What I Missed Most During the Pandemic – COVID-Ninetini

As the light at the end of the tunnel approaches and we begin our long-awaited return to normalcy, I spent some time reflecting on what I missed most during the last 15 months of pandemia. In no particular order, here’s what the Sip Advisor is craving:

Beer/Cocktail Events

Mrs. Sip and I love a good booze bash, going to many throughout each year. I can’t wait for a few festivals to start dotting the calendar again. Some I eagerly await returning are Battle of the Brews in Surrey and Caskival events at Vancouver’s Craft Beer Market.

Sports

To start seeing live audiences at games again almost brings a tear to my eye and highlights how much the atmosphere has been missed as leagues forged ahead in empty arenas and stadiums. Boy Sip, born right as the pandemic was taking effect around the globe, has yet to see a live game, while his older sister had been to a handful of hockey and soccer games well before she could even walk.

Crowds

Movies

We didn’t go to many movies after having children, but we managed to get to the odd film here and there. I’ve also found that with theatrical releases on hold, the offerings on streaming services have suffered in quality and quantity. Typically, each week, I would find a bevvy of new items to add to our watch lists, but those additions have dwindled as the pandemic has crawled along.

Seeing Friends

While it was nice for a time to focus inward on family, especially with a newborn and toddler, nobody wants to spend THAT much time with your home unit! Seriously, though, I feel some periphery friendships have suffered irreparable harm with not being able to keep in contact over this extended time.

Concerts

Mrs. Sip and I had began going to concerts more regularly leading up to the pandemic, seeing acts from our younger years (Bush, Stone Temple Pilots), as well as before our time (Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd). Seeing who was coming to town was something I was quite enjoying and I was working my way through a bucket list of sorts of groups/musicians I wanted to see.

Concerts

Comedy Shows

Much like with the concerts, I always had on my radar which comedians were coming through Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs. Now that clubs are able to start booking acts again, I’ve already identified a show or two which we will try to be at.

Travelling

From simple trips across the border and within our own province, to crossing oceans and continents, Mrs. Sip and I definitely felt the sting of a year without travel. As tourism within our province opens up again, we already have two upcoming vacays to look forward to and even more in the early planning stages.

COVID-Ninetini

COVID-Ninetini

  • 1.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Mask

What have you missed throughout the state of emergency? On the flip side, there are many things I will happily bid adieu to as we return to normal life. Among them, I will definitely not miss people using the pandemic as an excuse for behaviour they were known for before COVID-19. Also, I can’t wait for a day where the words pandemic and COVID-19 are no longer part of our daily language and conversations.

Mixer Mania #38 – In the Face of Danger

Sometimes, grapefruits are used to describe a person’s bravery… as in that dude has some huge grapefruits on him. Today we look at some of the most courageous actions the Sip Advisor has taken in his life. While none were earth shattering, they helped form the person I am today:

Kidney Conundrum

Moving in a somewhat chronological order, when the Sip Advisor was 12, I had my right kidney removed, as it was not functioning properly. Major surgery when you’re that young can be hard, but it’s also a blessing to have the issue dealt with early on, before it does even more damage. I think I took the whole thing pretty well and the scar can provide an interesting talking point.

Kidney Operation.jpg

Asking Mrs. Sip Out

On mutual family trips to Disneyland, I mustered all the swagger I could and asked Mrs. Sip out on a date in front of Cinderella’s Castle during the nightly fireworks extravaganza. The moment was perfect and she couldn’t say no. Had she turned me down, not only would that have stung bad, but it would have probably ruined one of my favourite places in the world. Luckily, we’re still together 15 years later.

Moving Abroad

Leaving all the comforts you have always known can be a daunting task. On two different occasions, I packed up my belongings and ventured to other parts of the world for new adventures. I spent a semester in Preston, England as part of an exchange program, before later moving to Toronto, Canada for a year-long school course. Both journeys made me much more confident.

Traveller’s Choice

Along with Mrs. Sip, I have journeyed to 51 different countries across the globe, including some that aren’t as safe and settled as others. With each expedition, insight has been gained about how other parts of the world operate. There are many more places on my wish list, though, so this courageous enterprise will never be fully achieved.

Dangerous Travel

Daredevil Days

The Sip Advisor can have a bit of a reckless spirit, doing crazy things like leaping off of high platforms (sometimes tethered to a bungee cord) into watery depths below. Some highlights have included jumping off the Auckland Bridge in New Zealand, swimming in the Devil’s Pool on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and ziplining in multiple locales.

Conquering Anxiety

While it always remains in the background of my psyche, I can proudly say that I’ve conquered anxiety issues on three separate occasions in my life. For me, anxiety has largely been a fear of fear. It has been brought on by different circumstances and while each occurrence is tough, I have always worked through and made it out the other end stronger.

Daddy Daycare

Through my life, I haven’t really been around babies, meaning I’d never changed a diaper, fed a little one, and rarely even held a baby. So, taking the leap into fatherhood recently has certainly been an eye opener. It’s also been an awesome experience, despite the sleep deprivation, second guessing and unsolicited advice from all angles. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Mixer Mania #38: Hemingway Daquiri

Hemingway Daquiri.JPG

  • 2 oz White Rum
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge and Maraschino Cherry

Perhaps one day I’ll be viewed in a similar vein to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, recognized as the bravest man in the world. If not, I’m still happy with my own accomplishments!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This drink is very good and has brought me around to the Grapefruit Juice bandwagon. I’m particularly impressed with the Maraschino Liqueur. Ernest Hemingway was onto something!