a fuller life

adventures… eats… laughs… life

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Beercation 2015… Merica comes to Canadia

balloonsGreg has wanted a “staycation” for a very long time, so when our awesome possum friend Dionne decided she wanted to come visit, that totally settled that. And so begins our latest adventure.

Day 1 – Welcome to Canadia

Had a busy morning (following a crazy busy week) of getting stuff sorted, going for a run, and getting some groceries. Mid-afternoon, it was off to the airport to pick up D… complete with balloons and an extra special “Welcome to Canadia” sign. We love you so much D that I was willing to stand in an airport with a sign with our country name spelled wrong for you :P

From there, a scenic tour of Fredericton craft breweries… because we might have all been thirsty. A quick stop to Picaroons and Grimross and we were off. There was a seafood feast with beer and catching up for the evening, and that was that. (Please note – this may be another one of those occasions when great times with friends do not translate well to blog fodder)

Day 2 – Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Took D to do a quick bit of site-seeing around town while Greg was pianoworking on our feast… we hit up the Market, a few shops downtown, stopped to “play” the City Hall piano, got some more beer, etc. And then it was back to the kitchen to help with the feast. D and I rock a mean salad!

The weather didn’t exactly cooperate the entire time (thank you mother nature for multiple downpours), but we had a lovely feast with lots of our friends… there may have even been a keg (thanks Lloyd) and live music (thanks Bill and Nathan), and there was definitely lots of laugh (thanks everyone!). And a special thanks to mini gardeners Alexis and Owen for saving me some of the peas!

Day 3 – Crashing the Lake Houselake

We didn’t make big plans for Sunday since we wanted to take it easy for the run on Monday. Brunch at Isaac’s Way while plotting the rest of our day with the cool kids. Then we got some beer and headed out to someone’s lake house with friends. We spent a lovely day chilling in the sun and hanging out. Finally some summer relaxing.

Day 4 – Running for Beers

So technically, besides coming to see the cool kids obviously, the reason D came here was do to the Beer Run with us. We were up early and down to the Delta to get all registered up. And as we waited for it to be time to run, the temperature was steadily increasing. By the time run started at 10 it was nearly 30C out there. Not that I have been running for years or anything, but that was a super hot run. When I turned around at the half way point to finish the second half, I felt like my back was on fire!! But we all finished it. Go team! And I met my goal of not last… onwards and upwards from here. Something worth keeping in mind is that you maybe shouldn’t drink beer for days leading up to a scorching run :)

feastAfter the run, we drank a lot of beer. And I do mean a lot of beer. Maybe so much beer that Sarah blew out her sandal! And it made D put a pink elephant on her head! (Eff it, let’s drink!)

All of the usual craft brewers were there… Grimross, Trailway, Big Axe, Red Rover, Pumphouse, Flying Boat, and lots more. We got a fancy beer glass for running, so I enjoyed my tasty beers from that. After a few hours of beers after baking in the sun while running, we were all getting hangry!  So we took the shuttle to the King St. Ale House for some grub. We were all beered out by then, so we called it a day after we finally had some food. Way to go D for surviving some power house drinking with Canadia-ins and our much stronger beer. Nothing else to report for the rest of this day since I was pretty much the only one awake for it.

Day 5 – Whirlwind Roadierain

We figured before D left that we should probably show her something not beer-related… so we grabbed some breakfast and then did a quick road tour around. Harvey for the giant fiddle, and then down to St. Andrews to walk around a bit. Then we were off to Saint John to visit the market, have some lunch at the SJ Ale House (yes, yes, there is a trend here) and take some pics with random stuff, like a metal moose, a giant beer can, a clock, and terrifying wooden people sculptures. Then back home so we could head to Nicole and Lloyd’s to drink some of the Beer Run leftovers. It rocks having friends in high places!

Day 6 – D Goes Back to Merica

D had a morning flight, so we did some goodbye visiting and then headed to the airport. Unfortunately, Air Canada struck again and she ended up delayed in Montreal… but she should be back in good ole Merica by now.

Thanks for coming to visit us D… we can’t wait to see what other adventures we get up to in the future. To all the other cool kids… see what you’re missing?  It’s fun up here – honest!






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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! Continue reading

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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


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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