December 25 – Day 260

Christmas Day!

Christmas was spent in the Canary Islands with the in-laws this yearIMG_7837

We had a rented villa and car and were able to explore the island

IMG_8156

Did some hiking… and lots of drinking

IMG_8156

We made our way pretty much all around the island

IMG_8158

..and the beach… although it was windy as all hell

IMG_6178

Oh yeah and we went on quads …

IMG_2128

…and had fish eat the dead skin off our feet…

IMG_8073

Merry Christmas, fish! A feast indeed

November 15 – Day 320

National Pickle Day!

I couldn’t bring myself to eat an actual pickle because they are appalling to me

SO I want to take the day to give a shout out to The Pickle!

IMG_1129.JPG

You may have seen it on tv! Or in older blog postsolder blog posts !
Christina and Daniel’s Dodge Tradesman camper van that they own and renovated, yet I reaped alllllll the benefits of

IMG_0752.JPG

We Airbnb’d that puppy most of the year and then Duncan and I went on several trips.
I also drove it to Kelowna to move my buddy Joe there for university.

IMG_2587.JPG

We have had our peaks and valleys – our landlord gave us all kinds of grief over the Airbnb business. Our Airbnb guests gave us grief just with their uselessness and stupidity. On the road, The Pickle stalled on more than one occasion and in more than one hairy intersection.

IMG_4776.jpg

But the joy The Pickle brought was always worth it.

IMG_2718.jpg

Christina and I custom made curtains for The Pickle! Hand carved and hand stamped beauties

IMG_8718.JPGIMG_8719.JPG

I also made some custom art work for it’s cedar planked walls

FullSizeRender 34.jpg

Duncan was always a reliable co pilot on all our adventures

IMG_3129.jpg

The Pickle has made its way home to Kitimat and I may never have the chance to use her so freely every again, but I want to thank Christina and Daniel for their seemingly limitless generosity with it. My life goal is to own my own Pickle one day.

IMG_4921.JPG

September 4 – Day 248

I’m a lackadaisical vegan, especially when it comes to some national food holidays that are just too annoying to reroute around

National Cheese Pizza Day was one such day so I just took it as it was.
This was mainly because we were in Kelowna where my uncle Bob, who’s famous on TripAdvisor for dropping so much wisdom in his reviews, claims has the best pizza in CANADA.

Yes, in ALL of CANADA

So we had to check it out

Bordellos was the place – an Italian restaurant with pasta, wood fired pizzas and pickle back shots on the menu. Classy

It was full of university aged kids with lip piercings and weird haircuts

We ordered the Margherita because that to me is a cheese pizza with a few leaves tossed on there. Totally counts.

There was a lot of hype over this pizza and it didn’t not live up to it

But we couldn’t figure out if it was the best pizza we’d ever had

This is because we really think all pizza is good

September 2 – Day 245

Holy flippin’ National Tailgating Day

James and I took The Pickle to Kelowna for the long weekend in hopes of a peaceful and romantic weekend of touring vineyards and hanging out in the sun at the beach

L . O .  L

What an absolute nightmare

The Pickle stalled at every stop and turn and caused us so much duress I ended up having night terrors for weeks to come  (I’m not even being dramatic… the air con in the hotel we eventually had to book made similar kicking in and cutting out sounds as The Pickle and caused me to jerk out of bed in panic thinking I was stalled, yet again, in the middle of a high way intersection in 40 degree temperature, despite being chilled to the bone in my cushy 2 star hotel room)

Back to the tailgating… that just means drinking in/near a car right?

We did get to several vineyards through sheer will and determination so I feel we pulled that much off

We had many pitstops that involved oil and power steering fluid and first aid  (Protip: don’t use a box cutter when enraged)

Also, let it be known, Kelowna is hot as hell, pretty much on fire and, although is considered ‘wine country’ (and thus would lead one to think refined and cultured),  a city that would wear white Oakley sunglasses backwards on its head and drink Monster Energy drinks if it could

The weekend came to a dramatic finish with a final breakdown in the middle of an intersection and having to be pushed by strangers to a safe place to wait for a million dollar tow truck

 

 

Day 208 – July 27

It wasn’t until Christina, Daniel and I were all sitting around the dinner table, mowing down on our chilli dogs and Daniel pontificated, ‘this is a little weird eating two foods that are usually meat, both in vegetarian format’, had it occurred to me.

My default setting has been meat free for so long, I couldn’t relate to the having that thought process whatsoever. I can’t remember the last time I had a real meat hot dog. Maybe 2000? And meat chilli- forget about it, I’m not sure I’ve ever had chilli with meat in it in my life.

