Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Packwood Flea Market Memorial Day Weekend 2018

This aint no museum this junk is for sale.

Earlier this year I caught word of a giant flea market in the middle of no where Washington. The city was called Packwood and twice a year during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend the city throws together one hell of flea market. The city doesn’t shut down but it’s population swells each weekend to unimaginable levels. Between the shear number of vendors and all the people wondering about it is a sight to behold.

Friends of Bobby and Tracy have some family land right in Packwood and each year they gather to celebrate and have fun. We were invited to join in the festivities this year and it was a blast all weekend. We camped outside and I must say the weather for me was perfect. It was breezy at times but during the night it was nice and cool. It also never rained which was awesome. Only for like a half day on Sunday was it actually sunny and warm.

As soon as we arrived one think I noticed was the communal atmosphere. All weekend everyone helped each other out. Food was the coolest thing as everyone shared what they had. No one went hungry and for the most part we all ate together which considering what coordination is needed that is pretty cool.

Mt. Rainier National Park

The flea market is a huge event. I walked for miles over three days and didn’t see everything. Not only are there vendors along the main highway but you can go down any road and find even more vendors. Most I will admit stuff is junk but if you find the right buyer it can be worth gold. I ended up not buying anything but I was amazed at all the stuff I saw over the weekend. If you are a creative person you can find that one amazing little widget here that will just make your design. I did spot two classic typewriters and thought about them for a hot minute but decided against it. That is still something I would like to own but this wasn’t the right place to make the purchase.

A big to do all weekend was corn hole. I don’t know what it was but Bobby and I played a lot of it all weekend. We would practice and practice. Get confident in our skills and challenge the same two people all weekend. I think we won one game and that was it. Still a lot of fun and we will see about a rematch next time. We talked about making our own board too. Pretty simple design and it would be a great opportunity to practice my knuckle ball.

Everything we needed was at camp and we could walk to the flea market so no reason to leave. Our only adventure out all weekend was to Mt. Raineir since we were so close. I have never been to the park and neither had the family so it made for a great day trip opportunity. Getting there we took the long way around and unfortunately it took about an hour to get into the park once we made it to the entrance. It was such a great day that everyone was coming down from Seattle causing a huge delay getting into the park.

At higher elevations you can still easily find snow. We had a quick snowball fight at the fails. I mean, why not.

Once we got in we hit a ranger station and found a quick but scenic hike to Carter Falls. This is a series of falls along the larger Wonderland Trail. First you cross the Nisqually River on your way up the Wonderland Trail. Its crazy seeing the river bed and its ever changing flow. I think its about a mile up the trail and there are the falls. Nothing that impressive but still a nice little hike up the mountains. It was crazy to still see snow at this elevations, around 3600′. We even had a snow ball fight……in June.

Actually some of the best scenes where on the drive down the mountain. We passed this waterfall tucked under the road which was really cool. At one point we rounded the corner for a long straight and the mountain just opened up. All weekend we couldn’t see the mountain and even now while hiking it was covered in clouds but at that moment, things where perfect. Mr. Raineir is certainly an impressive mountain.

A great and fun weekend. Lots of relaxing, cigars, walking and food all weekend. Over Labor Day weekend I am going to see the Indy race here in Portland but there is talk of going up again that weekend. I won’t be able to make that but it would be a fun weekend. If you get some good weather it can be a lot of fun.


Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Actually got to the beach twice over the weekend. The weather was perfect: cool, cloudy and not humid.

For years it has been a tradition to visit Rehoboth Beach during Memorial Day weekend.  Everyone has Monday off and if you leave Friday after work you get a decent amount of time at the beach.  The weather is generally good with things not yet hot but the water is to cold to splash in.  Even with my early dismissal Nancy and I didn’t get to the beach house till almost 8pm that night.  No matter how long it takes I like arriving on Friday and waking up there on Saturday morning.

Saturday started as a typical lazy day.  Coffee and the Post on the patio with the family enjoying the weather before things get hot.  Just after breakfast Matt arrived and before long we where headed down to the beach for some sun.  Everyone else was happy to sunbath but I was quite content sitting under the umbrella.  Unfortunately for everyone else there was a lot of cloud cover.  Honestly it help keep the temperatures down which was nice.  Never once did we get in the water but it was nice just hanging out and relaxing at the beach.

A small bar at Revelation which was packed.

After the beach we cleaned up and got down to some serious business….beer.  Off to Revelation Craft Brewing to see how things have been progressing.  The last time we visited they had just opened.  This time they certainly got their shit squared away.  They had a legit outdoor seating area for one.  Even a staged area for a food truck which was really nice since they don’t serve food.  As for the beer just as good and creative as the first time we visited.  This time with a much larger crowd of happy beer drinkers.

