February 15 – Heart Warmer

Holiday Hell

Valentine’s Day is a funny beast to deal with. Among heightened expectations, shops and services everywhere jack up their prices and take advantage of the love frenzy (also the name of a sexual position I invented a few years back, but have yet to unleash on Mrs. Sip). After all, a sucker is born every minute and Valentine’s Day makes a fool out of us all. One of the best “Valentine’s Days” Mrs. Sip and I spent together was a couple days after the actual day, as Mrs. Sip had to travel for work and we weren’t able to be together. Here are the top five reasons to not celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th!

#5: Use Your Coupons

It sucks that most coupons (from sites like GrouponSocial Shopper, etc.) can’t be redeemed during the Valentine’s Day block of dates, usually Feb. 13-16, depending on where the holiday falls. And this is because the institutions using the coupon service know they have you hooked already for those dates. So, let’s get a little revenge on these establishments by redeeming for a romantic dinner on February 12th or 17th. Then, really rub it in their face by exchanging gifts, flowers, and the whole shebang!

Saint-Valentine

#4: Discounted Treats

Walk into any store after Valentine’s Day and you will find massive discounts on chocolates and other goodies, as the retailer is quickly trying to change their seasonal shelves over to anything from St. Patrick’s Day to Easter to even Christmas already (the holiday comes out earlier and earlier every year!). You can score some pretty wicked deals during this rush for savings, but be weary of fellow shoppers who will stop at nothing to deny you of you half-price stuffed bear.

#3: Easy-to-Get Reservations

If you don’t plan ahead and get onto making reservations as soon as the calendar rolls over to a new year, you may miss out on your preferred dining choice. Next you know, you’re chowing on McDonald’s takeout – actually not so bad, as Mrs. Sip and I did this last year when she wasn’t feeling well enough to fulfill our expensive seafood reservation… I saved a ton of cash! – and are decked out in sweatpants or pajamas, laying out on your couch… sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it!?

I Tolerate You

#2: Cheaper Flowers

I’ll never understand how stores can get away with not only increasing their prices on flowers, but doubling them just because it’s Valentine’s Day. And yet they sell out every year and if you don’t grab a bouquet earlier in the day, you may be left with the scraps nobody else wants. Go any other day and your cost will be cut in half, you will have a ton of options to choose from and you risk getting into a skirmish with another dude over posies.

#1: What is So Important About February 14th?

Mrs. Sip and I make a point of having date nights on a frequent basis. Yes, it’s not always easy to accomplish with busy schedules that include work, social gatherings, sports, and other commitments, but if you only have time for each other on a capitalism-created holiday, then you have more issues to deal with than where to eat and what kind of flowers to buy. Treat each other like you actually love each other and the rest will fall into place easier than you ever thought!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Heart Warmer (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Heart Warmer Shooter

  • 0.5 oz Chocolate Cream Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Cream Liqueur
  • Splash of Chile Chocolate Syrup
  • Garnish with Love Hearts

Valentine’s Day should be celebrated with the one you love, but perhaps not the way the restaurants and stores would have you spend it. Get together with your partner and have a quiet night in, snuggling up on the couch and watching zombie horror flicks… or whatever you two nutballs are into!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I was originally going to complete skip any Valentine’s coverage this year, but decided that February 15th was the perfect day to drop some love wisdom on all y’all (and yes, I realize how that line could be interpreted!). Therefore, I needed a recipe and decided to go with an original I had been working on for a little while. Combining the Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Liqueurs was a great start, but the crowning touch was the Chile Chocolate Syrup. It left a wonderful light burn on the lips, tongue and made the whole experience a little more unique than your usual shooter!

May 29 – Red Lotus

Land of Cherry Blossoms

Today we continue part two of our epic tour of Japan… for part one, head to our Japanese Slipper post.

Buy a High-Tech Gadget You Don’t Understand

Japan is a haven for electronic gadgets nobody really needs. Think about those Tamagotchi Pets and other junk. I’m not sure what I’d be searching for at the stores and stands hawking these treasures, but if I could find some kind of device that makes Mrs. Sip a little less late and a little more on time, I’d scoop it up in a heartbeat!

Japan Weird

Go to Tokyo Disney Resort

I have made it a bucket list goal to visit every Disney theme park and this holiday would cross another stop off the register. Comprised of two parks – Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea – there are a ton of old classics and new favourites to check out. I just think it would be a psychedelic trip to go through the usual Disney fare, but have everything voiced in Japanese.

See “The Cove”

Whether you’re pro- or anti-dolphin hunting (not really sure who out there is actually in favour of slaughtering Flipper and his mates), if you’re looking for some adventure, you should visit “The Cove”, aka Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. Perhaps you can get into a fight with hunters or protestors or both. I say, why not swing wildly and let God sort ‘em out.

Sing Karaoke

These people invented the drunken entertainment, so we might as well drop a few sake bombs and sing our hearts out with the Yakuza. Perhaps we can find an arcade where visitors can take a spin at Dance Dance Revolution, while belting out a Neil Diamond classic!

Karaoke

Woo a Geisha

Although we’re only there for a few weeks, I think I have the ‘moves like Jagger’ to make a Geisha smitten with me. While I can’t provide all the usual financial support associated with the normal patrons of these ladies, I can offer wonderful drink recipes and regale them with stories of my triumphs.

Ride a Bullet Train

While the case would have to be solved quickly, given we’re aboard a Bullet Train, it would be neat to be aboard a choo-choo where a murder has occurred (ala The Orient Express)… and EVERYONE is a suspect! If the victim is anyone I work with, then I’ll likely turn out to be the killer. I won’t even make it a difficult case for investigators… full on confession: I did it and I’d do it again.

Wear a Kimono

Of course I’d be donning this traditional wardrobe at a public bath house, where I would then proceed to bathe rich Japanese businessmen, in exchange for yen and customary noodle dishes. It is a good life if you can get it!

Drink #149: Red Lotus

May 29

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Top with Lychee Juice
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice

Well, that about wraps up our Japanese adventures. Have I missed anything? Rhetorical question, my little sippers… I’m kind of awesome that way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is a very light drink that would probably get you drunk quickly without even noticing your buzz rising. It’s the first time I’ve ever had Lychee Juice and I’m looking forward to future play dates!