Beer Week Diaries: Part 2

Momma drinking an ice mugIf you’ll recall from Beer Week Diaries: Part 1, I sort of left you hanging. My mom was pretty much bailing on the kids and us, and my beer-loving self wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. Let me tell ya, when it comes to my beloved Michigan Beer, AND hanging out with my fellow beer-loving pals, I will move mountains to make things happen. Weather be damned.

Day 5: Friday, continued

  • Can I go back to 1p? Or anytime before then? The sinking feeling that everything has fallen apart is a harsh reality. I want to have a major freakout, but I snap into planning mode. Fuck you wrenches, I’m going to make this work, or die trying!!
  • Panicked texts go out to 3 of our sitters explaining the situation… not realizing that one of them is celebrating a birthday that day. WHOOPS. #momfail
  • Angry texts go out to my cousin… who is equally pissed at my mother.
  • Pacing. Lots of pacing as I frantically try to fix this issue.
  • My mom calls again — at 2pm, obviously unable to exercise patience to wait for an accurate assessment from the road.
    • “Kelli, I’m sorry, but I’ve been watching the weather forecast and I really don’t feel comfortable driving even to Saginaw in this weather.”
      “Mom, you’re really putting us in a bind. We had hotel reservations and our entire weekend planned out — without the kids. We needed this break!”
      “I know, Kelli. I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel safe driving in this weather.”
      “I get it, I’m just not happy about it… but, I guess we’ll have to figure something else out. Talk to you later.”
    • *CLICK*
  • I throw the phone on my bed and scream. Yes, really. I also finally crack open a beer. Because… do you really need a reason here?
  • A few minutes later, our favorite sitter texts me back and I swear angels sang the Hallelujah Chorus “I can do it, Kelli!! I have to leave by 6p, but I wouldn’t want to come in between you and beer fest! I can make it work!” No problem. We are MBG enthusiasts and can get in an hour early. We do not need to stay to the end of that madness.
  • I reluctantly call the hotel to cancel our reservations. *sigh*
  • I unpack everything I had gathered up, down to our tickets… as I huff and puff and sigh some more.
  • Cue my Jane’s Addiction/Queens of the Stone Age/Black Keys/YYY let’s rock this bitch mix. #musicFTW
  • Hey… Where’d my beer go?
  • The hubs and the kids come home from school.
  • My cousins arrive soon after and we all pile into the invisible jet for dinner… hoping to get into the Blackrocks tap-takeover at Big Bob’s. We fail. Damn kids. Table for 4 would’ve been something we’d wait for… but not with kids. Same deal at the Green WellOur Brewing takeover. The way my patience was going… waiting was not an option. Vibes of blame are thrown toward the direction of Bay City.
  • We settle for the Arbor takeover at Derby Station instead. Spend too much $$ on beer and food. But, the kids do well… even though my excitement for the weekend was dampened quite a bit, we still have fun. Kids are happy they get to see cousin Toni. She’s the best. Mark’s ok too, I guess. 😉
  • But… since we did have the kids, I had to limit myself to a beer so I can deal with bedtime. *Grrrr*
  • Exhaustion forces me to bed early.
  • This was not the day I giddily anticipated when I woke up.

