Song: I Want Your Soul by Armand Van Helden
Going to the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival in Vail is kind of our thing. We haven’t missed one since, well, since we started going, at least five or six years ago (I wish I used Flickr back then, because that’s the only way I remember anything; we’ve spent hours discussing where the beer fest was held during what year — I know, it’s nonstop excitement over here). Even the whole being pregnant and having a baby thing didn’t interfere with our attendance at Big Beers, because Big Beers is held in January and I was pregnant from February to October. Here we are as seen in a hotel door in 2009, when apparently I dressed like a confused teenager from, well, a place where teenagers haven’t learned to dress (good thing it’s just a reflection because there were tube socks and a skirt involved).
The crappy iPhone photo of a taste of Alaskan Smoked Porter is bringing a tear to my eye as I write this. That’s because we’re not going this year.
I know, right? We went last year! We were the people who brought a baby to a beer fest! It actually was kind of awesome. Drunk people love a baby. (Truth be told, though, the “Is he having the milk stout?” jokes got old after the first 87 times.) Soren was a little mad at first, but after we got him comfortably situated facing the wrong way in our carrier (so he could see the action), it was all good. That is, it was all good until that evening. Even though I didn’t overdo it, especially considering we were at a beer fest, I’d just been, you know, not exactly a heavy-hitter in the beer department due to being pregnant and then lactating. That night, I had the worst hangover of my entire life. There was vomiting, no sleep at all not even for a minute, and many lonely hours spent in bed waiting to die. It’s funny how we don’t remember the bad stuff, though, because until I started writing this post, I had completely forgotten about the hangover. I guess it’s like how women say they forget about the pain of giving birth, although as far as I’m concerned, that’s a big fat lie they tell you when you’re pregnant because by that point, there’s no reason to freak you out even more. Right?
Anyway, we’re not going to Big Beers 2011 for the same reasons we’re probably never going to travel again for the rest of our lives (or at least several years, and this includes that possible trip to Vegas I mentioned earlier). We’ve realized that we can’t ask any one person to take care of everyone who needs to be taken care of in our absence, there probably aren’t two people who would volunteer to participate in this madness, and we can’t really afford to pay the small staff required to care for everybody. I mean, seriously, we have:
- a baby, who actually is very easy-going (he must take after his father) but might be getting too old and/or heavy to carry around a beer fest for hours
- a cat who hates you
- a cat who has to be segregated during meal time because he has to eat special food he doesn’t really like but all the other cats really want to eat and if he doesn’t eat this special food he doesn’t really like he’ll have to spend several days near death in the ICU, which, as you might imagine, sucks ass
- two fat cats who like you but also will eat you if you’re not careful
- a very conservative dog who lacks all social skills and the ability to tolerate much interaction with dogs other than the dogs who live in our house and who’d rather spend all day in his crate watching CSPAN and complaining about “kids these days”
- Sadie Angel, Mindfreak, a smaller-than-average min pin who can escape from any yard or enclosure that hasn’t been lovingly and obsessively min-pin-proofed, which pretty much limits her to our yard, places where I can wedge obstacles into possible escape routes and watch her every move, and the very expensive Animal Lodge
- a somewhat needy Rottweiler who requires daily walks and constant reminders that, yes, we love you, and who can’t be left unattended with most cats (especially the cat who hates you).
- Note: In addition to the cat who must be segregated during meal times, all dogs must be separated from all cats during meal times and dog #1 and dog #3 can’t eat together and dog #1 will try to eat dog #2′s food or your arm if you’re not careful.
- Note: If you figure this out and get all animals fed, you’ll get a 165 on your LSAT (or at least do really well on the logic games).
Obviously, by amassing this ridiculous menagerie, we kind of set ourselves up to not really go places. This is okay, because going places tends to be expensive and obviously we like to spend all our money on taking care of animals.
I do really like Big Beers, though. They have most of the awesome IPAs, which is all I ask for in a beer fest. It’s a lot smaller than the Great American Beer Festival and it attracts a very nice crowd — there are always lots of Colorado beer dorks (like us). Plus it’s nice to get to Vail once in a while and it gives you an excuse, if you’re not too hungover, to stop at the Log Cabin Cafe in Frisco for breakfast (there will probably be a wait but it’s so worth it).
Fortunately, there is a beer fest in Denver in January, which could be almost as much fun without the travel. In the alternative, we could have our own beer fest at our house. It would be called Big Beers, Babies & Too Many Animals. I’m sure there’s a market for that!