That afternoon while sitting on the deck waiting for dinner we did something truly remarkable.  We cut my hair.  Anyone that knows me over the last few years I have been growing my hair out.  By the time we cut it this weekend it was longer then Nancy’s, a good 12” if not longer.  So while smoking cigars and drinking some local beer we got the idea to cut my hair.  I have needed a hair cut for so long so I was in.  Everyone was shocked as Nancy put my hair into a pony tail and chopped it off.  With that finally taken care of I completed my cigar and we had a great dinner that night.

Dogfish Head Carobock

The next day we headed back to the beach for some more relaxing.  Again the clouds provided cover with good temps which I was happy about.  As an added bonus I found the Indy 500 audio stream so listen to.  This was Fernando Alonso’s first time in Indy and it was a spectacular show.  Earlier in the morning Formula 1 raced at Monaco which Jenson Button filling in for the absent Alanso.  Unfortunately Alanso’s Honda engine had troubles again and he DNF.  Still a great race and how Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be spent.  On the beach listening to the Indy 500.

Off again for more beer after the beach.  This time we hit the new Dogfish Head Craft Brewing & Eats.  This new facility has been a long time coming and their official opening was this weekend.  While the building is larger it doesn’t appear to hold any more people then the old spot which is disappointing.  It took probably 20 minutes to get a table and the bar was constantly smashed.  One new feature of this place is the addition of the a stage.  The setup is a classic theater setup with a big dance floor, the bar at the back and what could be a VIP second floor.  The food menu has also been updated with many additions including some great pizza’s.  The food is worth checking out to help wash all the beer down.

Coming home wasn’t nearly as bad as going which was a nice win.  Trips to the beach are never long enough but I was happy to get out to official start summer.  Might have less opportunity to visit in the near future so this trip was bittersweet.  I was just glad I was able to get in some quality beach time and see the new Dogfish finally open its doors to the public.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Our traditional weekend at the beach to kick off the official start of summer.  Most of March was rainy and unseasonable cold in our area so we had high hopes for a nice trip to the beach and the weather really delivered I must say.  Nancy and I got an early start to our travels and left our house by 2pm which for us was early but by Memorial Day weekend traffic, was still late.  It look us 4 hours to arrive but once we did it was great to finally be there.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Dogfish Head Festina Peche

Pat arrived on Thursday and Greg, Maggie and the kids were already there hanging out.  We arrive just in time for dinner but ended up skipping it that night and went straight to drinking and smoking.  Nancy and I stopped to get a growler of Festina Peche from Dogfish and it took us no time at all to finish that growler.  This years blend is pretty good by the way, they are back on top for their seasonal sour!  Arriving as early as we did it felt like we had an entire day at the beach.

Saturday was certainly the best day of the weekend in terms of weather.  We got an early start and spent several hours on the beach just lounging and relaxing.  Rarely do we actually go to the beach for various reasons but with the whole family in town, we made it a point to get out there.  For everyone it was a perfect day.  Greg and I spend our time under umbrellas people watching.  The ladies bathed in the sun getting their first official tan of the year while the kids played on the beach.  Jack was the only one to get in the water and as we knew, it was cold as crap out there.  The temperature was in the low 70’s with a nice breeze coming off the water, even the sand wasn’t hot.  Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a better beach day.

Memorial Day weekend so we just gotta cook some ribs.  They didn't turn out well but everyone still loved them.
Memorial Day weekend so we just gotta cook some ribs. They didn’t turn out well but everyone still loved them.

That night was our turn to cook so we decide to smoke some ribs.  Overall it was a disaster.  When I opened the pack of ribs they where rotten so that meant a quick trip to the grocery store to resupply.  Then the equipment I had was sub-par and caused a problem cooking the ribs.  First there was  flare up that scorched the ribs, then I couldn’t get a constant temp that I needed.  After four hours they where done but in my opinion they tasted like crap, not up to my standards, but everyone ate them and no one went hungry that night.

After dinner it was back to the side of the house for cigars and drink.  Honestly it was one of the things I loved the most about the weekend.  Just hanging out with the family having a great time.  I got to sample some great beers and smoke a shit ton of cigars with Greg.  Each night it was funny, the adults hung out and the kids would disappear to the boardwalk.  Greg and Maggie didn’t have to worry much about the kids.  Where the house it, everything is in walking distance and with it being a tourist town, there are families, kids and cops to watch over everyone all over the place.  This allowed the adults time to relax and the kids to entertain themselves with a moniker of freedom.

It was a perfect day at the beach.
It was a perfect day at the beach.