On National Chilli Dog Day, Christina and I conspired to stew up a pot of vegan chilli and put Daniel on vegan hot dog grilling duty

We whipped up a chilli by combining:

  • onion
  • garlic
  • peppers
  • celery
  • can diced tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • black beans
  • chickpeas
  • corn
  • chili powder
  • chili pepper flakes
  • chipotle
  • salt
  • pepper
  • quinoa
  • peanut butter
  • roasted sweet potato

Once the batch was complete, we assembled on to our veggie dogs and garnished with some vegan sriracha mayo, green onion, avocado,  and cilantro

 

Day 132- May 12

Pleased to say I spent National Nutty Fudge Day in the historic community of Steveston, Richmond.

Once a thriving Japanese Internment camp location and fish canning town, now a picturesque tourist trap known for being the filming site for The Power Rangers movie explosion scenes.

There, I stumbled upon a little candy shop that made their own fudge called The Candy Dish.  I  picked up some Peanut Butter Fudge (peanuts aren’t a nut, they’re a bean I know I know I know) and some plain Chocolate Fudge. There were no official ‘nutty fudge’ options to be had so I improvised when I got home (see figure 1a)

Figure 1 a

The store offered a deal – buy 4 (giant) pieces of fudge, get the 5th free! I imagine they throw in Type 2 diabetes as well.
James was really into that bargain and I had to reel him back in. We stuck with just the two (see figure 1b)

Figure 1 b

It was super sugary and definitely not vegan. I had a few pieces and could feel it coating my teeth then seeping into them. I also got a sugar headache.

The remainder are still on the counter for the taking, FYI

Happy Nutty Fudge Day 

 

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 7 – January 7th

National Bobblehead & Tempura Day!

This day started at 3AM. An early rise to catch my 5AM flight out of St. John’s back to Vancouver. This was my first time flying with Duncan, my newly rendered Emotional Support Animal. I was a little apprehensive of how he would behave on the plane and in the airports. I arranged the flight to have a close to 3 hour layover in Toronto so I could take him in and out through security to have a pee. However we ended up stuck on the tarmac for over 2 hours deicing the plane. This was followed by being stuck on the tarmac in Toronto waiting for a gate. By the time we were able to disembark I had just shy of 40 minutes. No outdoor excretion for Duncan 🙁

He had a pooh in the middle of the airport. I was completely prepared with baggies and wipes so I was actually relieved that he relieved then and there. WAAAAAY better less embarrassing then on the plane.

Flying with Duncan was great ! It was a celebration in and of itself. He was so good and made everybody so happy. I could have smuggled all the drugs and weapons in the world on the flight because security was so delighted by his cuteness. Everyone petted him as they boarded the plane. People took pictures with him. The flight attendants checked on him repeatedly. T’was an absolute joy.. and relief ! I know he is flyable now which means I can take him all the time!

With regards to Bobblehead Day, I tried to take advantage of my brief layover in Toronto to check out their Bobblehead collection at their souvenir stores. I assumed, being home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Blue Jays, they would have some sort of sport star bobble head to buy or at the very least take a Boomerang of.

None! The Blue Jays have Bobblehead day for their fans http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-announce-bobblehead-giveaways-for-2016/

I couldn’t believe my luck!

When I arrived back in Vancouver I laid down for a nap that took me down for the count – I woke up at 8pm, having missed the majority of the day!

My room mate Christina, who is taking this Celebrate Everyday…Literally initiative very seriously tried to find some bobbleheads while I was unconscious to no avail.

So I decided to take this day to recognize Frankie MacDonald, my favourite weatherman, and his Bobble head work.

Frankie MacDonald Bobblehead – 2016 Edition

Frankie is a Youtube sensation who is great at predicting the weather and giving advice about how to deal with it.  A portion of the proceeds go to Autism Canada.

Once I got my act together from my coma nap, Christina and I went to the sushi place about 20 metres from our apartment for tempura.

They make you take off your shoes there – real authentic like. Apparently in Japan shoes are a no go in homes and lots of public places

 

We ordered the vegetable tempura which involved two pieces of potato tempura, two pieces of sweet potato tempura and one piece of mystery root vegetable tempura.

Boy was it delish.

This post was a bit arduous for me due to the jet lag and also having to celebrate two things I don’t care about one way or the other instead of celebrating two things I was really happy about : Duncan being with me from here on out and doing do well on the plane and seeing my buddy Christina again and getting Christmas presents from her.

Oh well, onward ho I suppose

January 8th has a lengthly list of things to celebrate : Argyle, Winter Skin Relief, Bubble Baths, English Toffee, & Sunday Supper !