Archive for Road Trip

Kentucky Bourbon Trail – Jim Beam

Posted in Distilling, Good Times, Vacations with tags , on July 7, 2014 by Verge

Kind of the Disney World of bourbon tours, but hey, we did get free booze…

Kentucky Bourbon Trail – Willett Distillery

Posted in Distilling, Good Times, Vacations with tags , on July 7, 2014 by Verge

Here’s some more adventure photos:

Willett Distillery. Not technically part of the Bourbon Trail, but they make some damn fine whiskey, and you should drink it.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Day 1!

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times, Vacations with tags , on July 4, 2014 by Verge

Well, this is the start of our vacation.  I’m going to try to keep up, but there’s no hope.

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My Day Eactly Two Years Ago; The Sixteenth of April, Two Thousand and Eleven

Posted in Friends and Family, Good Times with tags , , , on April 16, 2013 by Verge

We had decided on a guys night out.  First was Yards Brewers in Philadelphia.  We took a tour with a delightfully drunk tour guide who worked on the bottling line, and didn’t know a whole lot about how to actually make beer.  then we headed to Triumph Brewery on Chestnut Street for some beers and dinner.   The up to Mahogany, the cigar bar, where we enjoyed cocktails and cigars with other city folk, and ended up at Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company for some late night classic cocktails.

Barley Legal Home Brewers Adventure to Troegs Brewery

Posted in Brewing, Good Times with tags , , on April 13, 2013 by Verge
no matter the angle, I still love the Philly skyline

As always, my home brew club’s all day party/brewery tour started in South Jersey and at an awful time in the morning.

Holy Shit!

It barely matters how long the journey will last, it’s divided in to three distinct parts, at least for me: This is part I – THE JOURNEY THERE…


…Part II – THE FEATURED DESTINATION. We arrived at Troegs Brewery early, and slightly buzzed from the “tasting” on the way. The staff had not yet arrived when we gathered aimlessly in the parking lot. The new pub/brewery destination lives in a shell once owned by the Hershey Corporation, whose history in this area have literally put the address of the new Togs location in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


Once we got in and started the tour, we got the “special” tour. Normally, regular folks get the run-of-the-mill, scripted plaque, this is kind of how we make beer tour. Not us! This is in their grain storage room, which is pretty boring to 99% of people, but for us nerds, this is where the action starts.


fermentation tanks, also behind the scenes, because, there’s nothing to see, except it’s like every home brewers dream to have this setup.


a view of our group.


this is a shot of Monika, taking a picture of their fancy prototype Randalizer/Hop Rocket. I would like here to an explanation of what that means, but none exists, so I guess that is my next Wikipedia project.


damn straight a craft beer brewery still uses the real thing.


well, before they transfer it to the practical things


Mad Elf a little hard to come by? Not here. They might have told everyone it was sold out, but I call Bullshit. They’re holding out.


Perennial favorite Nugget Nektar, a lovely little beer.


a good ol’ bottling line, make me reminisce about Strange Brew!


their aging and sampling room, which we did not get access to, but I hope to return to someday to sample some of their experimental creations.


this is at the end of the tour, which for most people, is the beginning, with our gracious tour guide in the background.

and Part III:  the ride home, the part where I sleep because, at the end of  a long day, I have to drive home!

Manchester Bridge Rock Climb

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times with tags , , , , on July 26, 2011 by Verge

Saturday night, my band, the Dirty Robots, played a show at the Indian Chief Tavern in Medford.  It was remarkably unspectacular, and I was actually planning on sleeping in until noon when I finally got home at nearly 3 am.

Nevertheless, and bursting with ambition, and after only 3 or so hours of sleep a piece, Monika woke me up at 6:30, demanded I get dressed in the clothes she had already picked out for me, get in the car and go to our friend Cory and Erica’s place.  In a completely un-prepared manner, and in a spontaneous moment, we were headed to Richmond, Virginia to hang out here.

This is the main wall of an old train trellis bridge.

the entire bridge is basically in ruins and has fallen into the river and along the banks.

but, someone got permission to put climbing hooks all over the walls and old standards so people could climb here.

this is looking in the other direction. Richmond is on the other bank. I'm standing under the newer car bridge, and you can see the old, abandoned one over on the left.

there, that's a better shot.

the main wall again, from the entrance to the climbing area. There is a lookout at the top of the wall that looks out over the valley. probably about 40 feet tall or so.

later, we went to try and climb one of the standards, which has slanted walls, but is still pretty difficult to climb. That girl on top was the lead climber, and she was awesome. There wasn't anything she couldn't do.

did I mention how hot it was. All of us were drenched in sweat, even those of us who didn't climb at all. Just standing made you sweat. The top of this standard, I was told, burned your hands and radiate like an oven. I wouldn't know, though.

it was pretty dry and I guess there was a drought. the river bed was exposed and you could walk all the way across the river if you were careful and found a good path.

this is about a third of the way across. we didn't go all the way, but it was damn cool anyway. we wanted to cool off in the water but it looked and smelled kinda nasty.

