It’s Christmas Time

Last night our son wanted to help with dinner, so I had him make pretty much all of it. And it turned out delicious. We made schnitzel together. It was the first time he has helped to make it.

It’s the dinner I had every Christmas Eve growing up. I’m not sure why, but schnitzel at Christmas always tastes better than schnitzel any other time. Last night was even tastier because of it being made by our thirteen year old.

Carrying on traditions and engaging our children in them makes me happy. We have many other traditions that we keep up with. But this dinner is my favorite.

What do you have for dinner at Christmas? Have you shared with your children how to prepare and cook meals? Let me know in the comments.

And Merry Christmas to one and all!

Orange You Glad?

When you’re happy- it’s good to share some smiles with the world. On Saturday our daughter decided to mark up our mandarin oranges with some attitude.

I take two of the oranges with me to work each day. To be honest, this actually brightens my days more than I expected. Our daughter shared the picture on her Instagram and her friends loved it as well.

Sometimes a simple gesture or a bit of fun can make people happy. Orange you glad I shared this image today?

More Christmas Cookie Baking

My wife turned me on to a wonderful tradition- baking cookies for Christmas. I bake a variety of cookies throughout December. The problem is that the cookies I baked two weeks ago are all gone. Now it’s time to buckle down and bake more for the winter break.

When my wife and I first met, we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts for family and friends. So baking cookies, handmade candles, cards, and ornaments was a good way to show we cared. Crafting and baking was also a fantastic way to get some quality time.

Now, years later, I bake solo for the most part during this time of year. I’ve had the kids help periodically, but our weekends and evenings are filled up with activities. I bake during my days off with some Christmas tunes playing. I have a pleasurable time dancing around the kitchen.

I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you. No, it’s not Wookiee Cookies, even though they are top notch! I want to share one of the most basic recipes ever that is from a cookbook from 1979. I received the book in 1980 or 1981 and I’ve made these Peanut Butter cookies ever since. Only once did they turn out awful. That was a mix of the peanut butter I used (don’t use crunchy!) and the fact that I thought making them bigger would make them tastier. I was about 10 years old at the time- bigger should’ve meant better, right?

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup regular sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In large bowl mix shortening and peanut butter. Add both kids of sugar, stir until mixed. Then stir in eggs and vanilla. Mix throughly.
  • In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix all ingredients together.
  • Form dough into small balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Gently flatten with a fork to create a “hashtag”.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
  • An optional change I have made is adding a cup of Reese’s peanut butter chips into the mix. The chips don’t melt and really bring out more peanut butter flavor to them.

    Enjoy this recipe! I’m now onto making those Wookiee Cookies and moist ginger snaps. Maybe I’ll share those recipes at a later date.

    Staff Christmas Party

    Last night my wife and I attended my work Christmas Party at my boss’s home. After a long day of watching our son at Speed Skating, it was nice to get out and socialize. And my coworkers enjoy socializing!

    I’m the kind of person who generally gets things going at various events- be it a wedding or party. I don’t mean getting out of hand and crazy. I mean I’m usually the first one at the food table gathering nun-nums and starting the conversation of what foods I tried. Last night was no exception. I also tend to place myself down in a good spot that many people “stop by” and strike up conversations.

    As the evening progressed, everyone let loose a bit more. A couple coworkers cleared off the dining room table for a beer pong tournament, while others shared some of their more fancier alcohols. Music, jokes and great conversations were happening. I had to cut my evening short about three hours in. It was already a long day, plus I had to be up early for work. My coworkers were getting up to some shenanigans and I’m sure some fun stories will be shared at the water cooler this week.

    Working with a hangover is for the young these days. I haven’t wanted to push my limits lately as there are already plenty of stories of my insobriety out there. Even my kids have a few.

    As we left, I thanked our hosts for the hospitality. My boss’s wife is quite amazing at cooking and baking it seems. There was a lovely spread of appetizers and treats laid out. As we were leaving, I asked for her recipe on how she made the doughnuts. She mentioned that it’s on her blog in which I follow. Honestly, I didn’t know that I followed her specifically, because I enjoy a variety of blogs. But there she was, and her first blog post- Doughnuts! I may have to try my hand at deep frying something beyond savory goodies one day.

