Sip Trips #114: All the Hits

Well, another busy week is in the books (I’m starting to sound like a broken record), with Mrs. Sip and I finding time to have as much fun as possible, while getting things as ready as possible for the arrival of our daughter, sometime in the next few weeks. Here’s what we got up to:

The week began with the Sip Alliance’s long-awaited return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row. Before arriving there, though, we had to first travel to Coquitlam’s Mariner Brewing, which had only opened days before and is the first of its kind in the city. With four beers on tap, I tried their Northeast IPA, which I found to be pretty tasty. The brewery promises much more to come in the future and their space and constellation theming are really good starts.

Brewery Water

Next up was Brewer’s Row, with stops at Yellow Dog, Twin Sails and Parkside breweries, where I had pints of their High Five Hazy IPA, Street Legal IPA and Motel Five-Hop Pale Ale, respectively. Sadly, we didn’t manage to get to Moody Ales before closing time, so we owe them a visit in the future. I love this area of four breweries packed within a five-minute walk of each other and the new Evergreen SkyTrain line makes heading out that way so much easier. We will be back again soon.

On Friday, we finally got around to hitting one of our favourite annual summer traditions: the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove. While no drinking was involved, it was a great start to the Labour Day long weekend, as the lineup included Cars 3, followed by Despicable Me 3. We only stayed for those first two movies, but in celebration of the drive-in’s 12th anniversary, they were playing four movies on both Friday and Saturday night. While we love our trips out there for movies outdoors and you can’t beat the price of $12.50 per person for the entire evening, this was the first line-up this summer that actually appealed to us. Perhaps bad movies in general are to blame.

The next day, we started with some relaxing pool time at Ma and Pa Sip’s place before returning to Vancouver to move some furniture. Following the move, we treated Ma and Pa Sip to dinner at The Parlour in Yaletown, which had come highly recommended to me. We were not disappointed, as the place has a good happy hour to go along with great service. Our pizzas (The Dirty and Roasted varieties) were very good and were enough for a group of four to be happily fed.

Fitness Whole Pizza

After dinner, Mrs. Sip and I attended the Rio Theatre for their presentation of Dysfunctional Disney Cabaret. The goal here, according to our host, was to completely f*ck up our childhood memories with Disney-themed burlesque acts. It was quite the entertaining show and I have to commend the Rio for having a jug of water available to patrons on this hot, hot day. One server even steered me away from buying bottled water, in favour of the cooler, which I did not know about.

Sunday began with another round of furniture buying and baby laundry loads, but the reward came with hitting Jimmy’s Taphouse for happy hour. This has always been one of my favourite happy hours in the city with a number of half priced menu items and cheap drink options. We enjoyed their poutine with chipotle drizzle and an order of hot wings, which really hit the spot. The spicy combo was washed down with the Phillips Solaris White Peach Ale and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Why was I getting my shot game on? Because we had received complimentary ticket to the Lionel Richie-Mariah Carey All the Hits concert, as part of Mrs. Sip’s recent anniversary gift to me of Vancouver Canucks half-season tickets. This was the first time either of us had ever sat in the exclusive 500-level Club seats, which provided a bar and bathrooms to about 50 people. As for the show, Mariah Carey didn’t do Fantasy or Honey, which if I know them, must have been hits. That’s okay, though, as Lionel Richie was extremely entertaining. His Dancing on the Ceiling with all the lights and video effects was the highlight of the night.

Lionel Richie Hello

We wrapped the long weekend by celebrating Pa Sip’s birthday at The Keg. Sitting atop the restaurant’s rooftop patio was very relaxing and the service was top notch. I ordered their Keg Burger, which pales in comparison to their former Prime Rib Burger, which I mourn the loss of to this day. As for beverages, I imbibed with a Keg Size Watermelon Mojito and Keg Caesar, perfect accompaniments to my still decent entree. A slice of Billy Miner Pie to finish the meal was the perfect bow on an incredible weekend!

But the family celebrations weren’t done there. On Tuesday, after Pa Sip helped me move some more furniture, we had another dinner in his honour at the Old Spaghetti Factory in New West. I tried their Pot-Pourri Spaghetti with meat, mushroom and clam sauce options. Best of all, the meals come with bread, salad or soup and ice cream for dessert, so we left quite stuffed. My beverage of choice was the Cobblestone Lager, developed for the restaurant by Granville Island Brewing.

