Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 82: CPCA "Thirsty Thursday"

My first week at CPCA, my supervisor, V, organized a Happy Hour outing after work.  This was a definite sign that "we're not in Kansas any longer" or rather that I had moved into a very different work culture compared to that of PPMM.  I soon discovered that CPCA values and doesn't skimp on catering for our meetings, events, and conferences, and this extends to the availability of alcoholic beverages at work gatherings, which was never a part of PPMM-sanctioned activities at all!

Over the past year or so, I've started to arrange for monthly Happy Hour outings for CPCA to the various restaurants and venues that are close to the office.  The initial terminology was "WOW" (Wine on Wednesday), and then after switching to slightly later in the week, the phrase has become "Thirsty Thursday."  This latter term is also more inclusive, of course, as it doesn't suggest that only wine will be consumed...

This month, I hadn't put anything on the calendar yet, so I did a last-minute invitation on Tuesday evening for tonight, and that spontaneity was actually quite successful, as 8 of us met up at Downtown & Vine on K Street, just 3 blocks from the CPCA office:

This is a great wine bar that has been successful enough over the past year to expand its offerings with beers on tap and more food options.  I was a relatively early visitor to the venue when it first opened, frequenting the site with CPCA colleagues, with my friend S for our monthly Happy Hour, and of course with Mr. E.

The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, with small clusters of tables in addition to a lovely bar area:

I especially enjoy the wine flights, as I like being able to have small tastes of a variety of wines.  During Happy Hour, there are usually 4 wines (2 white and 2 red) available by the glass for $5 along with $1 off all tapas.  My favorite menu item is the cheese plate, a sample of which is in the upper left quadrant below, as it's is a perfect size to share (with S or Mr. E, for example):

Here in Sacto, this is probably the closest substitute we have for our beloved original version of Barriques back in Madison, a site that continues to have strong positive memories for Mr. E and me, as it was the location of our first "non-date" in January 2002.  Downtown & Vine hasn't become quite such a memorable spot [yet?], but it's certainly one of our favorites.


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