Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beer, Buddha, and Baseball

I'm back! My vacation is over and the trip to Denver completed. I'll be writing about my "Beer, Baseball, Biology, and Buddha" trip over the next few days. I wouldn't want to overwhelm everyone (okay, actually just myself) with an extraordinarily long blog post after so many days of silence. I will also be devoting a separate blog post to the woolly and corny (you'll get it in a few days) aspects of my trip.
So, here goes!

Beer, Baseball, Biology, and Buddha: Day 1

Day One is the Beer and Baseball portion of the trip. Also known as Friday. I actually arrived in Denver on Thursday about 3:00, but there isn't much to tell about that day. Certainly nothing that begins with a "B", so we'll just pretend it didn't happen.

After a nice, snuggly nights sleep at Angie's house, I awoke and we headed to Fort Collins to visit the New Belgium Brewery, home of Fat Tire! When Fat Tire became available in MN again, it was a HUGE deal. I was excited to visit this brewery that uses sustainable methods, encourages conservation, and just makes damn good beer!

Angie and I looked forward to the tour, and of course, the free samples. Well, fate had other plans in store. Actually, the academic calendar at CSU had other plans and we found we had arrived too late to get tour tix, beat out by parents and relatives there to see their children graduate. Instead, we did the brief self-guided tour.

Here is the lab. Who knows what happens in there...the self-guided tour didn't really include too many explanatory signs.

We couldn't go this way...Hasselhoff photo shoot in progress.

We were able to worship at the Shrine-O-Beer.

Then we just waited around for a table to open up so we could get some free beer. FREE BEER!

And lovely beer it was.

I had (clockwise staring at upper-right hand corner): Loose Lips (a darker beer concocted by Jessica, who works at New Belgium); Old Cherry (ale brewed with real cherry juice); Mothership Wit (an organic wheat beer); and Blue Paddle (a Pilsner Lager).

After enjoying our brews and the company of two groups that visit the brewery every day, we headed in to Fort Collins for a little shopping and a stop at the O'Dell Brewing Company. Angie and I shared a tasting tray. MMMM...More beer!

By this time, we needed to head to Denver for the Minnesota Twins/Colorado Rockies game.

I was shocked when we arrived at Coors Field about 5:00 p.m. and I saw more Twins jerseys and hats than Rockies! By the time the game started, this had corrected itself, but I still felt right at home. We were surrounded by Twins fans and lots of "Circle Me Bert" signs. I felt right at home.

Even better, the Twins won Friday night, 4-2. My favorite Twin, Carlos Gomez injured his wrist making the game ending play though. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

The evening ended with a successful search for a street burrito, and then arriving back at Angie's house to curl back up in that comfy bed.

Coming tomorrow: Day Two, the Buddha portion of the trip.

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