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It was a perfect weekend in Virginia (if not hot). Lots of time in the river. An evening playing live music for friends. So how do ease back into work mode? Why with the help of the Donovan hotel of course. My home away from home in DC is particularly welcoming this visit!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the shower pod

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the shower pod

You see, my friend Steph Vogel has been holding out on me. But no more! Now we’ve been in 1110. YES!

Welcome

Welcome

We will pretend that this is a flight of Pappy van Winkle bourbon.

Living room overlooking the circle

Living room overlooking the circle

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This suite is huge.

Bedroom

Bedroom

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But the shower is what stands out. A nautilus design with a spiral. Very cool.

The nautilus shower is NPS approved

The nautilus shower is NPS approved

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Without setting foot in an airplane, we’re somehow still pampered beyond belief. Five showerheads for the Donovan. Thanks for ending the weekend on a high note!

No Fly July 2016

July 4, 2016

No fly July means no airplanes, no hotels, and a bunch of actual thinking. Maybe a dip or two in the river for good measure.

See you in August.

NPS cleans the bar

June 30, 2016

Sometimes the bar must be cleaned. Here is a series of tweets from the @noplasticshower stream (follow us today)!

This accounts for about half of the collection. The other half (reserves mostly) are under the bar itself.

Richmond Rogues

June 11, 2016

OK OK, once again staying at a friend’s house, so no hotel to talk about, but after a day being trapped in a conference room in Tysons Corner, the swing over to The Rogue Gentlemen was a most welcome respite. We invaded by uber.

The Rogue Gentlemen

The Rogue Gentlemen

It being Negroni week, there was a Negroni round.

Ice program

Ice program

And then there was a Paul Blumer special, which he calls a Sazarac # Infinity, and we call a High Octane Gasoline Sazarac.
1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 oz Calvados
Dash of honey syrup
4 dashes Peycahud’s
1 dash Angustora

Rinse the iced serving cup with Absinthe and Ardbeg 10. Serve up.

Anyway, swing on by ya’ll.

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Spring Rose: Virginia

Spring Rose: Virginia

We left the Spring rose in Virginia for a short visit to Boston on Jet Blue and a quick overnight at our home away from home the Hotel Marlowe. All day meetings and dinner was interrupted by a quick cocktail with GM Joe Capalbo who runs a very tight ship. Joe was rewarded with slightly defrosted pork.

After a fantastic meal at the always great Cragie on Main we finally made it upstairs to 820, our very most favorite room on the property. Maybe we just like the word presidential??

Amenity in the presidential suite

Amenity in the presidential suite

But wait, what is this cocktail? The
IMG_2205 Really?? LOL. Nobody suffers at the Marlowe. We can be ungrateful though!

This cocktail needs some adjustment into what we’ll call the Ungrateful Bast@%rd as follows:
1 oz cask strenth bourbon
1 oz Dolin’s dry vermouth
1 oz lemon
stir down. in an ice filled high ball, add Fever Tree ginger beer to the top.

Serve with a cheese plate.

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No really, we’re actually very grateful!

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820 has some new gear and some old gear. It is a gorgeous room.

Sleeping quarters

Sleeping quarters

Sitting quarters

Sitting quarters

Bathing quarters

Bathing quarters

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One of my favorite parts of visiting the Hotel Marlowe is the valet guys who I have come to know over the years. It is always nice to see them.

Marlowe circle art.

Is it green?  Is it blue?  who knows?

Is it green? Is it blue? who knows?

Fiver showerheads in perpetuity for the Hotel Marlowe (and some pork ribs xrayed by the TSA).

Perhaps this is a trend. Hopefully not! Anyway, NPS finds itself in another city not staying in a hotel. What?! The reason this time has to do with the rather appalling state of hotels in Ann Arbor. For example, these hotels.

There is still plenty of information that NPS readers can benefit from WRT Ann Arbor. So here it is.

First of all, there seems to be some kind of underground bread oven thing going on.

Bread oven

Bread oven

And, not following the Mason-derived construction rules can lead to hard labor.

For a supremely good brunch (especially on a Sunday) try either location of Cafe Zola.

Excellent Cuban food can be found at Frita Batidos.

Finally, there are some reasonable cocktails to be had at Mash.

The Ravens Club has an outstanding bourbon and rye collection, including George T Stagg, Hirsch 74, and Thomas Handy.

Ravens Club bar

Ravens Club bar

Though dinner at Logan was truly outstanding in all respects (fantastic food, super bar, very good wine list, top notch service), we were left with a sour taste in our mouth when one of the owners (there are three) stopped the bar from providing us a recipe for a cocktail before heading out the door. Fuck that. In our view here at NPS, keeping recipes and techniques secret is the domain of children and assholes. Don’t be one.

Logan's cute little bar

Logan’s cute little bar

The attempt failed.

Here’s how to make a None More Black
1.5 oz black sesame infused blackstrap Cruzan rum
.75 oz cocchi americano apertivo
.5 oz root
Stir down, strain into coupe, express orange peel and balance.

The Last Word on a Tuesday

The Last Word on a Tuesday

At the quasi-underground Last Word, we had a Last word (it was almost chartreuse day) (of course) and proceeded with a Rye and Bourbon lesson using the antique collection 2015 offerings. The Last Word is a great place to drink.

A Last Word at the Last Word

A Last Word at the Last Word

When visiting Ann Arbor, make sure not to be sentenced to three or more years of hard labor building a bread oven.

Sometimes the Fates smile on NPS. Well actually, the Fates are awesome and we mostly love them. This is one of those times. Coming to silicon valley and want to see some great friends? Well it turns out that Yo Yo Ma is in town playing his cello. Sure, the concert has been sold out for months, but you know that thing about the Fates we were talking about.

So we saw the astounding show (which featured a Shosaakovich piece that was out of this world in addition to the usual candy). And then we had a delicious “after the three encores” dinner at Monsieur Benjamin just down the street from the Davies. Our millenial waiter was amusing.

After that it was too late to try out the new Wildhawk (which we are bummed about…sorry Kenny).

Evidence of hippies abounded in SF at an undisclosed location. For example, consider this fridge which seems to have a Bitter Liberals sticker on it.

Or this collection of original Haight-Ashbury posters from the ’60s.

Must be San Francisco.

Even the trip back is looking up since this go ’round we have the seat we always try to get on Virgin America. If only the gogo network were not so sporadic.

Almost forgot a quick visit to one of my very favorite bars, Dirty Habit where Raul Ayala made me a Desert in the Tropics
1.5 Citadelle gin
.5 lemon juice
.5 pineapple gum syrup
.5 cactus puree
.5 leonor 12 palo cortado sherry

rim with smoked paprika and salt

Just fantastic

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