Hope Drive-In

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything from Hope Drive-In before! We often stop there on the way back from adventures East of Vancouver (ie. Okanagan). Comfort food and great service are just what you need when you know you’re going to be stuck in horrible holiday traffic for another 1-3 hours back to Vancouver.

Rosemarie and I split a Cookies & Cream milkshake and they were nice enough to bring both parts out in real glasses. Plus there was still a bit left in the metal cup! Definitely enough to share. Milkshakes are the best.

I had a Full Monte hot sandwich, as usual. It’s ham, turkey and swiss cheese in between French toast. The bread was SO thick this time, I had to bring half the sandwich home!

Rosemarie had a fish burger. It came with fries and tartar sauce. She said the fish was nice and she was pleased with it all.

Hope Drive-In & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Rosemarie and I went white water rafting with Liz and Tom on the Thompson River (near Lytton, BC).

It was lots of fun. It wasn’t that XXXXXXTREME, I was the only one who unintentionally fell out of the raft, but we still had perma-grin the whole time. It was a nice hot day so we jumped in and swam at every opportunity, and took turns sitting right on the front for maximum splashability. There was even one rapid we got to go through in the water hanging on to the rope on the sides of the raft.

Liz gracefully getting back into the raft, probably after Tom pushed her in.

A classic Rosemarie picture on our lunch break. +1000 points for them having dinosours for dessert. :D

Like I said, I was the only person that fell out of the raft… out of the whole group of rafts… hahahha oops. I swear it wasn’t on purpose, I just fell out! It wasn’t too scary, at least I felt like I really got my moneys worth. ;)

We camped at a BC Parks site for the night and then drove home to Vancouver the next day, via the Othello Tunnels near Hope, and Hope Diner. Another very hot drive home with no AC, ack.

Jill and Joe had a long stopover in Vancouver on their way back to Adelaide so we met up with them for dinner downtown at Forage. Everything was super delicious and it was awesome to catch up again. I had seen Jill a few months ago when I went to Adelaide, but I hadn’t seen Joe in a LONG TIME!

The waiter suggested the cheese puff for dessert and it’s a good thing we listened to him because it was SO DANG GOOD. It was a profiterole with neufchâtel cheese filling, with ice cream, gin soaked blueberries and some kind of cordial sauce all around. MMMMMMM. The other dessert there was berry adult jello panna cotta that was also very good, but almost forgotten after the cheese puff.

Forage is cool because ALL their ingredients are locally sourced. We really enjoyed all the dishes we tried… octopus, carbonara, stinging nettle risotto, mushrooms… highly recommend.

Thanks to the Dafoe’s to treating us to a great meal!!

Forage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I redeemed by birthday voucher for a Picasso pedicure at Bloom. Those are hand painted lemons!

Lesley, Stephane, Scott and I went camping for one night at Cultus Lake. We played many games of Settlers (of which I lost all of them), and ate tacos and burgers and generally lazed around. We took the party island out for another spin. Cultus Lake is so warm!! Camping is weird when there is a fire ban though, you sort of run out of things to do when it gets dark.

More skeleton push practice at the Oval. Note to self, bring bug spray for twilight sessions because there are SWARMS of mosquitos. Who’s bright idea was it to have so many still water features around the facility, yeesh. I seriously got about 30 bites in half an hour. But this was a useful session, I now have a few new technical things to focus on for a bit.

Other unpictured fun stuff that happened:

  • We went to Charles and Ankie’s wedding at the fancy Terminal City Club downtown. Open bar, woot!! It was a fun wedding, although we couldn’t understand a fair chunk of it because we don’t speak Cantonese.
  • Our board games group tried an escape room, and failed. It was hard!! We got through the first two rooms but ran out of time trying to figure out the half dozen puzzles in the final room. The operator guy did say we got further than average though (does he say that to everyone?). We also came back to our place to play a few games of Seven Wonders.
  • Stephane made bacon wrapped cheddar stuffed burgers for Burger Friday. I thought they would burst into flames on the BBQ but they were fine!
  • Mary Ellen and Paul came over while they were in town for a wedding. Mary Ellen wanted to try purple yam and cheese ice cream but unfortunately Shoppers Drug Mart was out!! They only had plain purple yam, so Scott got that instead. It is Barney purple and tastes like… those cheapy styrofoam cones imo. The debate of the month is what type of cheese it would be in the yam and cheese variety. So far Kraft Singles type is leading. EWWW.
  • Work drinks at Tap & Barrel. We have to make this a more regular event!
  • The worlds smallest blogger meetup. We ate yummy tacos from La Taqueria and then went to Rain or Shine for ice cream. I had malted milk chocolate honeycomb in one of their delicious homemade waffle cones. Yum.

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Masterchef Australia Season 7 Finale Feast

After 3 months, 61 episodes, 22 eliminations, (+ 2 days of complete social media ban) it was time for us to watch the Masterchef Australia Season 7 finale. We had Rosemarie and Lauren over for a 4 course team challenge finale watching dinner where we all made fancy things from the show.

Lauren made salad rolls with shrimp and a dipping sauce.

Rosemarie made sesame beef tataki with gochujang aioli, pickled vegetables and puffed rice. Plated up in modern, negative space style.

Scott made meat pie with homemade crust, and homemade tomato relish (ketchup, hehe).

