Quebec – Caribou

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we visit La Belle Provence, otherwise known as Quebec. Please note, this article will not be written bilingually:

Motto: “I remember” – Remember what?

Food: There are a number of Monteal-style dishes, including bagels, smoked meat, hot dogs, melons, and even a steak seasoning. Aside from that, a popular Quebecois dish is Tourtière, comprised of minced meat (pork, veal, beef, etc.), combined with potatoes in a pie format. The meal is traditionally served as part of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The name for the dish comes from the device it’s made in.

Drink: While my and Mrs. Sip’s favourite Quebec-based brewery is Unibroue, Molson Brewery deserves mention here for providing most Canadians with their first beer experience. Molson was founded in Montreal all the way back in 1786 and still has some of its operations on the site of the original brewery. Molson merged with Coors in 2005, becoming Molson Coors.

Molson Beer

Site to See: A hard category to narrow down, some top sites include the Notre-Dame Basilica (stunning church in Montreal), Château Frontenac (historic hotel in Quebec City) and Mont-Tremblant (ski resort/village). The areas of Old Quebec and Old Montreal are also worth exploring, both combining historic and modern elements for total packages all can enjoy.

Street: Chemin du Roy, which is French for King’s Highway/King’s Road, connects Quebec City and Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River. When the 280 km (170 mile) long route was originally completed in 1737, it was the longest road in North America, outside of Mexico. The street is easily recognized by the Chemin du Roy markers, complete with crown logo, placed along the route.

TV Show: My favourite show set in Quebec is Just For Laughs, which airs stand-up comedy sets recorded at the annual comedy festival of the same name. The festival was founded in 1983 and has launched the careers of many comedians, as it’s seen as one of the greatest opportunities for an aspiring comic to advance their career and land TV and movie projects. The performers at each festival are a who’s who of comedy elite.

Movie: The Score, starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando (in his final film), is set in Montreal. The movie is about a safe cracker who takes one last job, looking for a big score going into retirement. Other notable films set in Quebec include the Les Boys franchise and Bon Cop, Bad Cop, which has dialogue in both English and French, becoming Canada’s first bilingual feature movie.

Quebec

Book/Author: The Hockey Sweater, by Roch Carrier, is a Quebec institution. The children’s book tells the tale of a young boy who’s obsessed with the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, but receives a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater by mistake, causing issues for the lad. The book was adapted into a memorable animated short one year after its release. A line from the book appeared on $5 bills printed between 2001 to 2013.

Fictional Character: A number of comic superheroes have Quebec roots, including Fleur de Lys, Northguard, Northstar and Aurora. Twin brother and sister, Northstar and Aurora, are members of the X-Men universe and were originally part of an all-Canadian group called Alpha Flight. Northstar is notable for being one of the first openly gay superheroes, whose wedding was the first same-sex marriage in mainstream comics.

Fictional City: The village of Three Pines is the setting of a series of 18 mystery novels by author Louise Penny. Three Pines is based on various small towns around Quebec. The books have been adapted into a TV series, which will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 2, 2022, with Alfred Molina starring as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The first book in the series, Still Life, was also turned into a TV movie in 2013.

Actor/Actress: William Shatner, known for his starring role as Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek, was born in Montreal. Shatner, aged 91, is still going strong 70 years after his acting career began. Shatner has done it all, too, acting in films and TV series, along with releasing multiple music projects and publishing a host of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Shatner has Walk of Fame stars in both the U.S. and Canada.

William Shatner

Song: Gens du pays, which translates to People of my Country, is an unofficial national anthem for the people of Quebec, especially those who support the sovereign/separatist movement. It was written by poet and musician Gilles Vigneault and first performed on June 24, 1975. The folk classic tune is also used to celebrate birthdays, with some of the lyrics altered for the occasion.

Band/Musician: Celine Dion, best known for her smash hit My Heart Will Go On (from the movie Titanic), was born in Charlemagne. Dion’s other chart toppers include The Power of Love, Think Twice, Because You Loved Me, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, and I’m Your Angel. Her 2003-2007 Las Vegas stay was the highest-grossing concert residency ever, followed by her Taking Chances World Tour being among the most successful concert tours of all-time.

People: Comedian Norm Macdonald was born in Quebec City in 1959. McDonald rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, where he served as anchor of the Weekend Update news segment. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Macdonald starred in the movie Dirty Work and TV series The Norm Show. Sadly, Macdonald passed away on September 14, 2021, following along battle with cancer that few knew he was waging.

Animal: Aisaqvak is a polar bear at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien. In 2009, Aisaqvak gave birth to twin cubs, Ganuk (male) and Taiga (female), the first time twin polar bears were born in a Canadian zoo. In 2018, Aisaqvak had another cub, Kinuk (male). Ganuk and Taiga both ended up at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Ontario, where Taiga died in 2020. Both Aisaqvak and Kinuk remain at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien.

Celine Dion

Invention: There’s a lot to choose from here, including the modern baby bottle, Wonder-Bra, peanut butter, snowmobile (Ski-Doo), modern telephone, Trivial Pursuit, and hockey, among others. It should be noted that Ski-Doo creator Joseph Bombardier later founded Bombardier, which went on to make advancements and create vehicles in the fields of aviation, railway systems and public transportation.

Crime: Quebec has quite the criminal history from mass shootings, such as the École Polytechnique Massacre or the Quebec City mosque shooting, to serial killers, including The Monster of Pont-Rouge (Léopold Dion), The Vampire Rapist (Wayne Boden), The Killer Handyman (William Fyfe) and The Mad Bumper (Yves Trudeau). There was also the Quebec Biker War, which lasted from 1994 to 2002, resulting in the deaths of 162 bikers and civilians.

Sports Team: There’s the beloved Montreal Canadiens… and then there’s everything else. Following the Canadiens is like a religion in the province to most of their fans. Other teams include the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) and Montreal Impact FC (MLS), while the Quebec Nordiques (NHL) and Montreal Expos (MLB) both been relocated to American cities. Big sports events hosted by Quebec include the Canadian Grand Prix and Rogers Cup (aka Canadian Open) tennis championship.

Athlete: So many great hockey players come from Quebec, including legends such as Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and many more. Outside the rink, the province has been represented by Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve in car racing, Myriam Bédard in biathalon, Arturo Gatti in boxing and Georges St-Pierre in mixed martial arts.

Montreal Canadiens

Famous Home: Habitat 67, built for Expo 1967, is a housing complex in Montreal, known for its unique design of having the 146 apartments form three open air pyramids. The design was formulated by architecture student Moshe Safdie, as part of his thesis project. The structure appeared on a 2017 Canada Post stamp, recognizing the 50th anniversary of Expo 1967 and may become a Lego famous buildings release.

Urban Legend: The Château Frontenac hotel, opened in December 1893, is a National Historic Site. With attractions that old, typically come tales of hauntings and the Château Frontenac is no different, said to be visited by at least two ghosts. The first, is Louis de Baude de Frontenac, who is said to inhabit the hotel’s second floor. The second, is a woman dressed in a white nightgown, who has been reported to get into bed with guests.

Museum: The Canadian Railway Museum, also known as Exporail, can be found in  Saint-Constant, near Montreal. Established in 1961, the museum houses a number of locomotives, highlighted by the train which pulled King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their 1939 trek across Canada. Visitors can also hop aboard the heritage streetcar or heritage railway, which operate on the site.

Firsts: The first organized ice hockey game to ever be played took place in Montreal, at the Victoria Skating Rink, on March 3, 1875. It pitted two teams of nine players on each side against each other. The players used a wooden disc, rather than a puck, and goals were scored by putting the block between two flags spaced eight feet apart, rather than a net. A whopping 40 people attended this important moment in the history of the sport.

Habitat 67

Company: While I really want to put Pornhub here, I’ll have to give the category to Cirque du Soleil, given the worldwide, all-ages popularity of the performance company. Founded by Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix in 1984, Cirque du Soleil now has multiple touring productions, as well as permanent shows across the world. In Las Vegas alone, visitors have their pick of six different shows produced by the company.

Events: Quebec has waged a long battle for sovereignty, including two failed referendums (in 1980 and 1995) seeking separation from the rest of Canada. One of the most notable incidents of the separation movement was the October Crisis, when members of the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped and murdered Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. The event caused Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act for the first time ever in Canada during peacetime.

Miscellaneous: Quebec hosts a myriad of interesting festivals, including the Just for Laughs Festival, Quebec Winter Carnival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Festival d’été de Québec, Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. The province also celebrates a number of unique holidays and traditions, such as St-Jean-Baptiste Day, National Patriots’ Day, Moving Day, Construction Holiday, Réveillon, Temps des Sucres and Noël des Campeurs.

Quebec: Caribou

Caribou

  • 3 oz Red Wine
  • 1 oz Whiskey
  • Splash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Cinnamon Stick

This drink has a long history. It was once said to be made by mixing caribou blood and whiskey, with the plasma later replaced by red wine. The concoction can be enjoyed hot or cold and is popular at various events around the province. Today, the beverage comes pre-mixed and bottled for consumers.

