And They Called It Puppy Loooooove

It’s important to write posts of substance. To inform folks of the awesome things going on in Philly. To share my thoughts on the newest group fitness class, or that sweet tapas place that just opened up… you know, or gush about beer.

But it’s also essential that, when life hands you a squishy faced, floppy eared baby blue Great Dane as the newest member of your family, you share it with the world.

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Folks, meet Cornwallis “Wally” Price, the newest member of my already-large family!!

photo 2Wally is 11 weeks old, and already 25 lbs of stumbling, bumbling cuteness. Hailing from distant lands, he’s living, breathing proof that everything really IS bigger in Texas. His paws are huge, and indicate he’s gonna be a big boy. But for now, he’s ALL puppy.

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He sits like an awkward frog, and nibbles on everything. And I am absolutely in love with him.

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Shortly after this photo was taken, he managed to get trapped behind one of those bushes and I nailed my head into the brick wall when I went to get him and he panicked, not knowing how to get out of the bushes and the dark.

A labor of love, right?

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I promise, I won’t become one of those manic puppy moms, but mostly because he’s living out in the burbs with my mom, dad, and sister… That said, I won’t pretend that this weekend, when he dons a patriotic bandana, I won’t blow up your Instagram feed just a LITTLE bit.

It’s my duty, as an American.

 

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Getting Crabby at the Piazza

I don’t get out to Northern Liberties nearly enough. There was a time, deep in my LivingSocial heyday, when I was out once or twice a week, helping with Beer Fest or setting up a BBQ in Liberty Lands Park or hanging out with my friends’ puppies. But then that ended (a moment of silence for the loss of the best part-time job of all time…) and all of the sudden I found myself a No-NoLibs-er. Well, that’s all about to change.

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My baby brother Somers, self-proclaimed Philly Sports Fanatic who’s been suffering in DC for the past several years (who is actually like…6’4” and towers over me now) is moving to Philly! Specifically, Northern Liberties. If this isn’t cause for celebration, I don’t know what is. And, lucky for me, the folks at Crabby’s Café and Sports Bar felt the same, inviting a handful of us Philly folks out for some crawfish sucking, claw-cracking, mollusk munching fun in The Piazza last week.

Philly PR Girl Kate laying down the deets

Philly PR Girl Kate laying down the deets

Unfortunately, I had volleyball game that evening, so cocktails and craft beers were not in the cards (though it did appear that they had a nice selection of beers on draft, and were pouring these “Happy Crab” cocktails that looked like neon KoolAid and apparently was a boozy treat.) But volleyball couldn’t stop me from chowing on the eats presented to us in the best fashion possible: In themed waves, with giant sheets of paper covering the tables and an endless supply of paper towels. I love a spot that not only tolerates messy eating, but encourages it.

Luckily, bibs were provided

Luckily, bibs were provided

We were given trays upon trays of crabby fries, sweet potato crisps dusted with powdered sugar (why don’t more restaurants do this?!), and my favorite, Crabby Wings!

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They wouldn’t reveal what made these wings so crabby, but they had a distinct taste that separated them from your typical buffalo wing (which they do offer). My guess is fish sauce, but the jury’s still out. Well, I do appreciate some mystery in my meals… There was no mystery in these mussels, though.

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I feel sorry for the folks who didn’t spend a LOT of time getting up close and personal with these bad boys. Marinara mussels, served with crusty garlic bread (and, unfortunately, plastic forks… kind of cheapened the experience for me) were perhaps my favorite course of the meal. But we can’t forget the coup de grace: The Seafood Boil.

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LOBSTAH! Crawfish! Clams! Corn! Sausage! Everything but the kitchen sink. Except that it sort of looks like it is served in a kitchen sink, so I guess that doesn’t hold.

**Everything IN the kitchen sink.

I opted to sit at the “spicy” table, but honestly, wasn’t too burned out by the spice factor. I think that, even despite the Vietnamese influence on many of the dishes, they try to make it palatable for folks. Those lobster claws were elusive on the meat front, and we managed to break not just one but two claw-crackers during our meal. Luckily, they made for great photo props.

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I had to dine-and-dash a little early to skitter off to volleyball, but was excited to see Crabby’s is doing a handful of big events this summer, including a Luau Party July 19th (pig roast!), a Crawfish Boil August 9th, and a Clam Bake September 13th. If you’re starving for some seafood and sports and suds in a relaxed setting…. Well, I think you couldn’t pick a better spot than Crabby’s.

