A Garden Vision

    One thing that I noticed in San Francisco was that many of the apartments had unique, lavish gardens in the back.  It was really incredible to see.  Due to the fact that the buildings are on different ground levels, it’s easy to climb a few steps and get a look at many of them at once from above.  The apartment that we stayed at had just the garden we were visioning for our own back yard. 

Not the furniture, but we love all of the green with the red brick. I bet it looks even better when the flowers bloom.

    Our back yard is really small, and we basically wanted to turn it into a back patio area like this.  The patio at the apartment we stayed in was just as small as our backyard so it will be perfect.  The red bricks looked fantastic after probably years of weathering.

Too bad we couldn’t just get our bricks “aged”.

   The plans for the patio won’t be in place until next season but it will give us plenty of time to brainstorm.  Right now the backyard looks like a jungle, all overgrown.  It’s nerve-racking because we don’t close on the house until June 3.  How ridiculous will the lawn look by then? Hopefully it gets somehow maintained.

Back from San Fran! Beer Review: Pliny The Elder

   Nicole and I have finally returned home from our vacation with my family over to San Francisco to visit my sister.  The trip was full of laughs, good food, and amazing beers.  I didn’t get to blog as much as I wanted because the 3G coverage was terrible in the city and the wireless internet in the apartment that we stayed at was not working at all.  San Francisco was a beautiful city full of incredible scenery (minus the hippies and the homeless) but I am glad we are finally home. It was definitely a city that is great to visit but I could never live there.  Lets get to the review that I have been eager to do!
   Pliny The Elder is regarded by many as being one of the 10 best beers in the world.  My stepfather hyped this beer to me for months leading up to our trip to the point that I started to worry a bit.  Would I still be able to give this a fair review with all of this hype or would I be hit with that mild disappointment that often accompanies heavily hyped things?  It’s sort of like years ago when the “Blair Witch Project” came out.  I was fortunate enough to see this movie without knowing anything about it.  It was the first of its kind to do what it did so it was hard not to praise it however I know many that thought it was stupid and lame, all of which went to see it after hearing the hype.  When we arrived at our apartment in San Francisco, my sister had 2 chilled bottles waiting for us, and the beer was even more impressive than I ever thought.  This was the perfect double I.P.A., no question about it.  The beer pours a hazy golden color with not much head.  I found it to have more carbonation that some of the other double I.P.A.’s I’ve had.  Pliny gives off an incredible aroma of pine with barely a hint of fruit.  It was a little too cold for our first few tastes so the hop explosion was very intense, but as the beer dropped in temperature you could taste every element to this beer perfectly.  An initial hop explosion that leaves a citrus, grapefruit, taste lingering behind with absolutely no undesirable aftertaste.  The only thing that I can find wrong with this beer is that it is incredibly difficult to find.  Places were sold out of it or had limited quantities.  My stepfather was able to come across two stores that had a few bottles left and in each store he took the remaining beers.  If you are ever on the west coast, this beer is a must!

Rating: 10/10
ABV:  8.0

A fun day yesterday.

    Yesterday Nicole and I did some exploring around San Francisco beginning at the aquarium.  Nicole loves marine life so she was really excited to go.  This was probably one of the more impressive aquariums that I’ve seen as most of it is trolling through glass tunnels hundreds of feet under water.  The sea life is amazing and you get so incredibly close to all sorts of creatures. 
    We then made our way to Chinatown which was pretty amazing.  We stopped into a mom and pop place that received fantastic reviews to get some lunch.  Although the food was good it was still sort of a let down as we have eaten better Chinese at home.  Chinatown was amazing to see especially on a Monday afternoon.  It wasn’t flooded with tourists and it totally felt like you were in a different world. It was pretty incredible to see. More to come!

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