind sucked because my taste buds were done after the first 2 beers and I couldn’t really taste the last 2. Would I go again, no but it was nice to check out. I think it lost a little hype from me though.

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Kinda crazy to see snow on the ground still but it was really cold while we were there.

After the first brewery we decided to hit up another!

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To be honest, we didn’t know how close Lost Nation Brewing was to where we were but once we found out we couldn’t wait to stop by. Absolutely loved it there. We had great service, awesome woodwork throughout and great beers to enjoy. If I was in Vermont again I would go back.

On the way to the next brewery, yes we hit up 3 breweries in 1 day. I wanted to stop by this little shanty to buy maple syrup. However, when we go there it was fairly cleaned out and no one worked there. It was all by the honor system. Put your money in the slot and that’s it! I ended up buying jam instead of syrup though.

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The last brewery we stopped at was Rock Art Brewery. It was half brewery, half store but we were able to quickly grab samples and shop for beer in the store.

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We had one last stop for the night and it wasn’t a brewery, we ran out of those but it was for Ryan to meet up with one of his beer trading buddies. Kind of cool that we got to meet him and his girlfriend in person and grab dinner with them.

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The picture on the left is the little town we were staying in. The picture on the right was the delicious pizza I got to eat at Positive Pie.

 

 

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Road Trip From Boston to Vermont and a Little Hocus Pocus In Between

Being the crazy early birds that we are, Ryan and I were on the road to Vermont at 7am on Tuesday morning. We probably would have been on the road sooner but Ryan was being interviewed on 102.1.

I’m not sure when we figured it out but somewhere when we were looking for things to see and do in Boston we came across the Hocus Pocus movie sights. I assumed they were all in Hollywood somewhere but a couple scenes were in Salem, a short drive from Boston.

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Yes that is Max and Dani’s house on the left and real people live there. They also have a black cat…Binks perhaps? The other house is Alison’s mansion from the movie. Surprisingly there is not much to do in Salem at 8am on a Tuesday but we did stumble into an awesome bagel shop called Bagel World. We know it was awesome because the line was so long..and because we ate there.

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Yet another example of Ryan digging into his food immediately before I could get a picture. After breakfast in Salem we were off to travel Vermont.

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I’ve never been to Vermont so I was a little shocked at how desolate it is. It was pretty cold while we were there. Like I wish I brought a winter coat with me and there was snow on the ground.

After quickly checking into our B&B we headed out to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory. It was a quick, cheap tour with free ice cream samples. I’m not sure what they did to me on the tour but I’m now convinced I NEED to try all the Ben & Jerry’s flavors, seriously on the 3rd pint in only 1 week.

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Ryan was not amused by the  flights of stairs to get to the factory, only 1 day after running the Boston Marathon.

For dinner we stopped at Prohibition Pig for 2 reasons, 1) I saw pork rinds on the menu and 2) they had Heady Topper on tap. Sadly, this restaurant was an hour from our B&B, so we had to keep the drinking to a minimum.

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On our first night in Vermont we took it easy and hung out at the B&B and opened some beers in our room. It was probably one of the most relaxing things we did the whole trip.

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Boston Marathon Day: A Spectator’s View

Neither Ryan or I could sleep the day before the race because we were so excited. Ryan was signed up to take a chartered bus from MIT. It’s a nice cushy bus with a bathroom and when they get to Hopkinton they can stay on the bus and keep warm instead of being outside when they get there. I didn’t take any pics when I dropped him off because it was so hard to drop him off at 6am and then know he won’t race for 4 more hours and I won’t see him til the middle of the afternoon after the race! Also with no bags this year he left his phone behind.

With hours to spend in Boston all by myself, I grabbed breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, watched Bodhi on the webcam and got ready for a 6 mile run to Boston College which was the area I was planning to watch Ryan from.

