Long Trail Brewery

Only seven months late, but its finally time to take this out of drafts and finish it up!

What better way for a whiskey drinking, beer loving girl to celebrate being a quarter century old than to hit up a brewery? Since I was in Vermont, I headed to Long Trail Brewery for the perfect celebration. (Well perhaps had I been in Dublin I could have hit up Jameson and Guinness, that could have topped it…) Accompanied by my boyfriend, his friend and his sister (one of my best friends), we headed off to the Brewery for lunch and a tour before heading home to CT as the weekend drew to a close. We first decided to eat, so we headed to the outdoor seating area for some grub. When given the choice of drinks for lunch, we all chose the sampler as it seemed to make the most sense (plus it was only $6 for 24 oz. of beer).

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We began with the Blackberry Wheat, which became my favorite of them all with it’s light and unique taste. It was followed by the Harvest, took me as a bit bitter, perhaps because I loved the one before it so much, but it was also too dark. Third up was the Long Trail Ale, which was just a generic ale. Nothing special, but not bad. The second half began with the Pale Ale and ended with the Traditional IPA, neither of which stuck my fancy. And taking up the spot between those two was the Double Bag. I like the name better than the taste, but it was a nice heavier beer.

While not all the beers were stellar, the tasting sampler was great and definitely the way to go if you’re not familiar with the Long Trail beers. The beer sampler was also better than the tour, which isn’t so much of a tour as it is a sort walk down the hall reading posters. My favorite part of the brewery was the deep well in the middle of the outdoor seating area that is one of the sources of the fresh water that they use in the brewing process. I would suggest if your in the area to take a break to sit down to try the sampler and have a bite to eat.

That’s all for now.
Peace out cub scout.

A Book Review — The Millennium Series

I’ve been totally MIA for far too long — I’m sorry. I’d like to say it’s not going to happen again, but I know better than that and it will. Life gets crazy and the blog gets put on hold… but now back to my ramblings on life.

I recently finished reading the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson on my nook. I read all three back to back, as if they were one book. After seeing person after person reading these books, on the train, in the park, at the library, at work, pretty much everywhere, I decided that maybe it was time for me to give in and read them. I got hooked on Harry Potter and theTwilight series and had hoped that I would get hooked on this one too. The three books were overall good, but now I see why I saw so many people reading them — they are generally easy to read. Coming from someone who likes to read Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero, Lunar Park and many others, I found Larsson’s style of writing easier than I expected.

Not only was the style of writing and simplistic vocabulary a bit of a drawback, but it took me a good 100 pages to get into The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. When I started reading the trilogy, I was bored, it was almost painful for me to find the motivation to continue reading. When I mentioned that to a coworker who had also begun reading the books, she told me that she had been forewarned that the beginning was dry. Since I had purchased all three books from the get-go, I decided to push on and keep reading. By page 150, I was hooked and kept reading. When I finished the book, I picked up The Girl Who Played With Fire the very next morning. I assumed that this would pick up right where the last left off, and I would be just as hooked as I was by the end of book 1. Unfortunately, Larsson’s beginning was a bit dry for my taste, but again I kept reading. Fortunately it didn’t take me 100 pages to get hooked on book 2.

By the time I finished and was ready to pick up The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, I was worried I would be let down with the beginning again. Fortunately, this one picked up exactly where it’s predecessor left off. I was hooked and it was painful to tear my nook out of my hands in the morning when I got to work — I needed to know what happened next.

Overall, I’d give the trilogy a thumbs up, but it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea. Larsson’s style may not have been up my alley, but his books were able to entertain me and at least at the end he left me wanting more.

That’s all for now.
Peace out cub scout.

