Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hogan Farewell Tour: Part One

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It's been almost a month since we moved out of our apartment in Arlington and it's been quite the month.  We've been all over the East Coast visiting friends and family before the big move and we're not even done with the farewell tour! We leave on Tuesday for almost a week in San Diego celebrating some of our favorite friends' wedding (more to come on that next week).

Here's kind of the run down of the Hogan Farewell Tour. Brace yourself, it's exhausting.

Thursday May 7th: Move to Mike's Dad's house in Leesburg

Friday May 8th: Mover's come to Mike's dad's house and move furniture from there

Saturday May 9th: Say goodbye to Sara and Mark. We headed out to the Old Bust Head Brewery for a beautiful afternoon of good beer and good friends. This was our first real friend goodbye and it was emotional (probably for Mike almost as much as me!).  Sara and Mark are some of the most fun people we know and it's been a ton of fun to hang out with them in Arlington. They're our type of people.

Sunday May 10th:  We had brunch with Mike's mom and Jim at a delicious Italian restaurant.  I'm a sucker for good Italian food and this hit the spot.  Then, we met up with two of Mike's friends and one of their girlfriends (they met at our wedding!!!) at a brewery for an afternoon beverage (are you noticing a trend?).

Monday May 11th-Wednesday May 13th: These days blur together, but basically, we got an estimate for selling our car, as well as put a deposit on a new-to-us car.  We also got lots of shots for Turkey. Lots.

Thursday May 14th: Leave bright and early for Boston! We spent the day exploring the city and (for me) reminiscing on one of the best years of my life.  Also, I ate clam chowder out of a bread bowl and for fifteen minutes was the happiest person in Boston. 

Friday May 15th: Kelly's graduation day!! The graduation ceremony was in the afternoon and we cheered loudly as Kelly crossed the stage.  After the ceremony, we grabbed a drink before heading to the North End for delicious food.  Mike and I ate in the North End the night before, but one can never have too much North End Italian food (like I said, I'm a sucker...).  Fortunately, though, I split a pasta dish with Mike's mom, so I didn't become overloaded with pasta.  Mike, on the other hand, ordered "The Deadly Catch."  It was  a pound of pasta, crab and lobster.  The picture below doesn't even do it justice.  After dinner, we had planned to go to Mike's Pastries for a cannoli, but the thought of eating was just too much.  We met up with one of my good friends Poorna, who we were staying with for drinks downtown before calling it a night.  
Mike's Deadly Catch.  That plate is 18" in diameter.

Congrats to my favorite sister in law!
Saturday May 16th: Happy Anniversary to my parents!! 28 years and going strong!  Poorna, Mike and I met Mike's parents and Mike's dad's girlfriend for brunch at the Beehive, which is a Boston brunch gem. IT was delicious.  Afterwards, Poorna headed home to study for her finals and Mike and I headed to Harpoonfest, which was a festival hosted by Harpoon Brewery.  We met Kelly and her boyfriend Sean who was in Boston for literally 48 hours (what a boyfriend!).  It was really crowded and hot.  The highlight of that festival was the food truck that sold fried Mac n Cheese balls. After Poorna was done studying and we were over Harpoonfest, we went to a bar on the water and grabbed a drink.  We went to Mexican for dinner and again ate our body weight in food.  Luckily, we walked home so we were able to walk off some of the Mexican.

Sunday May 17th: We left early from Boston and were back in DC by 8:30. We had to leave so early, that we didn't get a proper goodbye with Poorna, but that's not to say we won't miss her.  Her spunky attitude, sass and just all-around fun is what makes her one of the best.  Plus, she's going to be our dentist when we return from Turkey. Conveniently, she'll be finishing up school right when we return (probably bringing a few cavities with us.....).
Once we got home, we relaxed all day and went to the Alamo Draft House to see Pitch Perfect 2.  If you are a living, breathing person, I recommend going to see Pitch Perfect 2.  It was so good! You don't even need to see the first to watch the second.  And, guys, don't worry.  There were two very masculine men sitting behind us who loved it.  Plus, Mike was the one who suggested going to see it.  There are lots of funny jokes and puns throughout the movie, so even if you aren't into a cappella (which why aren't you?), you can still enjoy it.  End movie review.

Monday May 18th:  We picked up our new car!! We are now the proud owners of a 2010 Volkswagen Golf.  We sadly had to sell Leisl the Audi, but we love our new-to-us Golf.  Mike is still in the mourning period of losing Leisl, but I'm loving the new car.  Name suggestions?