We had a hell of a road trip with Cory and Erica, and met some really cool people.

Afterwards, even though we were tired, and I was completely soaked, we headed to the local brewpub, a place called Legends!  I had a golden IPA, of course, but it wasn’t hoppy enough for me, but tasty nonetheless.  Then I found their Belgian Quad, which of course was the highest alcohol content on their menu.  That was indeed very tasty.

Since we left in hast that morning, my phone was not charged, and by this point, was dead.  I would have liked to grab a few more pictures, but alas, you’ll have to trust me that it was a beautiful view across the river of downtown Richmond from the back deck of Legends.

I’m not a very experienced climber at all, but a day like this one makes me want to try.  We may start going to the local climbing gym that is in these pictures to strengthen up and get more practice.

Nevertheless, we had a great day and met some very good people and dined with our new friends, got some great exercise and saw some always fascinating, Mayan-like ruins, and didn’t waste our Sunday mowing the lawn and doing laundry.  Not too bad at all.

Barley Legal Roadtrip to Dogfish Head

Posted in Good Times with tags , , on April 5, 2011 by Verge

I like beer.  Well, actually, I love beer.  I’m drinking right now, as a matter of fact.  Sometimes I drink crap beer like Miller and Bud if I want to win a few rounds of Asshole before I black out, but most of the time I drink craft beer or micro brews.  That means the beer has FLAVOR and can’t be bought at just any old bar.  It means that some small town brewery brews it and delivers it locally, and a lot of the time, can’t be bought more than just a few states away.  It means, often times, that it packs a hell of a punch in the alcohol department, and isn’t even necessarily available all of the time (seasonal) or all of the places (regional).

Dogfish Head Brewery is one such brewery.  Located in Delaware, and makers of one of  my favorite beers (really) for several years now, I’ve been dying to make a road trip down to the brewery and brewpub for a tour and, of course, a taste of their deliciously brewed libations.  Since I brew my own home brew all the time, I was looking forward to having a better grasp on what exactly I was looking at than I did the last time I toured a brewery many years ago.

Luckily, the folks over at Barley Legal Homebrewers Club, of which I am a member, decided it was a good time and a great idea to arrange a trip and charter a bus for just such an adventure.  A bus.  Filled with people who brew their own beer.  Driving to a brewery.  Man…If I had only recorded the plea that the owner of the bus gave to us just before we departed on his luxury van.  Even he knew this could be trouble.

The bus ride was 2 hours and change down a wholly unscenic highway, but we did indeed share a bunch of home brews on the way down with some new friends.  I wasn’t a complete stranger to everyone, but me and Monika didn’t know 90% of the people on the bus.  No worries, though, cause we already knew everyone loved to drink beer, and that’s all that matters.

Apparently the little town of Milton doesn't really like the fact that there is a brewery in their town, even though it's quite a small one and employs probably a third of them. Some guy actually tried to wave us down and tell us to go home as a busload of half drunk beerholics rumbled down the tiny main street.

this is the sculpture outside the brewery. the grounds really are pristine. green grass, artwork, the faint odor of beer in the air. unfortunately, and much to the demise of Monika who later, half drunk, attempted to scale the huge Burning Man sculpture from the outside, the stairs to the tree fort were locked.


this is the shop and tasting room. though we were offered beers before hand, we basically all decided to go on the tour first, considering we had all just got off a two hour, beer filled bus ride.


safety first!!

we saw a lot of pipes. and some tanks. but, the tour was rather boring. Our guide was nice enough, and answered all of our questions. We just didn't get to see the whole operations. no bottling line, filling line, packaging, or even ingredients actually being brewed at all. just big tanks and lots and lots of pipes.

so, whatever, we got free beer at the end of the tour. we got to taste four different beers that could not be any fresher.

this is Gina and Scott, the owners of Keg and Barrel Homebrewe Store (where I work part time)

and this is Monika posing in front of the steampunk sculpture.

a good chunk of the group that made the bus trip. Most of them are members of Barley Legal.

and this is the luxury liner we used as our mobile bar for four hours that day.

DogFish Head Brewpub is about fifteen minutes away in the much more scenic Rehobeth Beach. Nice little town.

good food too. They reserved the whole second story for our party, and we needed all the room. The whole brewpub was pretty packed and we brought them plenty of business ourselves.

this is the only (legal) operating distillery in the state of Delaware. And that is the whole thing right there. Pretty amazing that they have such a small batch and still.

