2008 in review, part 5

Previous installments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

September

The beginning of the month was the latter half of Labor Day weekend, with my brother and sister-in-law still in town for another day or so. More beer drinking ensued.

On the third, I officially started my new job with Smart Solutions; I had been interviewing/talking with them for a few weeks before finally accepting, and as my first day coincided with the second day of school (and my last job ended right about when school let out in June), it was a lot like I’d "merely" taken the summer off.

Much of the rest of the month was uneventful as we discovered and fell into the new patterns of kids being back to school and my new job, but we definitely started to breathe easier and loosen up on the budget restrictions somewhat.

We made it downtown to Deschutes Brewery’s Jubelale launch party in the later half of the month for dinner and tasting of this year’s seasonal. I walked out with a free poster of the 2008 Jubelale label, signed by the artist.

And, we (finally) visited Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters at the end of the month for lunch and to check out the beer (and so I could write about it). It has good food and decent beers, and is definitely a win for Sisters (but not someplace we can get to very often).

October

One of my big goals at the beginning of 2008 was to attend the Great American Beer Festival in October. Seriously. Since it was going to be The Year for me as a Beer Blogger, I was all set. Unfortunately, my hours were cut, I lost my job, and then finally got a new job a month before, all of which kind of derailed those plans.

Early October revealed one of the perks of accepting a job with Smart Solutions: they sent me on a three-day business trip to Simi Valley, California (along with three co-workers) to attend SEO training. Maybe this seems ho-hum to many, but for me this was my first such business trip and, well, it was a big deal.

Mid-month, we went to Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Hop Beer Tasting at their Mountain Room. Besides the Chocolate Beer Pairing Dinner (which was free to me), this was the first Deschutes event I’ve attended; it was a much more informal event than the Chocolate Pairing dinner, and the beer was flowing like water. Very cool, and worth doing again.

The final weekend of October we decided to take a trip out of town, and ended up visiting Hood River to pick apples. No kidding! We wanted a get-away weekend without any real schedule, and so checked out the Hood River Fruit Loop without any expectations. We left Saturday morning, made it to Hood River by lunchtime and found a great little orchard/BBQ place to eat. The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting various other orchards around the area, picking or buying apples (and pears), and generally having a good time. We ultimately ended up with about 25 pounds or so of fruit.

We capped the day with some drinks at Full Sail Brewing in downtown Hood River before driving into Portland to spend the night; it was a brief visit though, so I didn’t write about it. (Next time.) In Portland the next morning we visited our friends Justin and Raegan and their baby (whom we’d seen back in June also), and went out to breakfast with them.

Ironically, Justin was also coming down to Bend the next day on a work-related trip, so we went out to dinner that Monday night and got to visit even more.

Then, of course, Halloween capped the month; it was the warmest Halloween in recent memory, where we didn’t have to bundle up before going out trick-or-treating. The kids hauled away more candy than ever, probably because we were able to last longer without suffering frostbite.

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