Monday, July 12, 2010

A Weekend Away

So, I promised a friend that I would take some "me" time this summer. I did that in the form of a weekend away in St. Louis with this hottie:
We had a fantastic time! We left on Friday morning and drove straight to Kaldi's Coffee Roasting company. We have 2 friends that worked at Grace Cafe' in Cape and then moved to St. Louis. They now work for this company. They were doing a 'cupping' that day and we were invited to join them. Exciting...well, except for the fact that I had NO idea what a 'cupping' was! Apparently, it's a pretty common occurrence around the roaster and it was FASCINATING! They put you in a room with a high wooden table that has a LOT of little white cups with coffee beans in them. Come to find out, there are several cups of the same coffee (10 different coffees in all). They grind up the beans and pour hot water in each cup. The grounds rise to the top and form a crust. Everyone walks around the table, taking a good sniff of each one, then you break the crust with a spoon and sniff again. As the grounds get stirred, then fall to the bottom. You then go around the table and taste each coffee by slurping it violently from the spoon. (not kidding...there were 14 people in that room and everyone was slurping - HILARIOUS!)

It was a great time for Ronnie. Great coffee. Good company. Learning something new....OK, I had a great time too! Kaldi's is one of the top coffee companies in the US. They are proud of their product and their employees are SO happy! They LOVE their jobs! We got a tour of the roaster and were able to talk to just about everyone: the guy who bags the coffee (and tea - earl grey the day we were there), the guy who loads the trucks, the guys who roast, baristas who were there for the cupping. It is quite an amazing company! It's always nice to see people who really enjoy their job and are proud of the company they work for because they really believe in the product. It was refreshing!

The roasters were so fun to talk to. They answered just about every question I had ever had about roasting (and a little more that I hadn't even thought of). Ronnie got the down-low on their vintage roasting machine. I think he wants to make coffee roasters now. They roast 150 lbs of beans at a time and can roast up to 2000 lbs of beans a day!!!! They actually go to origin to find their beans and deal with the farmers there, abiding by the fair trade act. Did I mention that they have GREAT coffee!  Have I turned into a coffee snob?? Afraid so. I know the difference between good, better, and best and I know that 'bold' is NOT an acceptable term when attempting to describe what you taste.

This is what Ronnie wants when he grows up...his very own espresso machine. I'm supporting his goal. I think I will reap great, caffeinated benefits from this lofty aspiration!

Meet my new favorite little boy. In this pic, he has just picked up the corn with his teeth and is showing everyone. What a HAM! "Look Mom! No Hands!" He and his sister are two of the cutest, most well-behaved and creative kids I have EVER met! They belong to one of our friends that works at Kaldi's. They were kind enough to invite us to their house for dinner (Domino's - if you haven't tried it lately, they aren't really IS better!) We had a wonderful time visiting and playing with the kids! What a great family! I am SO glad that we were able to see them!
On Saturday, we had breakfast at the hotel. This was the beautiful flower on our table...does anyone know what it is? I really liked it. (Breakfast was yummy, by the way!)
Saturday we spent the day shopping...stay tuned for recommended purchases (maybe tomorrow). We went to St. Louis Galleria, The Container Store (HEAVEN for a girl like me!), and The Loop! What fun!! I didn't take a lot of pics, but we ate at Fitz's root beer bottling facility. The food was really good! Then we walked and shopped and had ice cream from Ben & Jerry's! So yummy! I had never been to The Loop, but I do have to say that there are a LOT of fun little shops there! If you're looking for a unique gift for someone, you could probably find something there!

After a lovely time of trying to find an on-ramp to I-64E since every single one was closed for like 15 miles, Saturday night found us at the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner and The Big Bang afterwards. The Big Bang was recommended by Crystal and Chris and I must say, it was a GREAT recommendation! $6 cover for hours of entertainment! Duelling pianos! They take requests and play the craziest things and are REALLY great musicians! While we were there, they played Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' - no really...they totally DID and it was AWESOME! This place come highly recommended if you're in downtown St. Louis and need something fun to do!

Sunday we braved the Metro and went to a Kaldi's Cafe' for breakfast.
Back on the Metro and to Union Station. We looked around for a while and headed to The Tap Room - ran by Schlafly's.
It was a great trip that ended with this (enjoy!): 

Take time to relax and enjoy life every now and then.


ktjane said...

So I'm thrilled you had a nice time, but that video should totally come with a viewer warning!

CrysHouse said...

I think I liked the dance moves best.

Sheena said...

There is nothing that can prepare someone for THAT! I was totally scrambling for my camera when he started singing it!

Post a Comment


Template by Blogger Candy