It was a beautiful day, if a bit windy, and this is the last beer we had at the brewpub.


As always, see the entire collection of photos over here, and some more here.

New Year’s Road Trip, Part 1: Letchworth State Park

Posted in Good Times, Vacations with tags , , on January 7, 2011 by Verge

we headed off to upstate NY for a weekend of craziness

we rented a cabin in the woods. I wonder how many times they had to scrub blood off the floors before the cabin warranted this sign?

but, actually, the cabin was awesome. three rooms, electricity, fridge, stove...but no running water.


this is about how far we had to walk to the bathrooms, which where also surprisingly nice...and warm.

this is the real reason we came. This is the Grand Canyon of the East.

I know that there is another one somewhere in PA, but maybe next time we'll go there

this Grand Canyon was pretty damn good for us this trip. It was cold, but we layered up pretty well.

we hiked from lower all the way to upper falls, about a 3 mile round trip.

Kreg and Monika decided to cross a frozen stream while Kat and I decided to worry.

underneath the bridge, the tarp has sprung a leak

This is a track of the entire day.  It includes the car ride out of the park from our campground, to the left towards the falls, the entire hike, and our trip back to the cabin.

we tracked down some wood behind the cabin and started a campfire, pretty much a must while camping, no matter how cold.

we were the only ones in the campground with a fire, even though lots of people were out drinking on their porches, so we kind of became the center of attention.

so, of course, we built the largest fire we could for the hell of it.

After we burned all the wood, we went inside and played some dominoes.  and drank…a lot.  We were in bed early for the drive to Ohio for New Years Eve the next night.  Monika paid the price dearly.



As always, the full set of pix from this leg of our road trip can be found right here!

Italian Vacation 2010, Day 4

Posted in Daily Pictures, Vacations with tags on November 9, 2010 by Verge

We packed up in Bologna, and hit the road towards Venice, which is about 3 hours northeast. When we got to the dock, the boat to take us to Venice was still half an our away.

Let's drink! Seriously, though, when I opened my suitcase to get out the bottle of wine and beer I had stowed, I discovered that the bottle of beer had leaked, making most of my shirts smell more like beer than the regular whiskey smell. Not big deal. Aired them out later. Drank beer immediately.

Venice has no roads with cars, only canals. We sung "I'm on a Boat" all the way to the dock.

This is the center of Venice, St. Marks Square. An amazing church that I only wish I could share photos of. And lots of open air cafes and tourists, to be honest.

This is a glimpse into the extensiveness of the interior. Every surface is marble, or gold, or granite. In every style. This shows the diversity of the columns on the front corner of the church.

We went a bit off the beaten path to grab lunch at a small cafe. The paninis were great....

...and so were the drinks.

This is like the South Street of Venice. I guess it's a bit touristy, and there's no doubt about that, but it's still beautiful anyway, and I love crowds.

But we found a borderline Steampunk Bar, and Monika and I enjoyed some delicious cocktails and free sushi!

I think the touristy thing settles down, and the vendors go home at night, but....

we headed back to Bologna, where we met this guy, who apparently exchanged free drinks at the hotel bar for the opportunity to put his arms around young, American girls.

As always, check the entire photo gallery of day four here.

Italian Vacation 2010, Day 3

Posted in Vacations with tags , , on November 6, 2010 by Verge

So, we packed in the morning planning on touring Pisa all day and then heading somewhere else, to be determined.

This is the back of our hotel during the day. I know that seems odd that I'm including another picture of our hotel, but this place was truly unique. They had open areas on each story with artificial turf and lounging areas. It really was a kick ass place to sleep, if only for a single night.

Obviously, the Leaning Tower is the place to go, so I got the map and Ira drove, and we wound ourselves to the other side of the city.

Monika and Schmoo as we approach the beautiful center of Pisa.

this is one of the rarer pictures of me and Mon without my arms in the picture. that is to say, someone else took it!

this is the outside of a church. The best pictures are the inside, but that's not allowed.

A shot from the top of the tower. It's not easy to get up there, and it certainly does make one a little uneasy as well.

I wonder how many people over the years have fallen over the rails. There really is nothing stopping you, and considering it's leaning a good deal more than you think, it's pretty simple to lose your balance.

This was a good vantage point to find a place to find a beer.

Found it!  A great little cafe.  This place was so damn cool they had wine on tap!

Every town has a church or two, but this one is over a thousand years old (and, they allowed photographs).

The reason that most major cities are built near rivers is because it gives tourists incredible photo opportunities!

After a long day, we left Pisa and headed to Bologna, where we found another great hotel and a place close by to have dinner. By this time, we'd decided to head to Venice the next morning. But, that night...we did a bit or partying in our rooms as the city was completely asleep.

See all of the photos from day 3 over here on Facebook.

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