Cheers to a Frugal Anniversary

20 Jun

On Friday, my husband and I celebrated 11 years as a married couple.

Every year, I think I’ll plan something big like a weekend getaway somewhere, and then the event sneaks up on me and it’s too late to do anything other than a local excursion. Despite my grandiose daydreams of seaside mornings with bubbly and benedicts, I’m learning that I find more joy in lower-key experiences. Thankfully, my husband has always been good at grounding me.

We deliberated over what we should do to commemorate the occasion and settled upon a bike ride and breakfast through Old Town. It turned into a progressive lunch/dinner and brewery tour, and it’s the most fun we’ve had among the living in a while. Plus, we stuck to cash and managed to enjoy our day together for less than $100.

Since I know you’re all dying for deets, here’s what our day looked like:

  • First stop, Odell Brewing Co. where we each had a pint.
  • Second stop, New Belgium Brewery to check out their expanded space and taster tray of seasonal brews.
  • Third stop, a local deli/butcher where we split a burger and brew. Our first choice was sushi, but our favorite restaurant wasn’t open for a few hours.
  • Fourth stop, Ben & Jerry’s, because Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
  • Fifth stop, billiards, hot wings and an IPA. I got my butt kicked three times but enjoyed the splendid combination of buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dressing.
  • Sixth stop, Equinox Brewing where we split a pint and a personal pizza with caramelized onions, local fungi and four kinds of local cheese.

Notice a theme here? Yes, we like craft beer, especially IPA. We live in the Napa Valley of Craft Beer, so it’s kind of a requirement. While it won’t win any points on the healthy scale, we had a really great time reconnecting over our shared love of food and beer. Plus, we got some exercise and gained some appreciation for the robust biking trails offered by my increasingly busy and congested hometown.

The moral here: you don’t have to plan a fancy weekend or spend a ton of money to celebrate a milestone. Finding joy in simplicity and connection is almost always a better idea. Beer helps, too.

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