For whatever reason, I found myself buying multiple whole chickens. Immediately afterward one of the hinges on my oven door disconnects and I’m forced to utilize a friend’s oven. Otherwise these chickens would go bad. Colin had the Friday off and the weather was not friendly toward outdoor activities, so we decided to stay in and roast these hens. After making a quick stop at Ingles, we divided up the necessary tasks and and got the first chicken inside the oven in record time. In the mean time, we imbibed beer and consumed cookies from the day prior. As the second bird was finishing up, Donavan showed up and brought a Nitro milk stout, which we all delighted in pouring. The head on these things are divine. They add and intensely creamy mouthfeel to any beer. The only downfall being the carbonation is, more or less, non-existent. My poor choice of diet for the afternoon led to my voyage home to recoup.
After sleeping it off, I woke up to a conversation with Emily. Soon I was at Rise ‘n Shine with Colin and Mariel for breakfast. That broccoli and cheddar omelet gave me life, just in time for Yoga. I met up with Jen at AYC for Joe Taft’s Anusara class. Being one of the most popular classes in the area, the room was super packed. I’m very glad I showed up early. The class was insightful, a good work out and hilarious. This is starting to be a common theme for Anusara. As the only two classes of this style I’ve taken have both been quite humorous. I then went back to my apartment cleaned up. Donavan had just gotten off work, so after he chilled for a second, we went downtown. As a result of my upcoming birthday, multiple people had informed me that the local champagne bar gives out free bottles to those celebrating their birth. The only catch is you have to sign their email list before your actual birthday. So we handled that, then proceeded to walk around a bit. We didn’t know where we were going immediately, but what we did know is it HAD to be outside.
Next to the full porch of the Thirsty Monk is a place called the WeinHaus. There we purchased a six-pack of Two-hearted Ale and some stuff for later. Sitting outside on their porch was blissful. We sat and conversed over some very delicious beer, and had some interesting encounters with passers by. For example, there was this one dude from Manhattan that needed to prove to us he was metal head and liked cocaine. Not sure what his deal was. So, after awhile, Jen showed up, had a beer and we started walking across town. We make it about fifty feet before Jen points out a unicycle across the street. Donavan and I race over and he lets us ride it. We exchange info, and continue on our journey to the Imperial Life. This new cocktail lounge that just opened above Table, an already familiar name around town, is producing the best cocktails I’ve ever sipped upon. The three of us collectively had a Manhattan, Groundhog Day, and Lion’s Tail. All were very well balanced drinks served in exquisite glassware. The atmosphere was intimate and well furnished. At some point during our stay I take a phone call and return to a very ill-timed debate between the two of my companions. After a short while, Jen leaves for another engagement. Donavan and I on the other hand wander to Asheville Brewing Company to meet friends and get some grub. From there, most of us meet back at my apartment. The honorable Johnny Flowers shows up with perfect timing, Jen rejoins us and we all proceed with our beer tasting. We tasted some Russian River Consecration, Speedway Stout, YuleSmith and more. We attempted to play Gin Rummy, and ate the cake Mariel had made for me whilst we did. Jen made popcorn, and we finished the evening watching Planet Earth in my living room.
The following day, we all struggled out of bed equally slow and met up at Over Easy. Six of us huddled around a small table, we drank coffee and ate like kings and queens. Three of us had the puff pastry stuffed with “Mushrooms, sausage, caramelized red onions, and cream cheese. Topped with two over-easy eggs and roasted garlic oil.” Not a bad way to wake up.
We all changed clothes and met back up at my home. Packed into two cars, we drove around town and collected three more. From there we drove about an hour west to Black Balsam. The weather was in the mid-sixties in Asheville, which in itself, was the best birthday gift I could receive. The thing is, when you gain a four thousand feet in elevation, you tend to loose a little bit of that heat. Not to mention that this particular trail head was in a cloud. We go for a quick hike down to a lookout through the low brush and many Balsam Firs. As I should have expected, we didn’t really leave the clouds the whole time. Our group hikes back to the parking area and decides to travel south to another trail of lower elevation and therefore higher temperature. Preseley Cove is the more challenging way to get up Clawhammer Mtn. Nine of us leave; five of us make it almost to the top. We then head back to the cars to meet the others. It feels much quicker down then up as usual.
After driving back to West Asheville, five of us go grab a slice of pizza at The Standard. We hadn’t planned to be out that long, so some of us were pretty hungry. Our group disbands for the time being; Colin and Mariel want to shower, thus Johnny, Donavan and I travel to the Battery Park Book Exchange to drink my free bottle of bubbly. From there we made our way across town and reconvined with Colin and Mariel at The Green Man Brewery, or as we like to call it, Dirty Jack’s. On a person’s birth day they have been known to give said person a boot of their fine craft brew. Even without the delicious stout inside, that boot was heavy. It took me forever to consume all of what appeared to be a quart of beer. The end of the night was finished once again at my house, except this time we tried to make a black and tan out of G’Knight and W ‘n B. It turned out surprisingly good; hop forward aroma and coffee and chocolate in the taste. Concluding the evening was Hair of the Dog Brewing Company’s Adam. This dark old ale was smokey and peaty in the best possible way. I’d really like another one.