So many races have become huge events, making it easy to lose sight as to why you are there in the first place.
It's not about the fancy technical tee, the flashy medal, the disposable chip attached to your shoe or the professional photographs that will surface in a few days via an email notification that contains many exclamation points and advertisements of you as a wallet cutout or perhaps a $30 10×14 of you looking like you're about to die (to display in the living room?).
It's about the actual run and surrounding yourself with other people who share your passion.
The Kris Kringle 5 Mile Race this past Sunday embraced the simplicity that so many races seem to lack these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a collection of medals that I can wear around my house when I need an ego boost. And, while chip timing is a great asset, none of us are professional athletes, so an extra 10 seconds to your finish time isn't the end of the world. It just means you have to work that much harder during your race.
I'm covering this in my Patriot-News column this Friday with a bit more detail, so be sure to check that out. In the meantime, here is a list of the bars that are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year (will update as I get more info).
As 2011 winds down, basically every music publication and every blog will be running their own versions of a "Best Albums of the Year" list. Outside of the hipster "we're too cool for your music" posts, it seems widely agreed upon that Adele's 21, Lady Gaga's Born This Way, and Jay Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne were among the top albums of the year.
I listen to enough radio and read enough Rolling Stone to talk about those albums, but instead of regurgitating the same list as everyone else with a keyboard and a blog outlet, I'm going to talk about the albums I bought in 2011.
Although my iPod and its nearly 7,000 song library (I hear more stuff I've never heard on my own iPod than the radio these days) is never out of reach, I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to purchasing music. No matter how convenient iTunes may be, there's something about sitting in the parking lot cursing at a shrink-wrapped jewel case that I can't quite open that still keeps me driving to Best Buy on Tuesdays to buy whatever new release is on my radar.
The countdown is on, and I’m sure your “to do” list resembles mine to some degree. While I have most things purchased and wrapped, a few gift evade me, and naturally, we’re at crunch time (plus add other holiday prep to the mess, and well – you know how it goes). So, that said, I wanted to throw a few other easy, local gift ideas your way, perhaps a few things we missed during Round 1.
Did you know? The PLCB’s website, www.FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com, isn’t just for special order liquor and expensive wine orders. In fact, the website serves as hub of information on special gifts and savings, entertaining, cocktail tips and more. Plus, online and in-store experts can help make your holiday easy by finding you great deals, suggesting food pairings and recommending gift ideas.
Expert advice and party planning (and cocktails!)
Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’ve never done more than pick up the nearest bottle of vodka from your local liquor store, you’re missing out. Both in-store experts and FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com are great resources for anyone planning a holiday event, offering a variety of tips and tools for entertainers.
Make something new. For example, check out their arsenal of holiday recipes, like this Hot Scot Toddy, for you to print and make at home. Check out 15 more delicious holiday concoctions here, including a Baileys Chocolatini and the Toasted Macaroon.
Upgrade your party fare. Want to learn more about what to pair with your holiday meal? Check out the online food pairing application from the experts. Or check out an online copy of their free magazine, Taste, for additional food and drink inspiration.
Calculate it. Planning drinks for a group can be a challenge. I recently used the online quantity calculator to assist me with a small soiree at my home. The site even provides a glassware guide and a list of how to stock your bar like a pro.
Do it right. Finally, if it’s your first holiday party, or you just want to kick things up a notch, check out these 14 host tips.
Recuperate from the malls or simply escape the holiday hubbub with your own brand of cheer at the Brewhouse Grille in Lower Allen Twp. on Saturday when the bar and restaurant pairs with Troegs Brewing Co. for the “Troegs Toys for Tots Tap Takeover.”
The event begins at 11 a.m., and the premise is simple. Bring in a new, unopened, unwrapped and nonviolent toy suitable for a child age 13 or younger to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, and you’ll receive a free Troegs pint glass.
All day, the Brewhouse will feature all Troegs beers on draft, including $3 pints of its limited Scratch Series.
By night, the drive and specials continue. You also can hear music from Route 74, starting at 9 p.m.
Out with Sara: Holiday Cocktails – this is last week's column but you'll want to hang on to this through the holiday season. Use it for planning your next outing. In this week's column, check out Troegs' Toys for Tots Takeover at Brewhouse Grille, PLUS – beer + cheese pairings at Home 231.
If you need a bit more holiday inspiration — perhaps in the form of a themed libation — I have you covered. Here is a sampling of holiday cocktails and brews available throughout the greater Harrisburg area:
I’m relieved that my travels have concluded for the year (not counting a short jaunt across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Christmas day), but this weekend is just packed.
Party central starts tomorrow with a ladies-only holiday soiree. Saturday, I was invited to three Christmas parties, but I don’t even have one outfit!
On Sunday, my girlfriends and I will contineu our annual tradition of giftwrapping for the UCP at the Capital City Mall. We’ll be at the old Picture People store between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. – stop by, donate a few dollars and have your holiday stress melt away.
Meanwhile, the events are piling up throughout the area. What are you doing this weekend?