A Movie Review — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

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OMG! As Ron Weasley (my love) would say, “bloody brilliant!” 3,822 pages of reading and 902 minutes of movie watching later, I find myself standing on a line with hundreds of people ranging in age from 12-60. I spent the last three weeks re-reading every Harry Potter up to the break in this movie (when Harry buries Dobby). Daily for the past week I have fallen asleep only after watching the next installment in the Harry Potter series. I am 24-years-old and I am still in love with the same books that caught my attention 12 years ago. I am not ashamed of the fact I am still obsessed with these books and movies — Harry Potter has now spanned half of my life.
As in many cases, I believe the book is better than the movie — so far this still holds true for all seven Harry Potter movies to date. These books imparticular contain such minuet details yet leave things open to your imagination. I remember reading the first few books and how everything played out in my mind — this was obviously not how the movies played out as well. My problem with Harry Potter movies has always been that it’s not just minuet details being left out, but large details (i.e. Harry never received a life long ban from Quidditch in his 5th year from Dolores Umbridge or failing to tell Harry that the “Chosen One” could have just as easily been Neville Longbottom in the same movie — the latter detail then needed to be worked into the following movie as it is too important of a detail to overlook).
I know I am a terrible person to sit next to during the movie. Due to my obsession and tradition of rereading and rewatching the entire series up to the point of the current movie or book being released, I nit pick everything in the movies when it does not play out exactly as J.K. Rowling wrote. Examples from last night (note, I’m about to spoil the movie — so if you want to see it, STOP reading NOW):
  • The movie is supposed to begin with Snape’s arrival at Malfoy Mannor, not Rufus Scrimegour addressing the news — not to mention, Snape is to arrive late with Yaxley, not alone.
  • We do not see Hermione leave her parents (we do not know this happens until chapter 6 — it is not meant to be scene two).
  • Where was the Dursleys’ protection from the Order? What happened to that cup of tea Dudley left for Harry? Why didn’t we ever see Dudley show that he actually LIKED Harry?!?
  • George is supposed to loose his ear in the removal of Harry for Pivet Drive — why did we still see it when he made it to the Burrow? He can’t be holey if he doesn’t have a hole…
  • Hedwig does not die the way she did in the movie
  • We never see or hear about Ron’s ghoul with spattergroit or the fact that he’s hiding the fact he is traveling with Harry
  • They DO celebrate Harry’s birthday in the book, he has a snitch cake, Scrimegour crashes the party to deliver the things from Dumbldore’s will (he also does not give as much information to our fantastic trio when he gives them their bequests), he gets a watch from the Weasley’s and that is why Ginny kisses him (not because he was zipping up her dress for the wedding and Ron sees them, not George)
  • Krum was supposed to be at the wedding — he delivers some important info to Barny Weasley (oh wait, there is NO Barny Weasley in the movie…)
  • When Ron returns, he brings news of the Taboo on Voldemort’s name and the pirate radio station the Lee Jordan has, but neither of those exist in the movie.
  • At NO point in the book did I ever get the impression that Harry and Hermione would come close to kissing, and yet, the entire movie theater was yelling “nooooooooooooo!” during the movie’s version of how Harry and Hermione kept their spirits up one night (granted they still didn’t kiss then, but it was far too close for comfort)

That’s not all missing from the movie (I could go on for pages if you want every little detail that is different), but the one thing that seemed to disappear from the entire movie is a bit integral (it is part of the title) — I want to know why David Yates thought you could have a movie entitled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and leave out the invisibility cloak from every minute of it?!?!?!
As a movie itself, if this were to stand apart from the book completely, it is great. This is perhaps my favorite movie so far, as a movie (perhaps because they were smart enough to know better than to try and squeeze 759 pages into only one move). The problem with Harry Potter fiends like me is we can’t give an objective review of the movie — I will never be able to sit through the movie on the first time without pointing out what’s missing. But just as I have reread the entire series more times than I can count, I have seem the movies probably even more times.
But now 146 minutes later, I find myself 278 pages away from the end of a tale which has enthralled me for half my life. I know what lies in these last pages, but just as I am sure to be at the movie theater for the 12 midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II 237 days from now, I will go now and reread these last few hundred pages to finish the tale which will likely captivate me for the rest of my life.
That’s all for now. 
Peace out cub scout.