Don’t mind if I #DoACNightlife

I’ve learned a lot over my nearly 27 years on this earth.

  • Always have faith that Law and Order: SVU will be on at LEAST one channel.
  • Well-made doughnuts are a perfect food item.
  • Netflix binges are human nature.
  • Arya Stark is a certified badass.
  • If the opportunity to abandon the city you love for a night of romping about in Atlantic City to sample the nightlife… You do it.

Apparently, the fine folks running the #DoAC nightlife campaign wanted to invite a handful of Philly folks for a night on the town (banking on, of course, a guerrilla social media blast the likes of which has never been seen [this week, at least.])

First thing was first, hair-care.

unnamedA quick trip to AMS Salon (so quick I didn’t have time to finish my complimentary glass of vino!) and their legendary “Braid Bar” (because in humid, rainy weather… who can really maintain a blowout?) Tasha, my braid-babe extraordinaire, whipped up a sexy messy fishtail that left me answering one question all night.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like Ke$ha?

And me answering, “All the damn time.”

After a hurried check-in and some light mingling with fellow social media maniacs, we strolled over to a bus. Sure, it looked like a pretty solid bus from the outside.

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But then, we walked inside.

Oh my god.

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Yup. It’s an entire miniature nightclub on wheels. Lasers. Fog machine. Bartender. Champagne. DJ. Plush seats. Oh, and OUTLETS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE! Perfect for the Tweeter-on-the-go.

Our first stop: Harrah’s Eden Lounge. Because what’s a night on the town without a little pre-party fuel?

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Those sliders, though.

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It was like White Castle was magically transported inside of Harrah’s Resort. Only, instead of sodas, there were well-crafted margaritas.

(Note to White Castle: think about offering margaritas in the future. Just a thought…)

And then, after we stuffed our faces with cheese, sauce. meat, and bread, we were ready…. for the bus again.

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A quick ride around the block was just enough time for a selfie. Before we knew it, we had arrived at the promised land. A haven in the night. Or rather…. a Haven.

Haven Nightclub in the Golden Nugget was… packed. I thought it was too early for dancing at the disco. Apparently, I don’t know AC, where the party never stops.

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Apparently, when you’ve got bottle service at your fingertips, the party is whenever the hell you want it to be.

We danced. We mingled. We flashed glowsticks. And, obviously, we popped bottles.

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It was a night to remember. An affair to remember. And one of the most important things to remember, they remembered.

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A kit full of aspirin, Pepto Bismol, multivitamins, and mints. Just what the doctor ordered.

Don’t worry, Atlantic City. I’ll be back soon. It might not be with a giant bus-sized posse…. but I’ll be back.

Tap n’ Run Takes Philly

It might seem, if you’ve been reading semi-lately, that all I do is eat and drink beer. I promise, that’s not true.

SOMETIMES…. I run and drink beer. Well, not really all that often, but there’s definitely those times where I exercise. It’s been less, but now that I went and graduated, I can’t wait to get back into a routine. But, just to make sure that I ease into the transition…. I figured this might help.

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Tap n’ Run is a ridiculous “race”, a 4k (I’m sure all my running friends are scoffing at me…) with four “chug stations” along the way.  I pretty much can’t stand running. I’m not terribly good at it.

Know what I’m great at, though?

Drinking cheap beer.

Especially with the help of three girlfriends, four feather boas, and a lot of suspenders.

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After a delicious brunch of huevos rancheros made by yours truly at the home of my buddy Susan, complete with mimosas and margaritas, we were fueled up and ready for action. Team Crops n’ Hops!

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After a few warm-up beers at Xfinity Live, hosts of Philly’s Tap n’ Run, and a celebratory “start” chug, we were off (those were the beer-lerinas in front of us. so much pink….)

Unfortunately for the sake of my fellow runners, they did NOT use the facilities before we hit the road, and within less than half a mile, had to hit the porta-potties. Sure, we got a little behind, but it ACTUALLY didn’t matter, because before we knew it, we were at the second chug station.

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Chug-a-LUG and time for another lap around the stadium. I don’t really know, I’m not an expert at that little stadium area. Best part of this whole “chug” thing was the fact that the beer we were chugging was NOT the Heady Toppers and Russian Rivers that I had been drinking for the previous week.

NOPE!

Coors Light! Blue Moon! They even have some gluten free stuff, if you’re into that kinda thing….

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TASTES LIKE WATER!

