Friday, January 25, 2013

Beautiful Annapolis & Heavy Seas Brewery

Until the last few days (where temps have been in the low teens) this winter in Maryland has been almost far as winter's go. As most of you know, I am an absolute wuss when it comes to cold; temps less than 70 degrees and I don't get along so well and I get sad and cranky at all of the layers I have to put on to not be freezing. I blame it on my early childhood in Texas and the blessing of living in Hawaii, that and having high standards (haha, I just don't see the point of cold).
The point: This winter has been very mild with temps reaching the mid-60s in January, so I dared to venture outdoors and had a wonderful time! My friend Allyson and her boyfriend came down for the day and we took them on a tour of Annapolis. If you have never been, you really should. It is a quaint little seaside town that is very quiet this time of year and has gorgeous brick buildings and cute shops, a nice promenade around the bay, and lots of boats to see. It is also home to the US Naval Academy, so you get to see men and women walking around in uniform (this was much more awesome when we were younger and you were approximately the same age as the students, but now they are 10 years younger and it's creepy to think the boys are cute in their uniforms, besides the fact they look like they are 12). Oh, and food, really good food! We enjoyed a relaxed afternoon of meandering around the town, spoiled by the decent weather, and had a wonderful lunch. Of note: Joss Cafe Sushi Bar = AMAZING! Oh only wish my stomach was half the size of my eyes or the menu. If you like sushi, really great sushi, you will LOVE this place. A local business owner was telling us how the Japanese diplomats from the DC embassy drive out to here for their sushi, if you needed a more credible source to persuade you (we went!).

Me and my beloved on the waters in Annapolis

After Annapolis we cruised up to Baltimore to taste and tour a brewery that Adam has been wanting to try. He really enjoys their beer but we have some how not made it to the brewery in the last year and a half that we have lived here, and it has never been more than 10 miles away. It is called Heavy Seas Brewery and they love pirates.

Adam enjoying his libations pre-tour

Allyson getting friendly with a brewery local

We were lucky to have the owner as our tour guide, he was obviously very knowledgable but SUPER interesting and entertaining. While I am not the biggest fan of beer (I am up to 2 that I like out of the dozens upon dozens that Adam has had me try), I really enjoy these tours and always have a great time.  I highly recommend this place if you ever have the chance: $5 gets you a tour, an awesome pint glass to keep, and 5 sampling tokens to turn in for the beers of your choice. You might even have the added bonus of enjoying beer!

Heavy Seas enjoys their pirate theme throughout

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Steelers Game in Pittsburgh!

So...I have the AWESOMEST brother in the world...he bought us Steelers tickets!!!! Marrying into a Western PA family, is it a part of the contract that you bleed Black and Gold...and I have been swept up into it. I have never been to a Steelers game, but have always wanted to. Well, that dream came true this past weekend! Unfortunately, it was the last game of the season for the Steelers, as they did not make the playoffs, but it did not dim my excitement in the least! We ventured to Pittsburgh to stay with Michael for the weekend and had THE BEST TIME EVER. Seriously. It was great.

Our kind of church

Adam has been trying to wean his brother off of Budweiser and Bud Light by introducing him to other types of beers. This included part of Michael's Christmas gift being a mixed medley of all sorts of beers. I am still impressed that he received the gift and it wasn't consumed before it reached him, Adam was really coveting the selection! Michael took us out to this old church that had been converted into a brewery and Adam was in his glory! I even found a beer I liked! I know, sit down, these words have never come out of my mouth...but it's true! I apparently like "sours", whatever that means, but Adam is excited about exploring this and finally getting me into beer! We were here for drink and appetizers and they were good. I would recommend swinging by here for good drinks and small treats in a really awesome atmosphere if you ever find yourself thirsty and hungry in Pittsburgh.

Inside the Brew Works

We were up bright and early Sunday morning, eager and excited for the Steelers game, and after a wonderful breakfast cooked for us by Michael, we were on our way! What game is complete without starting earlier with tailgating!?!? None of them, so that is what we did. Now those who know me, know that I am a COMPLETE WUSS when it comes to any temperature below 70 degrees F. So you may be wondering, how did I fair? SO WELL! Thanks to: thick sports bra, thick tank top, long-sleeved thermal shirt with thumb holes, fleece jacket, wind/rain-proof jacket, hoodie #1, hoodie #2, puffy coat (thank you Michael!), tights, compression pants, thick yoga pants, winter hat with 3 hoods over it, gloves, mittens, hand warmers, wool socks, and insulated winter boots. 
I am impressed that (1) It all fit (2) I could move (3) I didn't look too much like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Ready to tailgate!

