September 7- Day 250

On the drive to Kelowna, my road trip buddy Joe and I stopped in at Old Yale Brewery in Chilliwack to have a few beer samples

I was so surprised and blown away by their Moon Dance Mango Wheat Ale that I had to buy a 6 pack

It’s refreshing, it’s light, it’s crisp, it’s a smidge fruity and entirely delightful

I had ensured to save one from the trip for National Beer Lovers Day and  so when the day arrived, I savoured it with all my heart and soul… and then later that day saw an Old Yale Brewing company van driving down 4th Avenue! So it’s probably available somewhere nearby! I just have to get around to finding it! Yippee Skippee!

 

August 4 – Day 216

International Beer Day ! Hooray! Any holiday to do with beer is welcome in my blog!

To celebrate, I decided to try a new and really intriguing beer I saw at the NLC by SpinDrift Brewing company – Blueberry Chai Pilsner

Now we alllllll know it could only be a true pilsner if it was made in Pilsen, Czech Republic, known for it’s soft water, so this guy from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia was never going to be authentic.

The Blueberry Chai part was what captivated me.
When I poured it, it looked the part. When I tasted it, however, it tasted like a plain old lager. Nothing blueberry or chai about it.

It was fine. And Chai is a flavour probably best left for a heavier beer like a stout or port, mayhaps?

Day 171 – June 20

I decided to add a little twist to National Ice Cream Soda Day, thanks to some random posting I saw on Pinterest or Instagram once upon a time.

I relished this opportunity to try out a Guinness Float instead. Same concept as an Ice Cream Soda, except you swap the root beer for real beer.
Genius, right?

So I picked up a four pack of Guinness cans and two tubs of President’s Choices dairy free coconut Ice cream in chocolate and coconut flavours and went to town!

The coconut flavour, although absolutely delightful on its own, was a bit ‘meh’ with the Guinness. But the chocolate? Look out. Guinness and vegan chocolate ice cream were made for each other, believe me.

 

Or rather, just go try it yourself sometime. This is definitely an cocktail (?)/ dessert (?) I will be keeping on the roster.

Day 126 -May 6

National Beverage Day started out great but, indisputably, took a sharp turn into a deep dark horrifying crazy town abyss

I wish I was being dramatic

James, Duncan and I packed a picnic and then did the Sea to Summit trail in Squamish.

It was sunny and beautiful. There were beautiful vistas of waterfalls and snow capped mountains. We even saw a double rainbow and caught the gondola down the mountainside

When we got back to the city, it was still so nice and warm out that we decided to go have a beer to celebrate National Beverage Day on a patio bar somewhere in the neighbourhood.

After circling the block and finding all restaurants with decks chocked full, we decided to improvise by illegally drinking on a patch of grass across the street from our apartment

A lot of passers by commended our anti establishment drinking venue

We had Twin Sails IPA from BC and Anchor Brewing Company Lager from California. Great.

As the sun set and the day grew darker and colder, we relocated to our living room. It was then I received the news that one of the lovely couples my friend Matt and I  did the Ciudad Perdida trek with in Colombia last year had ‘passed’, as posted on their Facebook wall by their siblings.

Lina and Richard were the greatest – Matt and I adored them.  

Richard is behind me and Lina to my left (and Matt is behind her)

I was shocked and saddened by this news but found it strange, that two people in their prime of life had died, simultaneously.

When I looked into it, I was absolutely, completely and utterly horrified to find out that it was not a car accident or anything of that nature, but a violent homicide.

They were tied up for a period of time and had their throats slit. There was a text for help sent out but the response was too late. The police arrived and shot the suspect, who is currently hospitalized from his injuries. According to the articles and news reports, the killer had cut up pictures of them and wrote a message “of retribution” on the wall. They also say that there was a bag filled with Lina’s jewelry by the door.

She was from Colombia, the beautiful city of Cali. Her family was wealthy and had sent her to Boston as a teen, to avoid getting kidnapped, or worse, as that kind of shit happened to kids of her stature in that era. She was stunningly beautiful and smart as a whip. I think everyone fell a little in love with her. I know Matt and I did.

Richard was from England and sweet as pie. Just a jolly, kind and mild guy. I don’t think he had a mean bone in his body.

They were both anesthesiologists practicing in Boston. She was also an instructor at Harvard.

The media is painting them as these super wealthy aristocrats, dramatically slain in their luxury multi million dollar condo.
I only knew them as down to earth-no-hot-water-or-electricity-for-days-warm beer-drinking-while-getting-eaten-alive-by-flies-in-the-dirt-kind-and-grateful to-the-cooks-and-porters type of people. Humble as fuck.

Lina had asked me who Sarah was (as her name is tattooed on my arm)
I told her the story of losing my sister and she listened with genuine empathy.

I took this photo for them when we had reached the Ciudad Perdida that we spent days hiking towards- capturing a moment of pure love, satisfaction and hard earned success.

Now it’s now being used in Time and The Guardian’s coverage of their murder.

Their family has stated to the press that they want to remember Lina and Richard for how they lived their lives, not how they died.
That is an admirable sentiment. I really hope they can. If not now, maybe in time.  It is going to take some work.
I know, personally, I haven’t been able to get the gut wrenching vision of them tied up and petrified for their lives out of my head since I heard the news, so I can’t imagine how it must be for their family.

As sickened and heartbroken as I am, I know I will always remember them as lovely, wonderful and sweet people who lived life to the fullest.

I don’t know if it captured the extent of my sorrow, but this post (and beer and National Beverage Day), is dedicated to you guys, Lina & Richard.  You both Celebrated Everyday, Literally and were a huge inspiration to me. Mucho, mucho amor, amigos.

 

Day 97 – April 7th

BEER DAY

In a perfect world, everyday would be a Beer Day.
I’m a real Homer Simpson that way.