Hours before the race
Hours before the race

I got to the race a little earlier than I planned so I sat down on a nearby bench to relax before the race started. After a few minutes, someone approached me that I knew!!! What are the chances of running into someone you know from Cleveland in this section of the race! We instantly decided to stick together since our guys were running similar times and then we both had someone to take the subway with back to the finish. We knew we would only see them at this point of the race and would not make it to the finish in time but I was too chicken to be near the finish line this year.

Tiffany and I near Heartbreak Hill
Tiffany and I near Heartbreak Hill

I was able to watch the start of the race at the house Tiffany was staying at but we made it back to the race with plenty of time to check out the crowds and wait for the lead women to come by.

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I swear I was close enough to touch the lead women, Shalane on the other hand must have known I have a major thing for her since she went on the clear other side of the road.

In the downtime of waiting for Ryan to come by, I live tweeted any times of his I could get my hand on and cheered for all the runners who ran by. It’s a miracle I had a voice after the race.

Through the power of twitter I could see that Meb was in the lead. I had no idea how much of a lead he had until he ran by.

Go Meb!
Go Meb!

I don’t know how far of a lead Meb had but it felt like minutes. I do know that you could not even see the rest of the pack. They came straggling along eventually…they wish they were as fast as Meb.

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Not long after the lead guys went by I received Ryan’s last time and I was bounding with excitement waiting for him. People started coming by faster by now and I was almost worried I wouldn’t find him in the crowds and knew the crowds would only get worse.

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Finally, I found him! I was so excited I didn’t cry and almost didn’t get a picture because I was jumping up and down like a crazy person trying to get his attention! And it worked!

IMG_0600He saw me in the crowd and shouted “I love you! I got it!” and then I had tears in my eyes and quickly tried to snap a picture before he took off for the rest of the course.

IMG_0577Shortly after our guys ran by Tiffany and I headed to the subway to take it back downtown to meet up with our guys. I had about 20% battery life by then so I was hoping I had just enough battery life to get me to Ryan. The subway took a very long time and was beyond crammed. Multiple times I wanted to jump off and just run to the finish. While on the subway I learned my homeboy Meb won the Boston Marathon!

IMG_0589I have been a fan of Meb for awhile now. A better person could not have won the marathon this year. He’s amazing!

Also while on the sub way I received the final alert that Ryan had finished and reached the goal time he was after. 10 minutes later he called, we don’t have each other numbers memorized so I had to write it on him before the race. It was so nice to talk to him but I still had a ways to go to get to him and 12% battery life on my phone.

When I finally got off the subway, there was a lot of running from Tiffany and I trying to get to our meeting areas. I literally ran the whole way from the subway to Ryan and jumped into his arms. Yes there were some tears involved but I was so proud and happy for him. I tore myself away to snap a picture of him beaming from ear to ear.

Love this guy
Love this guy

Quickly with less than 6% battery life left we asked someone to take our picture and as soon as we saw the picture my phone died. Perfect timing for a perfect day.

IMG_0585Stay tuned for Ryan’s guest post on actually running the Boston Marathon.

 

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Boston Day 3: First Easter ever not spent in Cleveland

Once again thanks to the early sun rising in Boston, I was able to start my run early. I had originally planned on a run around Harvard but went for a short run around Somerville instead.

photo 1Although it was Easter Sunday, it didn’t feel like it since we were in Boston. We attempted to make it feel like Easter and went to church at a local church, St. Ann’s. That happened to be the only Easter like thing we did all day.

Ball Street Cafe
Ball Square Cafe

I waited too long to feed the husband and he got kinda cranky. Although I can’t blame him when we had to wait outside in the cold to get into the Ball Square Cafe for breakfast. However, it was completely worth the wait. They let us have coffee in line while we waited, the owners and servers were great and the food was amazing!

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So what do you do on Easter Sunday away from family? Well first we discovered that a lot of places were open so we went beer shopping. I think we hit up 3-4 beer stores. We also stopped at The Round House. I’ve been wanting to stop here for awhile. It was built to be a residential house. The history of the house always grabs my attention and I wish they did tours.

Round House
Round House

Then I found a New Balance Factory store when I got lost on my run the day before. It was perfect to stop in and pick up a few things and waste some time.