    Just a friendly reminder- If you are out at holiday parties please make sure you have a safe ride home. As embarrassing as being a bit tipsy may be the next day, having a “next day” is more important.

    Raving Gamer

    For my wife’s birthday, I took her out for lunch this afternoon at a place called The Raving Gamer Bistro in Langley, BC.

    It’s the perfect style of place for my wife and I. It’s locally owned and operated. The menu serves locally-sourced ingredients from many of the places that I love to visit in Langley and nearby.

    I enjoyed the Three’s Company Grilled Cheese: Golden Ears cheddar & gouda on Langley’s A Bread Affair’s Three’s Company bread.

    My wife ate the Raving Water Buffalo Burger: a house-made patty of local water buffalo with bread and butter pickles, fresh tomatoes, red onion, gouda from Golden Ears Cheese Crafters, double smoked bacon and a house-made Russian dressing.

    Both of us opted for the house-cut fries with “butta-shoyu” & Japanese spice; and a local beer to wash it all down.

    During our lunch, we had a chance to enjoy some one on one time while playing board games. The selection of games to play was extensive. After our meal, we browsed through some of the games for sale. These aren’t your typical Monopoly variations or poker games. Many of the games I had never heard of. But when I asked the staff about games- they had knowledgeable answers.

    We had a nice quiet lunch- we were the only two customers in there. It sounds like they are much busier in the evening time, especially on the weekends. I highly recommend visiting the Bistro. But be prepared to spend time and money! We were there for about an hour and a half and spent $100. But we also picked up a game that we have been wanting for some time now. So it was worthwhile investment for the future of our fun!

    Baking Cake

    I enjoy baking cookies. I think I’ve mastered the art of deliciousness in each and every batch. My family and coworkers enjoy sampling my treats. And I really enjoy sharing them.

    Today I made ginger snaps. And just like every other cookie I bake- they turned out perfect. I also baked a cake for my wife’s birthday tomorrow. Cakes for me are easy. I only ever do the boxed cakes. Quick and easy. I usually have a variety of mixes on hand because we use them as a Waffle batter substitute. Best idea ever!

    However, I am not talented at icing cakes. I understand the concept behind butter cream icing, crumb coats and piping tubes. I can just never express in physical form what my mind is trying to achieve.

    Our son’s birthday cake earlier this year looked tasty. But it wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. It did the trick though. A a sweet dessert treat for a quick celebration. The same goes for my wife’s cake for tomorrow. My heart is in it, but my skills just aren’t there.

    So I’ll just bake more cookies later this month. Those are always a hit.

    The Big Freeze

    Yesterday I went into our large freezer to look for a dinner idea. I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. That’s because our chest freezer had become chaotic.

    My wife and I were given this freezer twenty years ago from a family friend of mine. They were moving out of province and were giving away items. I picked up this chest freezer and an old school heavy a.f. pullout couch bed. Come to think of it, I have no idea where that couch has gone to now…

    Anyhow, I decided to clean out the freezer and reorganize it. Jut like I did with our fridge freezer last year: Freezer Food

    It was like diving into a time capsule. Deep down in the recesses I discovered ham from 2016 and beef stew from 2015. Looks like our dog was going to get those once thawed.

    I scrapped all the ice off and gave the freezer a wipe down before reorganizing and taking inventory of what we had. Seems like we have meals for a few weeks remaining. It also looks like our freezer is only half full now. Where as before it was a jumble of crap. I’m happy to have gone through it and make it tidy once more.

    To make myself feel warmer, I kept some frozen blueberries out and made a batch of tasty blueberry muffins. This has got me in the mood to start some Christmas Cookie Baking! Is it too soon? Maybe the first batches will be “testers”, right?

    Paper Straw?

    Last night at work for lunch I had A&W. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had food from there. The burger and onion rings were moderately okay. But my drink… I put the straw up to my lips and instantly hated it.

    The paper straw gave me goose bumps and an icky feeling. So I couldn’t enjoy my beverage. Two hours later I tried to have another sip and the paper straw was turning into wet sugar pulp. It was as if the straw esophagus was having and allergic reaction to the soda. It began to collapse in on itself.