Sip Trips #215: This is Halloween

October was busy, as the Sip Family took in the Thanksgiving and Halloween seasons. This led to many outings and even more beverages. Here’s how it all played out, as we officially moved from summer to fall:

The month began with Mrs. Sip and I joining a friend at Kelly O’Bryans for some trivia presented by Vancouver Trivia Party. Over the course of the evening, I enjoyed three Whistler Grapefruit Ales, along with a filling Cali Club. For dessert, we shared the King O’ Mud Pie and although I’m not a huge coffee-based treat fan, this provided a good finish to the meal. Best of all, we tied for first place for the fun trivia experience – moving up from third place at the halfway point – to receive a $35 gift card to the restaurant.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Sip Syndicate travelled to the Okanagan for a weekend of wineries and other pleasures. Over two days, we visited six locations, which largely meant the ladies getting to do tastings, while the gents chased the kids around. Stops included Clos du Soleil (where I did get to enjoy the tasting), Orofino, Crowsnest (we had lunch here, with the Sip Advisor pairing a Chicken Schnitzel with a tall can of Neighbourhood Flightless Bird Pilsner), Twisted Hills Craft Cider, Covert Farms (I did the wine tasting, followed by a can of Cannery Anarchist Amber Ale), and Corcelettes.

Thanksgiving

While the rest of our group had to return home at the end of the weekend, the Sip Family continued onto Kelowna for a couple extra nights. En route, we stopped at Giant’s Head Brewing in Summerland. There, Mrs. Sip and I had servings of the White Noise IPA, Marzen and Razzle Dazzle Raspberry Cream Ale, while also trying a taster of the Dark Fantasy Pale Ale. To eat, we shared Pretzel Bites, while the kids had Popcorn Chicken with Fries.

For dinner that night, our Thanksgiving feast was held at Boston Pizza. Mrs. Sip and I drank happy hour Blue Moons, which went well with my Royal Hawaiian Pizza. This was the first meals for the Sipplings from our Kids Cards, which offer five meals per card for only $5 each. Mrs. Sip also got a free pizza through my BP app, as a one-year anniversary reward. This made our meal very economic.

The next day, we visited the Kelowna Beer Institute, where we had pints of the Crusher Pale Ale and Juicy IPA, while also enjoying a taster of the Cucumber Sour. For snacks, we ordered the Garlic Parm Fries and Cheese Curds, which I combined to form a makeshift poutine.

Poutine

We then travelled to Copper Brewing for dinner. Mrs. Sip tried their Mystery Brew, which asked drinkers to guess which fruits were in the concoction, for a chance to win a prize. I went with the simpler Hazy IPA to drink. To eat, I had the Ballpark Smash Burger, while Mrs. Sip went with the Zooming Smash Burger. The Sipplings had kids meals, while we all got to enjoy playing the video games available at the brewery.

On our journey home, we stopped into Empty Keg Brewing in Merritt for their happy hour. I had a tasty Hot Dog and Parmesan Garlic Fries, while Mrs. Sip and the kids split a Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla. Our beverages consisted of the Brhubarb Saison and Coquihalla Cream Ale. We love stopping at this place, as there are tons of games – both board and electronic – for all ages.

Back at home and with our vehicle in for servicing, we killed some of the wait time at Brookswood Brewing. I went with the Brookswood Shuffle Kviek IPA, while Mrs. Sip put together a flight. This was a first-time visit for us to this brewery and we had a great time. Plus, it’s located right next door to a McDonald’s, which helped with satisfying the kids.

Happy Meal

Through the month, I purchased two vodka soda packs, as Mrs. Sip is doing the keto diet thing. The first pack I picked up was the Remix 12 Pack Mixer, featuring Peach-Nectarine, Wild Cherry-Citrus, Blackberry-Hibiscus and Guava-Lime flavours. At the end of the month, I also grabbed the Pyur Mixer Pack, complete with Black Cherry, Raspberry, Mango and Lemon Lime offerings.

Prior to meeting with Mrs. Sip and a friend for a Halloween pop-up bar in Downtown Vancouver, I had a solo meal at White Spot. I paired my usual Legendary Burger with two pints of Granville Island Lions Winter Ale. It was a good meal, but whenever I eat alone, I always wonder what the etiquette is if you have to use the washroom. Will your server think you’ve skipped out on the bill? Will they clear your table before you can finish eating? This is the stuff that keeps me up at night!

After eating, I made my way to the Butcher & Bullock, which was featuring a Black Lagoon-themed set-up and menu. Mrs. Sip and I had a couple cocktails each, including the Hellraiser (Tequila, Spiced Rum, Cointreau, Orgeat, Banana Liqueur, Sherry, Lime, Aromatic Bitters), Blood Rave (Mezcal, Falernum, Lemon, Beets, Absinthe, Bitters), Closed Casket (Scotch Whiskey, Brandy, Passionfruit, Miso Falernum, Apricot, Lemon, Hellfire Bitters) and Nightwish (Vodka, Sherry, Banana Liqueur, Lemon, Cardamom Bitters), along with a round of Wicked shots (Vodka, Pineapple, Coconut). The bar was done up really well and the drinks were great. Surprisingly, aside from Mrs. Sip finding the event, there didn’t seem to be much advertising/hype about the experience.

Halloween

Not content with one meal at White Spot in a week, Mrs. Sip and I finally tried the R&D Kitchen by White Spot at Brentwood Mall. Although I always get the Legendary Burger at White Spot, I decided to get a test kitchen dish while at this location. Therefore, I tried the Louisiana Fried Chicken Burger with Caesar Salad and really enjoyed the Cajun Spice Dust. I was also curious about the Crispy Cajun Fish Po’Boy, but it wasn’t available. The restaurant had fantastic service and I’d like to try other dishes at the R&D Kitchen, as well as at the mall’s food court. One major criticism of the mall, though, is I believe shopping centre’s should NEVER have paid parking, as it did here.

Nearing the end of the month, we popped into Russell Brewing after taking the kids to the Bear Creek Park Halloween Train. I had a very good Rauchweizen, while also trying a couple of Mrs. Sip’s tasters from her Table Flight (12 different beers). My samples included the Banana Split Dunkel, Passionfruit Lime Pale Ale and Root Beer Stout.

Pay Parking

Lastly, prior to our first Vancouver Canucks game of the season, Mrs. Sip and I stopped at Browns Socialhouse. We were a bit rushed to get to the game, but I really liked my Traditional Pub Burger and Grapefruit Hibiscus Margarita. Hopefully, next time, we can take our time prior to puck drop.

Well, that’s it for a very active October. With Halloween in the rear view mirror, Christmas prep will ramp up quickly. November is often the calm before the storm of a crazy December, so it will be interesting to see if that holds true this year.

Creepin’ It Real

Today, of course, is Halloween and I wanted to put together an original cocktail for the occasion. So, I had to think up some content to go with it. I’ve covered a lot of Halloween subjects, but I’ve never discussed my drinking-based fears. So, without further adieu, here they are:

Stock

When at home, I’m typically well-stocked in all liquor fields. However, when we’re on vacation, it can sometimes get dicey on whether you’ve packed or picked up enough rations for the duration of the getaway. This becomes even more of a potential nightmare when you’re sharing your supplies and seeing them drained at an alarming rate. Poor preparation hasn’t happened for ol’ Mr. Sip yet, but this is the kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night!

Hangovers

I’ve been blessed with the ability to get smashed at night and wake up the next morning without any effects. But I worry that will change as I age. On a similar subject, I’ve already seen friends and family members have to change what or the ways they drink due to aging, such as switching which beer they consume or abandoning brews altogether. I hope it never comes to this for myself, but even the greatest have to call it a career sometime.

Fears

Choices

Honestly, I rank wine very low on my booze depth chart (poor cider doesn’t even make the cut) and so I’m not a fan that a majority of wineries only offer red and whites and not sudsy yellow substances. In general, I’m all about choices, even when too many options can cause issues. If all you have to offer is libations I don’t have much use for, expect a sulky Sip Advisor as a result.

Kids

After a good night of boozing, nothing could be worse than your kids either waking up in the middle of the night or being your alarm at some god awful time of the early morning. Mrs. Sip and I have been lucky with our kids being very good sleepers. But there’s always that nagging fear hanging over your head when you’re called it a night much later than you should have, that karma will be waiting for you, in the form of your offspring.

Creepin’ It Real (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Creepin' It Real

  • 1.5 oz Bacardi Dragonberry Rum
  • Top with Lemon Lime Soda
  • Float of Black Tea Vodka
  • Garnish with Blueberries

I like how the Black Tea Vodka float represents how irrational fears can seep into your conscience! What’s your boozy fears? What do you think of mine? Are there any licensed psychiatrists out there, who specialize in liquor conflict resolution? Seriously, I should have pursued that path in school and created a whole new industry. Happy Halloween, my little sippers!

Prince Edward Island – The Eddy

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we travel to Prince Edward Island (PEI), where we will discuss ALL things Anne of Green Gables… and some other neat stuff:

Motto: “The small protected by the great” – So, who has who’s back?

Food: PEI, nicknamed Spud Island, is famous for their potatoes. One dish that takes advantage of the crop is FWTW (Fries with the Works). The poutine-like meal is comprised of fries with gravy, ground beef and canned peas. To “top up” your FWTW, means to add an item such as cheese curds, mushrooms or pulled pork. The dish is believed to have originated at Pat’s Take Out in Unionvale.

Drink: Anne of Green Gables Raspberry Cordial is a real-life drink based off beverages fictional character Anne Shirley preferred. It is exclusive to PEI, but can be shipped to other parts of Canada. Unfortunately, for those outside the country’s borders, the raspberry-flavoured soda is unavailable. PEI is also known for Wild Blueberry Vodka and the PEI Brewing Co. deserves mention for their slogan “Work hard. Dream big. Have a Beer.”