And I made lemon & thyme ice cream sandwiches with a lemon thyme syrup. Let’s not talk about the TWO glass bowls I shattered while double boiling, or the ummm… XTREME DARK CARAMEL syrup that fused itself to the pot…

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Seven Stones Winemakers Dinner

Teri organized for Scott and I to go to a fancy winemakers dinner with her and Lindsay at Seven Stones winery in the Similkameen Valley. Teri works with Seven Stones, so she knew George, the winemaker already. The dinner took place in the “caves” underneath the winery, where it was MUCH cooler than outside (thank goodness).

First course: Local Organic Peach Salad (grilled peach, arugula, bocconcini, white balsamic reduction), with 2012 Chardonnay

Light and tasty. I came to the dinner armed with antihistamines because I figured they would be using lots of fresh Okanagan produce, and unfortunately I am allergic to a lot of it. But it’s so good it’s worth it. The peaches were sweet and juicy and the balsamic reduction was amazing.

Second course: Smoked Duck (Fraser Valley smoked duck breast, dried berry, du puy lentil stew, cherries, red wine glaze), with 2010 Pinot Noir

Tender duck over tender lentils with pops of sweetness from the cherries. The only thing was that it was kind of hard to cut the duck in such a deep bowl.

Third course: Espresso Marinated Tenderloin (beef tenderloin, mushroom risotto, tiger blue crumble, roasted summer vegetables, plum and olive jus), with 2009 Meritage

Perfectly rare beef over creamy cheesy risotto, om nom nom. It was a huge chunk of meat but we all finished it all because it was so delicious. I loved the little baby zucchini pieces as well. Oh and the Meritage wine was really good, it’s sooo smooth. I don’t even usually like red wine that much! Too bad it’s $35 a bottle, ha.

Fourth course: Coffee and Dark Chocolate Mousse (chocolate mousse, espresso shortbread, berry compote, smoked vanilla whip, chocolate mint), with 2012 Cabernet Franc

OMG and then the dessert. The chocolate mousse was ultra smooth and not too sweet, with a perfect melt-in-your-mouth buttery cookie, and little bits of slightly sour berries to balance it out. Amazing.

George took everyone on a quick tour of the barrel rooms, pointing out the water feature (to keep the humidity levels just right) and the speakers from which they are going to start playing classical Baroque music (the particular vibrations are supposed to cause the yeast particles to eat more sugar and produce lower sugar, tastier wine quicker). Kinda neat. I suppose we will have to wait and see if that actually works…

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Penticton 2015

Starting the trip off with a beergarita with Teri and Lindsay while we waited for Braz and Lisanne. I feel like we need a flowchart to explain the group:

Scott –> friends with Braz (aka Marcus) (from Melbourne) –> girlfriend is Lisanne (from Edmonton but lives in Melbourne too) –> friends are Teri and Lindsay (live in Alberta).

The first day we went to a whole bunch of wineries close to Penticton and a tiny distillery that makes gin. There was one chardonnay that tasted like BBQ corn…. ew. We went to Bad Tattoo Brewery for dinner and drinks. The six of us each got a pizza each and then shared so we got to try 6 types (YUM).

The next day we bought a party island (and extra boat to float our cooler) and did the channel. That’s Lindsay and Lisanne in the front, and me, Teri and Braz in the back. Our drinks were perfectly cold (unlike last year camel pack atrocity) and umm… we drank a whole lot of them. It was funnnnnnn.

Waiting for a taxi back to the motel.

In the taxi. Hahaha.

The next day Lisanne and Braz continued on to Edmonton, and the rest of us moved on to separate hotels (although we would meet back up with Teri and Lindsay for our fancy dinner later).

Scott and I went out for breakfast ice cream at Tickleberry’s (nutritious!), where at least this time we knew to get child size. Seriously what kind of child size comes with two flavours??! (I had salted pretzel, and salted caramel). I couldn’t even finish mine, I wish they had infant size.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing in different locations. We went to the beach on South part of Okanagan Lake but it was way too windy so then moved to the North part of Skaha Lake. We ate a fancy-schmancy charcuterie board at a fancy-schmancy winery (Painted Rock) on their patio with great panorama views of the lake. Then went back to the hotel pool bar (!!), and then went back to Bad Tattoo for more delicious pizza.

Carolina BBQ – slow roasted brisket, mushrooms, shallots, spicy BBQ sauce

Black & Blue – roasted apple, blackberry compote, blue cheese, toasted malt

Their pizzas are awesome. Super thin crust, tasty toppings. We loved all of them. The only thing was that the Black & Blue pizza was totally different the second time compared to the first. They put waaaay more compote on the second time and it was a bit too much. But mmm that sweet-salty combination.

Avoid peak dinner time if you don’t want to wait in line, as it seems to be very busy in the summer.

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Saturday Scott and I went down the channel again, just the two of us on the giant party island. It was a very relaxed float, we just drank water, haha. We got quite sunburnt, oops.

Then we drove to pick up Teri and Lindsay and had a fabulous dinner at Seven Stones winery, which I am saving for another blog entry.

The last day Scott and I took the long way back to Vancouver, via Osoyoos because I really really wanted to go back to Platinum Bench for some ~~artisan~~ bread. We also stopped at a few more wineries too including Church and State which had some hilarious labels and Jackson Triggs to see if they had my favourite $9 chardonnay (they did not, haha).

We slow roasted ourselves the whole way back in the car at 38 ºC with no air conditioning. It was…. uncomfortable. And we drove past this amazing looking swimming hole, just before Princeton I think, but by the time I saw it it was too hard to turn back and I still feel regret even now a month later that we didn’t go back. It was like a mirage. I mean… WE MUST GO BACK.

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