The coming week doesn’t have much on the schedule, so I may grasp the opportunity for some rest and relaxation. Following that, the Sip Advisor has a bachelor party, Vancouver Canucks pre-season opener, Sis-In-Law Sip’s birthday and much more on the docket… not to mention who knows when the baby will decide to arrive!

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August 1 – New York Cocktail

New York Minute

Today we continue our hurried travels around New York City. There’s much more to do, so let’s get right down to it: Live from New York, it’s Sip Advisor Live!

Go to the Statue of Liberty

The iconic symbol of freedom and hope with the start of a new life, this statute is what many immigrants were greeted with when arriving from overseas to New York at Ellis Island to be processed into the country. It has remained a national treasure, gracing everything from sports jerseys to American coins. The French should be commended for such a nice gift.

Statue-of-Liberty

Eat at Famous Restaurants

New York is home to a number of world-renowned eateries, in varying ranges of price and style. There’s Katz’s Deli, ‘21’ Club, Café Noir, Lanza’s, Lenny’s Pizza, and Sardi’s (famous for the caricatures of countless celebrities, which adorn the walls of this joint), all of which have appeared in numerous movies and TV shows.

Do a TV Tour of the City

So many popular shows were filmed in New York: Seinfeld, Sex in the City, Friends, How I Met Your Mother. Many of the locations highlighted in these series are incorporated into tours, allowing fans to reminisce about their favourite moments and characters. The Sex and the City tour even includes Cosmopolitan cocktails!

Attend Madison Square Garden

While we enjoyed a baseball game at Yankee Stadium yesterday, today we scout out New York’s other sports options. Whether it’s hockey with the Rangers, basketball with the Knicks or professional wrestling (MSG has long been considered WWE’s ‘home turf’), there’s much to choose from. Notable concerts have also taken place at the site, including six sold out dates for Led Zeppelin on their 1977 tour!

New York Rangers

See a Concert/Comedy Show

With so many famous venues (Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, etc.) you’re bound to stumble upon a great show and perhaps even see some entertainers before they hit the big time. In the comedy realm, I’ve heard the Upright Citizens Brigade is a popular attraction. The troupe has launched the careers of Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz, among others.

Have Some Fun at Coney Island

If Coney Island is anything similar to the Santa Monica Pier, then I know Mrs. Sip and I will have a good time. Carnivals along the water provide ample opportunity for fun, amazing eats, and booze. You might even get to participate in the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating competition, although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Visit Times Square

Home to one of the biggest New Year’s Eve bashes every year, Times Square is a sight to behold even when it’s not packed with millions of people waiting for the big ball to drop. Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable amongst a crowd of that size, so I’ll go on a normal day when it’s still infested with travelers gawking at all the cool signs, restaurants, stores, and other entertainment.

chuckys times square

Hmmm… starting to regret going to Times Square!

Ride the Subway System

You’ve not truly visited New York until you’ve hopped aboard its underground trains. Hopefully you don’t have to deal with a Taking of Pelham 123 hostage situation or post-apocalyptic warfare, as depicted in The Warriors. Fingers crossed you only have to encounter some homeless people, a thug or two, and the occasional wafting smell of urine.

Take a Stroll through Central Park

The option of a horse drawn carriage through the park also exists, but a leisurely stroll around the massive grounds would suffice. Dedicating some time to visiting the Central Park Zoo would also be a priority. It’s crazy how much activity is going on in this park. Perhaps you’d even get to experience the “real” Harlem shake and get mugged!

Drink #213: New York Cocktail

Aug 1

  • 2 oz Canadian Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • 1 tsp of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Apple Slice

Sadly, New York is not in our immediate plans, despite my constant insistence on doing an east coast holiday. Feel free to start a letter writing campaign on my behalf to get Mrs. Sip to change her mind!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I find it slightly odd that the New York Cocktail specifically requires a ‘Canadian’ Whiskey, but I guess the American hub isn’t too far away from the Canadian border. I don’t understand why recipes always overvalue Lemon and Lime Juice measurements. It makes these juices stand out too strong and the cocktail becomes too tart. Once the drink diluted a little, it was decent, but not worthy of repeat servings.