December 9 – Angel’s Delight

One for the Ages

For most, it would be hard to pick a favourite Christmas. What pushed that particular Dec. 25th over the edge? Was it a gift? How you celebrated? Who you celebrated with? All of them seem so good, but for the ol’ Sip Advisor, it’s a pretty easy choice. Not to take anything away from any other Christmas I’ve enjoyed over my 30 years on this planet, but bar none, my 2010 Christmas was the best… that’s when I popped the big question to Mrs. Sip! Here’s our story:

best-christmas

Mrs. Sip and I had been together for over eight years when the fall of 2010 rolled around and had been through a lot together. Having dated since we were both 18, we’d practically grown up together. While the road was generally quite smooth, there was the odd bump, as one would expect when you’re coming into your own as a person and going through all the steps of adulthood, such as school, work, friendships, etc.

We had also spent quite a bit of time doing the dreaded long distance relationship thing. Mrs. Sip took off for England just six months into our courtship (does that even happen anymore?) and she was there for much of the first year of our dating. A couple years later, I was off to England for my own exchange program, followed by Miss Sip going to Australia for a term and shortly thereafter, me taking off again, this time for a full year living in Toronto.

We’d done things the right way (I believe) and not rushed into our relationship, allowing each other to grow and expand our horizons at our own pace. Our relationship matured magically as a result.

One day at work, a radio ad came on and it dawned on me that it was time to go ring shopping. I hadn’t been thinking too much of taking our relationship to the next level, but at that moment, everything just seemed right about the idea.

engagement-ring

I bought Miss Sip’s engagement ring (a spectacular piece of jewelry, if I don’t say so myself) in September of 2010, sans any help from friends or family. I wanted to do this all on my own and keep it a secret from as much of the world as possible. This caused some crazy thoughts to run through my head, such as “What if something happens to me before I ask Miss Sip to marry me and no one ever knows I have this ring purchased?”

It was a long wait from late September to late December, as I planned to propose to Miss Sip on Christmas Day and then be able to share it will all of our family and friends throughout Christmas dinners and get-togethers. Periodically, I’d take a quick peek at the beaming diamond ring buried in my dresser drawer, awed by the step I was about to take and the journey that would surely ignite.

The only person in the world I told of my intentions was Miss Sip’s dad. I had always intended to ask permission for her hand, but I did worry my secret would get around. True to his word, my future father-in-law kept my secret… and later paid for doing do!

Christmas Eve finally came and I was beyond excited. The one downside was that both Miss Sip and I were currently suffering through pretty serious colds. We had a meal out together before heading back to our apartment to enjoy our first Christmas just the two of us. Sadly, instead of enjoying drinks, while making gingerbread houses and watching a movie, we were sucking back Neo-Citron, hacking and wheezing, and giving up on gingerbread houses, settling for a gingerbread shanty town. We also put on the god awful Babes in Toyland film before both passing out from our medication.

christmas eve

The next morning, I was feeling a little better, but Miss Sip was still having issues. I briefly considered postponing my marriage proposal, but decided that I just couldn’t wait any longer and with both our families hosting Christmas dinners, there may not be a better opportunity to have everyone gathered.

Under the guise that I wanted to capture our first Christmas morning for prosperity, I had borrowed Pa Sip’s video camera and had it set to perfectly capture our engagement. It was hard to conceal my excitement, as we started opening our stockings.

After our stockings were emptied, I made sure Mrs. Sip went first for exchanging gifts. She got me a Nintendo Wii, which would normally have stolen the show as far as Christmas gifts go, but I knew what we’d really be talking about all day. Finally, after three months of planning and waiting, it was my turn to blow her mind.