Sunday was an early morning for myself.  On Saturday night Joey asked what time the sun rose, 5:38am in fact.  He wanted to grab a coffee and watch the sun rise from the beach.  I thought that was such a cool idea I joined him.  The morning came early but Joey to his credit, was already up and making coffee by the time I got downstairs.  To my surprise Zack also joined us as well.  We drove down to the beach and spend about 2 hours watching the sun rise and the town come to life.  Joey and I smoke cigars and we all just hung out enjoying the beauty of nature.  It took a while to get the boys to talk but by the end of our time, we had a good conversation.  When we got back to the house the boys went back to sleep and I took the time to enjoy another cup of coffee and read the post on the porch before the house awoke.

That afternoon we all hit the outlets.  Everyone was able to find something, including myself which I never do.  I know the ladies did a number on the credit card by the amount of bags they kept walking out of stores with but it was good to get out and get some new threads.  Our last night at the beach and it was a steak dinner cooked by Greg.  The steaks where well done but still tasted good.  Afterwards we made our first trip out on the town and hit the Beachside Bar just down from the house, a new place that has recently opened up.  Our last night was pretty somber and quite in fact.  It was the last night to the end of a great weekend.  Come Monday all of use with the exception of Pat hit the road to come home.

IMG_3614Monday the Free’s got a super early start.  Greg doesn’t like traffic so they got up really early and started packing for the drive home.  Surprisingly we all made it out of the house by 9 to head back to Virginia.  Just in time for the rain to start from a tropical storm that was coming up the coast.  That tropical storm caused our Sunday to be dry and clear for the most part so it wasn’t all bad.  Nancy and I made it home in a record 4 hours with plenty of time to relax and get ready for the short work week ahead.

This was definitely one of the better trips we have had to the beach during Memorial Day.  We got some new travel companions with the Free’s, Saturday was a perfect beach day, cold beer, lots of cigars, good food and family.  What more could one ask for?

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

We had several flags out all weekend in honor of our fallen heroes.
We had several flags out all weekend in honor of our fallen heroes.

Finally summer is here!  For most of winter it was brutally cold.  Spring was nice, for the most part, we got some decent weather and very cool temperatures.  Now it is hot and humid, a true Virginia summer.  As has become the tradition in recent years we headed to Rehoboth to enjoy the long weekend and enjoy the fruits of our hard work in the off season.

This year we of course didn’t have my dad, Nancy was leaving for a business trip and Jeremy who said he was coming bailed at the last minute because of a work conflict.  It was a small group but still a lot of fun the entire weekend.  I left late on Friday and actually missed the escape traffic.  It took me exactly 3:40 to reach the beach from my office in Fairfax.  Even getting across the Bay bridge was a snap.  Pat left the day before and Matt was showing up Saturday morning.  That night Pat and I caught up and generally had a low key evening.

While Memorial Day weekend is traditional nothing but relaxation, we had to get some work done before we could play.  After breakfast Matt and I banged out 95% of the job duties in under 5 hours.  The longest task was mulching the back yard, the mulch was already delivered so we made quick work out of it.  After finishing the majority of tasks we cleaned up and headed out to Dogfish, it was beer thirty.  Its the one thing I want to do at the beach and unfortunately for us the place was smashed.  We arrived at the start of the dinner rush so no love today on grabbing a pub exclusive.  Instead we filled two growlers and headed back to the house.

memorial_day_2015-06Matt and I were men and put together a brand new grill.  Even though it was gas, it was a really nice one.  We drank beer and put that sucker together, only two extra parts by the time we finished!  The old one we didn’t want to trash so we put a FREE sign on it and put it on the street which is the best yard sale spot ever.  The thing is honestly a piece of crap.  The crates are rusted and the ignition system doesn’t work but we were hopeful.

That night we had a great steak dinner and then retired to the patio for our traditional camp fire.  Even in summer we manage to sit outside around the camp fire.  That night, being a man down, finished both growlers.  Later we watched as several people looked at the grill but no takers.  It was not until well after 11 that a group of four stopped and looked it over.  These lucky winners finally hauled it off to a new home!  We joked that once they saw it in the daylight it would be returned to the house.  Thankfully it was not, no backsies.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Dogfish Head Festina Peche

With the work done, Sunday was fun day.  We went to the par 3 Heritage Golf Course for a quick round.  We are all hackers but still managed to have a good time chasing around that stupid white ball.  I was very proud of myself, I only lost 4 balls all day.  Afterwards we went to the Pickled Pig for some grub and graft beer.  Finally on the way home we stopped at Dogfish and I managed to score a couple of bar seats.  Finally I was able to sit and enjoy a beer at my mecca.  The only problem was all the pub exclusives were dry and the secret stash was empty, bummer.  We did manage to walk away with another two growler that Matt and I managed to kill later that night.

