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Perry Street Brewing

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DSCN2387While visiting Spokane recently I joined Kendall Jones of Washington Beer Blog, to visit Spokane’s newest brew pub, Perry Street Brewing. Kendall used his vast beer network and found out that this new pub offered a selection of seven beers on tap, free Wi-Fi and friendly atmosphere.

After checking into the Hotel Ruby we called a cab and gave the cabbie the pub’s address. Within five minutes our cab pulled over and deposited us across the street from the pub. From the outside the pub is very discreet, with just three big letters, PSB to let patrons know they have found Perry Street Brewing.

Once inside, several happy looking patrons sipped beer while enjoying conversation. Unlike many brew pubs, you could hear conversation without yelling. Perhaps Sunday nights are a bit quieter, but I enjoyed the casual, quiet ambiance. Kendall has been teaching me about beer, even though I prefer wine. The education has been exceptional — knowledge is power. For 27 years beer avoided me. Well, more accurately, I avoided beer. But now, with so many craft beers available, and a friend like Kendall mentoring me, why not give beer a chance?

Seven little taster glasses later, two beers slipped past my lips and into my taste bud’s “I like this” memory. Perry Street Brewing’s  Milk Stout won my approval with the Scotch Ale a close second. Both beers had flavor without the strong hop aftertaste. The beer menu describes these two beers as follows.

Milk Stout — Sweet stout featuring raisin and prune notes, poured on nitro for a velvety finish. AVB 5.1 % IBU 13.5

Scotch Ale — Deep amber color with biscuit, graham cracker, and roasted notes. Clean, malty profile hiding a touch of smoke. ABV 6.6 % IBU 25

While this comfortable and very friendly brew pub does not offer it’s own menu, they have partnered with Spokane’s burgeoning food truck business. Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 8 pm different food trucks park in front of the pub and provide quality eats to go with the craft beer. Fridays and Saturdays from 3 to 8 the food trucks stay busy with longer weekend hours.

Next time you visit Spokane, check out Perry Street Brewing or any one of a dozen other craft breweries in the greater Spokane area. For more information about beer, check out Washington Beer Blog

Hotel Red Ruby

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Spokane’s Hotel Ruby provides an inexpensive alternative to the Davenport Hotel, Spokane’s premier hotel property. My stay recently coincided with a convention held at the Davenport. Fortunately for me, when I tried to book a room at the Davenport they were full, which forced me to find other, accommodations. Luckily, with the help of some savvy locales, they suggested Hotel Ruby, a remodeled motor inn.

Upon entering the colorful little lobby an employee with a wide smile quickly checked me into my room. Minutes later the electric key opened the lock to reveal a small, but well-appointed room with all of the comforts a tired traveler could need. The room featured 50s style art on the walls, a flat screen TV, small refrigerator, fully tiled bathroom, small closet, spacious queen bed and laptop sized desk and chair. At just $74 dollars this artsy hotel provided a perfect, comfortable and clean room within a five minute walk to the Davenport. Additionally, they offered free high speed Wi-Fi for those of us that can’t travel without “connecting” to the rest of the world via the Internet.

Visitors to the Hotel Ruby can also use complimentary ruby beach cruiser style bikes. By day hotel guests can bike downtown Spokane in style. During night hours guests can use their 2 for 1 drink voucher they received at check in at the hotel’s on site Sapphire Lounge. The hotel also owns the historic Bing Crosby Theater. The cross promotion between the hotel and theater is obvious, from the art on the hotel’s outside walls to the art and feel of the rooms decor.

My Travel Tastes rates this hotel a solid 9 out of 10 for value, cleanliness, friendly staff and amenities. The one point deduction comes from the small room size, which most travelers will overcome because of price and the hotel’s prime locale.

11 Fun Facts About Carnival Cruise Line’s Cruise Ship Liberty

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Cruise ships world wide have their own unique hidden personalities. While cruising for 14 days on an Eastern and Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Liberty I learned several fun facts that reveal this ship’s interesting statistics.
1. Cozumel Mexico is a port where some passengers literally miss the boat. When they say don’t be late that does mean “don’t be late.” Cozumel Mexico has several really fun and exciting bars that encourage lots of drinking. Some passengers drink a bit much or simply don’t pay attention to “ship’s time” and fail to catch the boat before it sails away into the sunset. Luckily though, passengers can take a ferry to the mainland and hire a car to take them south to Belize, the next cruise ship stop – at their own expense of course. When leaving the ship ALWAYS set your watch to ship’s time and make sure to return on time or the ship will leave without you.
2. It is harder to feed the crew of the Liberty than the passengers. During a seven day cruise the guest menu is different each day and then starts over for the next cruise. The crew’s menu however, lasts 29-day menu before starting over.
3. The Liberty crew comes from 60 nations with 27 nations represented in the dining room. With workers from 60 nations they all have their own preference of meal choices, the reason for a 29-day menu, which is an effort of the kitchen to provide cuisine to please everyone without boring them from repetition.
4. The kitchen has 140 chefs, most of which come from India. These chefs are highly trained and provide quality and consistency every single meal. The chefs cook the food and the waiters help plate the food. A picture hangs on the wall for each dish to insure accurate and precise plating for each dish served.
5. Chefs aboard the Liberty prepare over 15,000 meals daily.
6. According to the Maitre’ D approximately 250 people eat two dinners each day during the cruise.
7. On average during a week-long cruise aboard the Liberty, passengers consume 40,000 liters of hard alcohol, 3,502 bottles of wine, 1,402 bottles of champagne, 28,150 bottles/cans of beer, 24,500 cans of pop, 620 gallons of fruit juice, 1,000 pounds of coffee, 900 gallons of milk, 20,000 Danish pastries, 12,900 slices of white bread, 36,000 slices of bacon, 22,000 eggs, 6,200 pounds of flour, 1,100 pineapples, 1,003 melons, 2,500 apples, 4,320 bananas, 5,300 heads of lettuce, 6,700 pounds of potatoes, 3,000 pounds of tomatoes, 7,000 pizzas, 1,000 pounds of pasta, 900 pounds of salmon, 600 pounds of ham, 1,300 pounds of baby back ribs, 2,200 hot dogs, 4,800 hamburgers, 400 pounds of veal, 1,000 pounds of lobster tails, 15,000 pounds of shrimp, 2,500 steaks, 4,500 pounds of chicken, 2,200 pounds of prime rib.
8. A free sushi bar offers passengers a limited selection of sushi every day except during formal nights. At first glance the sushi bar looks like it would cost extra, which might explain why so few passengers have discovered and taken advantage of the sushi bar.
9. The crew’s favorite port in the Caribbean is St. Maarten. This quaint dual country port offers free Internet, some free “phone home” benefits and lots of fresh food to suit the tastes of many nationalities.
10. Saint Thomas and Cozumel are two favorite ports of call for cruisers aboard the Liberty.
11. Belize is the least favorite port of call, according to comment cards sent to guests via e-mail after their cruise.

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