30 Glorious Years!

On June 28, 2010, in Family and Friends, General, Stuff..., by Mark Ranes
30th Anniversary!

30th Anniversary!

Today marks the 30th anniversary of my wife, Brenda, and I. Mrs. Lazy Brewer doesn’t read this blog, so this post isn’t really being written for her eyes. But, today is a landmark day. Many people don’t reach their 30th anniversary, even with multiple wives/husbands. We did it with just each other – and a couple of kids!

Brenda puts up with all of my quirks, obsessions and hobbies. She keeps our lives in order and is the foundation of our home. She is the glue of our family. And I love her:)

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Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

Brenda and are are escaping the hot Central California summer heat with a road trip to Mendocino. We’re staying a couple nights at the MacCallum House Inn, in downtown Mendocino, and hitting a couple breweries I’ve wanted to visit, for quite some time, on the way north.

First off, we’ll be stopping in Petaluma to visit Lagunitas Brewing Company. I’ve heard wonderful things about their taproom and I’m really looking forward to a visit.

Next, we’ll be stopping for lunch at Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Company, where hopefully I’ll leave with a growler or two of Pliny the Elder – and maybe even Pliny the Younger.

Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder

Eventually, we’ll wind up in Mendocino, after about a five hour drive, and take it easy for the rest of the evening. The next day, we’re hoping to head over to Boonville, and visit Anderson Valley Brewing Company for ales and lunch – followed by a bit of wine tasting on the way back to Mendocino. Somehow, I’m also hoping to fit in a visit to Bear Republic Brewing, in Healdsburg. And maybe – just maybe – a stop at Marin Brewing Company, in Larkspur on the way home.

This is an anniversary trip for us. I’m looking forward to spending some time with Brenda – over some quality ales.

Life is good!

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28 Glorious Years!

On June 28, 2008, in Brew Pubs, Craft Beer, Food, Travel, by Mark Ranes

Today, June 28th, Brenda and I are celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary.  There’s no trip planned as adventurous as our trip to Belize (photo gallery) three years ago, but we’re heading up to one of our favorite local escapes, Sacramento.  We always have a great time in Sacramento, and we’ve decided that if we had to live in a larger city, Sacramento would be near the top of our list.  They have great dining, craft beer, shopping and lots of different social and cultural activities.  When we go to Sacramento, we can be as busy or as laid back as we want to be.

We usually stay at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza.  It sits at the head of the Westfield Downtown Plaza Mall, near state capitol, and is just a hundred steps from one of my favorite upscale brew pubs, River City Brewing Company.  I like their ales – I just wish they had an IPA.  I really do enjoy their Woodenhead Ale and Kolsch, though.  Their food is second to none as far a pub food goes.  Their wood-fired oven pizzas are fabulous, and they have a wonderful rib eye steak with a huge dollop of blue cheese and crisp onion strings.  Mmmm!

Right above River City Brewing Company is Johnny Rockets, easily the best burger chain in America – even better than In-N-Out!  Their meals are expensive, but after you have one of their bacon cheeseburgers, half rings – half fries, and a vanilla malt, you’ll pay twice what they ask:)  We hit Johnny Rockets at least once every trip for either lunch or dinner.

If you head out of the hotel and go west, instead of going east into the mall area (which has really great shopping opportunities – Brenda can attest to this:), you immediately go into a walking subway that passes under I-5 and drops you directly into Old Sacramento, with more dining and shopping than you can take in in a single day.

We really like this hotel as the rates are pretty good (and we belong to their rewards program – this stay is completely free for us:) and the surrounding amenities are second to none!

Right after we check in to our hotel, we’re going to visit Rubicon Brewing Company for an ale or two and lunch.  Their IPA is easily in my top ten IPAs on earth.  It is such an easy drinking IPA – very representative of West Coast IPAs without being over the top.

Black DiamondsShhhhh!  Zales recently had a special on black diamond earrings, so I got a pair for Brenda as an anniversary gift.  I think she’ll like them:)

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