With my goal for the weekend accomplished we headed out for a margarita at Papa Grande’s Coastal Taquería.  Being a nice night the roof terrace was packed so we headed to the board walk for plan B, Whiskey Jack’s.  Here Pat got her margarita and I got a virgin ice tea because I was driving.  After a quick drink, back to the ranch to grill some salmon.  We thought about using the brand new gas grill but Matt and I are purists and decided to stick with our traditional charcoal which ended up being a much better idea.

A nice afternoon out with the family at this par 3 course.  At least I was smoking a cigar while I chased that stupid ball around.
cigar and golfing at the beach

Monday morning we cleaned up the house for the first renters of the season.  Matt and I didn’t get out of there till 12:30 and we certainly paid the price for our tardiness, it took me 6 hours to get home.  By the time I did get home I was so tired I crashed by 8pm.  Not the best way to cap the holiday weekend but it was a long one and I deserved a long nights rest.  Can’t wait till next year and another Memorial Day weekend at the beach.  Next time I promise to get to the beach and lounge for at least a little while in addition to all the other fun we manage to have there.



Dogfish Head Brewery

The sign as you enter the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery facility in Milton.Photo Gallery

It is Memorial Day weekend.  Generally I wait till the end of a vacation to do a writeup, this way I can include all our adventures.  This time around I have decided to skip ahead and create a post just about the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery tour with a full weekend writeup to follow later.

After twenty years of coming to Rehoboth Beach, fifteen of those being legal drinking age, we finally took a tour of the brewery.  For years we have been coming to the brewpub in downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Being only 2 blocks from the house it has always been a favorite spot of mine.  I love their beer.  Many of their seasonal beers are great and I wait all year for them to be released (Festina Peche, Piercing Pils, and Aprihop).  At the brewpub you can also find pub exclusives, beers that they brew onsite in the 200 gallon setup, the original one Sam used here.  These are experimental beers they try out on the public and gauge their reaction to them.  If they are good, they will make it for a wider release.  If that was not enough, you can also find vintage ales you can’t find any where else.

large steel vats for beer brewing

With it being Memorial Day weekend and a Saturday, we knew it would be packed so we planned accordingly.  We worked up a thirst with a walk down to the beach, had breakfast and left the house just after 10am.  They open at 11am so I was feeling pretty good about getting an early slot on the tour.  We arrived before they officially opened and already there where lots of people.  We signed in and got on the noon tour.  Every tour includes four free sampling so we all got to try some of the beers before heading into the tour.

a motley crew of beer lovers

When noon arrived our tour guide, Dwayne, took us on an amazing tour of the facility.  The brewery has grown over the years and modernized their facilities a lot.  We started in a large room where they brew their four most popular beers.  The vats are huge and we could only see the tops of them.  Dwayne explained how the beer travels from one vat to the next on its journey to being made into beer.  I stood there in amazement by the whole process.  He even went over the original equipment Sam used when he started brewing.  It was great to see the humble beginnings of this great brewery.

From there we went deeper into the bowels of facility.  We saw the most advanced yeast production facility in the US and probably the world.  They keep 12 strains on hand, many of them proprietary.  We also saw the multi-hundred gallon wooden tanks, four of them in fact.  Three are made of white oak and the last is palo santo wood from Paraguay. There is no glue, no nails, not even a tongue and groove to keep the barrels together.  They are precisely cut and held together with metal band and pressure.  The wood absorbs the beer and expands, helping to seal the wood.  We saw miles and miles of stainless steel in another room.  All the piping and vats that hold various beers at different times in its transformation into beer.

From the production facility we headed over to the bottling plant.  When we walked in I was shocked at the amount of bottled beer they had.  It was row after row of palletized beer four high.  It had to be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of bottles of beer.  Dwayne explains it is one of the most sophisticated bottling operations for any brewer, certainly any craft brewer.  You stand on a viewing platform overlooking the entire warehouse.  I would love to see this place running at full capacity, it would be like watching poetry in motion from 40′ above.

Some other cool facts about this place:

  • They employ chemists and biologists
  • They will have their own waste water treatment facility next year
  • They recycle all their water and mash
  • They keep cases of every batch for testing up to 2 years after production
  • They have a large area of vintage beers, including the original run of Olde School

When it was all over I look down at my watch and the tour lasted 75 minutes.  While long, it didn’t seem that long.  It was a lot of fun taking the tour.  Even Pat who is not a beer drinking had fun on the tour.  We all got a good walk and best of all, we got to sample free beer.  Who doesn’t love free beer?