Monday, May 16, 2011

The Salmon House

So there we were, up to our pits in boxes, boxes, boxes, prior to our impending move. How was it possible for two people to accumulate so very much? While there was more than one bout of me wailing "we'll NEVER be finished!!!", there were a couple of silver linings. One of them was Mister Man's overall excellent demeanor. When I hit the mat with stress, he stepped up to the plate and became the go-to guy. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated this, when I was frequently about T minus two minutes away from a meltdown.....

The other silver lining came in the form of a birthday gift certificate from Paully and Michele. It was a certificate to The Salmon House in West Vancouver. Now, despite the fact that my brother, the oceanographer, wouldn't be caught DEAD eating anything from the ocean, he DOES have the good sense not to reflect his freakishness on the rest of us! And so we decided that the Saturday night prior to Thursday's moving day would be a perfect time to drop everything, put on some nice duds (if we could find 'em) and head out for a lovely dinner.

We invited Susan and Diyan to join us as Mister Man and I had just spent several weeks up each other's nostrils as we packed, sorted, purged, organized, and slogged through that hellish mire known as MOVING. So having some friends along made the whole thing more festive! The view was spectacular. Check it out here over Susan G's shoulder.

As the sun melted into the horizon, so our troubles melted into oblivion.

Of course, this had NOTHING to do with the lovely cocktails.......

Or DID it? Here is the moment in which we passed our SPARE KEY to our brand new neighbors: Susan and Diyan). Yes. It's true. We now live about 12 doors away from BBQ Club Headquarters!!!! What a fabulous moment.

As each course arrived, our packing hell receded and happiness approached.

The food was delicious, and the service fine. Dinner number 6 helped us crawl over the hump and look towards the future. Thanks brother and sister-in-law! That hit the spot!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dinners 4, and 5 (and humble apologies for the lapse...)

Oh dear. I just looked at the date of my last post, and I'm a tad embarrassed by the passage of time. I could lie and pretend I was having the same kind of wacky experiences they have on soap operas (coma, abducted by aliens, kidnapped by an evil twin etc. etc.), but the truth of the matter is far more bland... Mister Man and I MOVED!!! Yuppers! We moved on up to the heart of Vancouver. While we are now in a 2 bedroom, we DID have to scale back because we have a little less storage space. So this made the process of packing a little more arduous. HOWEVER, there were moments of light and joy during the dark days of moving. I can say that most of the moments of joy involved the 50 dinners. Funny how food can brighten even the darkest day....

Dinner # 4 involved the running posse and one of our old haunts, The Water Street Cafe.

Jan was in fine form!

Tamara's gift included a poem by Ogden Nash, "A Lady Who Thinks She is Thirty".

Dinner #5 was an Indonesian feast, lovingly prepared by Anthony and Shelley. It was a double celebration, as Ms. Lori is ALSO a member of the Aries club. There was much laughter.

And food that would melt even the most stressed out moving heart. Here Vanna White er Shelley K. models a plate of Bitta Balls. These little morsels are bustin' full o' flavour.

And these were fab too.

What a spread! And these were only the appies.

The tone of the evening was set with tales that were told by Anthony, of his family's travels from Indonesia to the Netherlands.

And then, it was on to the main course.

Here's what my plate looked like - overflowing with goodness.

Everyone was having such fun.

.... Until Anthony brought on the dessert. DURIAN!!! (Yes the famed fruit which is banned from airplanes. If you go to La Casa Gelato, the durian gelato is covered up for fear of offending people with it's odorous odor. It kind of smells like damp gym socks.) Lori looks on in horror. Mister Man gnaws his nails.

Anthony presents the thorny fruit.

He begins the dissection.

I have to admit, it DOES kind of resemble an alien autopsy.

I mean, I've watched season one of Fringe..... and this COULD be something in Walter's lab!

We each get "a seed".

Shayne seems.... uncertain.

Mister Man is afeared.

Lori is downright revolted!!!

I actually enjoyed mine! It was kind of like a mango with the texture of soft cheese.

Anthony is the one who clearly loved his. He licked it clean!

The evening ended with this concoction. I was uncertain at first, but it was delicious over ice!!

