Sip Trips #113: Highs and Lows

You’d think with a baby on the way, Mrs. Sip and I would be scaling back on the social activities and moving into that nesting phase we’ve been told about. Think again! It seems we’re trying to squeeze every last bit out of our carefree lifestyle before that all changes. Here’s a look at the week that was:

The week started with the event I had been dreading all summer: Dîner en Blanc. Perhaps a more suitable name would be Dîner avec des Règles (Dinner with Rules – thanks Google Translator). After all, you had to dress a particular way, had to have a table with certain measurements, couldn’t do this, had to do that, etc. Saddest of all, I used to laugh at all the idiots carrying their tables and chairs around downtown Vancouver, dressed like members of some ridiculous cult… I mean, I still did this year, but now I was one of those idiots!

Diner en Blanc.jpg

The dinner itself, I will say, was enjoyable. Sadly, everything surrounding it was straight up unnecessary. First, we had to walk over an hour from our group meeting spot to the eventual destination, carrying tables, chairs, food, drink, and accessories across Vancouver, while holding up traffic at intersections and clogging sidewalks. Why they had us meet in the middle of Downtown Vancouver, only to walk to the northern tip is beyond me. A number of SkyTrain stations were closer and would have provided an easier journey.

Once at the venue, things didn’t get any easier, as we stood in line for close to an hour to receive our pre-ordered wine. Had we also ordered food, that would have added another lengthy delay. By the time we sat down to eat, the sun was already setting and folks were getting ornery. At the end of the night, guess what you have to do? Pack up in the dark and do the arduous journey back home. Will I do the event next year, as Mrs. Sip assumes? Hell no… I’m one and done, homies! Next year, the guys have vowed to spend our precious time saluting the five Bs: babies, burgers, beers, bourbon, and bacon!

Okay, on to better times. The next day, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, attending the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) for the first time since our first summer dating in 2002. There, we enjoyed walking around and gawking at all the crazy fair food options. We started the day with a Dole Whip with Strawberry Sauce and Macaroon Crumbs, which was very tasty. For lunch, we settled on a Double Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Dog, which we shared at the Plaza Beer Garden with a Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears for moi. The setting was nice and relaxed for the time of day and our meal was very filling and gluttonous. For dessert, we grabbed a serving of Cookie Dough on a Stick, which was a perfect treat to end our visit on.

Cookie Dough

Aside from the food, we enjoyed the Extreme Bugs and Toytopia exhibits, while also checking out the world famous Super Dogs do their thing. Probably my only complaint from the day was that there was too many cash only booths, especially for beer and wine. Come on people, we’re far more advanced than that now.

On our way back downtown, we stopped at Legacy Liquor Store, where Vibrant Vine was offering a tasting of a couple products. Their bottles are designed by the son of the owners and even come with 3-D glasses to fully appreciate the work. We grabbed a birthday bottle of their Pinot Grigio for a friend, while I snagged a bottle Tin Whistle Summertime Coconut Hopfenweise.

Next up was Big Rock Urban Eatery’s Summer Wrap Party, where the brewery welcomed guests of all ages (and fur babies) to drop by for food, drinks, games and music. Each attendee could get a free beer and either an artisan deli sandwich or gelato cookie sandwich. With Mrs. Sip’s tickets, I was the recipient of two Grasshopper Wheat Ales and one of each type of sandwich, including peanut butter and bacon gelato on our cookie sandwich. The anniversary was quite the contrast between overpriced fair fare and the free brewery party!

Free Beer

After a very brief rest, I was off to a tournament for my softball team. Our squad already drinks better than we play, so with the tournament having a beer garden, at least we were in our element. Over a four hour break between games, I polished off 10 Hearthstone Atlantic Pale Ales. Suffice to say, our team lost by mercy in our final showing of the day. Triple O’s was also on hand food truck style, with their burgers pairing very nicely with the brews.

Moving on from the ball field, a group of us ended up at Bao Down on Commercial Drive, which serves up Filipino baos, tacos and other Pan-Asian fusion foods. Not quite interested in food just yet, I ordered their Calamasita cocktail (tequila, sweet and sour shrub, Cointreau, egg whites, Calamansi limes, agave syrup), which was very good and refreshing. I’d love to return and try more of their food menu in the future.

Finally, we ended up watching the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. I’m not a big boxing fan, but the spectacle of the fight was fun and when you’re with friends, pounding double Spiced Rum and Cokes, does it really matter what you’re watching!?

Next week sees many long weekend shenanigans, including our return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row; a trip to the Twilight Drive-in Theatre in Aldergrove; the Dysfunctional Disney burlesque at the Rio Theatre; our Lionel Richie-Mariah Carey concert and much, much more. Don’t you dare miss out!

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