Johnna and the Baby Bro Michael

Who's ready for 30 degree weather!?!?! We are!

Adam's happy place...he has a few of these!

I'm here and I'm well padded!

Ready to get in and get cheering!

Heinz Stadium

View from our original seats

We met "The Biggest Steelers Fan"
One of Adam's cousins, Billy Clark, was also at the game and has season tickets so we all met up with him at halftime in the Great Hall. Well, to our amazement, he introduced us to some people that had some open seats in their section, and offered them to us. We were originally in seats that were 3rd from the very top of the stadium, and these seats were the 2ND ROW! You would not believe the difference! It was awesome. The seats, the view, the crowd, the camaraderie, just the entire everything.

View from our new seats...YEAH, SECOND ROW!

Did I mention the new seats were AWESOME!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Such a happy time! Steelers WON!

Johnna and Michael

It was seriously such a great day, a great time, and I would do it again in a heart beat! Even with the cold! Thank you Michael for such an awesome present/experience and being such a wonderful host, you really are my favorite brother in the whole wide world! Here's to next time!

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's Christmas Time Again!

It is that joyous time of year again where you come together to celebrate the spirit of the season with family and friends and have a fantastic time. I have always really love the holidays, as everyone is in a much better mood, the festivities ramp up, and everyone relaxes a bit. Working in Pediatrics is always REALLY fun for this reason, because the holidays mean everything to the kiddos...and boy do Pediatric units know how to celebrate! I always love wearing my Santa hat and it was as big of a hit here as it was in Hawaii.

Me and my work office roommate Heidi...we have a great time together!

Me and my carpool buddy Sharon...color-coordinated for the holidays!

We ventured to only Johnstown for the holidays as I was only granted the day before Christmas off from work (yay for being the newbie), it was closest, and not enough time to make it to NH and back and have it be a worthwhile trip. No worries though, only T-3 weeks until we have Christmas Round 2 in the NH with my side of the family! We have been fortunate to have a very mild winter in MD so far, no temps below 30 or snow...that all changed on the drip back to Jtown...and I was christened with Winter 2012/2013.

My first snow of the season, driving to Johnstown for Hawaiian soul aches.

We stopped by and visited with the Bischof family on the drive up to see everyone, but especially Adam's cousin Kristin who lives in Vermont. She lives a crazy adventurous life like us, and just got back from another stint in Antarctica. Yeah, you read that right. Antarctica. It was a nice little visit and we scored some homemade jelly!

Mayer boys went down, nice and relaxed for the holidays, preparing for the festivities!

We met up with a few friends over the course of the days, but most of the time was spent just our small immediate Mayer group and relaxing. The Mayer boys exemplify this well.

Even Dad Mayer went down!

Christmas Eve tradition always has the Mayer (dad) side of the family over for a traditional Christmas dinner after church. This year was Adam's venison from deer season that made the table! Christmas day tradition is the Adams (mom) side of the family over for lasagna and good times! As always, Amy did not sleep at all Christmas Eve, so we were all a little sleepy and dragging when opening presents at 0700 Christmas...but it is her spirit that really makes it all fun!

Adam's PTSD from early childhood family photos allowed for 2 shots...and I think it came out GREAT!

My Love helps me shop for Christmas supplies!

I cannot believe Christmas has already come to pass again, but it was a wonderful holiday season, and one we look forward to celebrating again next year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Who: Live in Philly

Adam and I have always been HUGE fans of classic rock, so when The Who were coming close to town, we were ALL about getting tickets and venturing up to Philly for the day. I went to nursing school in Philly while Adam completed his final year at Juniata, so Philly is quite nostalgic for us. It is where our relationship, albeit long distance, grew and blossomed into this wonderful life that we lead. We spent the afternoon wandering the streets around my old apartment, enjoying dinner and drinks at one of our favorite pubs, and venturing over to Reading Terminal Market. Reading Terminal is an AWESOME and huge indoor market of fresh produce, butchers, bakers, spice markets, food vendors, craft dairy products, etc, etc, etc. It was amazing to see how much it has changed since I moved away 7 years ago, yet how much it has remained the same.

Some of the earliest ones there! So excited!


Getting their ROCK on!

The picture don't capture the visual effects at all

Lighting up the house

The best picture that I could manage

I cannot even begin to put into words how FANTASTIC this show was. They may be really old, but their music is still great, they are true performers at heart and put on a good show, the crowd was fun, and we had the most amazing of times. If you ever get the chance to see them live, even if you aren't the biggest fan of The Who (but how could you not be?!?!?!), I highly recommend you seize the opportunity to snag some tickets, you will not be disappointed!