Potatoes

Site to See: The PEI National Park, established in 1937, includes Cavendish Beach, the Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site estate and Green Gables Heritage Place farm, among other notable sites. PEI is the only Canadian province or territory to have a single national park and it has been designated a Canadian Important Bird Area, home to the endangered piping plover.

Street: Confederation Bridge, completed in 1997 at a cost of $1.3 billion, connects PEI to New Brunswick. The 12.9 km curved toll bridge takes 12 minutes to cross, if going the 80 km/h speed limit. It costs $50.25 for regular vehicles to cross the bridge, which is charged only when leaving PEI. The bridge is awaiting federal government approval to be renamed Epekwitk Crossing.

TV Show: The Anne of Green Gables stories have spawned numerous TV series, including Anne of Green Gables (1972 miniseries), Road to Avonlea (1990-1996 series), Emily of New Moon (1998-2000 series), Anne with an E (2017-2019 series). There’s even been two animated TV series based off the source material, one aired in North America and the other developed in Japan, where the character is now very popular.

Movie: As with TV series, there has also been a number of films based off the Anne of Green Gables works. The earliest was a silent film released in 1919. Versions in 1934 and 1956 followed. The most recognized releases were TV miniseries from 1985 and 1987, while two follow-ups, titled The Continuing Story and A New Beginning, were released in 2000 and 2008, respectively.

Confederation Bridge

Book/Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables franchise, was born in Clifton. Over her life, she published a total of 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems and 30 essays. Anne of Green Gables has been translated into 36 languages, resulting in 50 millions copies being sold around the world. This makes the book one of the best-selling of all-time.

Fictional Character: Anne Shirley is an 11-year-old orphaned girl, who is brought to Green Gables by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The Cuthbert’s had originally wanted to adopt a boy, in order to have him help with their farm, but a mix-up resulted in Anne getting to start a new life with her new family. The many sequels in the Anne franchise allows fans to follow her from childhood to being a mother and later grandmother.

Fictional City: Avonlea is the setting of the Anne of Green Gables story and its many spinoffs. The place was inspired by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s childhood experiences in places such as Cavendish, New Glasgow, New London, Hunter River, and Park Corner. Other fictional communities which neighbour Avonlea include Carmody, White Sands, Grafton, Bright River, Newbridge, and Spencervale.

Actor/Actress: Martha MacIsaac was born in Charlottetown, making her perfect for the role of Emily Byrd Starr in Emily of New Moon. This was her acting debut, before appearing in a number of movies, including Superbad, The Last House on the Left, Dead Before Dawn and Battle of the Sexes. She also starred in the TV series 1600 Penn, as the U.S. president’s oldest daughter, Becca Gilchrist.

Anne of Green Gables

Song: Among folk musician Dick Nolan’s more than 300 recorded songs was the tune Prince Edward Island Is Heaven to Me. Although from Newfoundland, Nolan states his love of the province and wanting to visit. Another popular ode to the island is Bud the Spud by Stompin’ Tom Connors, who was raised on PEI. The track is about a truck driver and his load of PEI potatoes. The song was turned into a children’s book in 1994.

Band/Musician: Tara MacLean was born in Charlottetown. Her most recognized songs include Evidence and If I Fall, which was included on the soundtrack for the 1999 black comedy movie Teaching Mrs. Tingle, starring Helen Mirren and Katie Holmes. Aside from her solo work, MacLean was also a member of the all-female band Shaye, which released two albums, before the group split up.

People: Jonathan Torrens, born in Charlottetown, has enjoyed a lengthy career as a TV personality. He has hosted shows aimed at teenagers such as Street Cents and Jonovision, along with playing the character of J-Roc in Trailer Park Boys. Currently, Torrens has a recurring role in the Letterkenny spinoff series Shoresy, while also co-hosting the Taggart and Torrens Podcast with Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart.

Animal: The Red Fox is the unofficial provincial animal of PEI. The population of these creatures has grown so large, it’s not uncommon to have encounters with them, even in highly-populated areas. Fox farming and fur selling was big business on PEI, dating back to 1890 and up to 2006. While the Red Fox has been embraced in PEI, the same cannot be said for Australia, where the animal has made the World’s 100 Most Invasive Species list.

Red Fox

Invention: A genius creation coming from PEI is the Forktula, a clip-on accessory that allows eaters to turn their fork into a makeshift spatula. This helps diners scoop up every last bit of a meal, rather than lick their plate clean. Inventors Josh Lindsay and Oliver Sauve began selling the product in 2017 for $1 each. The duo appeared on the reality show Dragon’s Den in 2019, increasingly demand for the device.

Crime: Shirley Duguay was 32 when she went missing in October 1994, her vehicle found abandoned on Highway 169. The mother of five’s body was later found in a shallow grave. Her estranged partner, Douglas Beamish, was arrested for the crime and convicted of second-degree murder, based on white cat hairs, which matched his pet named Snowball. This was the first time non-human DNA was used in a trial in the world.

Sports Team: The Charlottetown Islanders are the biggest game in town, playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The team has played in Charlottetown since 2003, originally named the Rocket, before becoming the Islanders in 2013. The highest level of hockey to be played on the island was when the PEI Senators were the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. The Senators operated from 1993 to 1996.

Athlete: Brad Richards is the highest scoring NHL player from PEI, recording 932 points over his career (2000-2016). Richards won the Stanley Cup twice, making sure to bring it back to his hometown of Murray Harbour each time for his day with the trophy. Richards also hosts the annual Brad Richards PEI Celebrity Golf Classic, raising money for the Children’s Wish Foundation (PEI Chapter) and Autism Society of PEI.

Forktula

Famous Home: Green Gables Heritage Place is a 19th century farm, used as inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series. The site was originally presented as a historic home, but with the growing success of the Anne franchise, it was converted to resemble how it was described in Montgomery’s works. Today, visitors can tour Anne’s Room and the nearby Lovers’ Lane trail.

Urban Legend: Dating all the way back to 1786, folks have seen a ghost ship in the Northumberland Strait, with its masts on fire. One particular tale from 1900 says a group of sailors in Charlottetown Harbour went to rescue the crew on board the ship, only for it to disappear as they approached. The phantom ship has been immortalized on a Canada Post stamp, released in 2014 as part of a Canadian ghost stories series.

Museum: The Canadian Potato Museum can be found in O’Leary. The museum claims to have the world’s largest collection of potato exhibits and also features a Potato Hall of Fame. Other artifacts include farming equipment used in the potato industry. A restaurant, the PEI Potato Country Kitchen, is also on site, serving up a variety of baked potatoes, poutine/fries dishes and desserts.

Firsts: The group known as the PEI Famous Five earned this moniker in 1993 for being the first time in Canada that the top five most powerful legislative positions were all held by women. The quintet was comprised of Premier Catherine Callbeck, Lieutenant Governor Marion Reid, Leader of the Official Opposition Pat Mella, Speaker Nancy Guptill, and Deputy Speaker Elizabeth Hubley.

Phantom Ships

Company: Cows Ice Cream is headquartered in Charlottetown. It was founded in Cavendish in 1983 and now has 15 locations across Canada, serving up 38 varieties of ice cream, including Gooey Mooey and Wowie Cowie. Cows has been named “Canada’s best ice cream” by a Reader’s Digest poll and ranked first on tour company Tauck World Discovery’s ‘World’s Top Ten Places for Ice Cream’ list.

Events: The Charlottetown Conference in 1864 eventually led to Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867. This unified the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (which was split into what is today known as Ontario and Quebec). Despite PEI not taking part in Confederation until 1873, the province likes using nicknames such as ‘Birthplace of Canada’, ‘Birthplace of Confederation’ and ‘Cradle of Confederation’.

Miscellaneous: Canada’s smallest library – and one of the tiniest in the world – can be found in Cardigan. The book lender, run by John MacDonald and his daughter, Alexandra, measures 3.5 by 3.5 meters and is stocked with 1,800 books. A lifetime membership will set you back a whopping $5 and returns are based on the honour system. MacDonald has even tried to get the library recognized by Guinness World Records.

Prince Edward Island: The Eddy

The Eddy

  • 1.5 oz Vodka or Gin
  • 0.5 oz Grand Marnier
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Slice

Mrs. Sip and I had a fun, albeit brief visit to PEI for a friend’s wedding in 2016. We also popped over to the island for lunch with Ma and Pa Sip in 2009, as part of hitting four provinces in one day. Hopefully we can get back there with the Sipplings in the future.

Sip Trips #214: Disney Days

The highlight of September, aside from our latest VCBW Beer Box arriving, was our long-awaited vacation to Disneyland. Seriously, we began planning this trip in late 2019, with the pandemic wiping out the journey for two straight years. Let’s see how it all finally went down:

To get to Southern California, we boarded a Princess Cruises ship from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Mrs. Sip finally reached Elite status on this voyage; therefore, she was given a complimentary mini bar set-up, among other perks. Only problem, she was given two gin and six blended whiskey bottles. Now, I understand this is a freebie, but a little more variety would have been preferred. We did call to make some changes, but availability was so limited, we were forced to go with six gin and two whiskey bottles. Another liquor issue we had was Ma and Pa Sip gifted me a bottle of Crown Royal for the cruise, but it was also unavailable. Not loving the substitution options, I elected to take a credit on the bottle, which allowed me to spend that on cocktails around the ship. I am now an Elite member as well, so hopefully our next cruise provides a better mini bar set-up.

