August 4 – Water of Life

Ready for a Dip

Mrs. Sip and I are away this weekend at a remote lodge in the Indian Arm region of British Columbia. This is thanks to our wonderful friends who own a boat and help us get off the grid and away from all that nasty technology out there (this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious site not included). This is our second year up at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club owned Wigwam outpost and it is quickly becoming one of my favourite watery getaways. Here are some of my other preferred bodies of water.

Ma and Pa Sip’s Pool

The site of many legendary parties, this iconic oasis rivals the reputation of the Playboy Mansion Grotto. I have spent countless hours floating around this little slice of heaven with friends and family, downing copious amounts of Sweet Lady Liquor’s elixir. Apparently, the parents Sip are putting together plans for a future hot tub, which means the epic merrymaking will only get wilder!

pool party

Rivers of America

It’s hard to narrow down my favourite Disneyland water way, but I’d have to give the nod to the Rivers of America at Disneyland, which connects Frontierland to New Orleans Square (my preferred park realm) and finally Critter Country. You can travel the waters via either the Mark Twain Steamboat or the Columbia Sailing Ship and the Rivers of America provide the perfect setting for the wondrous attraction Fantasmic.

Great Barrier Reef

A must-see for travelers to Australia, as this wonder of the world won’t be around forever. Mrs. Sip and I journeyed into the pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef, where I enjoyed my first ever scuba diving experience. We later spent a couple hours snorkeling in the warm water, searching out beautiful and unique sea life many eyes will never see.

Ik-Kil Cenote

A cenote is a sinkhole that reveals groundwater underneath… you could think of it as nature’s swimming pool! Mrs. Sip and I, along with members of the Sip Alliance, ventured to Ik-Kil (outside Cancun, Mexico) and climbed deep into the earth to have a little dip. You could even jump off of a high platform into the luke-warm H2O. You know by now that heights, risks, and water are one of the Sip Advisor’s favourite trifectas!

Cenote

Ontario Cottage Country

My trips to Cottage Country, outside Toronto, Ontario were always full of fun and relaxation. I managed to get up there three times, thanks to a buddy whose parents owned a place there. Perhaps one of my favourite elements of the area was that to visit your neighbours – who all looked after each other like a good community should – you had to travel by boat, which added a little adventure to the otherwise laid back weekends.

Panama Canal

For our honeymoon, Mrs. Sip and I traversed the Panama Canal route, embarking from Vancouver, B.C. and finishing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was a wonderful journey, highlighted by numerous days at sea, where we could drink like fish on our balcony and enjoy all of the ship’s amenities. Our port stops along the voyage were also quite memorable, as we dined on local food and drink, while getting our culture on.

just-wait-for-the-honeymoon

Venice Canals

If you’re a fan of mazes, like I am, then Venice is the perfect place for you. It’s fun getting lost among the narrow alleys and bridges that connect Venice’s endless number of islands. Riding the gondolas the city is famous for is a must-do tourist trap, just to say you’ve done it. On our gondola jaunt, Mrs. Sip and I became a tourist attraction, following the urban legend that you should kiss under each bridge for good luck. Soon enough, folks were snapping pictures of us!

Indian Arm

Let’s come full circle and talk a little bit about our Indian Arm experience. Getting away from all the trappings of technology was amazing, especially since our first trip there was less than a month before our wedding and we were thankfully forced to relax and do absolutely no planning in this trading post, turned saloon/gambling hall, turned brothel, turned yacht club clubhouse (yeah, a natural progression, I know). We simply wasted the days away, with good friends, food, and drink. I even managed some exercise in the form of kayaking and some late night balcony drinking, which all you little sippers know is among my beloved activities!

Drink #216: Water of Life

Aug 4

  • 1.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Raspberri)
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Fish Candies

What are some great bodies of water that I’ve neglected? Perhaps you’ll steer Mrs. Sip and I towards a future travel destination if it’s an attraction we haven’t visited yet!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I drastically changed the advertised amount of Blue Curacao needed for the drink because it seemed way out of proportion and there was no mixer in sight. With my modifications, the drink was delicious and looked great thanks to my idea to use Fish Candies on top of each layer of ice. Perhaps my head isn’t as cavernous as first thought!

