Nice weather, upcoming travel, and a little sobriety

This weekend was phenomenal, in a word.  I’ll discuss the genesis of it later, but for now, I want to recap (and relive) it.  It won’t be the wild party you may know me for if you’re a personal acquaintance, but that’s sort of the point.  It started out with a Friday night out for dinner at a little local place over in Lakewood where I had shrimp tacos for the first time… not totally my thing, but not bad.  We got to bed early, slept in, and lounged around the house for a bit until we left for the West Side Market.

Now, I don’t promote a lot of businesses on my blog, but I’m going to tell you about the West Side Market, because the vendors here aren’t your mass market corporate farms that keep animals in pens and spray chemicals on all the veggies.  You can get anything here and it will always be high quality.  Local butchers, local farmers, local bakers, locally grown spices, all that.  I picked up starfruit, which I’ve never had before, so I’ll get to experience a little something new out of this trip, but I also picked up a ton of other stuff.  If you follow me on Facebook, you likely already saw the list, but there are two highlights… and they each get their own paragraph.

Saturday night, Kristin and Felicia cooked for us guys… stuffed pork chops from the Market, great stuff.  The next morning, after another early bedtime and sleeping in again, I picked up a few things from the grocery store to go with the beef and pork I picked up at the market and Kristin and I began working on my first ever chili.  It’s not too often that we really get to work together in the kitchen for fun, because our lives are so hectic and we’re usually rushing to get food ready instead of enjoying the experience, but this was fun.  It was a fairly basic recipe, but damn, it was good.  It was even better today… and there’s still just a little bit left for lunch tomorrow.  Sweet!

That covers the weekend, but I still have another find from the Market to share with you.  If you’re reading this from California, you may be shocked to learn that the ubiquitous (in your region) tri-tip is an absolute rarity across the rest of the country.  Even butchers usually look at you with confusion when it’s requested.  However, after finding one at the Market before, I was determined to find it again… and not only did I find it, the butcher told me the story of how he just brought a couple out once on a whim and now, because of how popular they’ve become, he brings them every week… and sells out.  However, he gave me his card and said he’d hold one for me any time I give him a call… jackpot!

That tri-tip will be wrapped in a rosemary marinade bright and early tomorrow for our random sixty degree January afternoon and I’ll toss it on the grill at around 5:00.  Any chance to grill in January is not missed in this house, and I’m looking forward to relaxing on the back deck, rain or shine, to imagine that it’s spring if only for one day.

The one thing that’s missing from that statement, and from the entire weekend, is an ice cold beverage of the adult variety.  Yes, I skipped drinking for the entire weekend, and it felt great.  The plan?  Honestly, there isn’t one, but for now, I’m enjoying the straight life.  Call my house Sober Valley Lodge II.  It could last another week, it could last a few, but all that matters to me is that I felt like I had a longer weekend without the bottle than I’ve had since I’ve moved back to Ohio, and it’s impossible to express how great that is.  The weekends never did seem long enough, but maybe part of the problem was the need to sleep until noon on Sunday because I was out until 3:00 am.

I’m getting more weekend, I’m getting more rest, I’m saving money, and I’m taking in a lot less calories.  Can’t come up with much more of a win than that!

Next week, I’ll be in Minneapolis.  I get the super duper new culture training on Monday and Tuesday, and the next couple of days will be wall-to-wall meetings with my team, the new marketing guy, our consumer insights partner, our social media consultants… when I get out there every couple of months, I tend to spend the entire time in meetings while my inbox fills with work, but it’s good for me, because at least they all remember who I am.  I’ll also be chilling with some of my friends out there in the evenings, but much to their chagrin, I’ll be passing up the opportunity to grab a bottle.  It can, and will, still be a good time.

That’s all the time we have for tonight, friends.  This won’t make much sense when I post this tomorrow morning, but it sure does right now on Monday night, as I’m about to fall asleep from the Unisom.  Catch you all next time!