Things started off slowly. I gave her a set of different hot chocolate toppings and a digital photo frame – I had to have something under the tree for her to throw off the scent of what I was planning. Ironically, Mrs. Sip had done the same thing for me using random DVDs (the Wii was hidden underneath a pillow).  After the photo frame and hot chocolate toppings came my “set-up piece” – a simple silver bracelet that came with the engagement ring. As Miss Sip examined the bracelet, probably thinking that she should return the amazing Wii she had given me, I dropped to one knee and trying to keep my voice from cracking said, “I know that’s not the jewellery you deserve, so I also got you this!”…

Christmas-gift-diamonds

Miss Sip was shocked. I don’t think she had any idea this was coming down the pipeline. We’d talked about a future together, but I don’t think she expected this at all. She quickly responded with a resounding “YES!” and what a relief that was. I kept thinking of TV shows and movies where a marriage proposal is met with rejection. Thankfully this didn’t go in that direction.

The rest of the morning was a blur. We celebrated, planned how we would tell everyone and cursed our colds. The ring was three sizes too big and shortly after I proposed Miss Sip completely lost her voice, but nothing could take that day away from us… we were now engaged to be married!

Our first stop was Miss Sip’s parents to open gifts. We brought over cinnamon buns, but I couldn’t eat with all the anticipation. Mrs. Sip was able to talk long enough to let her parents and sister know we had gotten engaged that morning and we had another little celebration.

I left after a couple hours to go to my parents. After opening gifts there, we were all relaxing when Ma Sip inquired about what I’d got Miss Sip for Christmas. I told her about all the items, leaving out the engagement ring for later. I could feel Ma Sip glaring at me as I continued to aloofly watch TV. She was not happy with my choice of gifts, which was all the more hysterical given what had actually transpired. I couldn’t help but let a wicked smile cross my face as I left the room.

Lying Parents

That evening, I left my family dinner to return to Miss Sip’s parent’s place where I announced to the rest of her family that we had taken the next step in our relationship. Miss Sip couldn’t do it thanks to her voice giving out on her. Another celebration ensued before we were able to slip away and return together to Ma and Pa Sip’s home, where my family had gathered.

After settling in, I once again made the big announcement and (I bet you know where this is going) more celebrating was to be had. Ma Sip got her wish in that Miss Sip’s Christmas gift was more than a bracelet.

The rest of the next month was spent telling our friends about the engagement before revealing to the world via Facebook that we were set to be married in 2012!

Drink #343: Angel’s Delight

Angel's Delight Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 oz Gin
  • 0.75 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Milk
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Do you have a particular Christmas that you could call your favourite? Please share your story with Sip Nation!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This martini was a bit of a surprise.  I wasn’t sure how it would all come together and it ended up being a perfectly sweet and smooth drink. The colour and garnish were nice and it was simply an all-around good cocktail.

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September 6 – Wonderful Night

Time of Your Life

“Mr. Sip Advisor, this is your life!”… that’s how the show detailing some of my greatest triumphs would start. Every day is amazing for me, but some reach a level of infamy that leave it permanently burned into my brain. Good thing, too, cause with all the alcohol… wait, what were we talking about? You may quickly notice a trend in that my relationship with Mrs. Sip factors into a lot of these tales, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you little sippers. Here are a few of the greatest days of my life:

Wedding Day – August 25, 2012

Well, this one was an obvious choice. I’m not one to hog attention or anything like that, but on your wedding day, everyone is there for YOU. Thankfully, the bride gets more attention than the groom (which allows the groom to more easily sneak out and enjoy some beers in the parking lot with his groomsmen). Our wedding was amazing, complete with wonderful weather, touching speeches, amazing food, a wonderful candy buffet, a rocking live band (Vancouver’s Bobcats), and fantastic drinks to boot. You plan so diligently for one day and then it’s gone. Happily, everything went according to plan and I wouldn’t change a thing.

wedding-cost

Engagement – December 25, 2010

Backtracking a little, as we approached Christmas Day 2010, Mrs. Sip had no clue what was about to happen to her life. Perhaps if she did know, we wouldn’t have both got sick and spent Christmas Eve bundled up and passing out to Neo-Citron servings, all while watching the god-awful Babes in Toyland. It was our first Christmas living together and I wanted to make it especially memorable. I’d had the ring since September and was able to keep the whole thing a secret from everyone except my future father-in-law. Christmas Day finally arrived and I popped the question. Thankfully, Mrs. Sip didn’t hesitate in saying yes. That day, we were able to announce to both our families that we were now engaged… well, I had to do all that work, as Mrs. Sip completely lost her voice in all the excitement!