Tuesday May 19th:  Ran errands, got more shots, etc. etc.

Wednesday May 20th:  We ventured out to the countryside of Loudon County to Sunset Hills Vineyard and did a little wine tasting.  We have done our fair share of breweries (just you wait...the brewery stops aren't over), but we decided to expand our pallets a little and add wine tasters to our repertoire.  I had done a few wine tastings back in the day (cough cough college cough cough), but Mike was a newbie, so we decided to try this one out.  It was a blast and something quick and easy to do.  Plus, unlike the breweries, the wineries have a beautiful ambiance.

Thursday May 21st:  When we were at Sunset Hills, we found out that a lot of the vineyards do free tastings for active duty military AND their dependents! WHAT?!?!?!?!! Why haven't we been doing this since August.  Anyways, we had a blast at  Sunset Hills and even Mike was hooked, so we decided to do another vineyard on our way to Baltimore for the night.  This one did food parings with the wine, so they had tiny morsels of food to go with each wine that we tasted.  It definitely added a twist to the experience.  Sadly, this was not one of the vineyards that offered the military discount, but it was still worth it.   After the vineyard, we headed to Baltimore for one last night with Karen.  We had dinner at their family's favorite Italian restaurant (my heart!) with Karen, Karen's room mate Jen, and Karen's parents.  We had a blast! And the salad that they bring you...WOW! I love a good salad and that was one of the best! After dinner, Jen dropped Karen, myself and Mike off at a great little neighborhood bar where Karen's other room mate Mary met us for a late night of drinks and friendship (cue the sentimental "AWWWW")

Friday May 22nd: Karen, Jen, myself and Mike headed to the cutest little breakfast shop in Baltimore that is made out of a garage and overlooks an elementary school. I could have sat there all day.  Unfortunately, we were only there for an hour, but it was a great last hangout sesh with two of my favorite Baltimoreans (is that right?).  After breakfast, I cried my way through an emotional Karen goodbye and we headed to Richmond for our next stop on the farewell tour.  Words can't even begin to explain how much I love Karen and value her friendship.  I saw this quote and I think it pretty much just sums up Karen to me. She's my girl.

 "There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better."  -unknown.  

Anyways, after our tearful goodbye (okay really just mine. Karen was very composed and Mike had his eyes on the next stop), we headed to Richmond for a five brewery tour (trend alert!). I was the driver and Mike was the drinker, but we both had a lot of fun.  I did tell Mike at the end of the night that if he ever questioned how much I loved him, he should think back to the time I drove him to five breweries.  All jokes aside, we both had fun.  Breweries are fun for everyone.  There were kids running around, live music playing and just all around good stuff.  Mike got samplers at all of the breweries and was able to try tons of beer and log them on HIS SUPER COOL BEER APP (note the sarcasm).  Overall, it was a lot of fun, plus we ran into my brother Andrew's best friend Zach on his first day of work at one of the breweries.

Saturday May 23rd:  We left Richmond and headed to Williamsburg. Since Mike lived in PA for his "formative" years, he missed the joy that was the Williamsburg 4th grade field trip.  The charter bus, the soda in your lunch as a special treat, and the excitement of colonial Williamsburg were definitely the highlight of every Fairfield Elementary School 4th grader. Because of this deprivation, we decided to stop in Colonial Williamsburg on our way home to Virginia Beach.  On our way in, we stopped for some Pierce's BBQ, which may be some of the best I've ever had. Once there, we walked around DoG street and checked out the sites. We didn't pay for tickets, so we couldn't go inside anything, but it was still fun. Plus, my mom's side of the family has been here since basically the start, so our ancestors are all over Colonial Williamsburg.
After Colonial Williamsburg, we went to the Williamsburg Winery, which is right on the outskirts of town. Their wine wasn't the best, but we managed to do a tour and a wine flight (who knew there were such magical things?!?!?!?!). The tour was super interesting because they talk about how the wine is made and the history of the vineyard. If I were to do it again, I would have made reservations for the 2hour special tour because you get the good wine, plus cheese to pair with your wines, but alas....
We left Williamsburg and made it home around five, just in time to enjoy a cookout with the neighbors and enjoy a relaxing week at home.

Are you exhausted just reading that?  I am.  I figured I'd let you all rest before filling you in on the week at home in Virginia Beach, plus the week in San Diego, PLUS the updates about the move.   Thanks for reading!!

PS As I was typing this, I realized that if you needed to sum up the Hogan Farewell Tour Part One into three things, it would be brewery tours, wine tastings and Italian food.  Ain't nothing wrong with that!!!