Sadly, I had to work that evening so knocking back all the beer I would have liked, was not in the cards.

I did allow myself one Four Winds Saison before my shift which was delightful

It was beautiful, aesthetically speaking, as well.

I would have liked to have gone to a brewery (I have not sampled nearly enough microbrewery fare since relocating to Vancouver and I resent this everyday)  and maybe done a tasting on this particular day but time is of the essence these days. School and work and my practicum placements are all consuming plus making time for Duncan has just been 50 shades of cray.

If you are finding my posts a bit lack lustre of late, it’s because they are!

Still plugging through though!

Day 76 – March 17th St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

 

On St. Patrick’s Day eve, I had a pint of beer and glass of wine in St. John’s with James  before departure (5:30 pm, NL time)

I then had a glass of wine during my St. John’s to Toronto flight.
Then, I randomly bumped into my little sister’s partner, Tony, at the airport during my layover in Toronto – he was in transit back from SXSW in Austin- and of course, had to knock back a few glasses of wine while he had a pint. Drinks were on him (Thanks Tony!)

This led me to pass out before take off of my next flight, but also to wake up alarmed, hungover and parched mid flight. This poorly taxidermied fox of meme-fame-past captures more or less how I looked & felt:

I arrived in Vancouver at around 2 am (6:30 am NL time) St. Patrick’s Day with a dystopian jet lag charged hangover the size of Galway; the earliest of celebrators, indeed.
Meg, who has been lovingly overseeing Duncan’s daily needs while I was away, picked me up (Thanks Meg!).

I went to bed and awoke with a new start to the same day.

 

It involved unpacking and a little leprechaun themed photo shoot with my beloved Duncan. Although he is pure bred French, he is insistent he has the Kiss of the Irish somewhere along his blood line.

Then there was the real celebration which involved beer, whisky, bars, chickpea fritters (isn’t that just a falafel, people?), dancing, Corey Hart, pizza, Saskatchewan Scott & rain coats with my East Coast friends.
I stayed out till the wee hours of the morning and have no regrets…. especially not putting that filthy 60 year old photo booth curtain on my face.

 

Day 62- March 3

Day Number 62 of ‘celebrating everyday literally’ & Day Number 2 of my father in law Melvin’s wake.

James had kept me in the loop with medical updates and everyone’s spirits over the past two months. I knew Melvin’s health was declining quickly, but on some level I still held the hope that something might turn around – our family couldn’t possibly be this unlucky. If you don’t have hope, you don’t have anything.

Nevertheless, part of me knew when I said goodbye to Melvin in January to head back to Vancouver for school, it would be the last time I saw him.

Seeing Melvin’s urn and the little shrine composed of his favourite sweater, tea cup and a smiling photo made his death ‘all too real’ as they say.

Even harder than processing my own grief surrounding Melvin’s death, was having to watch his daughters in such pain and not being able to do a god. damn. single. thing. about. it. How deeply I wish I could take it from them, it was overwhelming.

Apart from all the pain and tears and suffering it was

NATIONAL TARTAR SAUCE DAY ! ! !

(Is this Kermit gif being overused? I don’t even care because I have no idea how to segue from the heart ache over Melvin’s death to Tartar Sauce, as nothing is ‘right’ about any of it)

The wake ran from 2-5pm and then 7-9pm

In the two hour window, the entire family unit went to the ‘hotel’ for dinner.

This was my opportunity to squeeze in some celebrating and score some Tartar Sauce.

Which I clearly did.

It was nice to get the chance to have a conversation with Melvin’s brother, Keith during the meal about his relationship with his brother and his story of loss.
I found myself drawn to Melvin’s siblings throughout this entire process. I could relate to their grief on a more precise level, whereas
James and his sister Hannah were more aligned with Melvin’s daughters, having lost their father around their age, to cancer as well.

As for Tartar Sauce… sure. Mayo & relish mixed together is a – ok in my books.

 

 

 

Day 43 – February 12th

Today is a day I have been dreading for some time.
It is my 32nd birthday and I am now on the brink of being older than my big sister, Sarah. We were once three years apart.
She was hospitalized one week after her 32nd birthday and died one week after that. I still have the birthday present I had for her that I never got the chance to give her.

This is a photo of myself, my sister, Claire, and Sarah taken on her birthday, September 19th, when she was pregnant with Rowan in 2011.

Everything about this is tender and I just wanted to get through this day and was not particularly interested in ‘celebrating’ outliving my sister.

Luckily, I do have the best and most supportive friends in the world, hands down. I received a bunch of surprises in the mail from my friend back home, Steph, including Wonder Woman Card #1.
I also had a Do Not Open Till February 12th Card awaiting from Carleigh in Toronto.

This rad Wonder Woman Card #2 was from Kathleen, Molly and Graham! They also got me a gender-reveal balloon and an axe to go with my Paul Bunyan costume (explained later)

Christina got me an almond mylk latte, a hand mixer so I don’t get carpel tunnel whisking all these celebratory desserts and a $5000 dollar bottle of Tequila 

…and a magical healing crystal (rose quartz) so I’ll never need to get a vaccine ever again

It was sunny and spring-like so we went for a walk with Duncan through Stanley Park

Duncan enjoyed himself thoroughly

It was National Plum Pudding Day but the last thing I wanted to do on this bittersweet birthday was run myself ragged either finding a plum pudding or making one, neither of which would be enjoyed because I actually hate the shit. So, instead, I focused on the fact that it was Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln and Paul Bunyan’s Birthday.  You may be wondering how is it that I, Jennah Turpin, could possibly be birthed on the same day as these bearded giants?

I don’t have the answer for you

But what I do have a series of photos of myself and my friends adorning plaid and beards and toques and drinking beers and numbing pain.