Christopher Titus Show – April 12, 2013

Taking a brief break from relationship milestones, we have this wonderful day in Sip history, which I have this site to thank for the entire experience, as I checked Titus’ tour schedule while researching an article and discovered he would be in Tacoma, WA at the Tacoma Comedy Club. Mrs. Sip, always up for a wild time, instantly said yes to going and we booked our tickets. Dinner at Red Lobster and my first BevMo visit were precursors to a fantastic night of comedy. Titus did over an hour of work, followed by a half-hour long encore, and even met with audience members afterwards. Following the show, still buzzing from what a great night it had been (and the great drinks that the Club makes), Mrs. Sip and I cracked a bottle of wine at 2:30 am. I was up until 4am thinking about everything good in life before finishing the last drops and finally getting some rest.

First Bungee Jump – December 2, 2008

Any day that starts with McDonald’s is a good one in my books, but all the things that followed made it truly amazing! After a lunch that included a treasure childhood treat in shaker fries, Mrs. Sip and I made our way to the Taupo Bungy location. I was a little nervous the entire walk there, but there was no way I was going to back out. I’d wanted to do this for years. After signing away my life, I was strapped into the jumping gear and led out onto a platform high above the water below. Looking down, I couldn’t believe I was about to leap into thin air and before I knew it, I was hurdling through the sky. All that excitement was followed by a trip to a hot spring with beers in hand, as we drank the night away!

Asking Mrs. Sip Out – March 22, 2002

Of course, anytime in Disneyland – the happiest place on earth, you know – is special, but the energy level is heightened even more when you’re pursuing a lovely girl, with the hopes of busting out of your shy shell and asking her out on a date. Cousin Sip was playing matchmaker and things were going well in the couple evenings we were able to all hang out together. I had long thought about the perfect way of completing my task, but I never figured things would come together as perfectly as they did.There we stood, in front of the famous Cinderella Castle, the nightly firework show illuminating the sky and I turned to her and popped the question. She said yes… how could she not at least give me a chance with this scenario playing out!? The asking was done. Now I just needed to win her heart.

Asking Out

First Date with Mrs. Sip – March 30, 2002

One week after asking the gorgeous and talented future Mrs. Sip out, we went on our first true date. We had had a couple really good phone conversations in the days leading up to our rendezvous and I think we were both hoping it would go as well as our non-face-to-face meetings. The night started with me picking Mrs. Sip up and heading to the local theatre where we watched Panic Room. Following that, it was time to satiate the ol’ sweet tooth (and I don’t mean on Mrs. Sip), so we were off to find dessert. We shared a hot fudge brownie and talked until they closed the restaurant. I knew things were going well when she agreed to come back to my place to continue talking. I finally dropped her off at home around 2am with plans to reconvene in a couple days… she was mine!

Drink #249: Wonderful Night

Wonderful Night Drink

  • 0.3 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.3 oz Gin
  • 0.3 oz Vodka
  • 0.3 oz Galliano
  • 0.3 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Apple-Lime Juice
  • Garnish with an Apple Pick and Lime Wheel

I think everyone should do an exercise like this to truly help you feel special. It’s been said so many times that it starts to lose meaning, but we really need to embrace each day we have and make the best of our lives. I like to think, thanks to the evidence above, that I’ve done exactly that!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
Perhaps this cocktail benefits from low expectations, thus resulting in its high score, but it is delicious. Mrs. Sip didn’t agree with my assessment, but that’s why she’s only Mrs. Sip and not the Sip Advisor. The Peppermint Schnapps is actually really nice with all the other spirits playing their own role. Definitely give this one a whirl!