We try really hard not to work weekends. Deadlines are important, and we don't usually miss them, but we've found the work suffers if we push through and work seven days a week. We're currently on the last book of the first BLACKWOOD Mini Series and looking at our schedule we are just slightly behind, but we still have enough time to make it up so we figured on taking most of the weekend off.
We got up early on Saturday and made the walk up to Holden Center which is about 2.5 miles from us and we grabbed a nice breakfast at Donut Kitchen. I'm always baffled at the lines of cars at the nearby Dunkin Donuts while this place, which is busy itself, has about 1/10th the customers. Dunkin's products are just so mediocre I can't understand the appeal, even Honey Dew Donuts is superior to Dunkin's folks.
Anyway, we got to DK and ordered a couple of breakfast sandwiches. I'd already had a coffee before we left while I was walking Austin so I opted to have a grape juice (because I'm seven). The people at DK are crazy friendly and we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the counter.
From there we walked over to a nearby market to see what they had for meat sales but with a 2.5 mile walk back and the heat really picking up I wasn't sure how good the meat would hold up, so we headed back with just a bottle of cold water.
Although it was really warm the breeze was nice and Veronica and I always have a great time on these walks talking and joking about all kinds of things.
We got back home and I took my second shower of the day because in hot or humid weather I'll break into a sweat just thinking about being outside-- it was nice to take an ice cold shower and put on some fresh clothes.
Veronica, who is the Tim Allen of the house, opted to spend that time taking a look at the washing machine filter-- we had some water leak out during the last wash-- and we have a pair of stackable Japanese washer and dryers which play happy music when the load is done--they are great but they are not cheap so the thought of ordering a new set did not fill my heart with joy so I was delighted when I came out newly dressed and she informed me that she found the trouble, fixed it and now everything was running great again. She's a keeper!
We didn't have that much planned for the day but I knew Julio's Liquors was having a Gin Tasting. If you know me you know Gin and I are close personal friends. The only trouble is there are about five thousand different brands of gin ranging in price from $15 in a handy five gallon plastic jug, perfect for those passed out nights in alleys with your fellow hobo friends up to a tiny bottle for $600 distilled through the hearts of angels so the opportunity to try a few different kinds appealed to me.
There was a similar Whiskey tasting last winter at Yankee Spirits where I discovered Barrel Hitch Whiskey from Portland Oregon which is crazy smooth. I'm not a whiskey guy but I really liked this one and even got a friend hooked on it too.
That tasting session involved four tables with various sales people extolling the virtues of the five or six bottles they had on their tables. I expected the same thing at Julio's and boy was I wrong.
We got there about 2:15 and the parking lot was packed, but walking inside there were only a handful of people shopping. That seemed a little odd. There was a steel drum player doing his best Calypso tunes in a decibel level just shy of an F15 Tomcat so I wasn't able to ask anyone about the tasting. We walked around for a few minutes and then realized the table behind the drummer was the sign in area where they check your ID and stamp your hand before you head downstairs to their "Speakeasy"-- a huge room filled with about 45 tables and what I would guess was about 75 people all with little glasses and programs with golf pencils so they could check off the brands they liked.
They also had food provided by the Mandarin Chinese Restaurant next door which I highly recommend. Food is a good idea because if you're going around to 45 tables each of which has five or six bottle of gin and rum (it was also a rum tasting event) and you're getting a small shot at each table of EACH bottle you're pretty much guaranteed to get your keys taken away by the policeman who was stationed at the foot of the stairs.
I tried about 10 different brands, sticking to the price range I'm comfortable with-- which is $20-$50 a bottle-- I didn't bother trying the $600 brands because I'd never spend that on it no matter how good it was, and I've found that some "well" brands of gin-- meaning the cheapest stuff around-- is often better than the more expensive stuff. I bought a very expensive bottle a few months ago, gorgeous bottle-- but the gin tasted like Gasoline, so I ended up making a big bottle of a lemony mixed drink and then filled the empty fancy bottle with some from the crazy cheap but nicely smooth Poland Spring (from Poland) so it looks like I drink the good stuff.
After the tasting we decided to grab a late lunch at Harry's across the street and in the spirit of cutting back on bread I got a tuna wrap and while it was good, I'm not a fan of most wraps. Veronica buys one at S&S Farms that is so soft it's amazing, but the stuff Harry's uses is of the tougher variety you can barely chew it. But it was still good.
By the end of the day, according to my fancy Apple Watch-- we had walked some 10 miles which always makes me happy. I love long weekend walk days.
Sunday we had church with our friends and then #3 son stopped over and we made a dinner of steak empanada's which were quite good. We also did some walking but we only managed about 5 miles in total-- next weekend we'll try harder.