And then, before I knew it, it was time to push through the finish line to the dulcet tones of Gangam Style.

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Oh yeah, we also got medals.

They’re bottle openers.

Like a boss.

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I would NOT say that Tap n’ Run is a race for people trying to boost their PRs. It’s not an experience that is going to leave you drenched in sweat thinking “wow, running gives you endorphins! LET’S DO A MARATHON!” It IS an experience that leaves you so happy  to have friends with extra hot pink duct tape and value your years of all those years of college. And who couldn’t use a nice 4k in the summer complete with some chug stations and a lot of feather boas along the way?

 

 

Eat. Drink. Denver.

In a rare moment of freedom during Philly Beer Week, I figure that, since I don’t have an actual beer in my hand (an odd feeling during this most holy of beer weeks) I should write a post about…. all those other beers I drank.

Lemme rewinds a bit: Upon realizing I would, in fact, graduate and have gainful employment, my first thought was I SHOULD TAKE A HUGE ENORMOUS TRIP TO CELEBRATE!! Then, I remembered I gave all my money to Penn for that fancy degree, so perhaps the better move would be a smaller, equally exciting trip that might not break the bank. Enter: Denver!

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What better place to visit than the first spot I vacationed DURING my grad school career? You might recall I headed out to Denver in October 2012 for Great American Beer Festival, arguably the coolest beer event I’ve ever been a part of since falling in love with suds… But this weekend, I wanted a little bit more relaxation. A little bit less scheduled events. And probably the same amount of delicious beer.

No surprise: Denver delivered.

Highlights included:

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Great Divide Brewing Company: Located in the heart of Denver, this was one of those spots you enter and you immediately feel at home. The speakers were blasting “We Built This City“, the bartenders were singing and dancing along with it, and the taproom was full of all types of folks. Bachelor parties, gal groups, older couples, there were even a few little ones scampering around (don’t worry, they were carded and forbidden to booze.) Friday afternoon was an excellent opportunity for a little brewery tour and happy hour of our own, so Melissa and I enjoyed a tasting flight of 6 beers before entering the touring area.

Spoiler alert: if you’re wearing flip flops, and don’t have glasses on, you’re in for a treat.

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That’s right. Jordan Maura Price rocking…. Crocs. *Shudders* Hopefully, never again. But, I get it…. safety first. Style: last.

The tour itself was pretty basic, very little new knowledge to the seasoned brewery tour vet like myself…. but the beer at the end (and at the beginning): woo, baby! Their Rumble IPA toed the line between hoppy, sweet, and complex. An IPA aged in oak? I can get behind this stylistic trend. Up next…

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Crooked Stave – An artisanal brewery/taproom located at The Source, this space was gorgeous. The pickins, unfortunately, were a little slim for us, but their sour ale/kombucha blends were refreshing and interesting and, when it came to a more classic sour style, tartness was brought by Between the Staves, a wild ale aged in cognac barrels. A nice boozy bite, I, clearly, was a fan.

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I shared SOME with Melissa…. but honestly, I get selfish around sours. SORRY NOT THAT SORRY!

Oh yeah, we also ate some stuff.

ImageJust an INSANE banh mi from D’Deli, Golden, CO’s premiere deli sandwichery, is a hop/skip/jump away from the Coors Brewing Factory. Which really didn’t mean a lot to me, since we didn’t go there, but it’s ALSO right around Mount Falcon and Red Rocks, where we enjoyed a casual 6 mile hike featuring a run-in with a rattlesnake and playing “dodge the mountain biker”. It involved drenching myself in sweat and caking my body in dirt. LOVE NATURE (I’m only 80% sarcastic right now.)

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After all that hiking, we really felt as though we earned those sammies. And as sloppy delicious as they were…. they really paled in comparison to the true (non-alcoholic) treat of the trip.

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OMG OMG OMG VOODOO DOUGHNUTS! Clockwise from the top right: Old Dirty Bastard (Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s™ and peanut butter!), blueberry cake doughnut (blueberry dough with a glaze), and the coup de grace, the Memphis Mafia (Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top!)

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Me, for scale. That bad boy was about the size of my head…. and tasted far better than I imagine my head would taste.

I got back to Philly around 1 a.m. Sunday night (err… Monday morning technically?) and crashed the hardest. But not too hard… See, there’s this little Philly Beer Week thing with like, a thousand events, and I couldn’t very well miss that.

Cheers, Denver. You were good to the last drop/bite. I can’t wait to head back!