Sip Trips #175: Coastal Cruising

The September birthday blitz has come and gone for another year and it was fairly busy. It began with Sis-In-Law Sip’s birthday, where I concocted four relatively easy drinks to go along with the treats of autumn/fall theme. These cocktails utilized spirits such as Pumpkin Pie Vodka, Roasted Pecan Whiskey, Cranberry Liqueur, Apple-Cinnamon Vodka, and Cinnamon Whiskey. Mixers included Ginger Beer, Hibiscus Iced Tea and Chocolate Milk. Overall, the beverages went over very well with guests in attendance.

The next evening, we ventured to Maple Ridge for a meal at the Billy Miner Pub. While enjoying a pint of R&B Brewing’s delicious Orange Negroni Saison, I partook in an order of Teriyaki Fries, while also stealing a few nibbles of Mrs. Sip’s Cornbread. The meal was very good and the pub has become our go-to option when out that way.

To celebrate my birthday, as well as Baby Sip’s (we are one day apart), we booked a Princess Cruises itinerary from Vancouver to Los Angeles, with one day at Disneyland scheduled as well. The cruise featured its typical level of booziness, but I didn’t expect some of the treats that came my way (bucket of beers pre-ordered by Ma and Pa Sip and a pair of complimentary cocktails from the ship) and given I was drinking solo, I think I made quite an effort. That’s right folks, Mrs. Sip is pregnant with our second child – a boy this time – so Baby Sip will from this post forward be referred to as Toddler Sip.

second child

My goal for this cruise, was to not buy a single drink. After all, I had a bottle each of red and white wine, a couple mini bottles and the previously mentioned bucket of beers and cocktails to go through on my own. I used my two cocktail vouchers on Long Island Iced Tea variations, including the Georgia Tea (vodka, gin, rum, peach schnapps, Cranberry Juice, sour mix) and Italian Tea (vodka, gin, rum, amaretto, cola, sour mix). Both were strong and tasty, just the way I prefer libations to be.

I did crack on my “don’t buy a drink” credo, as we celebrated my birthday dinner at the ship’s Salty Dog Gastropub, where I ordered the Salty Dog Smash (whiskey, simple syrup, lemon juice, mint). The drink paired well with our food, as each diner gets to pick two main courses. We went with the Grilled Cheese, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Calamari Frites, and Ernesto Burger. The meal was quite decadent and was finished with desserts of Strawberries & Cream and Bourbon Chocolate Pot de Crème.

Our day at Disneyland was a lot of fun, with Toddler Sip getting to meet her hero Minnie Mouse and experience attractions such as the Enchanted Tiki Room, King Arthur Carrousel and the Mad Tea Party. We also tried a bunch of the specialty Halloween treats around the park, including the Toasted Salsa Roja Chicken Sandwich with Tortilla Soup, Blackberry Midnight Julep and Frozen Abuelita Horchata (mixing Mexican hot chocolate and horchata). Toddler Sip really liked the horchata.

tired disneyland

Admittedly, the day was exhausting and a bit of a bust, as far as my drinking goals were concerned. We were unable to secure a reservation at Oga’s Cantina (the only place to get a boozy drink in the park) in the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area and were too drained at the end of the night to journey to Ballast Point’s new location in Downtown Disney. These will both have to be saved for next year’s return to the resort.

After flying back to Seattle and being picked up by Ma and Pa Sip, we went for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. There, I ordered the Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich and a pint of Mac & Jack’s Brewing African Amber Ale. We also took home a slice of Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake, which was so damn good when we finally got around to eating it the next night.

It should also be noted that I was gifted from the Sip-In-Laws a bottle of Swear Jar Whiskey, which can be used as a swear jar/piggy bank after being consumed. On the horizon is Oktoberfest, which we will be indulging in to celebrate Cousin Sip’s birthday. Time to get the lederhosen ready!

September 20 – Blue Hawaiian

Mahalo

Mrs. Sip and I, along with members of the Sip Alliance are off to Hawaii in a couple days to celebrate my ‘Dirty 30’! I figured it would be a good time to look into things to do on the islands (I will focus on Oahu and the city of Honolulu, as that’s where we’re staying) and while the list could basically say “do absolutely nothing,” there are actually a few must-see and must-do attractions to be enjoyed!

Hike Diamond Head

While I’m vehemently opposed to any exercise while on vacation, the sights from atop Diamond Head are said to be spectacular, giving those brave enough to traverse the volcanic cone a view of the entire island paradise. I only wish it was like the 1975 game show The Diamond Head Game, where contestants stepped into a ‘money volcano’ and tried to grab flying cash!

Diamond-Head

Buy Something at the Aloha Stadium Market

When Mrs. Sip and I hit the market during our last visit, I grabbed a Hawaii 5-0 t-shirt that said “Book’em Danno” (my dad’s nickname for me when I was a wee little sipper), while Mrs. Sip grabbed a bottle of balsamic vinegar. There are so many other great items up for grabs here, but it doesn’t take too long before you tire of the search. Make sure to keep hydrated in the heat.

Pay Your Respects at Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial

The Ben Affleck flick just doesn’t do the story justice… in fact, it probably detracts from the history. The site was home to Japan’s attack on the United States on Dec. 7, 1941, pulling the country into World War II. Make sure to grab your ticket for the attraction early in the day, as the limited vouchers are sold before the morning turns into afternoon.

Learn at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Eight different villages are honoured at the Cultural Centre, including Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, and others. Here, you can get a henna tattoo, learn how to hula dance, participate in tribal games, or even sample the utterly disgusting poi. A true highlight is the Royal Feast, which will leave you completely stuffed, as you enjoy Polynesian dancing and other performing arts.

hawaii-oahu-polynesian

Do an Island Pub Crawl

In researching this article, I found out there is a Dave & Buster’s in Honolulu, so that is definitely going on the list. Sadly, though, Senor Frog’s closed down this year due to a rent disagreement. When Mrs. Sip and I were on the island in 2009, we travelled around and found some amazing spots and drink deals. Pitchers of beer for $5 and $2 Mai Tais… this isn’t brain science!

Eat, Eat, Eat

There are numerous locations you have to visit in Hawaii for their culinary delectables. From American cuisine favourites at The Cheesecake Factory to romantic seafood meals at Duke’s and everything in between, there’s something for every taste on the island. Mrs. Sip and I found this hidden Mexican joint the last time we were there and hopefully we can track it down again!

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Get Wet at Waikiki Beach

Whether you want to try your hand at surfing or snorkeling, play among the waves that crash against the shore, or just hang out on the sand and perfect your tan, hitting the beach offers all this and more. I like to grab a spot close enough to the bars on the other side of the street so that you’re primed for when hunger, thirst, or happy hour strikes.

Appreciate Wildlife at the Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium

Perfect for kids and adults who still want to be young, both the zoo and aquarium are home to a number of amazing animal species. The zoo houses 1,230 animals that will keep you enthralled with their behaviour, while the aquarium is located right along the beach, the optimal setting for viewing creatures of the water. Must-see attractions for all ages.

Drink #263: Blue Hawaiian

Sept 20

  • 0.75 oz Light Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Lemon and Lime Slices

Do you have any suggestions for our upcoming trip and birthday celebration? We’ll try to squeeze it in among all the drinking and relaxing!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
There are other Blue Hawaii and Blue Hawaiian recipes, but I went with the traditional offering. It was a strong drink and needed a little dilution to taste decent. Perhaps using a Pineapple or Lemon-Lime Soda in the future would give it a little more zip.