a fuller life

adventures… eats… laughs… life


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We love beer! (and how Fredericton is rocking the craft brew scene)

TrailwayIf you’ve read a single post on this blog, you’ve probably noticed the topic of beer come up. More than once. Well, quite a lot really. And there’s a reason for it. We love it. We search out new and interesting local brews when we travel, Greg loves coming up with interesting new beer recipes at home, and we are loving seeing more and more small craft brewers pop up here in Fredericton.

I am admittedly a total beer snob (you can also read this as fussy). I’m a decisive kind of girl and I know what I like. And what I am liking lately is a few great locally made options. I would rather have no beer than to have to drink one of the big-label domestics. And don’t even think about putting a red in front of me. A lot of places, this makes even having a beer tricky. One can only drink so much canned Guinness… it’s just not right. Thankfully, Greg has a much larger range of acceptable beers and is frequently taking one for the team and finishing off something I take two sips of and hate. Thanks dear!

I find Fredericton to be a pretty creative kind of city, and I’m so pumped about what’s going on in the craft brew scene here. So pumped in fact, raving about it is one of the few posts on this blog that isn’t about our travels.

Beer and ice creamFirst and foremost, I think a giant shout out has to go out to the fine folks at the Fredericton Craft Beer Festival. What an amazing job they are doing at bringing craft brews to the thirsty masses! And not just at their annual festival, but by putting on lots of smaller events throughout the year to hold us over until March comes around. Last night, we checked out their beer and ice cream pairing at the King St Ale House. I love beer. I love ice cream. I wasn’t sure if I would love them together, but it was totally worth giving it a go. Six ice creams from Chef Aaron (listed in order of deliciousness – beet root and goat cheese, watermelon chili, strawberry basil, chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwich, deep fried sriracha, and peanut butter and chocolate) along with six east coast (ish) brews (Big Axe’s Shakespeare’s Stout, Propellor’s Organic Ale, Garrison’s Apricot, Picaroons’ Blonde Ale, Trailway’s Mango Wheat, and Unibroue’s Éphémère Cranberry). This year, we’ve also attended their Canada Day Beer Bash, and were the cakes behind their beer and cake tasting. Beer Run 2015

And we’re super pumped for the Fredericton Beer Run this coming weekend… we’ve even trained for it, running and drinking beer!  Run a 4k, 6k, or 12k along the lovely St. John River trail… and then spend a few hours sample awesome beers from local brewers like Trailway, Grimross, Big Axe, and RailCar (and some awesome ciders too, like from Red Rover and the Gagetown Fruit Farm). And you get a snazzy glass. And the satisfaction of knowing you earned those beers!  There’s still tickets – get yours here!  And stay tuned for some more fun events, because I know they’ve got some up their sleeves.

And if it wasn’t for the FCBF, I likely wouldn’t know about two of my current personal faves Grimross‘s Maritime Pale Ale and Trailway‘s Session IPA. It takes a lot to convince me to drink beer I can see through – but they have done it (Garrison’s Hopyard previously had that honour all to themselves). Many thumbs up!

Canada Day BashSo obviously I’m not a beer expert, I’m not up on everything that happens in the Fredericton beer scene, and this blog is not meant to be the be-all-end-all when it comes to all craft brewers in and around the Fredericton area. But if that’s the kind of information you’re looking for, maybe check out the Maritime Beer Report.

Or just head over to Grimross and have some beer!

Disclaimer: We may be friends with the FCBF organizers, but that doesn’t make the job they are doing any less awesome.


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Conquering NYC…

IMG_7498Every time I return to NYC, I remember how much I love that city… not the shiny, loud, seizure-inducing “for tourist” parts like Times Square where people are always trying to sell me something… but the gritty, dirty, parts with character… brick and stone and street art and uneven sidewalks and clever uses of space… restaurant options with no meat that aren’t salad.. friendly folks that give a shit despite living in a city that the rest of the world assumes gives no fucks. Every time I leave, I instantaneously start thinking about when it will be time to go back. And now with true friends in and around the city, it’s only going to get worse …

It was another drive to NY and spend a few days in the city on the cheap kind of trip… so we left Saturday immediately after I finished market (thanks for working around my schedule Sue and Tara), stopped to fill our bellies full of Chipotle and Starbucks in Portland, and then on to our hotel in NH for the night. Left early morning on Sunday, with a belly full of pancakes, to find us some outlet mall shopping in CT on the way (and food trucks… with cupcakes … but not the giant pile of food trucks further on in CT several lanes across the other side of the interstate by the water… boo). Continue reading


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Kickin’ it in the Caribbean with Cool Cats – 2015 Edition

