Having friends visit from out of town is usually a really great excuse to spend an entire weekend eating and drinking, so of course I was happy to have my friend Steve pay me a visit. I'm not sure whether he finally decided to visit because I am fun to hang out with and he missed our days of playing Settlers of Catan at Portland pubs and Tuesday night karaoke or... he just really wanted to eat some free chocolate at the Chocolate on the Beach Festival.
After I took him on a walk around my historic neighborhood to stretch his legs after his drive up from Oregon, we grabbed my friends Eric, Nikki and Henry and headed for Pacific Beach. It's about a 40 minute drive from my house to this little beach town on the North Coast, so when we arrived, we were hungry and excited to get some chocolate! I tried chocolate granola (yum) and some dark chocolate bits from Blissful Wunders truffles (bonus - Steve bought one of the giant truffles and shared). There was also a booth that had Lavender Raspberry syrup... it was super delicious.
We hopped over to Seabrook to get dinner at Mill 109. They were pretty busy, so we took a walk around the new beach town... well, new-ish... the paint is starting to peel on some of the houses.... After dinner, we cruised down to Ocean Shores to taste beer at the Elk Head Brewery Taproom and we each guzzled a pint and snacked on some of their complimentary pretzels.
Steve, enjoying his brew from a tiny mug.
Leave it to my friends to spend most of the day discussing what we would make if we were hosting a chocolate festival. Some ideas: a chocolate salad, chocolate burger, and a beer with a chocolate bar in it.
Eric's rendition of the chocolate bar beer... our new chocolate gang symbol. We also had to give our gang a name. B.E.N.S.H. (Britta, Eric, Nikki, Steve, Henry). Srsly... we are so fun. Right?
We had planned to have a karaoke night, but we were still craving chocolate, so we ended up heading back into town and stopping at the grocery store for chocolate wine, chocolate Chex Mix, 50% off Valentine's Day candy and Salsito's (it's like a chip and salsa COMBINED). Then we spent a few hours snacking and watching videos of goats yelling like humans and cars doing tricks.
On Sunday, we managed to visit Billy's for lunch (because it was a major breakfast fail.. can we get a place that will serve me some eggs after noon?), Tinderbox Coffee for an afternoon pick me up, Westport Brewery for some more beer tasting and Trivial Pursuit, and Thai Carrot for dinner all within about 8 hours. Not bad.
I am of the belief that many of the best decisions I've ever made were made in a very short amount of time. I think this is one of them: I just bought tickets to Bottle Rock Napa Valley!
I'm pretty much dying for a vacation and Napa Valley is one of my favorite places, so attending this festival just made complete sense to me. The Sasquatch music festival has been such a topic of conversation lately among my friends who hope to go as well as those of us who have gone before. The lineup was tempting, but the thought of spending 4 days in the desert with a heavy crowd of drunk teenagers... not so much.
So, when my friend Nikki mentioned this, I was ready to hit the road! Too bad I have to wait until May because I'm ready to go now. Can't wait to drink wine, lounge on a lawn with my t-shirt quilt and listen to some awesome music. Most excited to see these guys: