November 14 – False Alarm

Audial Dismay

Last week, we looked at the heavenly sounds that bring a smile to my face. This week, we’re not so lucky. This article might as well be called: “The Sounds that Keep the Sip Advisor Up at Night, Living in a Downtown Condo.” That’s simply too long, though, so here we go with the aptly titled “Bad Sounds”:

#5: Crying Babies/Kids

While this causes a natural instinct to kick in among mothers, it’s annoying as hell to everyone else in the general vicinity. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the parents of a wailing youngster, as I know I will likely be in that position one day. That doesn’t stop the clamor from waking the Sip Advisor as he’s trying to catch a little shuteye on flights or enjoy the typically pleasant sounds of Disneyland. The worst is when a kid can turn it off and on, in an attempt to get attention.

cry boobs appear

#4: Trucks Backing Up

Beep, beep, BEEEEEEP… you get the point. Mrs. Sip and I live near a few businesses and I am often disturbed from my slumber by this increasingly annoying sound. I get the safety reason behind larger vehicles being able to warn people and other cars that they’re reversing, but why do these cautions have to be so loud, especially in the middle of the night in residential areas. Can’t you see a psychopathic driver setting his truck in reverse and then abandoning it, revelling in the misery of those within earshot!?

#3: Honking Horns

The Sip Advisor really hates people that are horn happy (almost called them horny, but I don’t discriminate there). The type of people that tap their horn whenever they are frustrated, regardless of if it’s justified or not. Yes, traffic might be backed up, but laying on your horn isn’t going to help matters. The worst is when I’m walking along, lost in thought and I’m startled by some idiot blaring his horn. Usually, when I looked around to see what the commotion is about, there’s no issue at all.

horn gun shots

#2: Alarm Clock

No matter how nice the file you choose on your phone or whether it’s your favourite song of all-time, when this noise wakes you up, you’re not very happy. It can actually make you turn sour on a song you used to enjoy, as I went through when Mrs. Sip used Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for a couple years. Now she uses Coldplay’s Paradise, but I’m not sure I ever really liked that song in the first place. The only good alarm is waking up naturally, on your own schedule.

#1: Car Alarms

Worse than an alarm you’re expecting, is one you don’t, especially if it goes unclaimed, as it always does in the case of useless car alarms. With all the street parking downtown, Mrs. Sip and I are subjected to car alarms on a near regularly basis. Worst of all, is when the terrorizing sounds follow you while camping, of all places. You figure you’re getting away from all the disturbances of city life when you’re out in the wilderness, but that wasn’t the case recently for us. I exasperatedly looked at Mrs. Sip and said, “We just can’t get away from it!”

Super Saturday Shot Day: False Alarm

Some honourable mentions include dripping water, insects buzzing by your head, and emergency vehicle sirens, which narrowly misses making the list because of its necessity. Have I missed a sound that you find absolutely unnecessary and deplorable? Let me know!

June 28 – Surfer on Acid

Summer Fun

With summer just kicking off, people out there might be making lists of the things they want to accomplish throughout the season. Here are some of the items that routinely appear at the top of Mrs. Sip’s and my summer bucket list… we hope we can be of assistance to all you little sippers out there:

#5: Picnic in the Park

The Sip Advisor makes a damn good sandwich and there’s nothing better than finding a nice quiet spot in the park to enjoy your own creation. If you’re lazy, you can always get someone else to make the sandwich for you (I’ve heard a place called Subway has decent hoagies) and then you know it will be done properly. Make sure to grab some good sides and snacks to round out the meal and be ready for dessert, too. If you can sneak some wine into your setting, then definitely go for it. All that’s left is to bring a comfy blanket along because you’ll probably be in the mood for a nap!

Picnic Basket Inspection

#4: Getting Active

After spending many months cooped up in a small, crowded gym, it’s nice to get out into the great outdoors for some exercise. Whether rollerblading or biking, Mrs. Sip and I love the downtown Vancouver seawall route, which takes you through picturesque Stanley Park. As one would expect, given its name, the seawall offers some stunning scenery, as you roll through beach after beach. It’s not my cup of tea, but I’ve heard hiking is also popular during the summer. You could even be one of those kooks that does their yoga or tai chi outdoors. Just get off the couch and get outside!

#3: Drive-In Theatre

While these amazing places seem to be a dying breed, if you have one even remotely nearby I whole-heartedly suggest you check out a couple flicks there. It’s always fun to go snack shopping prior to the night out and given most of the theatre’s revenue comes in the form of food sales, we’re always sure to make a couple purchases there, too. For the price of one movie in a normal theatre, you can get two or three at the drive-in and best of all, you can actually talk to your vehicle-mates throughout, without being a bother to over viewers. Trying to stay up until the wee hours of the morning (if you’re going for three films) can be daunting for some.

Theatre Food

#2: Drinking on Patios

You know that summer has officially arrived in this part of the world when the patios open up and folks can be seen enjoying their libations in the fresh air. Once the first glimmer of sun peaks its way through the rain clouds, it can be tough to get a spot on any of the city’s spectacular decks, but it’s worth the wait to be able to enjoy a beverage while people watching or getting reacquainted with friends that have hibernated through the winter. This wonderful experience also applies to the decks of your mate’s homes, where you don’t have to worry about exorbitant prices for cocktails.

#1: Drinking Poolside

Of course, to achieve this, you either need to have your own cement pond, or have a generous friend who doesn’t mind sharing theirs. I, of course, am the latter in that statement and I love throwing parties for my crew, where all that is required is a pair of swim trunks and some flippy-floppies (plus a case of beer) for good times to ensue. As day turns to night and all inhibitions are drowned by booze, it might be time to lose those coverings and go for an incredibly liberating skinny dip. Luckily, there’s always someone too conservative to join in, so make sure to make them the beer wench for the late night shenanigans!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Surfer on Acid

Surfer on Acid Shot

  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with Pineapple Wedges

Honourable mentions go to watching fireworks, barbecuing, camping, and going to the fair. You’ll notice that “Going to the Beach” is absent from my ‘To Do’ list. Need I remind all you little sippers that the Sip Advisor doesn’t like sand. When I have access to swimmable water in a private setting, why would I ever go to the poor man’s pool? Your hate mail is always welcome!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shooter was pretty good and I like that the Pineapple Juice component was minimal. A funny story: To get the Pineapple Wedges, I bought a couple slices of Hawaiian pizza and plucked the garnishes off for later use. When I finally used the pieces, I could still taste the pizza flavours, such as ham and tomato sauce. Ah, memories!

July 7 – Watermelon Mojito

Summer in the City

With summer upon us, it’s time to throw out some ideas for things you can do with the missus or the little ones. Here are some treasured Sip Advisor summer activities!

Drive-In Movie

The whole experience might as well be called, “How to Gorge Yourself on Snacks in a Few Hours,” but that’s all part of the fun. Our local drive-in presents two or three movies each night for the low price of $12.50! Because you’re in your own car, you can chat with your car mates without being shushed by other moviegoers and can even get a little naughty with your best gal, should the inspiration arise.

That's one hell of a line-up!

That’s one hell of a line-up!

Swimming

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up my entire life with a pool in the backyard, first an above-ground tank and later an in-ground swimming hole. It’s hard to see my life without easy access to water and a place to hang out with drinks, sun, and fun. Over the years, the pool has been home to some crazy behavior, such as backyard wrestling, balcony jumps and skinny dipping!

Fire Pit

After a day in the cement pond, we’ll often light up the fire pit at the Sip Advisor headquarters, where roasting marshmallows and building smores are the first order of business. Talk around the campfire is always entertaining, especially when one member of the Sip Alliance can’t control an Irish accent he’s never exhibited before and it only comes out when he’s tanked!

Camping

Ah, the great outdoors… where people stupidly risk the elements for the sake of “getting back to nature”. I’m just thankful that I’m a dude and I can pee wherever I want, while the ladies always have to have good facilities within walking distance. Food while camping is certainly a highlight of the entire experience, with so much junk that it would make any healthy person question the entire practice.

camping

Baseball Game

While I prefer other sports more, the ‘boys of summer’ experience is one not to be missed. It’s a great night out to hit the diamond and support your local team, whether professional, amateur, or beer league. The snacks and beer at a baseball game often overtake the actual sport itself in attention spent, but sometimes you get that special experience where your team ties the game late and wins in extra innings prior to a fireworks show (true story!).

Picnic in the Park

Very few things are as relaxing and peaceful as a picnic in the park. Just throw your blanket down wherever you’re comfortable and lay out, enjoying a spread of sandwiches, salads, chips, cookies, and wine or beer if you can sneak your sips in. You can even combine your meal with a rollerblade, bike ride, or top it all off with some playground activity!

Drink #188: Watermelon Mojito

Watermelon Mojito

  • Muddled Watermelon, Lime and Mint
  • 1.5 oz Appleton Rum
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Watermelon Cube, Lime Wedge and Sugar Cane Stir Stick

While those are my favourite activities, there are a number of things I’d like to try again from the days of summer past, like busting out the ol’ slip and slide and getting soap in my eyes or a concussion from smacking noggins with another slider. Good… no, scratch that… GREAT times!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I love Watermelon and I love Mojitos, so put the two together and you have a winning combination. I subbed Appleton Rum in for White Rum and it was a perfect choice given Watermelon’s light taste.

June 2 – Backyard Tea

No Need for Crumpets

One of my all-time favourite places to have a drink is on the back deck at Ma and Pa Sip’s place, after a day of tanning and swimming, while watching the sun set and enjoying a barbecue meal. Before the evening morphs into late night shenanigans and beer pong, this is a moment to relax, catch your breath, and enjoy all the little pleasure in life. Here are some of my other preferred drinking locations:

Disneyland/Disneyworld

There’s just something about grabbing a beer and enjoying the park that is so amazing. You can either use it to help you through a portion of a long attraction line-up or just sit back and relax, taking in the sights and sounds that make the lands come to life. I’ve also had two of my most crazy drinking experiences at these parks, one at Disneyland (see Hidden Mickey) and once at Disneyworld’s EPCOT (to be featured in a future post).

drunk-pooh

Balconies

While Mrs. Sip often calls it a night and hits the dream world, I’m just not ready to join her. In these cases, I can often be found on the many balconies I’ve had the pleasure of drinking on. Whether it’s Santorini, Greece, watching the waves roll onto the beach; the isolated wilderness of Wigwam, B.C.; or aboard our honeymoon cruise, enjoying tropical lightning storms; I always find good use of my balcony time.

Camping

Is there anything better than relaxing in the great outdoors, being one with nature, and getting your swerve on!? Providing you have copious amounts of booze, a ton of snacks, a roaring fire and a comfy chair, do you really need much more to the camping experience? Sure bug spray and a lamp or flashlight might help… hell, a tent could come in handy too, but as long as you have the essentials, everything will work out!

drunk camping

Bar Patio

With patio season rapidly approaching, I’ve spent a great many hours finding some of the best spots in my area to enjoy a frosty beverage in the open air. It’s so nice to have the sun shining down upon you with liquid relief close by; great friends and good conversation to pass the time… it almost brings a tear to my eye. In my little part of the world, given our short and mild summer, we use any excuse possible to get out onto the patios, even if it’s not really that warm.

My Couch

I’ve made it quite clear on this site that I’m a reasonably lazy fellow. I enjoy my down time and that usually comes in the form of libations in front of the tube, wasted away in Margaritaville and other locales. When I’m off in my own little world, it’s best not to disturb me or else you run the risk of having to reset my circuit. I’m just full of programming flaws!

Drink #153: Backyard Tea

June 2

After writing this post, I can’t wait for summer to be here. You know it’s just around the corner when the wonderful scent of barbecue wafts through the neighbourhood air. Makes sure to enjoy one of these drinky-poos this season!

Sip Advisor’s Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This was a wonderful mix. I love my Sailor Jerry’s and the Iced Tea was fun to play with – an ingredient I’ve wanted to experiment with for a little while now. The Lemonade just heightened the lemon flavour in the recipe for a tangy taste.