Saturday, September 18, 2010

Toto, We Aren't In Prague Anymore

Well, actually, we were still in Prague.  However, the prices had moved on a bit.  For our last night the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I headed up to the Cloud Lounge atop the Prague Hilton.  The place was quite spectacular and offered a lovely view of the city and the river just a short distance away.  It was a bit overcast, but still a nice view.

The prices here weren't outrageous, at least not by New York standards.  About eight bucks each.  For similar (more about that later) drinks in New York in a similar venue double that wouldn't be uncommon.

We could just sit and watch the boats go through the locks on the river while nibbling on the free nuts and chips.  Now I know, how sad is it that this is what amuses me these days.

But The Mysterious Chinese Woman Always Amuses Me

That is a faux Mai Tai that she is drinking.  I say faux because I think a real Mai Tai is supposed to have rum in it.  There was none that I could taste.

I had a Hemingway Daiquiri that is made with rum, grapefruit juice, maraschino liquor and lime juice.  Well, that is the way it is supposed to be made.  Again, no taste of rum whatsoever.  The taste of the marashino liquor came through though.  Unfortunately, this is not a taste that I particularly care for.

Looking A Bit Like Papa

I suspect that if Hemingway had been served a drink like this he would have thrown it in the bartender's face, jumped over the bar and made his own.  Bar Man would have gladly paid New York prices for a New York drink, which means a stiff one.

By the way, the reason Hemingway liked his daiquiris this way was because he was diabetic.  A regular daiquiri just has rum, lime-juice and sugar.  Guess he was cutting down on the sugar.  I know a few diabetics who don't seem to have a problem with alcohol.  Rum and diet coke is very popular with that crowd.

The next day I had a beer in the Prague Airport and, I guess, no surprise, the prices were about what you would pay in any airport bar, about seven bucks.  It was a nice bar though, and the beer, a draft Pilsner Urquell, was excellent.

A Hip, A Pot, A Mess

As much as I like to travel, I always like coming home too.  I really like my neighborhood, partially because it is a microcosm of the whole world.  And, of course, there is the Waterfront Ale House.  It didn't take me long to pop in there after my return.

I started off the lovely, warm and sunny afternoon with a Victory Sunrise Weiss.  Now it was warm and sunny yesterday, but we got hit with two tornados the night before.  They missed my neighborhood and I slept right through the storm,  But they did a lot of damage not far from me and one woman died after getting hit by a falling tree.  Of course several subway lines and the Long Island Railway were out of service.  This is why I laugh when our Mayor says that in the case of a hurricane we wouldn't have any problem evacuating the city using public transportation.

Anyway, the beer was delicious.  Nice and crisp with citrus notes.  A dark yellow with a large, light and white foamy head.  It was 5.7% ABV, which is reasonable, and was quite quaffable.  Victory is a brewery located in Easton, Pennsylvania and they put out a more than decent line of beers.  Their Hopdevil and Prima Pils are two favorites of mine.

My next beer was a Valeir's Belgian IPA.  This is brewed by Conteras in Gavere, Belgium.  It is 6.5% ABV but tastes much stronger than this.  The alcohol really comes through, not like those drinks at Cloud Lounge.  There wasn't anything particularly note-worthy about this one, and I wouldn't go out of my way to order it again.  Of course, if one was given to me I would drink it.

My last beer was really an interesting one, an Arcadia Jaw-Jacker Ale.  It had an unusually spicy flavor to it.  I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but then it came to me, a spicy pumpkin pie.  It doesn't have any pumpkin in it, but it does have cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.  And it pours a nice pumpkin orange.  An excellent October beer, even if it is still September.  Oh, and it is 6% ABV so you can drink a few of them without falling off the hay-wagon.

In the overly optimistic department, I see where MasterCard has been charging an extra $10 dollars if you use it to buy lotto tickets, treating it as a cash advance.

And in the "define miracle" department, the pastor of a church whose steeple was blown off by the storm we had the other night says he believes it was a miracle that no one was hurt.  I guess that is just the way miracles work, you blow off the steeple but don't let it injure anyone.

The perfect timing department has to focus on the cover story in this issue of Vanity Fair about how Lindsay Lohan is really trying to clean up her act juxtoposed with today's news that she just failed another drug test and is looking at jail time.

I see where Paris Hilton pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and faces a year's probation and 200 hours of community service.  Hasn't she already serviced a community or two?

Going to a tailgate party at a friend's house tomorrow and making my much-in-demand Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches.  I will be wearing my Brett Favre Jets jersey too.

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