Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gravel & Grind

Have you visited the Gravel & Grind, Bike/Coffee shop on Carroll St. yet? I first met the lovely owners, James and Tracey, when they did a pop up shop at Treaty General Store last winter. I just loved watching the process of making fresh poured over coffee and was pretty amazed at how delicious it was. (move over Starbucks!!) They opened up their new store earlier this spring and the hubs and I were able to grab a cup of jo a few weeks ago.  

Gravel and Grind specializes in just that.. Bikes and Coffee! What a neat concept!? Not only do they have an awesome artisan coffee bar, but they also sell durable bikes along with any other adventure gear you would need for exploring. I think one of the coolest things they do is offer bike rentals (& hosted bike rides!) What a fun day date idea fellas?!... Go grab some coffee and take a bike ride around beautiful downtown Frederick! Or head out into the 'wilderness' as a group to explore new trails with one of their hosted bike rides. Any who, check out some quick snips from their new store below and make sure to check them out at 124 South Carroll Street in Downtown Frederick.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beer Bacon Music

There are few things I enjoy more in life than bacon and beer. If you thrown in some music and a beautiful day, I am pretty much in heaven.  This past Saturday the hubs and our neighbor Heather headed to the Frederick Fairgrounds for the Beer Bacon Music Festival and it was a blast.  A portion of the proceeds went to support 22NeedsAFace, a non-profit organizations which helps to combat and  raise awareness of the suicide rate amongst our service members.  According to statistics, 22 service members suffering from PTSD seek to end their own lives each day. You can read a little more about 22NeedsAFace and their plan of attack here.

Approximately 60 breweries participated in BBM with over 150+ brew varieties! We purchased the penny sampler tickets which yes...meant we could sample beers for a PENNY! In addition, every 30 minutes a brewery would have a 'rare tapping' tasting. There was a bacon bar with different types of the greasy, crispy goodness which included; apple smoked, jalapeno, pecan (my fav!) and cracked pepper bacons. In addition there were a ton of bacon-y vendors handing out unique bacon incorporated samples such as: bacon JAM and bacon chocolate.. can you say YUM!?  Various kinds of music played throughout the day, my favorite was a little Johnny Cash cover while relaxing in the shade. What a great time for a great cause. Just another reason why I love my hometown of Frederick, MD! Check out some pictures of our afternoon at BBM below!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bacheloretting in Wine Country, VA Pt. 2

(to see pt. 1 of Nikki's Bachelorette weekend celebration, click here!)
Saturday was beautiful and I was beyond ready to be outside for a fun filled day. I woke up fairly early and enjoyed a nice cup of jo on the screened in porch (aka my favorite spot in the house). We all ate a hearty breakfast of eggs, bagels and fruit before heading to wineries with Blue Ridge Wine Tours.  Our first stop was Afton Mountain Vineyard. I was blown away by the views. We wine tasted in a private room then headed outside to the pavilion to relax. Next we headed to King Family Vineyard (my fav!) where most of us decided to skip the tasting and instead, buy a bunch of bottles and dig into our lunch we brought on the beautiful patio. For lunch we had a pretty large spread of your traditional winery snacks; cheese, bread, grapes, veggies w/ dip, hummus, etc. I was so amazed on how lively King Family Vineyard was. People were everywhere hanging out and enjoying the amazing weather.

Our last winery was Pollak Vineyard.  We enjoyed another tasting room all to ourselves. Pollak had my favorite wines which included the Viognier and the Rosé that were perfect for warmer weather. Once again, I was blown away by the beauty of the blue ridge mountain views. The tour company extended our tour by an hour so we could 'enjoy' ourselves longer. We were totally surprised when an upgraded shuttle bus picked us up for the drive home.  

We all took a little siesta before our fiesta began! After our naps, we gathered in the library to open up Nikki's "naughty" gifts which were hilarious. (just look at everyone's faces!) Soon after, as a team, we made one of my favorites for dinner, Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo Avocado Slaw and had fresh made guac and chips to snack on! We all ate dinner together out on the patio and enjoyed the sunset! 

Next it was Piñata time, only Nikki would be the only one swinging. We blindfolded the bride and spun her around. It was pretty entertaining to see her swing nowhere near the
Piñata. She managed to break the stick so we searched for a replacement (broom) and after a few minutes was able to break it! 

We had some other activities/games up our sleeves. All gathered in the living room, we played the underwear game. We each bought Nikki a pair of underwear and she had to guess who bought what. For each wrong answer... DRINK!  I decided to go on the funny side and get her faux denim undies! We also made a little memento for Nik by all putting on different colored lipsticks and kissing a piece of paper & signing our name. Mallory decided to basically make out with the paper and had the biggest/open mouthed lip print we had ever seen which resulted in a ton of laughs. 

We ended the night with a barbie cake for dessert (I loved that the barbie had dark hair like Nik) and some photo booth fun! The next day we all traveled to Roanoke, VA for Nikki's Bridal Shower, which I posted previously here. It was such an amazing weekend full of fun memories. Checkout pics from part 2 of the weekend below!  I love you Nikki and cannot wait for your big day in less than a month!

Afton Mountain Vineyard

King Family Vineyard

Pollak Vineyard