Saturday, January 29, 2011

Finally! Coffee, Music and Socializing

Ever since we moved here, there has been something missing. Maybe "somewhere" is more appropriate. Somewhere where I can go - with or without someone else - to just chill. Somewhere that would be entertaining. Somewhere that was open late, and would hopefully serve coffee.

Well 57 locals later, and the secret has been leaked. Finally, The Global Bean has arrived.

The Global Bean Coffee Trader is located right here in Silverdale, a mere 7 minutes from my house. Its located in a weird area, taking up half of the bottom floor of a rather professional looking office building, adjacent to a gym.Not where you'd expect to find a funky coffee shop, full of coffee smells, arguing coffee addicts and a loud band almost every night.  

I've been there twice now, on a Friday and Thursday night - both nights there was a three piece band playing - one playing fun folky music, the other more of a jam session where the owner joined in. It's always been crowded - to the point of having to stand for 20 minutes before a seat opened up - but the ambiance makes it kinda ok.

The coffee - its amazing. Literally, the best cup of coffee I've gotten in a shop. I was scared when I first looked at the menu - there are no prices, no sizes offered, and only the most basic of combinations listed. Usually, that equals expensive, hoity toity, insider coffee.... and this case was no exception... a 12 oz, sugar free, non-fat, low foam, caramel latte put me back $4.50... about a dollar higher than anywhere else. But holy goodness, I would have paid more. The coffee is delicious, smooth, freaking wonderful. And once you buy a "special" coffee, normal coffee is only $0.78 - and not just the crap out of a carafe, nope, I wanted decaf so the barista french pressed me a cup. This coffee was so premium that my usual 10-20-70 sugar-cream-coffee ratio was sloughed off for just a packet of sugar.

So if you're feeling mellow but looking to get out of the house (on the cheap) The Global Bean would be a great destination. As long as its not a Tuesday, you can expect music, a packed house and a delicious cup of Joe.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slaughter County Roller Vixens!!

Did you know that Kitsap County has a roller derby league?? A whole league! With multiple teams! And a real rink! And venue! And fans!

I was extremely surprised to see this entire underground roller derby world! The place was packed! People of all ages were there - a very family friendly crowd.

While at the Kitsap County Fair this year - Chad and I met the Slaughter County Roller Vixens while walking though the different booths. They handed us a flier, told us about their beer garden - they were pretty cool - plus they made sure to mention the military discount.

Their first "bout" of the year was last night - and I was able to harass a couple of my friends to join me in attending it. It was all our first times - and it was... well.... interesting.

None of us knew the rules and the first couple teams seemed super unorganized. Then even after looking up the rules.... they seemed even more confused. There was some bashing, some falling, some time spent in the penalty box, someone even fell and broke/badly spranged their ankle (necessitating a medic) - but... if you've ever seen Whip It - this was nothing like it - but still super fun in its own right.

So if you want something new to do on a Saturday night - I'd recommend checking out the roller derby!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A&A Adopt-A-Trail Update!

We had the most successful first trail maintenance day EVER! I couldn't have been happier with the turn out, the weather, the participation and the progress! I was literally blown away by how many people showed up and how hard everyone worked!

For our first day we walked up and down the trail, talked about our future plans and how much potential our trail has - which is code for: our trail is kinda ugly... which means: good thing we adopted it!! I also showed everyone our beavers - well at least the trees they have munched down and the problematic poop station... which we'll get to in a later entry.

So the eight of us heathens and the two Clear Creek Squad members who came, got to work. We picked up trash, raked the whole trail - removing leaves, brush and poops off it, cut back evil-invasive blackberries and scotch broom. We forgot to take a before picture... but the after pictures are stunning!

Three of us worked exclusively on cutting back a huge 10'x10' blackberry bramble. It was so old that some of the stems were over an inch thick - making for tough work. But we got a solid 80% of it. Others collected four full grocery bags of trash... people suck...

Our Mascot: Milli!
Future plans include - planting some huge trees to hide the view of the freeway. Removing a 30 foot stand of very mature scotch broom. Removing a huge wasp nest. Cutting black another 3 plots of blackberries. And so on, and so forth...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Himalayan Chutney - Review

Every couple weeks an envelope full of coupons finds its way into our mailbox. These coupons are for a wide range of local businesses - carpet cleaners, auto mechanics, seasonal shops - by my favorite are the restaurant ones. They are amazing! Generally there are about 10 of these restaurant savers, and usually for restaurants Chad and I have never heard of or seen, and for that matter would have probably never noticed. They are usually buy one meal, get one free - and there are never any problems using them. Which is a good thing - cause Chad and I have used around 10 of them.