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January 10 – Bay Breeze

Missed Connections

Whenever I write a blog for this project, I try to come up with a topic that at least slightly goes along with the drink I’m presenting. Some work better than others. Given that today I’m covering the Bay Breeze, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about one of the most famous, breezy (if sometimes foggy) bays in the world, San Francisco, and my chance to thank a mysterious stranger.

san-francisco

This is my version of a Craigslist ‘Missed Connection’ post. For my honeymoon in September 2012, my wife and I went on a two-and-a-half week cruise through the Panama Canal. We started in our hometown of Vancouver and finished in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first port of the sailing was San Francisco. We had previously stopped in San Francisco earlier in May 2012, before taking a short cruise from San Fran back to Vancouver

(Note: Yep, we’re 29 going on 50 with all our cruisin’, but until you’ve sat on your own cabin balcony, clad only in a robe, with drink in hand, don’t knock it.)

On that trip, we spent most of our short time there, exploring the famous piers, where we enjoyed fantastic seafood meals, scrumptious sourdough bread and delicious pints at Beer 39 (cleverly located on Pier 39). When we returned in September, our plan was to once again hit the piers, but this time, my wife wanted to do some wine tasting. I got my beer last time, so it was only fair to do wine for her on this stop.

(Note: We still hit Beer 39 for a flight of beers because I wear the pants in this relationship!)

(Note: I don’t, but I’ve made peace with that!)

Pier 39

It was a grayish day in the bay area, but nice enough that we were able to sit outside on the beautiful fern covered patio for our wine tasting at Wines of California Wine Bar, ironically with our cruise ship situated behind us in the distance. We took turns taking pictures of each other with the ship in the background, before a woman at the table next to us asked if we wanted one together.

(Note: I love the random people you meet while out on a drinking adventure… the salt of the earth, if you ask me.)

One thing led to another and we began chatting with her and her boyfriend. They had been dating a few months and as a 50th birthday present (although the dude looked like he should have been celebrating 40, instead) she had taken him on a surprise trip to San Francisco. We chatted about our honeymoon just starting, his 50th birthday bash, which tequila we should look out for in Mexico (our next stop was Cabo San Lucas and he was a bit of an expert, given his Mexican heritage and story about how much tequila they had at his party).

It was a great way to spend some of our stop and I even found a wine that I really enjoyed, Francis Coppola’s 2011 Diamond Collection-Emerald Label-Pinot Grigio, which was kind of a big deal because I’m not the biggest wine connoisseur.

(Note: Yes, that Francis Coppola – producer of Apocalypse Now, etc. and uncle of Nicholas Cage – in case you were wondering!)

The couple we were chatting with had to run for their tour of Alcatraz Island and so with a “happy honeymoon” they paid their bill and we said our goodbyes. My wife and I finished out wine flights and food and I began wondering why the waitress hadn’t approached us for a little bit. Perhaps she was just letting us enjoy our afternoon without interruption. When she finally came over to us, she revealed that the couple had covered our tab.

We were truly touched by the generosity of these complete strangers and it was an absolutely amazing way to begin our long-awaited vacation. We have vowed to pay this kindness forward when we are in a similar situation in the future and I look forward to doing so.

So, wherever they may be and I hope they one day read this, from the bottom of my heart (as well as my wife’s), I thank both of you for providing us with a wonderful example of how to do things right for your fellow human beings.

Now onto today’s drink…

Drink #10: Bay Breeze

Bay Breeze Drink

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • Top with half cranberry juice and half pineapple juice
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I wasn’t a huge fan of this drink. That’s not to say it was bad, but it just didn’t amaze me or anything. Pineapple Juice is far from one of my preferred mixers, so maybe that played a role.