Cruise

As for that ship credit, I quickly went to work on it, ordering a Mayan Mule at the Elite Lounge. We also bought a bottle of Pinot Grigio for dinner, which we spread over three of our four meals. My night cap that evening was the Captain’s Bounty (Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, Malibu Coconut Rum, Bacardi Limon Rum, Kraken Rum, sweet and sour, pineapple juice, Coca-Cola), which was my favourite cocktail of the cruise.

Our one port stop was in Victoria, where we met some family members for breakfast at the Breakwater Bistro. Before taking Boy Sip on a walk along Ogden Point, I quickly enjoyed a Hazy IPA and Breakfast Sandwich.

Our next two days at sea were spent celebrating my and Girl Sip’s birthdays. Drinks enjoyed over the festivities included: Alaska White and Amber Ales, Ultimate Cooler, Mango Margarita with added chili flakes, Long Island Iced Tea, Lynchburg Lemonade, and Strawberry Fields (Mezcal, Strawberry Puree, Ginger, Lime).

cruise work

Some thoughts to sum up the cruise, I still really miss the Explorer’s Lounge and Skywalker’s Lounge, which are both missing from these newer ships. Also, I feel there should be some sort of arcade available on the ship for kids and adults alike. Amongst some other good (not great) food eaten, my favourite meal was the quick serve Bahn Mi Sandwich from the International Café. I felt the food was better in Disneyland than on the cruise.

Speaking of Disneyland, we had finally arrived, in the middle of a SoCo heatwave and massive crowds in the park. The best way to handle it all was frequent visits to beer vendors. Our first servings of the stay were the Battlesnakes Pilsner for me and delicious Golden Road Hefeweizen for Mrs. Sip. I later also added the Karl Strauss Boat Shoes Hazy IPA.

Each day, we retreated to either our or Ma and Pa Sip’s hotel for a break from the heat and recharge. On one of these occasions, I was tasked with getting Girl Sip a Quesadilla at Calaca Mamas. When asked to wait for my order at the bar, I took advantage of the situation and had a pint of the restaurant’s Mexican Lager.

Disneyland Fun

One of the best lunches of our trip was at the Pym Test Kitchen, where all food comes in enormous servings. Our meal included the Not so Little Chicken Sandwich and massive Quantum Pretzel, finished with the decadent Choco Smash Candy Bar. To drink, Mrs. Sip put in mobile orders at the Pym Tasting Lab. Our beverages were The Regulator (Tequila, Golden Road Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Mango and Habanero Syrups, Mango flavor-filled Boba) and Honey Buzz (Gin, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup, Honey Straw). As we left the kids with Ma and Pa Sip for a Disneyland date night, we also enjoyed a pair of fantastic BarrelHouse Strawberry Daze Blonde Ales from the bar.

Continuing with our kid-free evening, we landed a spot at the Carthay Circle Lounge. Here, we sat back and enjoyed fancy cocktails, such as a Dill Gin & Tonic (Gin, Tonic, Dill Pickle Brine, Dill, Lemon Peel) for me and Tequila Daisy (Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, Crème Yvette Violet Liqueur, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Egg Whites) for Mrs. Sip. We also split an order of Bao Buns of Soy-Ginger Braised Pork Belly with Cucumber Kimchi, which were incredibly tasty.

We then moved to the Magic Kingdom park and managed to get into Oga’s Cantina, the only place you can get alcoholic beverages in this part of the resort. We were allowed to stay for a maximum of 45 minutes and two drinks, so we made quick work ordering the Tarkenian Night Flower (Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, Ginger, Huckleberry), The Outer Rim (Tequila, Pomegranate Liqueur, Lime Juice, Cane Sugar, Exotic Fruit Purée, Black Salt rim), Jet Juice (Bourbon, Piment d’Espelette, Pomegranate Liqueur, White Grape Juice, Lemon Juice) and Fondor Fizz (Chardonnay, Vodka, White Tea, Lemongrass, Pea Flower Citrus). The bar is neat, but it does make me wonder why liquor can’t be purchased at other parts of the park.

Star Wars Disneyland

In the middle of our California stay, we decided to head out to Legoland for the very first time. Our day here was a stark contrast to Disneyland crowd-wise, as we were able to walk onto almost every ride and sometimes do back-to-back runs of an attraction. We had lunch at the Knights’ Smokehouse BBQ, sharing the Taste of Texas Platter (Pulled Pork, Brisket and Hot Link) with Fries, Mac & Cheese and Jalapeno Cornbread as side dishes. To drink, we got servings of Societe The Harlot Blonde Ale and Stone Hazy IPA. The only downside of our Legoland day was the park was only open from 10am-5pm and we would have loved to have had more time to explore and play.

Back to Disneyland for a day, we cooled off with another visit to the Sonoma Terrace beer garden, where I enjoyed glasses of the Unsung Carina Hazy Double IPA and Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale.

With another day off on the schedule, we took the kids to Dave & Busters. Over our lunch of the Chicken Avocado Club and Pretzel Dogs, Mrs. Sip had a Strawberry Watermelon Margarita, while I sipped on a Jameson and Ginger Ale. Then, we played a host of arcade games, some of which were worth their cost and others not so much.

Dave & Busters

Following an afternoon of swimming, we returned to our hotel, which had a Denny’s next door. We decided to have dinner there, where I paired a Shock Top Belgian White with a yummy Nashville Hot Chicken Melt with Seasoned Fries.

For our final day at Disneyland, we had lunch at the Pacific Wharf area. I ordered from the Lucky Fortune Cookery, having the Teriyaki Chicken with a Four Sons Lucky Dragon IPA (exclusive to the Cookery). We also grabbed beers again at the Pym Tasting Lab, this time having the SLO Brew Cali Squeeze Blood Orange Hefeweizen, suggested by a friend who visited Disneyland in the summer.

My final thoughts on this Disneyland trip were that the resort has become shockingly unreliable, with rides being down and constantly having issues. The new Genie+ system ($20 per day, per person) has its perks, such as being able to get passes to rides from anywhere around the resort, but I refuse to pay extra for a ride on top of the exorbitant entry price. We used to be the type of people that would buy a Disneyland year pass and make the trek two to three times a year. That’s not feasible anymore with park ticket, food and drink and hotel prices all going up dramatically. I can’t see us coming back for at least a couple years and, more likely, a few years.

Disneyland Wishes

As we waited at LAX to fly home, we had a meal at the Point the Way Café by Golden Road Brewing. My Ride On Tropical IPA worked really well with the Grilled Chicken Nachos Mrs. Sip and I shared. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and we were back home with two tuckered out Sipplings.

October is already shaping up to be busy, albeit fun. This weekend we’re on the road again, taking advantage of the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, with a trip to the Okanagan. Halloween festivities will also provide ample opportunity for shenanigans!

Ontario – Raymond Massey

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we journey to Ontario, which likes to think of itself as the center of the universe. Does that theory hold up? Let’s find out:

Motto: “Loyal she began, loyal she remains” – This has some abusive vibes to it…

Food: While popular across the country – and even internationally – Tim Hortons is an institution in Ontario. It was founded in Hamilton in 1964 by hockey star Tim Horton. The company’s headquarters are now in Toronto. As of 2022, there were 1,713 Tim Hortons locations in Ontario, accounting for 48 per cent of all the chain’s locations in Canada. I can attest, Tim Hortons donut holes, called Timbits, are quite addictive.

Drink: The Labatt Brewing Company was founded by John Labatt in 1847 in London, back when the area was known as Canada West, rather than Ontario. The company is headquartered in Toronto, but is now owned by the Anheuser-Busch InBev conglomerate. Labatt is the largest brewery in Canada, with brands including Labatt Blue (lager) and Labatt 50 (ale).

Tim Hortons

Site to See: Niagara Falls, on the border of Ontario and New York State, is the top tourist attraction in the province. Most fascinating to me is the number of daredevils who have tried to survive going over the falls. Sadly, many did not live to tell the tale, including those who used the falls to commit suicide. An estimated 5,000 bodies have been found in the waters below the falls between 1850 and 2011.

Street: Yonge Street in Toronto was, for a time, called the longest street in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Although this was a mistake, one title that has remained is ‘Main Street Ontario’. Notable sites along the route include the Eaton Centre shopping mall and Dundas Square, where a number of eating, entertainment and shopping options can be found.

TV Show: I’ve enjoyed a number of series set in Ontario, chief among them Letterkenny. The show highlights the lives of those living in the country community, based on star Jared Keeso’s hometown of Listowel. The townsfolk are broken up between being hicks, jocks, skids and natives. The quick dialogue has created many popular catchphrases and added numerous idioms to the lexicon.

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, starring Michael Cera, is about a young man pursuing the girl of his dreams, only to find out he has to defeat her seven evil exes to be with her. The film, based on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, uses many video game references. It’s set in Toronto, featuring landmarks such as Casa Loma, St. Michael’s College School and a Toronto Public Library location.

Niagara Falls

Book/Author: Margaret Atwood, born in Ottawa, is a Canadian literary icon. Atwood has published numerous works, including 18 novels, 18 books of poetry, eight children’s books and two graphic novels. Perhaps her most notable work is The Handmaid’s Tale, which was adapted into a 2017 TV series. Among her many accolades, Atwood received the Order of Canada in 1981 and Order of Ontario in 1990.