    In the end, I took the lid off with the straw still in the punctured X and threw it in the trash. I didn’t recycle them out of sheer frustration and anger. Immediately I began to hate myself and A&W for ruining my meal.

    Never again. No more paper mache in my drinks! I will hunt down a plastic straw wholesaler and stock pile those fish killing plastic death tubes. I know there are glass and metal straws available. But I’m not pretentious enough to carry one of those on my person in a leather satchel like a heroine addict and his kit.

    You know what, from now on don’t give me a paper straw or a sippy cup lid (What the heck are those?) I’m just not going to buy fast food drinks any more. I was going to say I’ll just buy bottled water- but that’s bad for the environment too.

    There’s no winning. Maybe I should just dehydrate myself like a raisin or a prune.

    Is A Brewery Good For Kids?

    I have been taking my children to the Trading Post Eatery in Fort Langley for ages now. This is the second location of their brewery and is more of an eatery and brewhouse than anything. Usually I have a beer and I treat the kids to a snack. We love the yam fries and specialty foods that are available.

    Because of the quality of the food- I don’t mind the kids tagging along. This afternoon my son asked if he is allowed to order some food for pick up on his lunch. That brought up an interesting thought- “Is it okay for my kids to order food from a brewery?” The answer is “Yes”.

    At least from this local “restaurant” it’s not an issue. I asked the manager and he said it’s totally fine for my kids to place an order for pick up. My son now has Trading Post as a contact in his phone for those days at lunch that he wants to walk in to town and grab lunch.

    Mug Shots

    Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

    It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

    My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

    I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

    Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

    A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

    Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

    Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

    Are you as cheesy as we are?

    Let me know in the comments.

    My Turkey Helper

    On Saturday I had two of our children help with baking: Saturday Baking with My Kids. Yesterday I had our middle child help with our turkey dinner.

    We had a lot of fun preparing the bird. I love teaching my children the art of cooking. Giving explanations to the “hows” and “whys” when cooking is always important. From temperatures to spices- it’s all important.

    Once the bird had been cooking for a few hours, it was back to making the side dishes. Vegetables and mashed potatoes were about to be prepared. Our daughter thought her helping out was over after the bird so she had gotten changed into some nicer clothes. Little did she know that making a feast takes a lot of effort! But she willingly assisted.

    Our dinner turned out delicious. We now have plenty of leftovers to last the week. From soup to sandwiches- we will be eating turkey leftovers until we are sick of them. Much like everyone else who is celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend.

    So enjoy your meals with family and friends. Don’t let the Tryptophan knock you down. I’m ready for a nap just writing about it.

    Saturday Baking With My Kids

    On Saturday I spent a couple of hours with our youngest teaching him how to bake an apple pie. He was very thorough in adding the ingredients and the pie looked fantastic.

    As we finished baking the apple pie, our oldest daughter helped in the kitchen by baking some Wookiee Cookies. Those are a favorite of the family. If the recipe is followed they are really easy to make.

    Our home smelled delightful and the baked goods are ready for consumption. As the holiday season approaches (in two months!!!), it’s time to get the family involved more with baking.

    As well, we love to share home baked goods with friends. The holidays are a great excuse to share. Why not get some tastings going along the way?

    Staying Dry

    My wife and I had a fairly successful Sober September. I faltered once and had a beer at the airport in Winnipeg. As September ended and October began, I wasn’t eagerly waiting for the month to end in order to “Hit the sauce” so to speak.

    On Thursday we went out with some friends for a dinner. Originally we were going to go to Trading Post in Abbotsford- a place with great food and atmosphere. I would’ve likely had my favorite beer there- the 1828 Helles Lager. But they were closed for a private event. So we ended up at The Canadian Brewhouse instead.

    Their beer special was Budweiser. A beer I don’t overly enjoy. So I had a ginger ale instead and I felt good about it. I know we’re only five days into October, but I’ve been enjoying a variety of teas and sodas in lieu of alcohol. The only thing I’m noticing is that I am craving sweets more often. Hence the sodas.

    As Autumn progresses, I’ll probably enjoy a drink or two at some point. I’m just not actively going out to buy beers or planning nights with friends at breweries as I have in the past.

