Growlers- July 2018

Last weekend I drove up to Visit my sister with my two youngest. On route from the ferry and just up the road from my sister, I was able to stop at a couple of breweries and get some new growlers filled with beers.

I saved them for today. I plan on sharing them with friends over a bbq at our place. I was hoping to pick up a couple more growlers while in Leavenworth but never did. Partly because wine was more prevalent down there. Another reason was the cost was more than double what I’d pay up here in BC.

One brewery wanted $45 for a bottle and $10 to fill. Another place only offered the major beer companies that was on tap for a growler fill. It seemed that the town was just starting to get into growler fills but wasn’t quite getting the concept.

Growlers are a way for friends to enjoy a variety of crafted beers. Friends who go for tastings and bring home memories in a bottle. Friends who like to share the tastes and experiences with one another. It’s not about filling a bottle just to get beer. Growlers are a way to bond.

Time to bond with friends!

Leavenworth Day 2.

Wednesday was our full day of exploring Leavenworth. Maybe not all of Leavenworth, but at least some. Here is our little adventure:

We started with a lovely breakfast delivered right to our suite. Fresh fruit, sausages and waffles gave us full bellies because we needed to be ready for our first adventure of the day. We didn’t know that it was going to be almost dinner by the time we ate again. So we headed out bright and early (10:00am) to enjoy some…. tubing!

We went tubing along Icicle River. (It lives up to its name.) As exciting as it may sound, it was just a casual float down the river. The mountains and scenery were beautiful and calming. Some geese and ducks swam up to us along the way. We also saw a deer and her fawn hopping through the river towards the end. It took us 3 hours to float 4 miles. The hardest part was the arm strength needed to paddle from time to time. But the cold water balanced out the hot sun as we enjoyed the scenery. By the end, I was glad it was over- the sun was directly overhead at that point.

When we returned to land- we grabbed a couple of cold beers. Tubing made us feel youthful, so we decided to have a bit of silly fun. It was late afternoon by this point. Many shops would close by 6pm. We had at least two more places we wanted to see. What better way to have fun than….

Visiting a Nutcracker Museum!..??? 😦

Ya. Very not my thing. But with over 6000 nutcrackers inside- I learned a lot about the manufacturing and discovered that this is a huge collectible hobby. It made me realize that I don’t have an obsession with any one thing and need to fill my life with it.

After the Museum, we went for a quick wine tasting at Eagle Creek Winery. This is where we ended up buying a bottle to bring home. There are so many wine tasting locations in Leavenworth that it was difficult to decide which ones to hit.

After the winery we went for dinner at Gustav’s. A lovely pub located at the start of the Leavenworth shopping district with a patio balcony on the second floor. They boast having 30 beers on tap! During dinner we chatted with another couple who we had met while tubing.

Our last stop for the day was at Bushel And Bee Taproom. My wife taught me how to play Cribbage over a couple of drinks. I won two of the three games. My wife says “beginner’s luck”. I say “natural skill”.

All-in-all Leavenworth is a cute little town with lots of places to drink. I enjoyed our visit but I don’t think it’s the kind of place we need to return to.

Leavenworth Day 1.

My wife and I arrived at Leavenworth yesterday in the late afternoon. We drove down Front Street and found a parking spot rather quickly. The obvious aspect of this town is that it is styled with a Bavarian theme. Immediately I noticed two things about the town.

1. There are a lot of overpriced souvenir shops.

2. There are a lot of places to drink. A lot.

So we wandered into the Goose Ridge Vineyard Tasting Room and sampled some white wines and a dessert wine. The hostess was very friendly and knew about the wines she was serving. But when we asked questions about Leavenworth, she didn’t have any real answers. Which I found to be rather odd for a tourist destination.

We left the town so we could check into our Bed & Breakfast. We booked a suite in the Pine River Ranch which is about a 20 minute drive out of town. The room we are staying in is the Natapoc Suite: a super cute half cabin. There’s a fireplace, log furniture, and a soaker tub next to the kitchenette in the middle of the room. With it is included 3 bottles of wine (and a wine tour as well) and a cheese plate that was waiting for us when we arrived.

After a glass of wine in our b&b, we went back into town for dinner. We stopped for a couple of beers first at Icicle Brewing before heading into a restaurant called “Mozart’s“. We were seated at a table near the window and a lovely little Happy Anniversary card was waiting for us.