This blog has been brought to you from the back seat of Sue’s car while she and Greg listen to the Bruins game…

st_thomasDay 1 – The Philadelphia Beer Vortex

Adventure time!  With snow up to my neck in the yard, you have no idea how desperate we were to get the hell out of dodge…

Wee hour of the morning departure, as per usual. Stop for harvest nut and grain pancakes and Starbucks en route (holy shit, in America they have coconut milk as an option!), got to Manchester early… killed some time at the mall (very out of character for us, but essentially this stop was just for stretching our legs), dropped the car at the hotel (Homewood Suites Manchester Airport – highly recommend… park & fly, free shuttle, free breaky and ninnernet) and off to the airport. Tasty beers to start off the trip, while watching the gang (whoever wasn’t already in PR) check in stop to stop online (about the only time I find FB fun). Flight was short and completely uneventful. Time to kill in Newark, so there may have been beer, food, and more Starbucks.

Flight to San Juan leaves late after a gate change so I check in with Alice to let her know that we’d be arriving at the hotel we’re sharing late…. only to discover they’ve decided to take the scenic route to PR and we won’t see them until we’re on the ship. And when you don’t sit anywhere near your husband on the plane, the best method to communicate this information is by secret_harborwriting it really big on a piece of paper and waiting for him to look in your direction. Using a doodle app on tablet later on also works. We flew United for this trek of the trip, and while the plane was nice and we had lots of leg room in the emergency rows, they still get a fail for their stupid fucking DirectTV. I paid to  get on the plane, I paid for my luggage to come on the plane, I have to pay if I want to eat anything on the plane, but I draw the fucking line at paying to watch TV or movies on the plane. Plus, a lot of it only works in US airspace. Get bent you bunch of corporate pigs!  So I watched some Doctor Who on my tablet and dozed off and on (since we had been in transit for 20 hours or so by then). Continue reading


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In need of the fountain of youth, a big lottery win, and/or the TARDIS… a travel plan

Alright. I’m giving in. I hate lists. I mean I really, truly hate them. Even a grocery list feels like it’s stealing a little bit of my soul. Lists equal work and I work hard enough already.

But I’m losing track in my head and I have a lot of things I want to do and see before my adventure ends. So I’m gonna get organized and keep track. Or try to. Or try to enough without sucking the spontaneity out of adventuring in the first place.

We also seem to be collecting UNESCO sites, Olympic Parks, and beer – so they live indefinitely on the list.

Feel free to chime in with suggestions. If I’m going to make a list, it might as well be an epic one! Continue reading


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Ramshackle mansion, the big apple, rainbows, and unicorns…

Last adventure of the year, and here’s how it went…

ramshackle_mansionDay 1 – En route to Ramshackle Mansion…

Woke up in the wee hours of the morning, drove to the airport in our city (mark it on a calendar, we got to fly from home for a change, without having to remortgage the house), flew to Montreal, had breakfast and coffee, flew to NY, arrived by 10:30 am and let the good times begin. Thanks Michelle and Paul for picking us up – rock stars, the both of ya! We really appreciated it a lot!! The drive to the Hamptons was uneventful and filled with laughs and plotting our visit to the 7-11, before stopping for some lunch and beer at the Southampton Publick House (decent beer selection, average food, over-the-top decorated for Halloween – not in a good way). There may also have been stops for other vitally important things like beer, rum, and maybe food. We were one of the earlier groups to arrive at Ramshackle Mansion and from the outside it looked pretty nice. Melissa gave us the tour and we picked our room in the drunken jerks wing from a solo cup. I dig it! Continue reading


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Quick roadie to Maine

I’m a little late putting this one up… but I always get there eventually. My gals Sue and Mich and I took advantage of the August long weekend to spend a little time roaming the roads in Maine. So Sunday after the final Market of that weekend, the gals picked me up at my parent’s place and off we headed to Maine (with a quick pitstop for a replacement pair of sunglasses first). We crossed the border at Calais instead of my normal crossing in Houlton, bought a map of Maine, hydrated Michelle, and hit the road. We stopped for blueberries at a road side stand (for me) and for beer (for Mich). Continue reading


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Iceland: Stunning landscapes, friendly folks, and chocolate covered licorice…

Whale meat and shots of Black Death at the Seabaron

Whale meat and shots of Black Death at the Seabaron

Another one of my top ten countries to visit in the world off the list… except that it’s not coming off the list. For the first time ever, a country is staying in the mix instead of being bumped to make room for another new country to move into my loosely structured top 10. Not that I visit them in order (I hate lists), but I do keep them on the radar in my head (thereby not being on paper and not being a list). And Iceland is so amazing that it’s staying on the radar for another visit… soon… ish. Here’s why… Continue reading

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