Sunday, October 7, 2012

Family Fun Day(s)

Anytime my cousin and I get together, it is super good times.  We grew up together and are as much like sisters as cousins.  We are separated by thousands of miles most of the time, and that distance just got even larger since she recently moved overseas.  It had already been four years since we had seen each other in person, so I was thrilled when she was able to arrange a quick jaunt to the desert while she was home in the US.

 K and I picked her up at the PHX airport on a Thursday evening, and we decided to start out showing her what our area has to offer.  We took her to San Tan Brewery, a local brewery in the "Downtown" area of our 'burb.  Cuz and I opted for Epicenter Amber Ale while K ordered his favorite, Devil's Ale.  Then we walked over to a wine bar called Vintage 95 and were actually able to sit outside comfortably!  I think it was the first time we have been able to do that since we moved here.  The outdoor patio was actually really nice when you aren't at risk of getting heat stroke.  Despite it being a wine bar, we decided to order some cocktails.  K's 1912 cocktail was described as an "Irish Mule" (Offensive!)  and came in a cool copper mug, C's Mai Tai was a winner, and my cocktail was a forgettable citrus thingy. 
The 1912 at Vintage 95

  The next day, we decided to have a little girl time, so we went to get mani/pedis and do some browsing at an outdoor mall.  After meeting up with K for a late lunch, we got ready to head into Downtown PHX because we were going to a Diamondbacks game!  K was able to score some tickets through work.  I was really excited that they were available while my cousin was here.  The D-backs (Seriously.  They call them D-backs.  Like D-bags?) were playing the Cubs.  Our seats were very close to the field, and we were seated in "Uptown" which I guess is a section named after the hot star of the Diamondbacks, Justin Upton.  That section is near where he stands in the outfield.  (I don't know baseball, I had to wikipedia that shit).  Aside from baseball being one of the most boring sports EVAR, we had a good time, and then headed out to Four Peaks Brewery to finish off the night.  Ever tried the Peach Ale from Four Peaks?  It wasn't what I expected, but it's pretty good.  K prefers the Kiltlifter.
Upton from Uptown

  In keeping with the boozing it up theme, the next day we drove up to Cottonwood to do some wine tasting.  Yes, I was just as surprised as you are that there is wine being made in AZ.  I've been wanting to check it out for while, so I was excited to be able to bring C on the adventure.  The tasting room that I was most excited about was our first stop.  Arizona Stronghold has won some awards, and is co-owned by Maynard Keenan, the lead singer of Tool.  I really wanted to bring C here as she is pretty fond of the rock and roll music.  The tasting room has a sort of rock edge to it - it's painted red and everything.  We did the combo flight and ended up with these cool glasses as souvenirs.

Tasting at Arizona Stronghold, Cottonwood, AZ

 Actually all of the tasting rooms gave you glasses, so it must be built into the price.  Honestly, the tasting fees seemed kind of high to me, but I am used to Oregon tasting rooms.  I'm guessing that compared to California, these are probably totally reasonable.

We went to a total of 4 tasting rooms, each of them were a little different and had unique features.  Dionysus was intimate, elaborately decorated, and had a very knowledgeable sommelier who spent almost the entire tasting talking to us.  Pillsbury was casual with questionable live music, but had an AWESOME game called Cards Against Humanity that we had way too much fun playing.  Burning Tree had a great outdoor patio that we enjoyed until we started being eaten alive by mosquitos.  The Sommelier was also very friendly and knowledgeable.  He suggested a great Mexican restaurant, Concho's, where we caught some late dinner before leaving town.  Since K had to do the driving back, he had not participated in the wine tasting (have I mentioned how amazing he is?), but we DID grab him an espresso AND a coffee for the drive back from Crema Cafe.  I wish a place like that existed near us.  It was pretty Portland, with its hipster baristas and its modern industrial interior.  It reminded me of Barista in PDX.  Plus it had a super cute courtyard.

  Finally, we were headed home, but not before stopping for gas where we saw this guy:
Terrifying gas station spider

Holy Crap!  The photo does not do it justice, the thing was huge.

After our jam-packed weekend, we took it easy on Sunday, catching up on the internets and football, and then for dinner I introduced C to the magnificent Yumm bowl.

Homemade Yumm Bowl

 She was a fan.  We ended the night watching my favorite movie of all time, When Harry Met Sally.  Somehow, neither of them had been forced to watch it with me yet, so I dug out my DVD and we all enjoyed the antics of Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal while munching on popcorn.  Pure bliss.

P.S. - Blogging runs in the family.  Check out C's blog, she is hilarious (not that I'm biased).

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Colleen said...

I made Husby a Yumm Bowl and he loved it! Thanks for the awesome visit, cuz. xoxoox

NW Girl said...

Yay! I'm glad he liked it! They are on the regular rotation in our house :)

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