Hello new super discounted shoes!
Hello new super discounted shoes!

Since we had our car with us we decided to drive around some suburbs and the Newton Hills of Boston. We also made a stop at Heartbreak Hill running store. It’s a local store and we loved being able to stop in and check it out…we also may have bought some new tanks while we were there. (Ryan wore his for the race so you’ll see it in a later post)

Every runner loes to see the Citgo sign
Every runner loves to see the Citgo sign

The hotel we were staying at had a free shuttle to certain destinations so we took advantage of it when we could and had them take us to Quincy Market for a bit. I was able to grab a delicious looking tiramisu and some beers. It’s kinda nice when you aren’t running a race and can eat junk the day before (I also ran 12 miles and walked 8 the day before so I was letting myself enjoy the good food)

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While we may not have been at home we did enjoy a nice pasta dinner at Posto. For two people who really don’t like pasta, we always enjoy dinner at Posto. Maybe it is the “farm-chic, open atmosphere” the place has. Or maybe it is the good food and easy to get reservations.

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I can never get a picture of Ryan’s food because he digs in as soon as the plate is down.

The girls next to us were really giggly becuase they were going to be in our picture. I should have told them they would be on the blog too lol
The girls next to us were really giggly because they were going to be in our picture. I should have told them they would be on the blog too lol

We had to call it an early night because Ryan had a big day ahead of him. He’ll be guest posting about his experience in a few days.

Do you spend Easter with family or have you ever taken a vacation during a holiday?

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Boston Day 2

Day 2 of our Boston trip consisted of me getting up early to start my long run while Ryan hit up a beer store 40 minutes away. (It was awesome because he brought me home some good surprises) Which was awesome in Boston since the sun comes up at least an hour earlier than in Cleveland. At 5:50am I thought it was 8am with how bright it was. A 12 mile long run was not a bad way to start the day.

Seen on my run
Seen on my run

Soon after my long run I quickly showered and we headed out for a long day of walking and shopping at the expo.

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After attending multiple marathon expos and going to the Boston Marathon expo as both a spectator and a runner in the past, I was disappointed in the Boston Marathon expo this year. It has reached the point where it is so over packed that it is no longer enjoyable. You could barely move in most sections so shopping was extremely difficult and most places were sold out of any sizes Ryan needed (size medium). We’ve always gone on a Saturday so we were disappointed, we’ll be going on Friday from now on.

photo 1(5)After the expo we made our way towards the finish line to check out the area and snap some pictures. On the way we saw a multiple story Apple store that we had to check out. I suddenly feel like I need a new ipod after visiting.

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This is an apple store not a mall

I was kinda nervous as we neared the finish line. We took some pictures but I didn’t feel comfortable there and was happy we didn’t spend as much time there as in the past. Also solidified my plan to not stay near the finish line for the actual marathon on Monday.

photo 3(5)Shortly after visiting the finish line we were able to meet up with some friends from Cleveland who now live in Rhode Island! We also made our first brewery stop of the trip at Trillium Brewing Co. I highly recommend stopping there if you are nearby, free samples and good beer!

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Next we stopped at The Barking Crab for dinner for my first and only lobster roll of the trip. I am now obsessed with lobster rolls, it was delish!

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After a 12 mile run and a whole lot of walking (6-8 miles of walking, lost track somewhere) I was pretty beat for the day. I can’t even remember if we did anything else that day. Except take a cute new picture by the water.

photo 2(7)And this picture with the giant Boston Strong flag.

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Boston Day 1

In 2010 I ran the Boston Marathon, in 2012 Ryan ran the Boston Marathon and in 2014 Ryan ran the Boston Marathon again! It’s starting to become an every 2 yr vacation for us and I’m perfectly ok with that. (or every year that either one of us qualifies).

Crossing Bridges on the drive
Crossing Bridges on the drive

Instead of flying to Boston this year we decided to drive so that we could have a car to get around while we were there and also so that we could take as much stuff with us as we wanted. (or take a lot back with us since there seem to be quite a few beer stores in Boston).