Fictional Character: A few other characters/shows deserving of mention include Mr. Kim (Kim’s Convenience), William Murdoch (Murdoch Mysteries), Red Green (The Red Green Show), Hobo the Dog (The Littlest Hobo), and Bob and Doug McKenzie (SCTV). Combined, the characters/shows give a good representation of Ontario from the late 19th century – the setting of Murdoch Mysteries – to present day.

Fictional City: Since Letterkenny was already mentioned above, I’ll use this category to feature Schitt’s Creek, both the show and the invented locale. When video store mogul Johnny Rose loses his entire fortune, he and his peculiar family are forced to move to the one property they still own, the rural town of Schitt’s Creek. Here, they interact with the eclectic citizens, while trying to rebuild their lives.

Actor/Actress: There are too many folks that fit this category, so I’ll just list them: Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Ryan Gosling, Jay Baruchel, Rachel McAdams, Keanu Reeves, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, Matthew Perry, John Candy, Neve Campbell, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Sandra Oh, Martin Short… did I miss anyone?

Margaret Atwood

Song: A Place to Stand, A Place to Grow is the unofficial anthem of Ontario. It was written by Dolores Claman, best known for writing The Hockey Theme, which is viewed as a secondary national anthem in Canada. The song was used at the Ontario pavilion at the Expo 67 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec. It was also featured in the short film A Place to Stand, which won a 1967 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Band/Musician: Once again, there are many options for this category. If I had to narrow it down to one, I think I’d select Justin Bieber. Just kidding, I’d probably go with Rush, but others deserving of mention include Alanis Morissette, The Tragically Hip, Drake, Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Neil Young, The Weeknd, Shania Twain, Paul Anka, Blue Rodeo, Alessia Cara, deadmau5, Gordon Lightfoot, Our Lady Peace, Sum 41, etc.

People: Another tough category to narrow down, so I’ll split it between two long-time media personalities, one universally beloved and the other incredibly controversial. First, Alex Trebek, born in Sudbury, hosted TV game show Jeopardy! for 37 years before his death in 2020. On the other end of the spectrum, hockey pundit Don Cherry was a fixture of Hockey Night in Canada for 33 years before being unceremoniously fired in 2019.

Animal: A few giant pandas have had notable stays at the Toronto Zoo. First, Qing Qing and Quan Quan appeared at the zoo in 1985, shattering all attendance records over the zoo’s history. Decades later, Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Toronto and in 2015, Er Shun gave birth to twin cubs, the first birth of giant pandas to occur in Canada. The cubs were named Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy).

Alex Trebek

Invention: Insulin, co-discovered by Sir Frederick Banting (born in Alliston) has to take this spot, thanks to the hormone’s ability to save the lives of those with diabetes or at least allow them to enjoy a safer, more comfortable existence. For his discovery, Banting was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Medicine, at the age of 32, making him the youngest winner in that field to this day.

Crime: In the early 1990s, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, known as the Ken and Barbie Killers, raped and murdered three teenagers, including Homolka’s own sister. On his own, Bernardo was a prolific serial rapist, given the nicknames Scarborough Rapist and Schoolgirl Killer. The pair were convicted of their crimes, but while Bernardo was sentenced to life imprisonment, Homolka cut a controversial plea deal and only served 12 years.

Sports Team: Ontario is home to the most sports franchises in the country. Toronto has the Maple Leafs (NHL), Raptors (NBA), Blue Jays (MLB) and Argos (CFL), while Ottawa offers the Senators (NHL) and Redblacks (CFL). There’s also the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats. The province also has the Ontario Hockey League, with 17 of the circuit’s 20 junior teams located within Ontario.

Athlete: Among other options, this category has to go to Wayne Gretzky. Born in Brantford, ‘The Great One’ owns countless NHL records and is generally regarded as the greatest hockey player the game has ever seen. Gretzky won four Stanley Cups, to go along with many individual awards, over his 20-year career. When Gretzky retired, he was immediately enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame and his #99 jersey was retired league-wide.

Wayne Gretzky

Famous Home: While the Canadian Prime Minister’s residence seems like an obvious choice, I’ll go in a different direction, highlighting McCrae House in Guelph. It is the childhood home of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who wrote the poem In Flanders Field during World War I. Sadly, McCrae died of pneumonia before the war concluded. The home was named a National Historic Site in 1966.

Urban Legend: The Baldoon Mystery is a curious tale. Taking place in the community of Wallaceburg, the story states the family farm of John T. McDonald experienced many paranormal encounters, said to result from a witch’s curse. McDonald was advised to shoot a black-headed goose with a silver bullet, which would wound the witch as well. Upon shooting a goose in its wing, McDonald came across an old woman with a broken arm and the hauntings ceased.

Museum: The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in Toronto in 1943. With the 2021 induction ceremony, a total of 417 players, builders and officials have been enshrined in the Hall. The museum also allows visitors to get close to the Stanley Cup, which reminds me of the joke that the Hall of Fame was placed in Toronto, as that’s the closest folks living there would ever get to the championship!

Firsts: For a league that has only one Canadian team, it’s amazing the first-ever National Basketball Association game was played on November 1, 1946, in Toronto. The contest, played at Maple Leaf Gardens, was between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers, with the Knicks winning 68-66. The Huskies only lasted one season before folding and Toronto would be without a team until the Raptors were founded in 1995.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Company: As department stores go the way of the dodo, they were once major shopping institutions. All of the biggest Canadian department stores were headquartered in Ontario, including The Bay, Eaton’s and Sears. Of these, only The Bay, in existence in various forms since 1670, still exists, but they have struggled in recent years, due to discount stores and online shopping.

Events: The War of 1812, fought between the United States and the United Kingdom, featured a number of battles in Upper Canada (what is now Ontario). The war is credited for helping to create a sense of national identity in Canada. For Canadians, the war is perhaps best remembered for the burning of Washington, which included setting the White House, then known as the Presidential Mansion, and Capitol building ablaze.

Miscellaneous: The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in the world, highlighted by the premieres of star-studded movies and creating buzz for films leading up to the award season. The festival was founded in 1976 and today lasts 11 days in mid-September. Some notable movies to debut at TIFF, include American Beauty, Ray, Slumdog Millionaire, Precious, and The King’s Speech.

Ontario: Raymond Massey

  • 2 oz Canadian Whiskey
  • Dash of Ginger Syrup
  • Top with Bubbly
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This cocktail is named after actor Raymond Massey, who was born in Toronto, where the drink enjoys its popularity. It is a variation of the classic French 75 beverage, subbing in the Canadian Whiskey and Ginger Syrup, in favour of Gin and Lemon Juice.

Sip Trips #213: Colonial Corruptions

August was a fun month, highlighted by a trip to Boston, Massachusetts, where Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. There were other shenanigans before and after our getaway, so let’s see what the Family Sip got up to:

With Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings back from their vacation to Italy, Mrs. Sip and I were able to do a late night date night one evening, using the rest of a gift card we had for Piva Modern Italian. My meal consisted of the Dinner Burger with Caesar Salad and Fries – I love it when restaurants give you both and don’t make you decide between the two side dishes – and an IPA from Another Beer Company.

Caesar Salad

Friends from London were visiting that weekend and brought along a very kind gift for me. It was a set of spirits from the East London Liquor Co., which we had all visited years ago. The mini bottles included a gin, rum and vodka, which I look forward to enjoying soon.

As part of that weekend’s festivities, Mrs. Sip and I finally got to visit the new Russell Brewing tasting room. I’ve been wishing for a tasting room from this brewery for many years and it finally happened after six years of efforts on Russell’s behalf. While there, I enjoyed a Raspberry White Chocolate IPA and Mrs. Sip and I shared their Taco Duo of Carnitas and Carne Mezclada. They have an interesting menu item we’ll have to try in the future, called a Table Flight, where you get a taster of each beer they have on tap, served in a hubcap.

The next week, after taking care of some errands, Mrs. Sip and I rushed to attend some trivia at the Paddlewheeler Pub. We missed most of the first half, so didn’t fare to well score wise, but still had fun. For food, I had my usual Crispy Chicken Burger, paired with a Hop Valley Bubble Stash Mountain IPA and Spiced Rum and Coke on late night happy hour pricing.

Trivia

The main event of the month was our trek to Boston, which we picked travel roulette style. While Mrs. Sip generally takes the lead on vacation planning, this journey was left completely in the Sip Advisor’s hands, except for flight and hotel bookings. Upon arriving, we walked around our downtown hotel area and had dinner at the Hub Pub. I had a tasty Country Fried Chicken Club with a pair of Shipyard Monkey Fist IPAs, while Mrs. Sip had her first of many Lobster Rolls, joined by two Blue Moons.

The next morning, I picked up some provisions for our hotel room at the Boston Wine Exchange. For Mrs. Sip, I grabbed a bottle of rose, while for myself, I purchased the Lord Hobo IPA Sampler (Life Session IPA, 617 Hazy IPA, Juice Lord IPA, Boom Sauce Double IPA).

The first stop on my itinerary was the Sam Adams Tap Room. I had to go with the Boston Brick Red, which is only available in Boston, and became my favourite beer of the trip. Mrs. Sip put together a flight, comprised of the Wicked Hazy, Cherry Wheat, House Hazy Session IPA and Light it Up Lager. Prior to leaving, I spotted a t-shirt in their merch store, which had Prost (the German version of “cheers”) on it. Given this is a popular saying for our family and I’ve never seen any item that says it, I had to buy the garment. Sam Adams is big on their Oktoberfest beer, so that probably explains the unique clothing.

