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Raleigh’s Annual Beer Festival as a… vendor?

8 Apr

Every year, our amazing city of Raleigh puts on a world beer festival with dozens of brewers and vendors from North Carolina and beyond, and this year I was invited by the amazing All About Beer magazine to be a vendor at the festival to promote the party bus! Let me start off with the fact that I am really upset I lagged on my picture taking.. I always do that! #annoying 

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So, people get so excited about this festival that the tickets sell out every year for BOTH sessions, not to mention that the tickets are 45 bucks a pop! The cool thing about that is that I was able to set up a booth for both sessions (12 -4 and 6 – 10) which let me meet literally hundreds of people in just 12 hours. I knew a 12 hour festival day would be tough so I hired an assistant for the day. When I say hired I obviously mean slave labor begrudgingly given by my wonderful boyfriend.

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We started our day off with a healthy mango smoothie that I concocted on a whim.. I am so proud of how amazing this smoothie tasted that I instagrammed a picture of it and I am now reproducing it here:

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We were of course running late (Wes needs a lot of time to do his hair), so by the time we got downtown and realized there were roadblocks everywhere and no place to drop off our stuff we got a little stressed, Wes actually dropped me off 8 blocks away with 3 bags of crap and made me walk right through a walk for ALS that was also happening downtown that day – it took him 45 minutes to find parking! Cray.

By the time I found vendor check in I was about an hour late but all the other people seemed to be late too so it ending up working out perfectly. I was escorted to my booth right in the middle of all the North Carolina local brewers and I set up camp! Since we weren’t technically selling anything or giving out beer I knew I had to give out free goodies to get people to come talk to me, so I ordered green bottle opener key chains, (that the company messed up and didn’t replace in time so I had to give them out all crazy looking — see pics ughhh) and brought some of our awesome GT cups and the last of our Capital Ready Mix Coozies – oddly enough the capital coozies were the biggest hit! 

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About 2 hours into the first session we were starting to run out of free stuff but we met some awesome people who were really excited about the party bus! By 3:30 came around everyone was starting to get a little drunk and crazy, and we were fresh out of goodies so we packed up and walked to Starbucks to recharge, put our feet up for a bit and go to the bathroom in the Marriott since we were using DISGUSTING porter potties all day.. those things get nasty quick!

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I was really excited for session 2 to start because that’s the one all of our friends were going to be at! Learning from session 1 we decided to give out the rest of our goodies early and then when everyone was starting to get drunk, pack up the booth and enjoy the festival ourselves. Around 8:15 we packed up and walked around to all the brewers and tasted some awesome beers! By 9 we were so exhausted that we didn’t even go out for a drink with our friends after (I guess this is what it feels like to be getting old! haha!) so we hit up a food truck before leaving which was basically a food truck dedicated to GRILLED CHEESE AND FRENCH FRIES. Like, really? Heaven. We both got the one with Gouda and pesto mhmmmm. 

All in all, I am so happy we decided to be a vendor for the world beer festival! We met tons of amazing people and really got the word around town that we’re here and ready to party — woo hoo! I must admit though, I feel really cool that I have a business I get to promote! #dreamscomingtrue 

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The Business, The Bus and The Party

3 Oct

Good Morning and Happy October! I’m still blown away that its already October, before we know it its going to be Thanksgiving, then Christmas and 2014! But before all that happens I wanted to fill everyone in on the new business my dad and I have been working on for the last few months. Its called Grand Touring Transportation and it is basically the coolest party bus you have ever seen. We remodeled an old DWI bus that we bought from the government and completely customized with cool gadgets and luxurious materials. So you can understand what I am talking about when I say completely customized here is the before:

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and here is the after:

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Crazy, right?! We used an amazing local business here in Raleigh, NC for the transformation called Capital City Customs, they do some awesome work and have pictures on their website of past renovations. 

Some of the bus features include a flat screen TV with satellite, surround sound, screen sharing capabilities, state of the art bathroom, ice maker, microwave and mini fridge…. all packed into one moving bus! INSANE. Did you notice we also have granite counter tops and leather ceilings? Like, really? 

To finish everything off we wrapped the entire thing in a design made by our family friend Michael Cantwell (who is a top notch graphic designer, he also did our website and logo).

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Since we were so excited to see this thing finished after months of being worked on, we picked it up and packed it out with supplies for a 2 day party in Rocky Mount last weekend for its maiden voyage! Here he is a sneak pic of the party, more pics will be posted soon…

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While this business took a lot of work to set up, I am so happy we are finally rolling! We are officially taking reservations in the Raleigh area which is pretty exciting to say the least… 

Be sure to check out our website that just went live two weeks ago GrandTouringTransportation.com  

I think the best part about this whole thing is that I get to work with my wonderful Dad EVERY SINGLE DAY. In the same office. With desks across from each other. Great things happen when we get together as you can see from the finished product, so thanks Dad for your fantastic entrepreneurial spirit! (that hopefully got passed down)

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Living like an islander in the Turks and Caicos Islands

13 Sep

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Since I get extremely antsy staying in one place for too long, Wes and I booked a weekend trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands for a mini adventure in some new surroundings. This was kind of a last minute trip so we didn’t have too much time to plan our activities out in advance, but luckily for us, on an Island that has the most beautiful turquoise waters I have ever seen, the main attraction is SNORKELING. Since I am not yet Scuba certified, Wes and I decided to skip out on diving all together so we could do everything together and decided to venture out on our hotel bikes to the other side of the Island to Turtle Cove for some snorkeling. I bought a snazzy new snorkel set from a store down the street from our resort since sharing snorkels kind of grosses me out (I am not that into swapping old crusty spit from hundreds of people I’ve never even met, you know what I mean?)