    Maybe I can find an elegant tea house nearby and invite you out for a social date.

    Carnaval

    Yesterday I mentioned Business Trip Eats and the variety of food we’ve been eating. Nothing really stood out. That is until last night. Where we indulged.

    Excessively.

    A coworker who had come to Winnipeg previously, as well as my boss recommended a restaurant to me for our last night here. So three of us hit up a place in Winnipeg called Carnaval: Brazilian BBQ. It was an all you can eat meat extravaganza.

    There was so much meat. It was on huge skewers and the cooks brought it around to each table asking if we wanted to sample some. At first we were tackling the food faster than it was coming out.

    Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, more beef, sausage, wings, beef again… it just never stopped. As we were eating, we were laughing at how awesome the food was and how foolish this restaurant is. Because we were going to get our money’s worth and more.

    The food was coming so quickly that I hardly had time to pause and get any photos. It was evident rather quickly that we were going to be in trouble. Our laughter about how this restaurant was foolish turned into how foolish we were.

    We only managed to eat for an hour. We were stuffed. And hurting. But it was so worth it. My coworker Dillon was putting me to shame with his ability to want to continue sampling the meats. I was unprepared to push my limits and was done about four plates before him.

    If you ever make it to Winnipeg- the Carnaval Brazilian BBQ is worth a stop. Especially if you love meat. And BBQ. And hating yourself afterwards.

    Business Trip Eats

    This trip to Winnipeg has been enjoyable as well as disheartening when it comes to meals. I call it “Food Mood Swings.”

    My work has been kind enough to feed us at lunch from a cafeteria. Every day is a small bowl of soup, a sandwich, a dessert- (always get the Nanaimo Bar) and some sort of entree that can be made for a few hundred of us. There’s also a salad bar which I will say is very fresh. So we get fed sustenance in a sense.

    Dinners are more on my own to go and find. My coworker and I have been to a different place every night. First night was in the hotel since we were late getting in and didn’t want to try and find anywhere. The next few nights were chain restaurants that generally have the same food we’d eat back home.

    I’ve enjoyed have beef and onions in my meals again. My coworker is astounded that I like getting a steak “BLUE RARE” but I love the texture of the meat just as much as the taste. The two times that I had steak this week were only mediocre. The restaurants weren’t exactly good at doing it the way I liked it.

    Last night we went to Hooters for some wings. I don’t usually eat wings, so it was pretty okay. The other three guys I was with were trying a far spicier style of wing than I was wanting. I don’t tend to do HOT or meat on the bone, so this wasn’t something that I am adept to eating. The company was great though with some good conversation.

    Only one more night of restaurant eating and two days of cafeteria food. I hope the menus perk up a bit.

    Trees and Vines

    I love eating green grapes. One of my favorite fruits right next to apples. When my wife and I bought our first home- I had two apple trees and a grape vine. I took great care and tended to them meticulously in order to enjoy the fruits which they bore.

    We moved to our current home a dozen or so years ago. There was already an established plum tree, a pear tree and an apple tree in the yard. I planted a second apple tree as well. Over the years, we saw fruit from the original three trees. But in the last couple years, we lost the plum tree to disease and the original apple tree uprooted. This year the pear tree did not bear any fruit.

    Sadly, this means our fruit trees are no more it seems. Even the apple tree I planted has not grown much in a decade. We have many other healthy trees which keep our home and yard shaded.

    I think that next spring I will plant some grape vines in the sunnier part of my yard. I love green grapes.

    Twenty Mile Bay 2019

    On Monday we ventured out to our favorite campsite at Twenty Mile Bay. This year, my best friend I’ve known since kindergarten is joining us with his kids. The weather will be cooperating as well!

    We packed up our cars and headed down the logging road that leads us to the campsite.

    When we arrived- we exploded and took over our double site. This will be our home for five days. I’m happy that this year there isn’t a campfire ban. We can cook foods over the open flames!

    In between cooking and sleeping we will be enjoying the lake and relaxing. The best way to end summer vacation.

    Old Fogey Friday

    I enjoyed last night more than I’ve enjoyed previous gatherings at my home. It was because people came out for the sake of visiting and enjoying dinner. Not like the old days of Friday night pre-party drinks leading to a late night of drinks.

