Jon’s Birthday

*Note: My apologies on the dated post, but I just realized I never hit publish on this puppy. Opps!

As if having your birthday on Thanksgiving wasn’t enough…

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I decided to surprise Jon by taking him somewhere he’s wanted to go for a long time…

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Oh yes, he was a happy guy!

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Cigar City Brewing Company is a local brewery in Tampa, FL. Named after the fact that Tampa was known for its cigars back in the day and had the nickname “Cigar City”.

Now, I am not a beer drinker…I just have never developed a taste for it. There are some beers I’ve tasted that I’ve liked, but I can only manage a few sips. But I still have an interest in the beer making process and have picked up some knowledge from Jon.

photo9(Some grains we got to taste that they put in the beer. It was yummy!)

Cigar City does tours for $5 and it includes a tasting glass and free drink. Pretty good deal!

The brewery is kind of small…at least smaller than I expected. But they actually opened another space next door to them that they’re not giving tours of yet. They’re also expanding their tasting room very soon, where they’ll have 50 beers on tap. Holy beer!

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Our tour guide, Bob, was great. He made the tour fun and welcomed as many questions as people had. He talked about Cigar City’s history, some of the beers and walked us through their process. We even got to taste a few of the beers.

And yes, I tried them. And yes, I kind of liked them. But as usual…I only had a few sips then poured the rest into Jon’s glass 🙂

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If you live in the Tampa Bay area I definitely recommend checking this place out! It’s a fun (and cheap) thing to do.

Jon’s parents were in town this weekend. I had a certificate to The Vinoy sitting in my dresser for forever and finally realized Jon and I were never going to use it (too close to home) so I gave it to them to use since it’s more of a vacation for them.

We met up with them later Saturday night.

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Yay Christmas!

We had a nice drink in the lobby. I hadn’t been to The Vinoy since they finished renovating their lobby. It looks really nice, but kind of too modern for the historic building that it is. Jon’s parents said they loved the place though and were having a great time!

We went to dinner at Red Mesa, which was wonderful. I had the pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and black beans. We had a bite of all of our dishes and everything was delicious. Definitely a great spot that we need to go to more often.

Sunday morning I picked up my friend Tamsyn at the airport. (She lives in Ft. Myers but flew to visit her parents for Thanksgiving.) It seems we’ve started a tradition every time she’s in the area…Datz and shopping.

Oh Datz…I love you oh so much. I feel like I haven’t tried any other wonderful restaurants in Tampa simply because I always want to go to Datz.

I had to try their new Popsicle Cocktail. I got the pumpkin chai flavor.

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It’s a pumpkin chai popsicle served in sparkling wine. The popsicle melts down and you have a fun cocktail. It’s definitely a fun and unique drink. Flavor wise I think it could be a bit better.

For lunch I had the Holy Guacamole Mezrah. Turkey, muenster cheese, cole slaw and Russian dressing on country white bread. Very good. I love how they put tons of meat on their sandwiches, but I actually wish there had been less on this sandwich. I wanted to tasted all of the flavors together, but there was only a small hint of the cole slaw and Russian dressing. I had a few bites of Tamsyn’s Havana Hottie too, which was soooo good!

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Tamsyn was in need of some furniture so we explored a few local shops before hitting up International. I always say I need to visit Tampa more often…there are so many cute little stores that I want to stop into! And warning for any shoppers…looks like malls are going to be terribly crowded until Christmas. International was crazy! Or maybe it was because it was Black Friday weekend?

Side note…I took this cutie with me to CrossFit the other day.

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She was really good. I tied her up by the door and she just laid down and watched us the whole time. Probably thinking “What the hell is Mom doing?”

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Do you take your dog to workout with you? Or do you workout with your dog at all? I’ve taken Maddie on a few runs…nothing over 3 miles yet. She seems to like it!