Diving for sand dollars with my new pink snorkel

Diving for sand dollars with my new pink snorkel

I went for the black goggles and a pink snorkel!

Taking a break from our "highly not recommended" bike ride

Taking a break from our “highly not recommended” bike ride

The best part about this day was the bike ride we took from our resort to the famed snorkel spot at Turtle Cove. When we asked our concierge how long it takes to bike there, they assured us that its too far, unsafe, and not recommended in the killer heat. After hearing their comments we decided that they were all lying and went anyway. Well guess what? It was definitely a sweat inducing, dehydrating,sun scorching, quad burning workout in 100 degree weather and it took WAY. TOO. LONG. Oh and did I mention we only brought one dinky bottle of water? We almost DIED.  But we  made it there! and once we jumped into those beautiful waters we were back to our happy selves.

Ready to Snorkel!

Ready to Snorkel!

The worst part about the ending to this story is that we didn’t get to see any cool fish. LET DOWN!

and so I move on to the next day. After our snorkeling/island hopping excursion was cancelled because of weather, we decided to cab it to another famed snorkel spot a 10 min drive from our hotel. This time, as soon as we got in the water we saw amazing things! Baby barracuda, grown barracuda, crabs, sand dollars,  flounder, parrot fish and snazzy little electric blue fishes.

Snorkel smooches

Snorkel smooches

They have a portion of the reef blocked off with rope and buoys as to protect the coral. We decided we were brave enough to swim all the way out and around the blocked off portion (we saw a child doing it and figured it must be easy) but about 2.5 minutes into our trek we swam into this nice mama barracuda! This made us realize we couldn’t possibly swim any further without lunch and some tropical rum filled drinks. So we turned around, toweled off and enjoyed an afternoon in the sun.

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The scaweeee barracuda

After our snorkel adventure we went back to the hotel to watch the sunset over a couple of red stripes and relax under the warm Island sun.

The next night we met a nice couple from Canada who convinced us to sneak into Club Med with them with fake wrist bands to get free drinks. We got about 10 free drinks until the bouncer figured out our scheme, snatched our drinks out of our hands and kicked us all out. Note to those trying to sneak into club med: don’t ask the bouncer where the bathroom is when you are wearing a fake wristband and holding their free drinks!

More posts on what to eat and where to stay in Turks soon to come! Until then be sure to follow me on twitter @SaraLoch

xoxo Sara

And…. She’s Back

28 Aug

Helloooo again! It’s definitely been a long time since my last post, but let me tell you this, my life has been just hurled upside down then right side up again multiple times in the last few months since my return to the wonderful United States of America. Since I last spoke to you almost a year ago, I have traveled a bit more, moved to Raleigh, then moved to Cary, started working on a new business with my amazing little Dad and so much more!

My time back in the States has truly been an exciting whirlwind of life, love, family and friends. I wanted to write some great posts about the last few trips I have taken that unfortunately didn’t yet make it to the blog. These trips include, canyon jumping in Interlaken, Switzerland, eating amazing food in Hong Kong, working the public transportation system in Thailand and swimming in the most beautiful waters in the world in Turks and Caicos. I also may have a little local fun post coming up that will include write ups about the life of a local in Raleigh, NC (this reminds me of my typical life of a wannabe Italian post I wrote a few months back).

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This is me in a teeny tiny boat in Bangkok, Thailand

I am so excited to jump back into my blogging adventure, and I hope ya’ll stay tuned to see whats been happening over here in the life of little old me (don’t I sound like a southerner already??)

But in the mean time, be sure to follow me on https://twitter.com/SaraLoch to see some of my daily musings and rants… Ta ta for now!

Munich Springfest and The Steins That Come With It.

23 Apr

ImageSo its that time of year again! Don’t let the photo fool you… no, its not yet time for Oktoberfest but it is time for SPRINGFEST! Or Frühlingsfest as they growl in German.

I don’t think Springfest needs much explaining but if you are one of the neophytes that have never been to a beer festival in Germany I’ll give you a little run down with these bullet points:

1. There is an endless supply of beer

2. They are sold in different sizes. The most popular/important size being the Stein (approx. 1 litre. yay!)

3. About every 15 minutes the band plays the “ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” which is a lovely folk song that ends with hundreds of drunk people “prosit-ing” their steins

4. If you stand on the table to chug your stein (like many awesome people do) you better finish it. If not, you will be boo-ed, or worse…

5. Munich is home to the greatest beer festivals in the world. Other cities, beware, you can’t compete with the Germans.

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My first time experiencing Oktoberfest was great since I got to indulge in the amazing bratwurst and other traditional Bavarian food. But two years have gone by and I am now a vegetarian. Therefore, I was forced to snack on unexpectedly incredible chocolate covered fruit… please see photo below:

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(I know what you’re thinking.. the chocolate covered bananas seem tricky to eat in public and in fact, they were. I advise you to go with the same routine as eating a regular banana in public, something I like to call the “rip and slip”. First you rip off a bite-sized piece of banana then slip it quickly into your mouth before attracting unwanted attention).

Moral of the story..

Go to Munich. Drink Beer.

Much love and Namaste,

Sara

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