Last Minute Date Night

I was about to leave work when my wife sent me a text:

My suggestions of fast food didn’t seem to sway her decision from still meeting me.

So instead of me driving home, after a long day at work, to vegetate before bed; I met up with my wife for a couple beers and a pub style dinner at a place called Mission Springs Brewery.

We were seated out on the patio at a deck couch. A flight of beers and some crazy delicious burgers were enjoyed. We felt youthful again as we giggled and flirted like we did when we had just begun dating. No one else was sitting on the patio, so we felt like we were being treated like celebrities- Off in a comfortable corner, but with people still able to see us from inside.

The evening had cooled off nicely. Our meal was enjoyed as we watched the sunset in peace. This was the evening my wife had wanted. –NOT KFC

I’m glad I was able to accommodate. I enjoyed our spontaneous date.

Slacker Sunday

My Sunday was a bit hazy for me. So I’m glad I took some photos. I don’t usually have days like that. I had finished a set of four night shifts with a few rough days of sleep in between because of the warm weather. On Sunday morning, I came home and grabbed a quick four hours of sleep before hanging with the family.

We headed out for a late lunch in Fort Langley at “The Trading Post“. I grabbed a flight of four beers and sampled a raspberry, blueberry, citrus, and an ipa. My wife enjoyed a glass of raspberry beer. Lunch consisted of sharing some yam fries, farmer’s poutine and falafel bites. Very tasty tidbits that’s for sure.

Afterwards we walked around Fort Langley and did a part of the “Fort to Fort Trail“. We watched a couple of trains go by and I waved to my coworkers. On our way back to the car, we walked up a pedestrian overpass as another train went by underneath. Ya, I know what you’re thinking- Joe’s a foamer- but the railroad runs right along Fort Langley. I think those that live there must like trains as well since they live alongside the tracks.

When we got home, each of us took a siesta. I hit the hammock outside and woke up with the worst attack of allergies I’ve had all season. At least we were all sufficiently rested for dinner. Our daughter had brought home from her work some salmon filets. This is pronounced Fill Lit, not Fill Lay according to our fish monger daughter (I learned something new). It was deliciously cooked over the bbq by her as well. She is becoming quite the chef as she grows up.

By the time dinner was done, I was still in a haze and was barely functioning. Even my couple of naps throughout the day weren’t helping. I just needed to catch up on real sleep and hope for my allergies to scram. Being exhausted isn’t fun.

I’m glad we got some photos throughout the day to help me remember it.

The Cookie Conspiracy

I bought a bag of chocolate chip cookies last week. It’s not something that I normally do. In fact, it’s usually a once a year occurrence. We tend to bake cookies instead- mostly in the winter. So this bag of cookies was a spontaneous purchase.

I don’t even like store bought cookies that much. They taste fake. These ones especially since they are not a “brand name” cookie. All I really wanted was one cookie. Which brings me to our story.

My wife wasn’t happy that I bought the bag. So she told everyone that we were saving it for our camping trip later this month. I didn’t really mind, so I put the unopened bag of cookies in the cupboard. Out of sight- out of mind. No big deal.

So a week passes. My younger daughter calls my wife to ask if she can have a cookie. My wife says, if the bag is open- you can have one. Knowing that the bag hasn’t been opened. My wife comes home after to discover a row of cookies GONE!

When asked of our children, “Who opened the cookies?” None of them admitted to it. So my wife and I did some investigating. We asked numerous questions to try and discover the culprit. We had some suspicions. But we ended up being wrong.

Turns out all three were guilty of taking cookies. They formed a criminal alliance of siblings!

Crescent Beach Sunset

On Tuesday, we went for a dinner at Crescent Beach as a family. We go at least once a year to eat fish and chips along the water’s edge and watch the sunset.

Each of us grabbed a meal from the Red Baron to go. It’s an older place run by an elderly Asian couple. Their deep fried cod is amazing and their fries are nice and crisp. The restaurant doesn’t look like much, but it sure is satisfying. It’s also a couple bucks cheaper than anywhere else nearby- and it’s in a great location at the end of Beecher Street.

The orange glow brought out our smiles and cheekiness as we finished our meal. We then walked up and down the coastline waiting for the sun to set. We laughed and talked as we strolled along. Minutes before the sun went down, we found a nice log to sit on and watch the day end.

Living in the West Coast is absolutely breathtaking. Taking the time to enjoy the beauty that the world offers is important.

Sharing these moments with loved ones is equally as important.

Grilled

I love to cook. It’s a passion of mine. I love to experiment with foods. Both healthy and otherwise. We also have an abundance of cooking equipment. From a vegetable steamer to a deep fryer. Slow cooker to a BBQ. We have numerous cast iron pans, a wok, a pasta maker, mixers, and even a couple of fondue pots.

Today we are using a Dazey Nutri Broil Smokeless Indoor Grill. I found it at the local Value Village a few weeks ago for $10. It was brand new and never used. We are going to use it outside- because safety! I’ve never used an indoor grill before. And who knows if this will even work. Best to try cooking outside.

These first pictures are from a couple of months ago on Easter Sunday while we were on vacation. Our trip to Tokyo has inspired tonight’s dinner.

I have prepared an abundance of beef and pork for our meal tonight. Since we are grilling some meat up, I thought why not try cooking as a family. We took turns flipping the meat and serving it up.

Dinner was a success. The grill worked wonderfully. Time to prepare for a meat coma! Beer obviously went best with tonight’s dinner, so I bought a large can of Asahi to share with my wife.

We sat around the outside table and grilled the meat. It was 90 minutes of talking and laughing as a family. I think we may have to do this more often. I love that we all reminisced and planned future vacations over a lovely meal.

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.

Dinner: Disassembled

One of our favorite meals involves using wraps. It’s a fun and easy way to serve dinner. Plus it means the kids have to do some of the work.

Fresh vegetables this time of year are a must. Crisp green lettuce and firm juicy tomatoes add to the enjoyment. Sometimes we slice up an avocado or peppers as well.

Seasoned ground beer is our most commonly used main part of the dish. Using a Cast Iron pan keeps the meat warm and is great to go from stovetop to oven as well. (Sometimes we substitute grilled chicken with taco seasoning.)

Add a bit of sour cream and shredded cheese, wrap it up and enjoy. Wraps are very versatile. We also make a wicked garlicky grilled chicken caesar wrap. On quick meal making days, a can of refried beans, salsa and leftover rice makes a tasty burrito.

Since it’s dinner at home, a cold beer or some tequila is a great way to wash it all down. Lots of smiles and full bellies afterwards “wraps” up a family dinner.

Cooling Off For Cheap!

Today was the last day of high school for my daughters. So when I picked them up we all went out to grab a cold slushie!

Today was a hot sunny day. Cooling off with a cold syrupy drink seemed like a great idea. Super sweet and a sugar crash to follow. I found a place that has 12 different flavors available, in any size for a buck! And the deal is all summer. I know what we will be doing a couple of times each week:

Summertime is fun time. It seems that my kids are happiest when relaxing with a treat. Freezies and slushies are always a tasty way to cool off.

I remember always walking to the corner store and buying penny candies and slushies all the time when I was a child. Memories of my childhood friends came flooding back today as I sipped on my ice cold syrup rainbow mix of flavors. Every one of them has grown up. Many have kids of their own. I wonder if they have memories of their childhoods that involve me? Maybe.

Stay cool my friends! And yes, I also buy “adult slushies” now.