    Most of my friends have matured. Myself included. Those feelings of suffering a hangover are long behind us. Casual drinks and good food are much more enjoyable. And that’s what we experienced.

    Last night our BBQ started at 7pm. By 9:00pm the first of my friends started to depart. Then the next wave of people were leaving just before 10:00pm. By 11:00pm everyone had gone home. I couldn’t have been happier. Everybody left with full stomachs and a smile. No weird drama, no drunk shenanigans, no mess to clean up. I was in bed by midnight.

    I’d call that a successful dinner party. Those are the kinds I’d like to host more often. Good friends and good food makes for a good time.

    I Missed My Wife

    My wife was out of town for a work function over the past few days. I missed her tremendously. So I’m throwing her a BBQ party tonight!

    Ok, I’m lying.

    The BBQ is for my friends and coworkers. Many of my friends are my wife’s friends as well.

    But I still missed my wife while she was gone. So I plan on having a great time laughing and clowning around with her at the BBQ. Time to go get ready to entertain!

    Happy Friday Everyone!

    Food Court

    Yesterday I did something that I haven’t done in years. I bought food in a mall food court. Maybe it was planted in my head because of Stranger Things Season 3. Maybe it was because I was hungry after my dentist appointment and I needed food. In reality, it was the nostalgia of the life I had prior to kids and being a Mall Rat.

    So I hit up the Orange Julius for a bacon cheese dog and an original Orange Julius beverage. I let my kids have a sip of this drink that screamed sentimentality in the recesses of my brain. It was my go-to food break back in the day when I wasn’t buying mall sushi.

    The reason for our visit to the mall was for my 15 year old to meet up with some friends from school. One of those friends is moving away next week, so they wanted to hang out. My son and I wandered the mall together and after a couple of hours, we returned to the Food Court and hit up another vendor. This time New York Fries. I was never a fan of their French Fries, only ever eating them maybe twice before. But my son wanted some poutine, so we grabbed some. We found out later that my daughter and her friends had done the same thing.

    When I was a teen/young adult, the mall was the place to meet up. Even if it meant walking laps around the mall and not buying anything but a 25¢ coffee in the food court just so you weren’t kicked out for loitering. The mall I was at yesterday seemed quiet.

    Perhaps Shopping Malls are a dying breed. Maybe they’ll make a comeback. Only time will tell. All I can say is that I can go another 20 years before I have another Orange Julius and it wouldn’t bother me one bit.

    My Wife’s Coworkers

    I attended my first ever Baseball Game last night courtesy of my wife’s work. Meaning that this event was with my wife’s coworkers instead of mine like we usually do. This time I got to be my wife’s “Plus One” and meeting her coworkers IRL was a neat experience. I’ve heard so much about them and I’ve occasionally “seen” them while they do video conferencing. But to talk and mingle with them in person was neat. Kind of like an extended family that I’d never met but could relate to easily.

    The energy within the large group was astounding. Laughs and photos were going on while food and beverages were being consumed. Lots of SHOP talk was happening. They all had a great time.

    My wife’s coworkers really make her happy. She has developed some fantastic relationships with many of them. I’d say I’m jealous, but in reality I’m happy inside. I’m happy because my wife is happy- and she deserves this happiness the most..

    Baseball

    I’m not exactly the biggest Sports guy around. But last night my wife took me to my first ever baseball game. I enjoyed the experience. Here are my highlights:

    It was pride day at the field, so there was a ton of amazing and fun people around. Lots of love to be shared, that’s for sure.

    I did the typical baseball thing as well. I enjoyed a hotdog with mustard and an ice cold beer. (I’m glad it was paid for, because sporting events and food is far too expensive.) Watching the game at dusk really added to the enjoyment. As the sun set- the field lit up creating a beautiful glow.

    I got to met one of the costumed mascots and took an obligatory selfie with him. As for the game itself, I couldn’t tell you who won in the end- I cheered for both teams as the night went on.

    My wife and I both liked the fact that it seemed pretty retro and old timey at the field. With a kid in the back of the field swapping numbers the old fashioned way. He seemed really happy in his job since he had the best seat in the house.

    Would I attend another baseball game? Sure. Maybe with some bigger names teams from the MLB. It was definitely a lot of fun.

