Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend Shenanigans

My hubby and I kicked off our long weekend volunteering at the NYC Craft Beer Festival - Spring Seasonals on Saturday. I was pouring beer for Harpoon Brewery, handing out tastings of their White IPA and 100 Barrel Series Director's Cut, a blend of a stout and pale ale, similar to a Black and Tan. Matt was pouring for a lesser known brewery, Three Heads Brewing, based out of Rochester, NY. Since I'm more of the extrovert in our relationship, I wasn't sure whether Matt would enjoy chit chatting with a massive crowd of strangers demanding beer or dreading the whole experience. I was really happy that he had a great time, especially since we were able to attend the second session of the festival as a perk for volunteering!

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures while we were there - hey, we were too busy sampling different beers from 75+ vendors! I was smart enough (courtesy of Matt's suggestion) to record our favorite beers on my phone so I could listen to my comments later and remember what we liked. My favorite - which was surprising to me because I wouldn't think of coconut being a welcomed ingredient in beer - was the Kona Brewery Koko Brown Ale. The beer had a very smooth, well-rounded, nutty flavor with hints of coconut that were pronounced enough without being overwhelming. Matt's favorite was the Samuel Adams New World Tripel, which had a very rich, sweet flavor of banana, reminding him of the Hefeweisen from Trader Joe's that we both enjoy so much. I can't wait to volunteer at the next festival in the fall and sample all of the seasonal beers - I'm already excited thinking about porters, stouts, and pumpkin ales!

Matt's family arrived in NYC yesterday afternoon to stay with us for part of the week while his brother is on spring break from high school. We went for a long walk through Central Park, down to the Wollman Rink at the south end of the park and back up to our apartment. It was a bit chilly and rainy, but you can't help but feel happy when you're walking through such a beautiful park. I can't wait for spring to really stick around so we can hang out on the Great Lawn with a picnic and frisbee in hand.

The Plaza - on my bucket list to stay here for just a night!
We kicked off today with a spot of tea and some scones at Alice's Tea Cup. I really love this place, partially because it's literally across the street from our apartment so we can walk there in about 30 seconds. They have an exhaustive list of all varieties of tea, including their own signature blends, and a delicious selection of scones that you can't wait to eat with a cup of tea in hand.

Since it was still earlier in the day and we all wanted a caffeine kick (even though I already had two cups of coffee), I chose the Boston Tea Party black tea, which has a really robust black tea base with subtle hints of citrus, for Matt and I to share. We also chose the vegan Cranberry Coconut scone, which unfortunately you couldn't taste any coconut, and the Strawberry Oatmeal scone, which was really delicious. 

We had a great time immersing ourselves in Alice's fantastical world (and acting like British royalty sipping tea at high noon) and it was a great way to kick off our wanderings through NYC. We went to the Union Square Farmers Market where I bought sourdough bread and apricot butter - a bit tart and so flavorful. We walked the streets in East Village, visiting a few shops, and stopped for an afternoon beer on St. Marks. Our final destination (that Matt's little brother couldn't wait for) was Nintendo World near Rockefeller Plaza. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Pika Pika Pikachuuu!

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