Two fabulous evenings during some stressful days. I have to say that we LOVE our new home and I promise photos soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The View From Here Isn't So Bad After All

So off we went to Harrison Hot Springs so that I could turn 50 with a modicum of grace (and a whole lotta wine).
Oh - and the best husband in the world.
And - and a handful of really lovely friends.
Oh! and my brand new iPad2 (see above "the best husband in the world")
(I would post a photo of it, but that would just be showing off)

I finally figured out how I want to mark this momentous birthday. Rather than having a large, blow out birthday party involving a whole slough of people, I decided that I wanted to spend the next many months having small gatherings.

50 dinners.

Yup. THAT'S what I want.... so that I can actually spend meaningful, one on one time with people.

And in reality, they don't actually have to be dinners. I guess what I REALLY want is 50 gatherings with all of the amazing people in my life.

The first dinner was a lunch. Mister Man and I drove out to the Fraser Valley, where Bob 'n Mer had prepared a lovely lunch for us.

I really appreciated it. Even though Mister Man brought me my favourite birthday breakfast (coffee and chocolate cake) in bed, AND followed that up with 5 musical birthday cards (including an accordion playing chicken that played the chicken dance when you cracked it open), I still felt an awful ache when I didn't get to talk to the Mums.... But being surrounded by love helped soothe the ache. And soon, we were pulling into one of my favourite places in BC.

Mister Man kind of looks like he belongs here, doesn't he?

We checked in, and much to our delight, we discovered that there was a rather special convention happening right under our noses...

Oh bless us all. There was a SASQUATCH convention happening in our hotel!!! The Sasquatch Summit!! While the admission was a little steep, we were confident in our ability to soak up the Sasquatch vibes that were floating around our heads. So we headed up to our room where a bottle of champagne was cooling on ice.

If I'd known that turning 50 would be like this, I might not have been dragging my heels.... We finished our champers and headed out for a stroll.

This wasn't our hotel, but I kind of loved the retro vibe....

And we decided to wait for Annie and Lara over drinks in the bar. Mister Man ordered this beer. It's as big as his head!

And soon after we'd settled, Annie and Lara joined us. After having beverages, we headed out to the local Schnitzel House for birthday dinner #2.

Dinner was delicious. How they get that pork schnitzel to be so thin and crispy, I'll never know.
What I DO know is that following up dinner with a soak in the hot springs relaxed us all. I wanted to bring my camera down to the hot spring. I also wanted to bring my iPad (along with my "waterproof case"). Okay, the waterproof case was just an extra large zip lock baggie.... Mister Man implied that if I (a rather clumsy girl at the best of times) was to go sit in the hot springs with all of my rather valuable electronics...well, he'd be forced to take all of my toys away from me. Suffice it to say that I have no photos of the hot springs....

The next day saw a leisurely breakfast, a soak in the hot springs, and several heated rounds of Quiddler. We also spent some time shopping in the Sasquatch convention store. Annie scored.

And Lara, happily scored in Quiddler.

Our games were framed by the arrival of Susan and Diyan, who had commissioned a song for me for my special day. A SONG, people!! I have a song that was written for me!!!

And after we all had a plunge in the hot springs, we followed up with a round of Scattegories and beverages in our room before we all rushed away and got ready for Dinner # 3in The Copper Room. We all got a bit tarted up.

And after dinner, we digested in the pool. Now I realize that you're supposed to wait an hour before swimming, but one can hardly say that "laying in the pool like a bloated whale" is even remotely related to "swimming". Oh what fun we had. The next morning saw Mister Man and Diyan slipping away to go Sasquatch hunting. And hey - they'd managed to pick up lots of leads (and maps) from the Sasquatch convention. Some of us chose to stay back so that we could lay about in the tub and do absolutely nothing.

Following breakfast, we had a massive game of Quiddler in the lobby.

Do you think they just let me win because it was my birthday?

But moments after the ridiculously high score by moi, I glanced up o see this truly post modern image in front of me. Yes, gentle readers, they are ALL reading their cell phones. Dear God, I still remember the day before cell phones....

And what I remember even more than the day before cell phones, is this amazing birthday. Dear friends and family - you DO take the sting out of this thing called aging..... Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.