Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mom & Dad!!

Post by: Beth

Hi, Mom! I know she's going to kill me, but this is literally the only picture of Mom & Dad I got to take during their visit. Neither of them really love the camera, so I was nice, but I wanted to post at least one. :) We had a great time during their visit... We got to go to the Anheiser-Busch brewery which was a lot of fun. Two tour guides take you through the entire brewery site and you sort of travel the path the beer takes while it's being made. You learn what goes into the different kinds of beer, what makes a light beer as opposed to a regular beer, how much beer they make at this brewery per minute, and the history of the brewery itself. Very interesting info, even if you don't actually drink beer!
These first pictures are of the hallway you see when you walk in the entrance, and then a huge display of every kind of beer this brewery makes.

Most people recognize the Clydesdale horses as the official mascots of the Budweiser brand. These horses weigh, on average, between 1600 and 2400 pounds. They're VERY beautiful to see in person, and their size is quite daunting. This brewery had about 12 of them on display for the tourists to view.

Here's one of the displays the tour guides used to explain to us the process of combining the ingredients for making beer. Beer is made of malt, rice, barley, hops, and water. This display guide takes it all the way from the selection of ingredients to the packaging process.

Here is a picture of one of the "mash tanks" at the brewery. There are LOTS of these machines in this area of the process, and they're enormous. Mashing is the process of mixing milled grain (typically malted grain) with water, and heating this mixture up with rests at certain temperatures to allow enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars. (Thank you to the internet for that piece of info... I'd forgotten how that part of the process worked, but it was very neat to hear it explained and see the machines.)

This clocktower building and gated area is part of the historic site of the brewery. As you can see from the sign, this area was constructed in 1891-1892, and it really was the most beautiful part of the tour to me. I'm a sucker for historical sites and buildings so it's no surprise that this part was my favorite.

While I don't have any pictures, the highlight of the tour was definitely at the very end. After the tour is over, they take you back into the main entrance area where there's a large room with a bar, and you get to sample 2 beers per person. I don't really like how beer tastes, but you just feel inspired after the whole tour, so I was excited to see what they had there that was new or just coming out, etc. I was even more excited when I saw they had some "Mojito" flavored drink that seemed to be right up my alley. So I got 2 Mojito drinks, Raja got whatever beer he wanted, and we sat down to wait on my parents because we'd gotten separated while filing onto the buses that take us to the hospitality area. I noticed while I was getting my Mojito that there was a new raspberry-flavored beer or something like that, and I was thinking about trying that but didn't want to waste one of my free samples on something I may hate. As soon as I saw Mom & Dad (neither of them drinks beer at ALL.. Mom hates it, and Dad doesn't touch alcohol at all), I developed a plan to get Mom to get a Mojito sample for me and Dad to get the raspberry beer for me so I could try that also. Dad was off getting a soft drink, so I made my way to Mom in the line and let her try my Mojito just to see if she'd like it... Then she could just get her own sample and she wouldn't miss out. As I expected, she hated it and gagged instantly. So she agreed to get one and just let me have it. What was funny there was that when she got to the bartender and told him she wanted to try a Mojito, he said "Here.. I'll pour you a little and see if you like it.. if you like it, we'll give you that. If not, we'll get you something different." Mom's face went a bit white as she sipped it, but knew she'd promised me my Mojito, so she slams the glass back down on the bar and demands he "FILL IT UP!" He does so, and she trots over to us to give my my drink. Dad makes his way over to the table as well, so we sit around for a while chatting. Then I decide I'll go ahead and try the raspberry beer. I ask Dad if he'll go ask the bartender for one of those for me, and he's game.. I'll reiterate that Dad does not drink beer, order beer, or do ANYTHING with beer, so he had to actually PRACTICE asking for the proper thing from the bartender. He left our table repeating the words "Michelob Ultra Raspberry... Michelob Ultra Raspberry," which is all I could remember from the name on the bottle. We're close enough to the bar to hear Dad (who is NOT a little, feminine guy) place his order.. Thank goodness we were so close by. We hear dad say (very stunted-like) "I'd like a Michelob Ultra Raspberry" and the woman bartender gives him a really funny look.. and says "The raspberry one?" and Dad nods. Then she says, doubtfully, "The one with pomegranate????" We can barely overhear Dad mumble "Yes. Pomegranate." So she gives him his beer with a pink label and he comes back with a very red face. Mom, Raja, and I could not stop laughing for about an hour. Dad was a good sport about it.. Luckily he doesn't get TOO embarrassed for too long, so all was well in the end. He definitely took one of the team, but it was well worth it for the story that came out of it.

The next morning, we ate brunch with Mom & Dad which was a mistake... We were both miserable after eating so much food, but they were serving breakfast foods AND lunch foods, PLUS lots of desserts. It was very good, but we could have exerted a bit more self control there. Mom & Dad also got to see some snow Sunday morning. It didn't really stick and it only snowed for a couple of hours, but here are some pictures I took while Raja & I were on the way to the hotel to meet them:

I was very excited to see the snow (again)... It was so pretty, and I was glad Mom got to see snow. Dad wasn't so excited, but yey for Mom! And here's Raja, of course telling me how he hates the snow, despite my excitement and jubilee. =(

Overall, such a fun weekend.. We were so glad to have company and see my Mom & Dad. We also got to eat at a good BBQ place, Maggiano's, and Mom & I got to go shopping Saturday during the day. So happy they came and hope they get to visit again when the weather is warmer! :)


Anonymous said...

Okay everyone at work said it looked like I had had a few drinks too many. =) I need to get you a new picture. I will go tomorrow and get mine developed from the trip and if there is a good one I'll send it your way. Love ya, Mom

Hershbine Family said...

haha! When I first saw it I just thought that Beth had caught you off guard but once you read the rest of the story it could look as though you have had a few too many! LOL! I noticed that there was no pic of Gary after his Raspberry Pomegranite Michelob Ultra Light "girly" beer! ;0) Would have loved to see a snapshot of that face!

Hershbine Family said...