now THAT is a true pot of gold 😉
In trying to find pictures for Throwback Thursday, I realized I have a lot of pictures of adult beverages (that is said with pride, by the way). As such, I’ve decided that rather than share pictures of me with bad 80s hair and glasses that legitimately covered half my face, I could easily share glasses of a much tastier kind. So without further ado, I present to you Thirsty Thursday!
This week’s Thirsty Thursday is brought to you by BeckyJack’s Food Shack. And they’re not lying. It’s a shack, but the beer is cold AND they are always changing what’s on tap–so it’s a great excuse to go back again and again and again. Oh yeah, and the food is amazing!
It’s definitely one place you don’t wanna miss when in the area…or the State of Florida. I’m so glad that I ended my wonderful Fabulous Not Forty Birthday Trip #1 on such a tasty note…literally. After we left Orlando, we came back to Spring Hill for a few days to lounge around and just hang-out. On my last day, we went to BeckyJack’s for an unforgettable lunch of crab cakes and fish sandwiches. We then drove back to the house, put the suitcases in the car, made one final sweep of the house to make sure I hadn’t left anything (but of course, I had…because I always do!) and off to the airport we went!
Don’t panic–don’t panic! I wouldn’t leave without giving you a beer pic on Thirsty Thursday (unless it was wine or whiskey!) 😉
Yes, that is a jalapeño floating in that there margarita. It is, in fact, a jalapeño margarita. I will confess that it wasn’t MY jalapeño margarita, rather it belonged to TK. I had, if you will remember the original Margarita Monday, the blood orange margarita. While the jalapeño margarita was definitely a novelty and very tasty, personally I preferred the blood orange.
We were at Antojito’s. It’s the restaurant where we decided to eat after departing Universal Studios.
Naturally, we had the table side guacamole because why wouldn’t you? It’s amazing and goes well with margaritas. The best part of getting table side guacamole with friends from home is that we can order it spicy, unlike here where I have to settle for medium and watch my NYC friends whimpily whine about how “hot” it is. My reply to them is always: oh shush & have another margarita!
mmmmm….a another margarita sounds like a great plan! Salud!
This month’s wine writing challenge, Success, was selected by my BFF (that would be blogger friend forever), Loie of CheapWineCurious, as a result of winning last month’s challenge. I would like to interject that the BFF title was self-appointed by me. I’m sure Loie is currently reaching for her phone to send my information to all law enforcement west of the Mississippi…
Success is a drinkable bottle of wine.
I am a wine drinker. And by that, I mean, I am not a wine collector. Sure, I have a few very special bottles that I have saved over the years–but most of them are deemed special because the winemaker has signed the bottle for me.
But I do not buy wine to lay it down for years and years, delicately babying it until the moment it is perfect to open and decant and blah, blah, blah. Not that I think collecting wine is a bad thing, I just have no self control. It’s like an open bag of M&Ms: it’s just not going to last, despite my best efforts.
Lack of self-control aside, the other reason I don’t save wine is because I don’t have a great place to store it. I currently live in an old drafty house that’s a bit too chilly in the winter and way too warm in the summer. I don’t mind, but it certainly isn’t conducive to keeping bottles for years. And I think we can all agree there’s nothing more tragic than pouring a bottle of wine down the drain because it was bad.
When I choose to open the aforementioned bottles, I mentally prepare myself that it will probably be bad–that way IF it is, I’m not too devastated. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very sad but I’m not openly sobbing and throwing myself to the floor bemoaning my tragic loss. If it’s still good, it’s like a celebration and I feel like I should open another bottle!
There are three notable exceptions. Granted, I did not buy any of these wines with the intentions of holding them for so long, rather I just knew I wanted to save them for a fabulous occasion.
Remember these posts about my very special Burgundy that I have been holding on to for years?
What better occasion than drinking it with the one person on the planet would I knew would enjoy it as much as I would and in honor of a BIG birthday ( I hope you appreciate how I tied in this month’s writing challenge with my current topic of my Fabulous Not Forty birthday trips!).
I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous–first in getting the bottle safely to Florida and then in hoping that it would not be corked. I couldn’t even bring myself to try the whole “think of it being bad, so I wouldn’t be devastated” ploy. In fact, I was in full panic mode while opening it. I knew that if it was corked Christi & TK were going to have to pick up a blubbering idiot off the kitchen floor. Actually, they’d probably just leave me there for the night (hopefully throwing a blanket over me before they went to bed). I nearly cried tears of joy when I realized the bottle was in fact, not corked. SUCCESS! I may have teared up a little bit. I certainly needed a moment while drinking it.
The other two were both wines I loved drinking but as the vintage came to an end, I became a bit of a hoarder. I moved up to New York with three bottles of each left.
So far on the Becker Vineyards 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, I am 1 for 2. The first bottle I opened last year–and honestly 8 years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me I’d be keeping this wine around for so long. It was amazing. Delicious and spicy: a big, bold-in-your-face cabernet sauvignon. It was everything I remembered, but the spicy notes were more pronounced and the wine was overall very smooth. I was so excited that it was drinking so well that I opened another bottle a few nights later, and alas–down the drain it went along with big, fat teardrops. I have one more left and remain hopeful…
Happily, I am 2 for 2 on the Chisholm Train Winery 2001 Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Also a big and bold cabernet sauvignon, however, with a lot less spice and much drier than the Becker. Both bottles were really smooth and opened up very nicely (thanks Paula!). I will say that this wine has mellowed considerably. Rather than being biiiiig with a very dry, clean finish, it is big and dry, but now with a lingering currant and blackberry finish. I’m probably jinxing myself, but I’m actually excited about my last bottle.
