Where I Have Been

It’s been over 70 days since my last post, and I’ve been getting quite a few inquiries about this recent blog silence. Well, those of you who have followed this blog since the beginning (all 3 of you), know that I am prone to long periods of silence. This last one was caused by a change in work schedule, and marginally related travel hobby that has occupied much of my free time, and will also be occupying a bigger portion of the posts on this blog.

Me with the brewers from Brasserie de Silly at Ashley's Belgian Beer Festival

Me with the brewers from Brasserie de Silly at Ashley’s Belgian Beer Festival

February was occupied by two outstanding beer events. The first is Ashley’s Belgian Beer Festival, an 11 day extravaganza where the restaurant I serve as photographer for, Ashley’s of Westland, serves nothing but Belgian beer from it’s taps. The highlights of the festival was Saturday’s Bottle Festival, a festival within the festival that included some of the rarest Belgian beers available in the U.S. For many of these beers, this was the first time they had been offered in this country.


The second event was the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids. This was my first winter beerfest, and my third beerfest in the last year. I was lucky enough to attend with my friend Steve (The tall guy in the viking hat). I also bumped into so many people I knew and and missed so many others. The cold, windy conditions (and rivers of icy slush that kept my feet wet all day) made it my least favorite of the three beer festivals, but I’m glad I went at least once.


March was spent chilling out and watching college basketball as usual. I expected my Michigan State Spartans to make a long run in the tournament, but they sadly came up short, losing in the Elite 8 to the eventual National Champion UConn Huskies. We had the snowiest winter in recorded history here in Michigan, and that certainly added to my desire to stay inside and do nothing.


April’s highlight was a mid-month trip to Grand Rapids- which proudly calls itself “Beer City USA”. (A month later I would visit Asheville, North Carolina, which calls itself the same thing). My friend Gabe & I visited a total of nine breweries, including an epic seven on Saturday. I’ll be writing more about this trip in the near future.


That brings me to May, where I finally got back on the road. I’ve just completed a road trip that included, amongst many sites, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Revolutionary War sites in North Carolina & South Carolina, the barrier islands of North Carolina, Assateague Island National Seashore, and Washington D.C. I also visited many breweries along the way (shocking). I plan on doing a few posts about this trip in the near future, starting with the  ‘By the Numbers” post (which proved popular after New Zealand in 2012 and Europe in 2013).


I still have 17 days of last year’s trip to Europe to write up, too. So, actual posts about this last trip are unlikely to be showing up anytime soon. I’ve got the outlines and the photos edited for these posts, but the actual writing of them is the time consuming part. I usually wait until the post is written for each day to post the pictures to my Flickr account, but since I’m over a year behind, I’m just going to add them and write the posts later. I may do this for both of this years short trips, too.


My friend Keath at Michigan Microbrewery #50

 And just so I put myself further behind, I’m leaving in less than 2 weeks for a 10 day trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After that I should mostly be done with extended trips for the year, but I will be continuing my quest to visit all of Michigan’s microbreweries (The number is at 150 and climbing- I just visited #50 in April). I’ve got links to the photo essays on these breweries in my Flickr account as well.

That’s “Where I’ve Been” over the past few months. I hope to start catching up, especially when I return from this next trip. Meanwhile, you can follow along on this blog’s Facebook Page, Instagram (esmith7273), Untappd & Flickr.

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