By Tuesday Super Storm Sandy had done its damage in the lower mid-Atlantic states. In Harpers Ferry the biggest effect was a loss of business as the National Historic Park remained closed (it had closed on Monday). With the park closed, all of the businesses in the historic district of Harpers Ferry decided to stay shuttered as well, leaving us without any restaurant options. After an amazing breakfast of a stack of pancakes with fruit and a side of sausage, we didn’t start thinking about lunch until the afternoon. I started calling restaurants in neighboring towns and on my fourth try I reached the Bavarian Inn in nearby Sheperdstown. A long-standing semi-famous inn and restaurant, we felt so lucky to get to dine there. With only three tables occupied in the entire large dining room, we sat by the window with a view of the Potomac River. Truly a delightful meal.
Jay holding the bottle of Bridal Ale that was a gift from Pat and Cindy Kennedy
As the storm made landfall and the rain and wind whipped around outside, we celebrated this new phase of life with a special brew, the Pelican Pub & Brewery’s Bridal Ale. This bottle was given to us by Jay’s parents’ friends, Pat and Cindy Kennedy. The beer is named Bridal Ale because it was originally created to celebrate the marriage of two Pelican Pub staff. Pat and Cindy picked it up while they were traveling in Oregon and hand carried it back to their home in Oregon. It made it all the way to Virginia with them in their carry on. Getting married of course gives you the opportunity to closely examine all of the reasons why you love your partner and want to spend the rest of your life committed to them. What I did not fully realize was how much your wedding also makes you look closely at the relationships you have with your family and friends and come to value them and appreciate their support.
Oh, and the beer was fabulous – I would highly recommend it!
Clever coat rack at the Stonehouse B&B
Starting in the middle of October I had been tracking the weather report for our wedding day. The weather on the days leading up to our wedding had dropped from a high of 80 degrees on Wednesday with 0% chance of precipitation, to a high of 61 degrees on Saturday with a 20% chance of precipitation. I got the sense that the weather was changing, but I hadn’t bothered to look beyond the 27th. Not until Friday that is. At that point I started hearing about Hurricane Sandy and how it was headed our way. Sunday morning after the wedding, Sandy was picking up strength and headed straight for us expected to hit on Monday. School was canceled on Monday and Tuesday. The metro system decided to preemptively close for the first time anyone could remember. The storm was expected to be epic but no one knew what kind of damage we could expect.
Jay and I were wondering whether or not to call off our honeymoon in Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry is 90 minutes west of northern Virginia and they were supposed to be sheltered from the brunt of the storm. We headed out there on Sunday, driving on almost deserted roads with no rain or wind. We arrived at a historic row house, built in 1839 with 2 foot thick stone walls. As the owner said, “the first pig built with straw, the second used sticks, and the third pig built with brick. The fourth pig didn’t make it into the story because he didn’t want to brag, but he built with stone”. The Stonehouse B&B was a great place to weather the storm.
Walking hand in hand as husband and wife for the first time. Photo by Julie Napear Photography.
Looking at this photo fills me with joy. Already feeling grateful for having found Jay and for his love and patience, I was overwhelmed by gratitude by all of the love and support we received from our family and friends. We chose to have a wedding instead of eloping in order to share this important moment in our lives. We wanted to introduce people who knew Jay when he was just a baby to people who knew me when I was just a baby. In that moment, on our wedding day, they all share a connection and it was humbling to bring them all together. Here we take our first steps into our future as a married couple with the full support of our family and friends behind us. Wow.
Posted in Personal
Now that we are an old married couple, settled into domestic life in Flagstaff, we have decided to change the format of this blog. From now on most of our posts will just include a photo or video and one paragraph of text.
Sharon, Jay, Zoe, Mike, and Kacy at the Lyceum in Alexandria Virginia where we had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding.
Our wedding weekend kicked off with the rehearsal dinner on Friday night. It was a wonderful evening hosted by Jay’s parents in which we got a chance to catch up with old friends such as Zoe, Kacy, and Kacy’s husband Mike, pictured above. The food highlight of the evening was a delicious beef brisket from Kitchen Gourmet. After taking a bite, our friend Stephen joked that now he knew why he had cultivated this friendship with Jay over the last 10 years or so.
Recently we had a chance to volunteer for the last day of trail work with Flagstaff Biking Organization this season. Flagstaff is cooling off quickly and before long we will have snow. On this particular Saturday however, it was wonderfully warm and the ground was soft from recent rains. A perfect day for digging a new bench cut trail to try to finish out a missing link of the Flagstaff Loop Trail.
The segment we were building was just west of the Campbell Mesa area. Even through we built more trail than expected that day, the loop remains broken and it will take some Forest Service or ACE crews working in the off season to keep the trail work going. I can’t wait until the Flagstaff Loop Trail is complete!
The pictures below were taken in September and October in the mountains that overlook Flagstaff, Arizona. In Flagstaff, the primary fall beauty is the Aspens turning yellow and the contrast with the surrounding Ponderosa Pine.
Jay with Wanderlust brew master Nathan Friedman
Yes we have not visited and written about a brewery in a long while. It’s not that we have not been going to breweries… they just don’t seem blog worthy when they’re in your backyard. And truth be told we have a lot of local breweries: Beaver Street, Flag Brew, Cosmic, Mother Road, Lumberyard and Mogollon. They even put out some good beer.
Thankfully, Wanderlust has come to us to solve that problem of not having something new to blog about.
Last Saturday was a long anticipated event for Flagstaff beer lovers. The grand opening of Wanderlust. Wanderlust is a little different, their emphasis is on distribution. They do not have and have no interest in getting a kitchen. They are a one man show and the ring leader is Nathan Friedman. The brew master Nathan is a long time home brewer taking the plunge and going professional. His specialty is Belgian beers. I suspect this is not only because he is good at them but is also what he likes to drink.
I had one major fear for the kick off of Wanderlust – running out of beer. Sure it sounds crazy, but this is a crazy town and running out of one or more beers is standard fare for this town. Wanderlust is the smallest of the Flagstaff breweries, so the fear was even more real.
Sharon and I had the Belgian Pale ale and the Oatmeal Stout as well as the Local Farmhouse. The Belgian Pale Ale was a stand out for me. I have had a few different Belgian IPAs that all tend to be over flavored with different very strong flavors competing for dominance. This beer was flavorful, unique, well balanced and easy to drink, well at least for those of us who like hops. We got our growler filled with the Belgian Pale Ale for $12.
The Farmhouse is smooth, not too dark and has lots of subtle flavors that suggest it’s more mild than it really is. It hides a 7.5% ABV punch.
I look forward for good things to come from Wanderlust.