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.

Lake Views 2019

Wednesday was another fun filled day. My son and I went out on the kayaks and he decided that we should go to the island. We had a great time racing each other and bonding.

As the sun went overhead and the temperatures reached 31° we found ways to keep cool.

My wife relaxed with her kindle in the hammock. I took a camping chair just deep enough into the water that my butt would be submerged. I found some driftwood and used it as a foot rest.

Just before dinner, my wife and I went out on the kayaks and paddled around the campgrounds.

We ended our day with some good laughs at dinner and a failed attempt at making Jiffypop popcorn. But all is well. We are still not done camping for the week.

CN 100 / PNE

On Sunday- my family and I spent the day at the PNE in Vancouver. My work was showcasing the CN 100 Celebration. A Hundred Years of railroading and everything CN has done for Canada.

My coworkers and our families were treated to free admission to the Fair as well as some lunch. This was a nice treat, and allowed my wife and I to finally brought our family to The PNE.

The last time I was at the PNE was in the late 90’s. Back when the hottest local radio station was Z95.3fm. I found it amusing that they had a booth and were promoting their old logo once more and giving away buttons that said “90’s Kid”.

We only spent about half the day at the fair. I’m not a fan of the crowds or the smells. There’s lots of farm animals there as well as some entertainment. We wandered the vendors and stopped to watch the jousting tournament.

After the joust, my wife and I took the kids to see the rides and the carnival games section. Before we left, we wandered through a “selfie” area to catch some silly photos. We made the most of the day and the kids were happy to leave when we did. There was only one thing I wanted to see, but got out voted.

I didn’t get my chance to see “The Superdog Show“. It was the only part of the PNE that I remember truly enjoying as a kid.

As a teen, the only reason I went to the PNE was to feel some independence and hang out with friends. Most of that time was spent flirting with the girls we went with and going on rides. Now as a parent going to the PNE, I had a hard time wanting to spend money or time at the fair. Honestly, if my work hadn’t supplied us with free access to the grounds, I don’t think my kids would ever have seen the PNE with us.

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.

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.

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.