Sam Adams

Next up, was Democracy Brewing, where we had a delicious late lunch, sharing the Birria Quesitacos and Sweet Chili Bao Buns. Among many contenders, this may have been my favourite meal of the trip. To drink, Mrs. Sip had a Worker’s Pint Blonde Ale, while I went with the Fighting 54th Saison.

Then, we were off to Fenway Park for a tour of the historic stadium, followed later by a Boston Red Sox game. Between our tour and game, we enjoyed some AC and beers at Cheeky Monkey Brewing. I had the 3 Landsdowne IPA and Harambe’s Ghost Double IPA, while Mrs. Sip tried the Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale (complete with floating blueberries) and Sam Adams Oktoberfest. For a snack, we split an order of Queso Verde.

At the game, I had a tall can of Night Shift Whirlpool Pale Ale, while Mrs. Sip had a Goslings Dark N’ Stormy canned cocktail. We spent a portion of the game exploring parts of the stadium, where I almost satisfied my quest to eat something Fluffernutter (a sandwich the area is known for, made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff), as their R&D stall was offering Fluffernutter Fries. Sadly, the item had already sold out or was never available that day. Thus, I’m still chasing my white whale. Speaking of seafood, Mrs. Sip had another Lobster Roll, although this one didn’t stack up to the first one or the ones that would follow.

Fluffernutter

Following the game, we went to Yard House for our nightcap. I had servings of the House White Ale and IPA, along with an order of Shiitake Garlic Noodles that were good, but could have used a protein added to the dish.

To begin our anniversary day, I’d scheduled a North End Secret Food Tour. I’d previously tried to book the Classic Bites of Boston Food Tour (Lobster, Chowder, Baked Beans, Boston Cream Pie), but they were only accepting groups of eight or more. I won’t go into too much detail about where we ate, so as to keep the secrets of the tour, but I will discuss the items we ate. We enjoyed generous servings of New England Clam Chowder (with Cornbread), gourmet nuts, Lobster Roll, Salumi Sandwich, Cheese Pizza and Cannoli, while our fantastic guide Gabriel provided us with some of the history of the North End, also known as Little Italy. One place I will mention us eating at was the historic Union Oyster House, where we added a pint of Sam Adams Colonial Ale to our meal, as the beer is exclusive to this restaurant, the oldest in Boston. My only criticism of the tour is the drink add-on is overpriced at $35 per person. Luckily, my beverage knowledge told me we should avoid the package and just get drinks separately, if we wanted any.

Following our tour, we walked to Night Shift Brewing, where I had their Fluffy New England IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with the Pumpkin Piescraper. Fall is coming, my little sippers!

Pumpkin

Prior to our anniversary dinner, we popped into the nearby Trillium Brewing. Here, I had the Jamaica Pond IPA, while Mrs. Sip had the Oenobier, a unique brew made with Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay grapes.

Our fantastic dinner was at Row 34. They provided us with glasses of complimentary bubbly for our anniversary, which we paired with starters of Cornbread with Maple Butter and Salmon Crudo. Next up, was a pair of oysters for each of us and the amazing Poolside Splash cocktail (Citrus Vodka, Basil, Apricot, Thai Chili, Lime, Soda) for me. Dinner itself featured a scrumptious Oyster Po’Boy with deliciously-seasoned chips for moi and Warm Buttered Lobster for Mrs. Sip. We split a bottle of wine over our main course and left the restaurant quite happy.

Our last full day was spent exploring the city’s Freedom Trail, which is 2.5-mile long path, stopping at numerous sites that are important in the revolutionary history of Boston and the U.S. To loosen up for the walk, we started at the Bull & Finch Pub, better known as the Cheers bar, since it provided the exterior shots for the popular TV series. Here, I had another Sam Adams Boston Brick Red, while Mrs. Sip went with the Sam Adams Summer Ale. We also bought a Christmas ornament here, as has become a tradition for Mrs. Sip and me when travelling.

Cheers

After a few stops along the trail, it was time for lunch, so we tried Luke’s Lobster, which offered an interesting Lobster Roll Flight (Spicy Honey Butter, Truffle and Lemon Butter). Continuing on along the historic trek, we next took a break at the Green Dragon Tavern, where I had a Green Dragon Tavern Ale, while Mrs. Sip selected the Bunker Hill Boozie (Rhubarb and Strawberry Gin, Thyme Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, topped with Bubbly).

Upon completing the Freedom Trail, we met with a local friend at the Warren Tavern, the oldest tavern in Massachusetts. I went the cocktail route here, as the G.T.O.T.M. – Gin and Tonic of the Moment – comprised of watermelon, lime, basil and simple syrup really caught my eye. To share, we ordered Pretzel Sticks, Lump Crab Cakes and Nachos.

For dinner, we went to Scampo at the Liberty Hotel. Although I originally wasn’t too hungry, I devoured my yummy Lobster Pizza, which I paired with a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Mrs. Sip had an interesting Banana Rum Old Fashioned as her beverage. After our meal, we went to the upstairs Lobby Bar. All of the Liberty Hotel was the former Charles Street Jail, so many of it’s restaurants and bars are prison-themed, including Clink and Alibi.

Freedom Trail

The next day, with a few hours left before we had to fly home, we checked out the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. There, we had a drink and snack at Abigail’s Tea Room. My beer cocktail Rattle Skull (Rum, Whiskey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, topped with Sam Adams Lager) was interesting, while Mrs. Sip was able to try each of the five teas that were tossed overboard as part of the Boston Tea Party.

One final visit to the Sam Adams Tap Room was in order, as was one final serving of Boston Brick Red. Then, it was off to Logan Airport. Before boarding our flight, we had one final meal at Legal Sea Foods. I ordered the Double R Ranch Bacon Cheddar Burger with Fries and Coleslaw, paired with a Harpoon IPA. To sum up Boston, we absolutely loved the city. The history, the food and the drink were top notch. It’s a very walkable city and that’s the best way to get around, as traffic is bad in the downtown core.

Boston

Back home, we wrapped the month with a visit to the PNE/Playland. We started with a serving of Pop Rocks Chicken, which put pop rocks candy on top of popcorn chicken, in a curious blend. Over the course of the day, I had cans of Parallel 49 Trash Panda Hazy IPA and Stanley Park Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale. The evening wrapped with a delicious dinner at Jimmy’s Lunch, where I thoroughly enjoyed my Hardy Burger (all the fixings) and perfectly done fries. Jimmy’s is a PNE institution, but this is the first time I’ve ever eaten at the stall.

Well, that’s a wrap on our very eventful August. September looks to be just as action-packed, as we have a ton of birthdays in the family on deck, including yours truly and Girl Sip. These will be celebrated on a cruise to California, where we’ll spend a week at Disneyland!

Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we visit Atlantic Canada’s most populated province, Nova Scotia. Let’s see what this ‘New Scotland’ has to offer:

Motto: “One defends and the other conquers” – Them sounds like fighting words!

Food: Mrs. Sip and I once did a food tour in Nova Scotia and among the many highlights was trying a Halifax Donair, the official food of the city. King of Donair (KOD), a chain founded in Halifax in 1973, is responsible for bring the dish to the area. KOD has been featured in the Trailer Park Boys, as well as visited by celebrity chefs, such as Anthony Bourdain. December 8 is National Donair Day.

Drink: Alexander Keith’s Brewery was founded in Halifax in 1820. The brand is best known for the India Pale Ale offering. The brewery tour is a lot of fun, as the experience tries to take you back in time, allowing visitors to play old drinking games, as they enjoy beer samples. Today, the brewery is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Nova Scotia also has a Good Cheer Trail, covering breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, and meaderies.

Donair Sauce

Site to See: Peggy’s Cove and its famous lighthouse are a top tourist attraction in Nova Scotia. In 2021, a new viewing platform opened to the public, although walking the rocks is a lot of fun. The area is also home to the Swissair 111 Memorial, which was erected after the plane crashed into the nearby St. Margaret’s Bay, killing all 229 passengers and crew aboard.

Street: The Cabot Trail can be found on Cape Breton Island, named after explorer John Cabot, who landed in the region (most historians now agree Cabot reached Newfoundland, not Nova Scotia) in 1497. Some notable sites along the highway include the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Nova Scotia also has a Lobster Trail, for those interested in dining on the tasty crustacean.

TV Show: Trailer Park Boys is a mockumentary of life at the Sunnyvale Trailer Park. The trio of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles are always getting into trouble with each get-rich-quick scheme they are working. Always on their heels is on-again, off-again trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey. The Trailer Park Boys franchise has spawned an animated series, as well as feature movies and other specials.

Movie: Goon and its sequel Goon: Last of the Enforcers are set in Halifax, where main character Doug Glatt is the enforcer of the Halifax Highlanders minor league hockey team. Ironically, the movies were filmed in Manitoba and Ontario, respectively. In a nice Nova Scotia crossover reference, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys appear in the movie as control room workers.

Trailer Park Boys

Book/Author: Novelist and short story writer Alistair MacLeod spent a great deal of time on Cape Breton Island and did much of his writing there, while staying on his family’s land during summer breaks. MacLeod has been praised for providing vivid images of Cape Breton Island’s landscape throughout his works. His novel No Great Mischief, was voted Atlantic Canada’s greatest book of all-time.

