Friday I connected with Milena (IMD MBA '07), Aaron (IMD EMBA '09), and Andres again for another IMD-filled day. In the afternoon I met up with Pat (TJ '97) at Brian O'Neill's to celebrate his birthday. Then it was off to Rice for the start of Beer Bike festivities. I haven't been to Beer Bike in three years so it was fun to re-engage. Friday afternoon I went to Lovett and met up with some other alumni over fajitas and beer.
Saturday morning it was clear that the weather was going to be terrible. After Katie and I completed our usual Saturday routine (Swim + farmer's market), I went as the advance man to scout out the situation on campus. Despite the cold and driving rain, there were many alumni at the alumni tent. There clearly wasn't any chance of a race, though, so eventually I took off to meet up with other Lovetteers off campus.
The first stop was Firkin & Phoenix for Guinness and pub fare. We followed this up at Anvil, which continues to impress me with their cocktails. I had one called "Satan's Whiskers." Yikes! As our party expanded, we moved to Ruggles Green for dinner. Here Katie had the vegan hempanadas while I revisited my old faithful, quinoa mac & cheese! Chocolate creme brulee cake for dessert was a perfect finish. Thank goodness we swam that morning!
Today Katie hosted a small birthday brunch for me at our house. My birthday isn't actually until Tuesday but this way we could take advantage of some other friends being in town for Beer Bike. She whipped up an awesome spread of fresh veggies + clam dip, veggie frittata, dark chocolate cherry-whole wheat muffins, and sweet potato hash. So good! We complemented this with bloody marys, champagne cocktails, and--of course--sangria!
It was my first time making sangria in . . . I don't know how long. Times have clearly changed for me, though. Because we were making a small batch, I used nice Rioja wine instead of the large format fruity wines I used to use when mixing up batches of 100+ gallons. I added just a dash of Everclear (for legitimacy!) instead of dumping in the full handle as per usual. Similarly, instead of adding "sparkle" via dry ice (so as not to dilute the alcohol content), this time I added champagne--talk about classing it up! The end result was delicious and I'm glad to have turned over a new leaf.
It was a great start to my birthday week and I'm so happy to have been able to catch up with so many people over the past few days. Here's to many safe returns!