When I do a review - this is probably how we found the restaurant - and though that works for us, I'd rather more people know about these great little gems! I'll break the review into 3 parts, Food Taste/Quality, Service/Ambiance, and Price (disregarding our savings with the coupons). Our most recent envelope contained a coupon for:

Himalayan Chutney - an independently owned, Indian cuisine restaurant located in downtown Poulsbo.

Food: Delicious. Their menu offers tons of options, ranging from a standard cheese naan to a rarer goat curry (both of which we ordered and were fantastic). Everything tasted very fresh, and was cooked to perfection. Their condiments, which are offered to everyone, include an wonderful mint chutney and a tamarind sauce - both complement every dish.

Service/Ambiance: Looking into HC for the first time we were greeted by an unexpected sight  - sounds odd, but the decorations were sooo beautiful, whimsical and classy. There are quite a few rooms connected to a grander room, and thoughout the space there are huge branches of willow and birch attached to the walls and ceiling - from them sleek decorations are hanging. Luckily for the restaurant, their decorations distracted me from getting irritated by not being noticed for quite a few minutes. As is the case for many family run restaurants, the employees/family were sitting in a booth all together, kind of waiting for someone, but without actually monitoring the door. We actually had to be pointed out by another couple for anyone to seat us, and thats after we were waiting around for a few minutes. After that though, our waitress, though a bit weird, was very attentive, water glasses kept full, questions answered. Though we asked for our whole meal to be brought out at the same time - our naan did come out about 5 minutes before the food... letting it get cold...

Price: Unlike some other Indian restaurants we've visited, HC was totally budget friendly! They have so many choices, that you could eat at almost any price point and leave satisified. Our coupon, we noticed in the car, had expired a few days earlier - and even without it, two entrees (including the most expensive goat curry), unlimited rice, two different naans, and a soda came out to about $40, with tip (with it we could have saved about $10).

P.S.: Because the restaurant is located at the end of downtown Poulsbo, parking can be HORRIBLE! This was actually the SECOND attempt for us to go here, the first time it was raining, sort of near a holiday, and there was NO parking to be found, so we went home. Try going on either a clear weekend, when you don't mind walking a bit or on a weekday evening.

All in All: I would totally recommend Himalayan Chutney, especially for visiting family or a date night. Its a very nice feeling restaurant, with great food.Though the service is a little off and on, the characters that are the help, make it mostly all right.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy 2011!!

Well hello there! I know it has been a while, but this has been a VERY busy couple of weeks - with New Years, Grandparents visiting and sending a husband off!

Plus, I have been doing some real "soul searching" when it comes to this blog. Don't get me wrong, I love it! And I think so far it has functioned pretty well when it comes to keeping our loved ones updated. But I feel like now that the new-ness of our moving here wears off, I should slowly morph this blog into something people could use, as well as keeping everyone updated with us! So over time you may see some new features such as local restaurant reviews, more recipes and whatever else comes up!

But! I will start that tomorrow (or the next day), for now, UPDATES!

Our first picture of the year!
Starting with a wonderful visit from my grandparents! They drove to Seattle from Del Mar (CA) over three days, then spent four days up here taking in the sights and visiting us family. Chad and I were able to meet them, along with my Aunt and her boyfriend, in Seattle the other evening for dinner. Then yesterday they took the ferry over to our little peninsula and visited our humble abode!! It was so nice having them here, hearing their input/encouragements on my hobbies, and listening to some great stories. It was a short visit, but a good one.

New Years Eve we had a great time! We invited ourselves over to a good friends house! It turned into a fun little get together, starting off with good food and a movie, followed by more friends showing up and bringing in the new year fireworks and champagne! It was super mellow, but in that perfectly awesome kind of way.

Then this morning.... oooohhhh this morning..... I had to drop Chad off at work, at 2:30.... and say goodbye for a whole 6 weeks... He was supposed to be going to 29 Palms for this six week Sgts Course, but that one filled up, so instead his higher-ups sent him to HAWAII!! That bugger is sitting in the warm 80 degree sunshine, during the WORST winter months, while I stay here and FREEZE! Literally - it was 32 for much of the day today... But oh well, thus is life, this is a really good opportunity for him.

As for this years resolutions: Chad decided that catching a Raccoon was his, I think it was a joke... most likely because he doesn't do things like make resolutions... but with Chad... you never know. Me on the other hand - mine is to like my dog a little more. I already love her, but man... she makes me not want kids....

I know, I know, how could you not love her!
Stay tuned - this should be a great year!