Day 6, Saturday — MICHIGAN WINTER BEER FEST!!!!! Kelli squared and a Toni kicker

  • Damn it, kids… you can’t sleep in? Well, ok, neither can I!! I’m gonna rock this bitch… 
  • Bacon in the oven, bagels in the toaster, coffee in the french press… rinse, repeat.
  • We decide to cab it, then the hubs suggests our sitter driving us instead. I *suppose* that makes sense. Stupid guilt makes me feel bad since we were already asking so much of her — watching our kids at the last minute, but she agrees. Best sitter ever!!  
  • Everything magically falls into place… cue Cream’s I Feel Free as we pull up to the 5/3 ballpark around 11am to get in line. Hey, we’re not too far back for once. What time did the 100 people in front of us get here?!
  • We serve as a half-assed welcoming committee, grabbing and hugging several of our friends walk past us in line… yay! Friendly beer-loving faces!! Happiness wins! What kids? What drama?!
  • NOON! The line moves quickly as us lucky MBG card holders walk into the beer fest — and our 5-some immediately splits up after establishing a meeting spot. Toni & I were like glue, but everyone else? Meeting spot FTW!!
  • I snag the first two beers on my “must try first” list (and a few other lists I read, thus Harmony tent MiWBF14confirming my need to get them before they ran out) and… they were not good. I will not mention these beers because I do enjoy these breweries. 
    It was the first time I was disappointed in one of the breweries. The other brewery is typically hit or miss, but still. It was a beer I enjoyed a
    couple years back, and was very disappointed. The line is already too long to try another beer off of their massive list. I refuse to let this bring me down. There are over 700 beers here: the day is too short for shitty beer! It’s also too short to bitch. No one’s perfect.
  • We head to Harmony and run into the awesome VanDyke family. Barry suggests I try their Cavendish because they don’t know when (or if!) they will make it again. I love this place. Finally, a beer I love, and good people to drink it with.
  • Run into that bartender I’m lucky to know, wearing an EPIC pretzel necklace (where’s your tulip glass now?!) and after a few photo-ops, we all head to the Perrin bus for another round of awesomeness with their Malted Milk Ball Porter. YUM.
  • Just after 1pm we eat and meet up with our crew… and the next time I snag my phone to snap a picture — I see a very scary “plug me in” icon. Wait, what?! I made sure I was at 100% when I got here!! ARG!!! I don’t have time for this bullshit. I was supposed to meet up with other friends! I felt paralyzed and panicked a few times when I wanted to text people. I had to get over it and put a little alcohol on it.
    Perrin Bus MiWBF14
  • Things begin to get hazy around 2pm after meeting up with the Ice Guru Randy Finch for an ice mug he made just for me. SWEET! More epic photos are snapped.
  • Yay! More people I love to run into. Matt from Gravel Bottom gives me a huge hug — which provides the only instance of spilled beer for Klutzy Kelli (I tend to spill something on myself every year). Matt not only replaces my Black IPA with a full pour, but also sneaks a taste of the Serious New Year Hop Solution – a bourbon barrel aged Double Black IPA they weren’t tapping for
    another hour. Shhh… It pays to be kind to brewers!
  • 3pm. My feet are warm and dry as we shuffle our feet through the puddles of icy slush. But… they are beginning to ache. Why can’t I find a pair of comfy boots that stay warm & dry?!
  • 3:30p. Where did all my tokens go?! I am down to my final token and starting to feel powerless without a phone when there are still people I want to see! I drown my frustration in more beer. There was just no way I could swing seeing every person I had planned to. I wanted to see Wob, Manda and Trevor at MittenPike 51 and Our Brewing, respectfully… I throughly enjoyed the beer that was made by them and poured into my cup, but — could not find their adorable faces to save my life. Guess I’ll have to hit up their breweries instead. Goal. Set. Match.
  • 4pm. A magical reunion with our crew — all of us have drank through our tokens, had a blast and decide to quit while we’re ahead. No, this isn’t a casino, but it isn’t our first time at this rodeo either. After 4pm, things tend to get… let’s just say… messy. While we could’ve stayed longer, but my feet told another story.
  • The hubs and my cousins walk to the cab line (with my ice-mug!) where a cab was waiting for us. WIN!
  • 4:30p and $40 later (ouch) we’re home… where the kids were waiting for us. Oh yeah… parenting.
  • Pizza is ordered and subsequently devoured.Randy Finch!
  • I plug my phone in. Takes forever to load up… but… hold the phone… 60%?! SERIOUSLY?! Oh yeah, it’s fucked. I schedule an appointment at the apple store for monday. Stupid “smart” phones.
  • I make the hubs send me all the pictures he snapped so I can relive the WBF magic and share it via social media. Tag tag, post.
  • It’s a long few hours between home, sobering up, and the kids’ bedtime, but I feel pretty well. Though I didn’t religiously stick to my under 7% rule, I did stay pretty close to that threshold and it saved my ass from puking, and kept me from being “that” parent.
  • Putting the kids to bed comes close to killing the hubs and I… grumblings of hate toward a certain grandparent who was supposed to be taking over this job may or may not have been said.
  • I hit the sack soon after the kids… ahhh… what a fantastic day. About as close to perfection as you can get when it comes to a beer fest. Best one yet.

Day 7, Sunday!

  • I feel surprisingly good, other than my achy legs from all the standing and walking in cement-like boots.
    Steph and Momma
  • The kids drag the hubs out of bed around 7am, and I lay lazily in bed watching Mad Men with my cousin for a bit before joining the land of the living. We mention hitting up Founders for lunch when they open at noon. Cheers abound from our kids — hey, it’s their favorite, too!
  • And that, my friends, is how you know your beer fest was successful — when you are actually craving beer the next day without wanting to vomit!

So, what, if anything, did I learn this week??

  • Sticking to an under 7% threshold is not only an exciting adventure in beer, but it’ll keep your buzz just right when you’re drinking all day!
  • It’s super hard to leave the Mom hat behind. Even if I had fun moments without my kids over the last week, shit can and will happen that will not only affect plans, but their lives as well.
  • Having a backup plan is VITAL.
  • But…going with the flow is just as vital to your sanity.
  • You won’t please everyone (I include myself in this statement) — like I said, no one is perfect.
  • My phone crashing was not something I could do a damn thing about, so, though I felt like I had lost a limb, I really did have to let it go at the time, but it weighed on me after.
  • Though shit happens… guess what? You can still make it work. Don’t let it bring you down. We didn’t have to deal with driving my kids to/from my mom or deal with the post-grandmother adjustment after. Do we still need a weekend away from our kids? Fuck yes. But… it certainly wasn’t the end of the world, even if it felt like it at 1:10pm on Friday.

All in all… it was a very fun week, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Who’s up for a brewery tour?!

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  • About Me

    Kelli Williams

    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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