Plan ahead

Are you someone who plans ahead?

I’m not sure if that ability to preplan is inherited or learned. However, speaking from my personal perspective, I’ve discovered some interesting thoughts about this subject.

Early on, I enjoyed just letting things happen. In full transparency, that period of time was when I was a young lad. I didn’t have to plan because my folks did it for me. I could simply sit back and things happened as they were meant to happen. Sound familiar?

Suddenly, I found myself outside their protective umbrella and it was necessary for me to make plans for myself. Again, there’s nothing new here, and I expect most of us followed that same path.

For instance, when planning for a trip, I soon realized that it was much more intelligent to list my needs for the trip than to just try to remember everything for it. So that list to make ensure my drive from New Jersey to Minnesota would go as planned better be written down. What clothes do I take, where do we stay overnight, and I better know when and where to fill up my gas tank. And, that’s just a few of the listed items.

So, I learned to plan ahead, but also inherited my parents careful planning attitude. Of course, some things happen by happenstance. For instance, my first taste of a Grecian wine.

We had our trip to Athens planned, and all was marvelous. The Parthenon is so impressive. The amphitheater was awesome, and the city is overall historically breathtaking. Naturally, we had to eat somewhere, and we found ourselves a nice street side cafe. Luckily, I felt the need to be brave so I ordered a glass of Assyrtiko wine. I had no idea what kind of wine that was, but heck, when in Rome…ah, no … when in Athens do as the Greeks do, right?

I don’t recall the wine’s brand name, but I still drink the wine today. The taste brings back that moment at the cafe, and our trip to the great city. In this case, happenstance seeded my need to plan for more of this wine’s delicious flavors and history.

And, speaking of imbibing, take it from me you should always plan ahead when having an alcoholic beverage.

Alcohol tends to change us, doesn’t it? I have first hand knowledge of this fact. In full honesty, I had too much to drink during two occasions. Both times I, ah, emptied my stomach. Sorry about that admission, but I learned from those two moments, and never want to repeat them. Therefore, let’s go over some ideas about planning ahead when you are going out for an occasion.

When going out for a dinner, plan ahead about how much alcohol to drink. It’s always best to have a minimalistic viewpoint about the volume of alcohol to consume. Of course, a designated driver is always a good idea.

How much can you ingest before feeling fuzzy? If you’re a beginner, take it slow! A beer or two, at most, and slowly taken is a good plan. As you mature in your imbibing career, and know what you are drinking, you’ll discover your limit.

If you are at a restaurant, order and eat some appetizers before you sip. The food slows down the alcohol’s absorption rate and will prolong your eating adventure.

Know what you want to drink, and the alcohol by volume (ABV) of each type of beverage. A nicely made cocktail can easily have ABV levels between forty and 50%. That means about half of your cocktail is alcohol, and that’s pretty hefty, folks! A cocktail on the rocks like a tasty Manhattan is a good idea. The ice dilutes the drink and allows you to sip longer and with more pleasure.

If your liquid of choice is wine, the ABV level will range from 5% (very sweet) to over 14% meaning a very dry wine. If you don’t know the alcohol level of the wine you want in during a dinner, ask the wait staff.

Let’s say you enjoy a certain type of beer. Well, it’s best to know the brew’s ABV level here, too. Beers can range from about 4% to over 7% alcohol. Your lite beers are usually your lowest alcohol level beers, and the higher levels of alcohol can be found in many India Pale Ales (IPA) and lagers. If your brew is an Imperial Pale Ale — also known as a Double Imperial Pale Ale (DIPA) — be careful. Again, know what you are enjoying and respect it.

Finally, when you sip your favorite beverage of choice, do so mindfully. See it, smell it, sip it slowly and appreciate the specialness of it.

We consume alcohol during many social occasions. Please do so intelligently and with patience. Your beverage is not going anywhere.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!



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