Fictional Character: Theodore Tugboat operates in Halifax Harbour and was the inspiration for a children’s TV series, before branching out into toy lines, books and other merchandise. Many of the other characters in the franchise are named after places in Nova Scotia, along with the other Atlantic provinces. A life-size version of Theodore Tugboat, named Theodore Too, was built in Dayspring.

Fictional City: While more of a community than a city, Sunnyvale Trailer Park is home to a vast collection of eclectic characters. Aside from those already mentioned, other notable residents include Randy, the always shirtless assistant park manager; Cory and Trevor, used by the main three as errand boys and scapegoats; and J-Roc, a white rapper who struggles with his identity.

Actor/Actress: Elliot Page (formerly Ellen), star of movies such as Juno, Inception and a couple of the X-Men films, was born in Halifax. Page currently stars on the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, where his character has been written as transgendered, to match Page’s real-life gender identity. One of Page’s earliest credits was as Treena Lahey on the Trailer Park Boys.

Theodore Tugboat

Song: My Nova Scotia Home by Hank Snow is among many songs dedicated to the province. Perhaps the strongest line in Snow’s ode to his birthplace is “Nova Scotia is my sanctuary, and I love her so.” Snow was born in Brooklyn (not New York) and enjoyed a long career in music, releasing 140 albums and numerous chart-topping singles. The Hank Snow Museum can be found in Liverpool (not England).

Band/Musician: Nova Scotia’s most notable musicians are female artists, including Sarah McLachlan and Anne Murray. McLachlan, with hits such as Building a Mystery and I Will Remember You, has sold 40 million albums globally and started the Lilith Fair tour. Murray has enjoyed a decades-long career and is viewed as someone who paved the way for future Canadian females to crossover into international markets.

People: Danny Gallivan enjoyed a long broadcasting career, including 32 years as the voice of Hockey Night in Canada. His unique calls became known as ‘Gallivanisms’, including inventing the now common term spin-o-rama. Gallivan, who was born in Sydney, created the Danny Gallivan Golf Tournament, which has raised close to $1.5 million for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Animal: Rutledge the Lion was born at Aylesford’s Oaklawn Farm Zoo (Nova Scotia’s largest zoo) in 1991. The big cat grew so large, at one time, it held the Guinness World Record for heaviest lion in captivity at 807 pounds. Sadly, Rutledge was euthanized in February 2009, at the age of 17. He had stopped eating and begun losing weight. Rutledge was buried at the zoo.

Sarah Mclachlan

Invention: Newsprint, allowing newspapers and other publications to operate more economically, was invented by Nova Scotia’s Charles Fenerty in 1844. After perfecting his process, Fenerty took a sample of the finished product to the Acadian Recorder, Halifax’s most popular newspaper of the time. Despite his work on newsprint, Fenerty never tried to patent the invention.

Crime: In April 2020, Gabriel Wortman murdered 22 people before he was killed by police, ending the 13-hour rampage, the deadliest in Canadian history. The spree resulted in a federal ban of many assault-style weapons. Another infamous crime in the province was the 1992 Sydney River McDonald’s Murders, where three friends went from robbing a McDonald’s to murdering three employees.

Sports Team: Two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams, the Halifax Mooseheads and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, are perhaps the biggest games in the province. The Atlantic Schooners are a proposed expansion team for the Canadian Football League. The franchise had a failed 1984 bid, which was revived in 2018, although no official application has been made.

Athlete: Sidney Crosby was born in Halifax and has gone on the meet all the expectations that were thrust upon him as a young hockey prodigy. Crosby has won three Stanley Cups, along with earning nearly every personal NHL award available. In a “you couldn’t write a better ending” moment, Crosby scored the ‘golden goal’, which won Canada a gold medal on home ice at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Sidney Crosby

Famous Home: The Maud Lewis House, originally located in Marshalltown, is a work of art. So much so, that the cottage now resides in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, allowing for its safe preservation. Maud Lewis was a Nova Scotian folk artist, who used her home as a canvas. Despite living most of her life in poverty, Lewis’ work is now recognized on postage stamps, while paintings have sold for record prices at auction.

Urban Legend: The Oak Island Mystery is so legendary, it inspired the reality TV series The Curse of Oak Island. The mystery involves tales of buried treasure on Oak Island, with the lost artifacts believed to be anything from Marie Antoinette’s jewels to the Holy Grail or Ark of the Covenant. Legend says seven men will die before the treasure is discovered. Thus far, six men have perished while searching.

Museum: The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic can be found on the Halifax Waterfront. It was opened in 1948 and is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada. The museum is home to more than 30,000 artifacts. Exhibits include Shipwreck Treasures of Nova Scotia, a Convoy Exhibit on the World War II Battle of the Atlantic, and Titanic Exhibit, including items from the doomed ship.

Firsts: On December 15, 1902, electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi successful made the first wireless message from North America to Europe. Thus, Marconi is viewed as the inventor of radio. He was co-awarded the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for his continued efforts in the field. The Marconi National Historic Site and Marconi Wireless Station National Historic Site can be found on Cape Breton Island.

Titanic

Company: Sobeys, Canada’s second largest grocery store chain, was founded in Stellarton in 1907. The company, which operates each of the country’s 10 provinces, is still headquartered in Stellarton today. Grocery chains under the Sobeys banner include IGA, Safeway, Thrifty Foods and FreshCo. The Subsidiary has also dabbled in the movie theatre and gas station industries.

Events: The 1917 Halifax Explosion occurred when a French cargo ship, carrying explosives, crashed into a Norwegian boat. The resulting explosion killed at least 1,782 people and completely decimated the Halifax Harbour. As if the blast wasn’t enough, a tsunami followed. The Halifax Harbour also played a role in the aftermath of the Titanic sinking, being where recovered bodies of those who perished were shipped.

Miscellaneous: Nova Scotians are known as ‘Bluenosers’, a reference that was later used to name the famous racing schooner Bluenose, which was built in Lunenburg in 1921. The sailing ship and fishing vessel was nicknamed ‘Queen of the North Atlantic’. The Bluenose appears on Nova Scotia licence plates, the Canadian dime, three different postage stamps, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955.

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

  • 2 oz Scotch
  • 0.25 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Nova Scotia has a cocktail named after it, so I had to use the recipe. I didn’t have any Yellow Chartreuse on hand, so I used Drambuie as a substitute. We finish by saying “sociable”, the province’s version of “cheers”!

Sip Trips #212: Bachelor Recall

Well, July was an interesting month, with about half of it spent living an alternative life without the wife and kids. Did the Sip Advisor get up to much trouble? Nah, I’m too much of a homebody, but I did manage some fun. Here’s how the month played out:

July began with the Sip Family arriving in Penticton for the second half of our Okanagan getaway. For one of our lunches, we ate at Saltys, where Mrs. Sip and I shared a pitcher of Rhino Watermelon Wheat Ale. I paired this with an order of Fish & Chips. The restaurant had a neat collection of cocktails and a great food menu for kids and adults alike.

Pour Decisions

Before leaving Penticton, we had our final lunch at Neighbourhood Brewing. Both Mrs. Sip and I took advantage of their 3 Tacos deal, with my selections being the Prawn Shop Shrimp Taco, Guy Fiery Buffalo Fried Chicken Taco and Cluck Kent Fried Chicken Taco, while Mrs. Sip ordered the Piggies Smalls Al Pastor, James Pond Baja Fish Taco and Cluck Norris Roasted Chicken. Sadly, they were tapped out of a few beers that interested our group, but I did enjoy my fallback choice Way of Life Hazy IPA and the taste I had of Mrs. Sip’s Sunshine City Passionfruit Wheat Ale. I liked that the kid’s meals come with chips and a churro for dessert.

For the second half of the month, I was left to my own devices, as Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings travelled to Italy. The quiet weekdays were a stark contrast to my very active weekends, making for a perfect blend of rest and getting off my ass. My first outing was attending a New Westminster Salmonbellies lacrosse game. Tickets are only $15 for adults and half that price for kids. My only complaint from the experience is they should bring in some New West craft beer for the games, rather than serving up Coors and Canadian.

Lacrosse

The next night, a friend and I met for dinner at the Paddlewheeler Pub. We were greeted by live music and a delicious meal. I had the Crispy Chicken Burger, which I’ve enjoyed there before, and shared a pitcher of Okanagan Springs 1516 Lager.

After dinner, we hit a couple locations on my Columbia Street crawl list. Both bars, Judge Begbie’s Tavern and The Met, we’re first time visits for the Sip Advisor, which seems criminal after living in New West since September 2018. I liked both places, particularly The Met’s outdoor patio area.

Next up, a friend invited me to join him for a Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game. While attending the unfortunate loss for the team, I had servings of Goose Island IPA and Stanley Park Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale. The two 24oz brews set me back more than $40, but that’s what you get with stadium pricing.

Stadium Beers

To wrap the weekend, Pa Sip and I had tickets to watch John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Prior to the concert, we had a great meal at Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House, which we selected to go with the southern theme of our concert. My drinks included the Dageraad Rainshine Blonde Ale and a pair of Jack Daniels and Cokes. To eat, I went with the Dirty Fries, as I didn’t have a huge appetite.

