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Since returning home, we’ve made it a goal to explore new parts of the city. It’s so easy to get into a routine of the same places on rotation, despite hundreds of new experiences being at our fingertips on the daily. To ensure we’re actively pursing this mission on a weekly basis, we’ve started a Tuesday adventure called “Hoppy Hour”.

The purpose is to check out a new (or long since visited) places for their happy hour specials. In a town where it can set you back over ten bucks for one cocktail, we’re searching out inexpensive ways to enjoy locally made suds, at reasonable prices.

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There’s a group of around twenty of us, and each Tuesday before 3:00 pm, I send out an email with our destination. Not everyone is able to join each week, but those that make it have a chance to shake off those workday blues. Since a holiday fell on Monday last week, we decided to spread out the weekday love by hosting Hoppy Hour at our place on Thursday. There are few things in life that bring me more joy than hosting a party, especially if I have time to try my hand at making new dishes. For last week’s event I whipped up bite-sized spicy bean and cheese empanadas, white bean balsamic hummus + heirloom carrots, and shortbread cookies. We needed something to wet the collective whistles, but wanted to veer from our usual bourbon route. In an effort to keep with the warm weather theme, we offered an orange and grapefruit infused rum cocktail featuring homemade rosemary + citrus simple syrup, a splash of lemonade and a dash of cherry bitters.

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Party time rolled around and friends came bearing loads of snacks and drinks to share. The weather was perfect for keeping the doors and windows open, and we hung out catching up on one another’s lives over amazing food. In the middle of the party, I took a few moments to sit on the deck for a breath of fresh air. As I surveyed our crowd with the city in the background, and watched my Partner and dogs having the times of their lives, I knew there was no place I’d rather be, than home.

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