We had ordered the escargot to start and a share platter for the main. The meal was amazing. Well worth the prices in all honesty. The taste sensation of every bite had me wanting more. If you got to Leavenworth and want a celebratory or romantic meal- this is the place.

We made our way back to our accommodations and finished off a bottle of wine and a bath. I won’t tell you the rest- but it did involve the bed. Alright- we were asleep by 11pm. Relaxed and done for the day.

So day one was a success. Onto a full day now back in town.

Empty Threat?

My wife has threatened to remove my train garden if I don’t fix it up. So today I went to my local garden center that supplies G Scale trains. I brought with me some parts to get fixed and wanted to buy some stuff.

Sadly, the fellow that runs it is retiring within the year. That means no new stock or parts any more. And the stuff he has- is just getting cleared out. I had to make a decision. Do I buy some boxcars for a train set that doesn’t run, or do I walk away empty handed.

I left without buying anything. I texted my wife as well about the hard decision I needed to make. When I spoke to her however- it turns out she doesn’t want to lose the train. She was just making it as an empty threat to get me motivated again. Little did she know that the place nearby would stop supplying my hobby.

On the plus side- it looks like I can spend a “little extra” to get the trains running again. As well as throw a pond in alongside the tracks. Maybe I’ll go with a steam engine this time… I like Trains.

Nowhere To Go, Can’t Wake Up Late

Today we left my sister’s place at 8:15am. We weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere. Our ferry was to depart at 9:20 and it was just up the road.

We were one of the first few on board. But it seemed that they over loaded the passenger count. Turns out that there were four charter buses filled with choirs from around the world on the ferry. The ferry ended up departing 20 minutes late. Meaning we weren’t going to get the connection to our next ferry. I had no problem with this since the choirs were rehearsing on board the ferry. These were very talented kids and teens and a real pleasure to hear. They were also filled with smiles and wonderment as they enjoyed the ride along the water. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to have British Columbia as a home.

Because I knew that I wasn’t going to make the earlier ferry at the next spot, I chose to leisurely drive and stopped at a couple breweries for a growler fill. Unfortunately the first one I stopped at was closed, so I proceeded to the Persephone Brewing Company. While they filled my growler, a young kid sitting a a table with his father offered to do a magic trick for me. Again, I was impressed. He might’ve been about 12 years old and his card force skills were impeccable.

A rule of thumb that I follow for street performers is that if they can stop me and hold my attention for a few minutes- it’s worth giving up some money. This boy was talented and a really good showman. I hope he continues on his journey to entertain and perform. Donating a small token of gratitude can go a long way at any age.

That’s how today went. Easy breezy but unexpectedly entertained by talented youngsters.

Our Canadian July 4th Tradition

Even though my family and I are Canadian, we celebrate Independence Day the same way every year. We get together and enjoy a typical American meal such as burgers or pizza- tonight is Costco hot dogs and soda.

I put on the closest t-shirt I have to being something that symbolizes USA. And we wish a happy, healthy Fourth of July to our friends in the USA.

Then we watch the one film that symbolizes July 4th for us.

We love this film. Two years ago I wrote about how the tradition began and our journey through Nevada on the Extraterrestrial Highway: ID4

I wrote again about the film Last year and my opinion on “fake news”.

But something wonderful about the film reminds me of America. It’s a classic Hollywood Blockbuster with action, comedy, and heart. It showcases heroics, the fall and rise of a diverse group of people and a sense of leadership. Leadership that is needed to bring the US back from destruction.

I love this film- for all it’s campiness and ridiculous moments. And for the joy it brings my family as we look forward to viewing it every year.

Boarded Fort Langley

Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia. The price of homes in this Langley neighborhood are some of the highest in the district. Some houses hitting almost $1.5M for a teardown. The new houses going up are monstrous modern models that aren’t keeping with the heritage feel that the council wants to force elsewhere.

Usually I enjoy visiting Fort Langley. But lately it just doesn’t have the luster it once had. Mainly because of the shops, or rather, the lack there of.

Walking down Glover Road in Fort Langley, you’d think the place was turning into a ghost town. This is the main drag of the town. What once had small businesses and shoppes, is now an eyesore with many storefronts boarded up. One developer isn’t getting his way with the council, so he is making a statement. The council wants a style of building to represent Fort Langley, but it isn’t the same vision the developer has.