I ended July with style, attending the Cool Lager Fest at Another Beer Company (ABC) with Cousin Sip. The event was part of the brewery’s third birthday celebrations and beer tokens were $5.25 each with no entry fee. My original plan was to just get a few tokens, but ended up getting eight over the course of the afternoon, allowing me to get at least one beer from each of the breweries on hand: ABC, Steel & Oak, Four Winds, Luppolo, Red Collar, Slow Hand, and Studio. The ABC crew did their best to deal with the hot day, offering beer slushies for no extra charge and stringing up misters around the already tented seating. One of the planned food trucks never showed up (or at least hadn’t by the time I left), but there was food and ice cream on hand for those who wanted it.

With Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings returning imminently, life will get busy again. The highlight of August looks to be my and Mrs. Sip’s getaway to Boston to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but I’m sure other fun activities will pop up as the month progresses.

Newfoundland and Labrador – Screech Newfoundland Flower

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we journey to Newfoundland and Labrador, affectionately known as The Rock. The place is called Canada’s Happy Province, so let’s see if that’s true:

Motto: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” – Do you have a map I can borrow?

Food: What do you get when you throw salted beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips into a bowl and boil the whole collection together? You get the Newfie culinary delight known as Jiggs Dinner. The meal is typically followed by servings of pease pudding or figgy duff for dessert. Another edible tradition from the province is Fries, Dressing and Gravy (aka Newfoundland Fries), which is similar to poutine.

Drink: Newfoundland Screech is a rum distributed by Rock Spirits in St. John’s. The spirit gets its name from the term for any cheap, high alcohol booze, such as moonshine. Screech is famous for the ritual of the “screech-in”, which is performed by Newfoundlanders onto visitors to the island. The mainlander will take a shot of Screech, recite a prepared verse and kiss a codfish or suitable substitution.

Screech

Site to See: L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is an ancient Norse settlement – the only in North America – and is the oldest European settlement on the continent. Discovered in 1960, the site has since been named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1968 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The settlement served as a base camp for Norse explorers to further explore.

Street: George Street in St. John’s has been dubbed ‘The Biggest Little Street in North America’ by the George Street Association. And the area sounds like a lot of fun, with two dozen bars, pubs and restaurants along it’s two-block stretch (most bars and pubs per square in North America). George Street is only open to traffic in the mornings, to allow businesses to restock, and even has it’s own festival.

TV Show: Republic of Doyle is a comedy-drama series set in St. John’s. Airing for six seasons and 77 episodes, the show followed the adventures of private investigator Jake Doyle and his family. Stars such as Russell Crowe, Victor Garber and Luis Guzman made guest appearances during the series’ run. The show was nominated for a number of Canadian media awards.

Movie: Come From Away is a film version of the live musical of the same name, which depicts the events following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when around 7,000 airline passengers were redirected to and stranded for a week in the small town of Gander. The movie was released on Apple TV+ on September 10, 2021, right before the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

George-Street

Book/Author: The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, is about a New York newspaper reporter, who moves to Newfoundland, where his father’s family had lived, in the hopes of restarting his life. It won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (along with the 1993 National Book Award for Fiction) and was later adapted into a 2001 movie, starring Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench and Julianne Moore.

Fictional Character: Mr. Peanutbutter, from the adult animated comedy BoJack Horseman, is a Labrador Retriever, making him from the Labrador Peninsula (which is shown in the cartoon as being inhabited by only Labrador Retrievers). Mr. Peanutbutter is overly friendly, thus making him the perfect Canadian. The character is voiced by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.

Fictional City: I couldn’t find any fictional locales for Newfoundland and Labrador, but perhaps this is the best category for noting the province has a collection of interestingly-named towns. This list includes Conception Bay, Heart’s Desire, Heart’s Content and the world famous community of Dildo. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel featured the place on his show and was made its honourary mayor for his efforts.

Actor/Actress: Shannon Tweed was born in Whitbourne. The 1982 Playboy Playmate of the Year had roles in soap operas such as Falcon Crest and Days of Our Lives, along with numerous guest appearances on TV shows, including Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, Baywatch and Frasier. Tweed is married the Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and featured prominently on his reality series Family Jewels.

Mr. Peanutbutter

Song: Ode to Newfoundland is Newfoundland and Labrador’s official provincial anthem and was once the area’s official national anthem, until Newfoundland became a Canadian province in 1949. It was composed by Cavendish Boyle in 1902, and sung by Frances Daisy Foster. The song is still sung at public events today, although typically only the first and last verses of the four-verse poem.

Band/Musician: Great Big Sea was formed in St. John’s in 1993. The folk rock band is perhaps best known for their songs When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down) and Ordinary Day, which both featured on the Canadian RPM charts. The group retired following their 20th anniversary tour, although some of the members have continued on with solo careers and playing Great Big Sea songs.

People: Two legendary broadcasters, known for their long careers with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, hail from St. John’s. First, Bob Cole provided play-by-play commentary for NHL games (most notably on Hockey Night in Canada) for 50 seasons. Second, Rick Mercer hosted the news parody show Rick Mercer Report for 15 seasons. Mercer is best known for his Talking to Americans segments, showing the knowledge or lack thereof of Americans on Canadian subjects.

Animal: A pair of dog breeds, the Newfoundland Dog and Labrador Retriever, come from the province. Both breeds developed from working with fishermen. The most famous Newfoundland Dog was Napoleon the Wonder Dog, a circus performer, while some notable Labrador Retrievers, include Marley (aka “the world’s worst dog”), who was the subject of the book and film Marley & Me, as well as other service and rescue animals.

Labradors

Invention: The gas mask was invented by St. John’s physician Cluny Macpherson. He was serving during World War I and quickly developed the device, originally called the Hypo Helmet and later the British Smoke Hood, following Germany’s first poison gas attack on April 22, 1915. For his work, Macpherson was named a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Crime: The murder of one-year-old Zachary Turner in St. John’s, by his mother Shirley Turner, who then committed suicide, stunned the nation and brought forth changes to Newfoundland’s child welfare system and Canada’s bail laws. Shirley killed her son while on bail and awaiting extradition to the U.S. for the murder of Zachary’s father, Andrew Bagby. Zachary’s Bill was later passed, allowing courts to refuse bail for serious crimes, in order to protect accused’s children.

Sports Team: The Newfoundland Growlers of the East Coast Hockey League are the closest thing the province has to a professional franchise. Previously, the St. John’s Maple Leafs and St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League played on The Rock. It should also be noted, the Royal St. John’s Regatta is the oldest annual North American sporting event, existing since 1816.

Athlete: Kaetlyn Osmond, born in Marystown, won a medal of each colour in figure skating, over two Olympics. At the 2014 Sochi games, the Canadian team took a silver medal, improving to a gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang games. Also in 2018, Osmond won a bronze medal in individual competition. It should also be noted, Daniel Cleary was the first Newfoundlander to win a Stanley Cup, accomplished in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings.

Skating

Famous Home: Hawthorne Cottage in Brigus, was the home of famous Arctic explorer Captain Robert Bartlett… you know, when he wasn’t out adventuring. Artifacts and memorabilia from Bartlett’s storied voyages are on the display at the home now. Hawthorne Cottage was named a National Historic Site in 1978 and a Federal Heritage Building in 1993.

Urban Legend: Some call this apparition the Ghost of Dobbin’s Garden, while other’s dub it the Hag of Bell Island. Whatever you want to call her, she was featured as part of a 2016 Canada Post stamp series, highlighting spooks and specters from across Canada. The story behind this character is that she was murdered by German soldiers during World War II and now haunts the area, as revenge for not being saved during her attack.

Museum: The Rooms in St. John’s, is part art gallery, part museum and part archives. Opened in 2005, the cultural facility highlights all things Newfoundland and Labrador, with an amazing panoramic view of the city’s downtown and its port. Exhibits examine the province’s relationship with the Atlantic Ocean, military history and animals who call the region home.

Firsts: Newfoundland’s location has allowed it to become part of some very interesting feats in history. The Rock has received the first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901, as well as been the starting point of the first non-stop transatlantic flight (from St. John’s to Clifden, Ireland) in 1919. Additionally, the first New World smallpox vaccine occurred in Trinity in 1798.

Flight

Company: When franchisees tried to open the first Golden Skillet fried chicken restaurant in Canada in 1969, they were forced to change the name due to legal issues. Thus, Mary Brown’s Chicken was born, with the first location being at St. John’s Avalon Mall. The chain has since grown to 200 stores across Canada, continuing to sell the recipes created by Mary Brown Guthrie, wife of the Golden Skillet’s founder.

Events: Following two referendums held in 1948, it was narrowly voted by Newfoundlanders that the colony should enter into confederation with Canada, becoming the 10th and last province. The British North America Act was passed and Newfoundland official joined the country at midnight on March 31, 1949. Newfoundland added Labrador to its profile on December 6, 2001.

Miscellaneous: Some Newfoundland and Labrador eccentricities should be noted. First, the province has its own time zone, Newfoundland Time, which is 30 minutes ahead of Atlantic Time. The province also has its own dictionary, used for pronunciations and definitions of “Newfoundland English”. Finally, Newfie’s participate in Mummering, the act of getting into disguise and visiting friends and family during the Christmas season.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Screech Newfoundland Flower

Screech Newfoundland Flower

  • 2 oz Newfoundland Screech Rum
  • 1 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

I just had to use a Screech Rum recipe for the Newfoundland and Labrador drink. I mean, it gave me an excuse to add another bottle to my collection! Mrs. Sip and I hope to get to Newfoundland at some point in our travels. I can see us having too much fun on George Street!