Yes I love bridges
Yes I love bridges

I’m not sure how long it too us to get to Boston but we made awesome time the entire drive until we hit the downtown Boston traffic. But what could you expect with a Holiday weekend and Boston Marathon weekend.

We immediately checked into our hotel and hit up a close craft beer bar that we had heard a lot about, Lord Hobo. Although Lord Hobo was only 1 mile from our hotel, it took an hour to get there and  find parking. We thought by being outside of the city of Boston we would be free of traffic and crazy parking. However, it was worth the wait.

photo 5(1)It was pretty dark inside so my pictures didn’t come out that great but we did get great seats at the bar.

photo 4(2)And in case you were wondering, we are both missing Bodhi like crazy. It’s hard to be without our main dude.

photo 1(3)I did a lot of running in Boston, cant wait to post my training recaps!

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The Road to 500 and A Trip To Jackie O’s

Way back in October of 2011, I downloaded an app called Untappd to keep track of which craft beers I was drinking. I wasn’t trying to keep track of how many beers I was drinking but rather looking for suggestions to other beers I might like. The first beer I ever checked into Untappd was Southern Tier Pumking, one of my first true craft beers. Other than that I mostly drank Shandy, Blue Moon and Hoegaardens.

I wouldn’t go near anything sour, dark which I referred to as “muddy”, hoppy or boozy beers. I was strictly Belgians and pumpkin beers. Eventually Ryan got me to try some coffee or chocolate stouts and for a while I loved stouts. Every once and a while I had a hoppy beer that I liked but wasn’t crazy about them. Suddenly when the weather got warm one day that was all I could think about.

Accidental selfie
Accidental selfie

I eventually got into the boozy beers and even got into barleywines and sours. This is how my beer progression went.

Belgians->Pumpkin Beers->Stouts->Hoppy->Boozy Beers-> Barleywines->Sours

Beer list at Jackie O's
Beer list at Jackie O’s

This whole time I was tracking as many as I could in Untappd. Obviously I’ve missed a couple here and there but this weekend I made it to 500 UNIQUE CRAFT BEERS! Lucky beer number 500 was Jackie O’s Brick Kiln Reserve. It’s a massive, boozy barrel-aged barleywine, that I never would have tried a few years ago.

Legendary badge!
Legendary badge!

It couldn’t have happened in a more perfect place than Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens, OH.

Jackie O's
Jackie O’s

We made a random trip down to Athens last weekend to enjoy some Jackie O’s beers and hang out in Athens. I’ve always loved the small town feel there and it was perfect for a 1 day trip. It was also my rest day so it worked out perfectly!

Jackie O's
Jackie O’s

This is probably the biggest hotel room I have ever been in. It was just so long!

Huge room
Huge room

We were lucky enough to get a tour of the brewery while we were in Athens from Brad Clark!

Brad explaining beer. Ryan was dying for his shirt.
Brad explaining beer. Ryan was dying for his shirt.

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I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see how small this production is and how much they put out. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Especially to see a bottling line being held together with clamps, rubber bands and pvc piping.

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After getting to see where all the beer was made, we got to go into a room of barrels and drink STRAIGHT FROM THE BARREL. It was probably the one of the coolest beer things I’ve ever seen. (Do I need to get out more?)

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I'm suddenly thirsty.
I’m suddenly thirsty.

After many very tasty beers from the barrel, it was time to head back to the main street to grab dinner.

Snow!
Snow!

I didn’t pay much attention to the weather on the way down, other than the fact that it was 10 degrees warmer than Cleveland. I was a little shocked at the snow they received Saturday night.

Carnivore
Carnivore

It’s ok though, I was able to forget about the snow by hanging out with good friends and eating a piping hot Jackie O’s Neanderthal pizza. I even washed it down with a Jackie O’s Mandala Columbus, a hoppy beer a would have avoided in the past.

Anyone else thirsty now?

P.S. There is still time to sign up for the virtual bake sale!