Personally, I like what the developer has done with his other properties. It has enhanced the feel of Fort Langley. One of my favorite restaurants is in one of his storefronts. It’s a shame that there isn’t a resolution in the foreseeable future.

Fort Langley has always been important to me. I proposed to my wife at a coffee shop in Fort Langley while a tv show being filmed. We got married in a lovely 100+ year old church while a movie across the road was being filmed. Our ceremony stopped film production and the crew came to watch our small wedding.

I don’t like seeing Fort Langley boarded up. The problem isn’t that the developer wants to make something ugly. In fact, many of the storefronts that are boarded up needed to be torn down decades ago. Instead, there was a temporary “facelift” done back in 2012. I want to see newer, nicer stores that welcome visitors to Fort Langley.

It is the birthplace of BC after all. Maybe the township council needs to give Fort Langley a Re-Birth.

Proudly Canadian

Happy Canada Day!

I’m fortunate to call Canada my home. My family is also quite happy about it. As great as it is to travel to other countries, coming back to the “land of the free” is always reassuring. This is a great country with wonderful people residing here.

I always try and do something “Canadian” on Canada Day. Sometimes I go to a parade, eat poutine or drink Molson Canadian. Other times it’s hanging out with friends at a BBQ drinking Molson Canadian. Today I am doing the most Canadian thing I can think of- instead of drinking beer and watching hockey. I am going to work at CN Rail aka Canadian National.

How ever you are celebrating today- have fun and behave. Our polite reputation relies on it.

Happy Canada Day!

Was 1998 Really That Long Ago?

Back in May of this year, I mentioned how I like to communicate with old friends: Friends For A Lifetime. Last night I met up with someone I consider to be one of the nicest and wisest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

It was twenty years ago when we lost touch. No idea how or why. Most likely, our lives suddenly changed. Back then he dubbed the year: 98 Revival. We had only met once after that in 2001 for my bachelor party. Without knowing it, it turned out to be our last big hoorah.

Even after 20 years, we laughed and shared stories. It felt youthful and revitalizing to have some one-on-one time to talk. Kids, jobs, hardships, accomplishments- all happened as we went our separate ways 20 years ago. Big events happened to each of us in 2007 that carved out who we have become to this day.

What we talked about mostly was music. Music that inspired us. Music we would listen to back in the day, and what we continue to listen to. Music that he created with numerous friends of ours. He continues to create music. A love of creating and performing is in his blood. Give him a follow on Facebook at Sick Logic. It’s never been a one man show, but a difficult road for him to journey with constantly changing band members.

In 2016, I met up with a mutual friend of ours while I was in Los Angeles: Seeing Old Friends. Perhaps one day we can all regroup and live like we did back in “The Complex.” Crazy, stupid times that killed brain cells all while making memories.

G.L.O.W.

G.L.O.W. Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was a wrestling show from the late 80’s (1986-1989). I used to watch it every Saturday night in my bedroom. Hey, I was about to hit puberty- what better way to get myself aquatinted with the female form than to watch them fight? Plus a tv in my room meant my parents had no idea what I was watching.

Women wrestling each other with big 80’s hair and spandex. These were active, hair pulling, smack talking, strong women. I think I developed a type that I began to like in those formative years. Most women I dated (and even married) have been very confident and strong females with a sexy side. And hair! But the show itself was laughable for the most part.

Fast forward my life to earlier this week. I completely forgot about G.L.O.W. until surfing on Netflix brought up the show. Season One was released a year ago and I never heard much about it. I saw it advertised on Netflix but pre-teen me didn’t think the show would be that good. Now this wasn’t reruns or a remake- it was a storyline style show.

I figured what the heck- for a quick show to fill the void of some other sitcoms, I’d give it a try. I was not disappointed. Even my wife got into the show. We watched 2-3 episodes each night this week- loving it. Then last night something odd happened.

We were watching the last two episodes of Season 1. We finished just after midnight. Season 2 began streaming at exactly midnight. What luck! We had managed to enjoy the first season and it rolled over into the next season all ready for our binge-watching enjoyment. In a way I’m glad I missed out on the show last year when it released. Now I am able to enjoy a second dose immediately! Check out G.L.O.W. this weekend, it is a lot of fun.

It makes me wonder though, will Netflix create a series based on “American Gladiators” or “Rollergames” in the future? My inner teen sure hopes so.