    Unassuming Funday

    My day yesterday was filled with meeting up with friends while in Calgary. It was fun and magical in many ways.

    First was a lunch with a friend of ours we originally met at the Calgary Expo eight years ago. He and I shared stories of our kids, work and caught up on life. It was different this time around because we weren’t at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo having a weekend of laughs in between sales. It was a condensed, pleasurable, laugh riot meal.

    Before dinner, we went to the Skyline Luge again. This time we brought my wife and met up with some other Speed Skaters from Langley. It was a laugh riot, again! My wife really enjoyed it and in the end was upset that I had already done this earlier in the week without her.

    Afterwards, we went to visit our other friends again (these were the ones we met up with earlier in the week at Gorilla Whale). This time we met up at the their home. We were introduced to a large stuffed shark that tried the devour two of my kids. Later we fooled around with the Occulus Quest. The first quality VR to not need a big computer or extra wiring. It has a life span of 2hrs, which we fully used up.

    It was also great to see my wife immerse herself into the game system. My wife hadn’t tried any VR like the rest of us did three years ago when we went to Silcon Valley (read about it here: Button Mashing). Unfortunately, now she wants one. We’ll see what happens in the future- maybe the excitement will wear off.

    Or maybe she’ll be escaping into a whole new environment.

    Wandering Calgary

    I took our daughters out for the day as we wandered around Calgary. First was a stop at the Olympic Oval to check in on my son’s speed skating camp. (The whole reason we are here in Calgary). Then we went for lunch at an amazing Ramen restaurant that I had been to a couple years ago.

    The ramen place we went to was Shiki Menya. Still just as delicious as always. Still just as busy as well. We had to wait outside until a table came available. But worth the wait. So tasty.

    Afterwards, we walked into the central part of Calgary. We were hoping to go into the Calgary Tower, but due to a mishap last Friday- (read here: Calgary Tower Elevator ), that means unfortunately for our visit to Calgary- the Tower is shut down for an investigation.

    But we saw a really neat sculpture just up the road called the Wonderland Sculpture. It is a fantastically large piece. Looking like a human head made out of metal mesh.

    Calgary is a neat city that feels big and small at the same time. Besides the weather changing every 15 minutes, it also seems that driving everywhere takes only 15 minutes. Or there is the public transportation that seems to be widely used. A lot of the ideas and designs should be implemented in Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs that’s for sure.

    We only have a couple days left here and a few friends left to visit.

    17 Years Old

    Our oldest daughter turned 17 yesterday. With it came another turning point into adulthood and a fantastic dinner with some friends of ours.

    Starting off the day, she wanted a piercing through the cartilage on the upper part of both ears. So we stopped at a place in Calgary called Tribal Expression. The store was clean; the staff were professional and courteous. They also offered a reference to a piercing location near our home- one province over- which eased my mind a bit more.

    During the process I still got to be “Daddy” as she wanted to hold my hand while getting the piercings done. That made me feel good inside. Plus, our daughter is happy with her new hoops she got installed for her birthday. Oh, and I was $148 lighter in my bank account.

    Afterwards, we stopped at the nearby Starbucks in order to get the very “Instagram Worthy” Tie Dyed Frappuccino. This gave my girls a chance to share pics online and have a good bonding moment while I recovered from the cost and noticeable perforations that are now in my daughter’s ear lobes.

    Later in the evening we meet up with some old friends in Calgary at a restaurant called Gorilla Whale. There were hugs and stories to be shared as we all tried our best to contain our excitement of meeting up again. We love these two and they have been long standing friends of ours since we first started going to conventions.

    Not only was the company great, but the food at the restaurant was a fantastic mix of Japanese and Western creativity. I opted for the Godzilla burger- which contained wagyu beef, foie gras and unagi. (Cow, duck liver, and eel). The food was awesome and reasonably priced-ish. (I think I’ve spent more money on a regular excursion for sushi at our regular joint.)

    All-in-all it was a good day of our daughter experiencing the joys of adulthood. Treating yo’self, sending time with old friends, and enjoying a night out at a fancier restaurant than usual. I hope she continues to enjoy and experience life to its fullest.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday Random!