I am envious of those who collect wine, but personally it’s too stressful for me. I want every time I open a bottle of wine to be a success. And while I know that any bottle can be bad–for a plethora of reasons–in my brain, the longer it stays in my wine rack, the greater the chance that will happen. Thus far my track record has been pretty good, so some might think my reasoning flawed. However, I prefer not to take that chance. You know, just like letting M&Ms go stale…
Believe or not, there are other things to do in Universal Studios other than Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade/Hogwarts. So after taking the Hogwarts Express back to London, we wandered around other parts of the park.
As timing would have it, we found ourselves a spot on the curb just in time for the afternoon parade.
After the parade, we realized how famished we were from all the walking around and decided (since we’d made the full loop) to head out of the park to the row of restaurants on the outskirts of the park.
And so ended our magical day at Universal, proving that Disney doesn’t have a monopoly on magic in Orlando.
After we left Hogwarts we wound our way back down to the village of Hogsmeade. A quaint little village, where there is snow on the buildings all year round.
Our first stop was to wet our whistles with some delicious butter beer.
And it was delicious (as it tastes like butterscotch, which I adore!), but oh-so-very-sweet. In fact, we all shared one and that was more than enough for me. Alas, it is non-alcoholic. Cut the sweetness and create it in alcoholic form and I would probably drink it by the bucketload. #justsaying
My favorite store in the village–actually, probably in the park–was Honeyduke’s. Being a sugar fiend aside, it was a bright and colorful store, very quaint. I had to restrain myself from literally purchasing everything, except for vomit & boogie flavored beans, Bertie Botts can keep those!
We spent a bit more time wandering around Hogsmeade and peaking into various places, like the Three Broomsticks (but too full from butter beer to eat anything!). All too soon, it was time to make our way back to the platform to take the train back to London…
You gotta hand it to Universal, they know how to
sucker you in create a whole experience. Of course, in order to do that you need a pass to both of their parks–but it is TOTALLY worth it (if you’re a Harry Potter fan–and by fan I mean borderline obsessed…and by borderline, I just mean obsessed) to get on the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9¾ and ride to Hogsmeade & Hogwarts.
Like Gringott’s, Hogswarts is a ride that first winds you through the castle offering you a better look inside the most famous wizarding school in the world–just watch out for the staircases, they like to move!
It was tempting to go through again, but we were burning daylight and still had to get to Hogsmeade!
We interrupt our regularly scheduled posts about my Fabulous Not Forty Birthday trips to wish Texans everywhere a Happy Independence Day! On this day in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. The Texas Declaration was written in less than a day during (although not at) the battle of The Alamo, drew a lot of influence from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and was signed by 59 Texans.
It has some powerful, yet eloquent verbiage, so I thought that in honor of my beloved Texas on its birthday, I’d share it with you. On a side note: something tells me that General Santa Anna might have liked being called an evil, oppressive ruler. But maybe not, who knows? I certainly didn’t know the guy! Also, I’m not sure why (perhaps a typo or a different author?) wording suddenly switches from “it has” to “it hath” at the end…but it does-eth.
Finally, here’s the website where I got the information (along with a general reminder that if I pull pictures from the interwebs, in theory you can click on them to be taken to the website where they were found–in reality, I’m exceptionally technologically challenged so if you notice it not working, please let me know!).
Happy Birthday Texas!
Declaration of Independence
made by the
Delegates of the People of Texas
in General Convention
at the town of Washington
on the 2nd day of March 1836.
When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.
When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.
When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.
When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.
Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a part of our grievances is therefore submitted to an impartial world, in justification of the hazardous but unavoidable step now taken, of severing our political connection with the Mexican people, and assuming an independent attitude among the nations of the earth.
The Mexican government, by its colonization laws, invited and induced the Anglo-American population of Texas to colonize its wilderness under the pledged faith of a written constitution, that they should continue to enjoy that constitutional liberty and republican government to which they had been habituated in the land of their birth, the United States of America.
In this expectation they have been cruelly disappointed, inasmuch as the Mexican nation has acquiesced in the late changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers us the cruel alternative, either to abandon our homes, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism of the sword and the priesthood.
It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of legislation, carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue, and this too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest terms for the establishment of a separate state government, and have, in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented to the general Congress a republican constitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously rejected.
It incarcerated in a dungeon, for a long time, one of our citizens, for no other cause but a zealous endeavor to procure the acceptance of our constitution, and the establishment of a state government.
It has failed and refused to secure, on a firm basis, the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.
It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain,) and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.
It has suffered the military commandants, stationed among us, to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyrrany, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizens, and rendering the military superior to the civil power.
It has dissolved, by force of arms, the state Congress of Coahuila and Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the seat of government, thus depriving us of the fundamental political right of representation.
It has demanded the surrender of a number of our citizens, and ordered military detachments to seize and carry them into the Interior for trial, in contempt of the civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and the constitution.
It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports for confiscation.
It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a national religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather than the glory of the true and living God.
It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments.
It has invaded our country both by sea and by land, with intent to lay waste our territory, and drive us from our homes; and has now a large mercenary army advancing, to carry on against us a war of extermination.
It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of our defenseless frontiers.
It hath been, during the whole time of our connection with it, the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions, and hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrranical government.
These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government; that they are unfit to be free, and incapable of self government.
The necessity of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.
We, therefore, the delegates with plenary powers of the people of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare, that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended, and that the people of Texas do now constitute a free, Sovereign, and independent republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent nations; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme arbiter of the destinies of nations.