So the first of the holidays is checked off, albeit a minor one. It used to be one of our Major Events, but seems to have faded in obscurity along with the rest of my social life. Sigh. We did celebrate it though, if a day early. (It was on Sunday? C’mon. Note to the US Social Committee, should they be reading this: Holidays should be on Friday or Saturday. Period.)

We started the weekend on Friday at our regular “Friday Happy Hour” spot, the Foothill Beer Temple in Shingle Springs. We make a little bit of an effort to get there every Friday. It’s a great place, definitely the best tap selection in the area, but mostly the owners are just great guys and we try to do our bit to support them. They got a rough draw opening right before the lockdowns, not really sure how they managed to keep it going for 1.5 years, paying rent with no business. I doubt our weekly round of pints is going to make much difference in their bottom line, but hey, it’s something. After that, we headed back to our Circle for dinner with some friends. We’ve been to The Place several times, but this was the first time since they opened their new, larger location. Unfortunately it’s now about 2 miles FURTHER from our house, almost making it outside our Circle, but since we were driving by it anyway we managed to make the sacrifice. I would say they lost a bit of “ambiance” with the new spot. The last place was super small and just sort of cool, the new place… Not so much. On the upside, they really did need more space, and the food was definitely great as always. I thought they may have added a few new menu items, but our newbie waiter was unable to confirm that. At any rate it was delicious as always. As an added bonus, they take reservations now so you don’t risk waiting a long time for a table, which was definitely an issue at the last spot. As a matter of fact the guy parked next to us was leaving as we pulled in, he said he couldn’t get seated for an hour.

Saturday night we did our Halloween thing. Some friends hosted a big party, sort of a combo Halloween & Beer Tasting event. It was the ninth annual, so it’s been going a while. It would have been the big 10th, but alas, no fun allowed in California last year. It was a good time as always. They’ve got several stations set up to sample various beers that everyone enters, and you rate each. At the end the results are tallied and a winner is announced, along with a prize for best costume. While you sample all the beers, there’s a catered taco truck serving some great food. I may like that better than the beers; Man there are some wacky entries. We actually placed second in the beer tasting, our first time in the top rankings. And, as usually happens, it was an entry with the least effort we’ve ever put in. I just grabbed a random 4-pack at happy hour on my way out the door on Friday. Nothing I’d ever even tried, it just fit my personal entry criteria of “local brewed IPA.” Lucky pick! I apparently liked it, as it was my second-highest tasting out of all 34 entries. (All the labels are removed before the tasting so you don’t know which is yours.) As for the costume contest, we weren’t so fortunate there. Matter of fact, we were so excited for the tacos that we completely forgot it was Halloween and didn’t bring our costumes. Yep, that’s just the way it happened. By my informal count, we were one of only three couples that didn’t dress up. This in no way made me in the least uncomfortable. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact. Hey, our dogs wore costumes, that’s gotta count for something. Surprised they didn’t win actually.

Sunday, despite being the actual holiday date, was just another football-on-the-couch day. I’m pretty sure I didn’t step outside all day. I didn’t even have any real interest in the games I watched, it’s just kind of the Sunday thing to do. I guess I did go outside and assemble my new firewood rack. Granted, it consisted of three parts, held together by eight bolts, but it’s still going in the “daily accomplishments” category.

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