Cowichan River Tubing and Nanaimo Bar Crawl

Last weekend Scott, Rosemarie and I headed over to Vancouver Island to camp and go tubing down the Cowichan River. The weather wasn’t great but luckily the water was suuuuuuper warm so we could still tube.

The tubing is pretty neat, it’s about 2.5 hours long of floating. You can bring drinks, they even have floating recycling bins at various points down the river. Most of it was pretty calm but there are a few sections that go a little quicker. It’s definitely a lazy river rather than anything XTREME though. You do kind of have to paddle with your arms sometimes to make sure you go the right direction. I enjoyed myself though and I’m sure it’s a lot more fun when it’s a really hot day out and there are more people.

While it was kinda fun to be camping, it was too cold to swim or lay around and there was a fire ban… so we didn’t have a whole lot to do. Camping is all about the campfire!!! We played some games but it sprinkled rain on and off and the wind kept picking up our cards (and placing them into Scott’s hand). Eventually we just went to bed and read by flashlight.

nanaimo bar cheesecake

We decided to spend the last day in Nanaimo going on a Nanaimo Bar Crawl. They have a brochure that has 34 different places you can get Nanaimo Bar things. Unfortunately because it was Sunday A LOT of the places were closed. :’(((( We must have gone to at least 10 shops that ended up being closed. Bad luck.

But we did enjoy a slice of Nanaimo bar cheesecake that was SUPER YUM at Minnoz Steak & Seafood.

salted caramel nanaimo bar

And a salted caramel Nanaimo bar at Bocca Cafe that was also very good. I kind of want to sprinkle salt on all my Nanaimo bars now. They also had peanut butter, and chili Nanaimo bars and a lot of other really good looking food.

deep fried nanaimo bar

And then a deep fried Nanaimo bar at Pirate Chips. It tasted ok, but not as good as I expected.

All three of us liked the cheesecake one the most.

Then we waited 5+ hours in the line for the ferry back to Vancouver. UGH. It started off fun, we were playing Carcassonne on the ipad.

Then it got more tedious. And we got hungry, so I prepared a charcuterie dinner using a paper bag as a cutting board. SAFETY.

Ugh then we found out that the ferry price was not a return fare (like when you go the Sunshine Coast) and we all cried while we emptied our wallets. Yeesh going to the island is expensive!!!!!! We totally should have smuggled Rosemarie in in the trunk.

Eventually we did get on a ferry and we snagged a good games table to squeeze in a couple more games of Settlers before the weekend was over. I kept my eyes peeled for whales in between turns but didn’t see any.

Soooo in conclusion, tubing was fun-ish, camping was fun-ish, Nanaimo bar was fun-ish, etc. etc. And visiting the island costs A LOT and is terribly annoying on the weekends. Well I’m glad we went, but I’m not in a huge hurry to go back, at least not for just a weekend.

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Minami

minami

minami

minami

minami

minami

minami

Scott and I celebrated our 4 year (!!) anniversary at Minami this year. It was excellent. We sat at the sushi bar so we could watch the chefs prepare food. Very cool.

We started with tuna tartare with lotus root chips, and chicken and foie gras gyozas. The tartare looked and tasted beautiful and the consommé with the gyozas was superb.

The sushi roll was the Minami Roll, which comes wrapped in short rib. Definitely no soy sauce necessary, this roll had bags of flavour (heh, I think I have been watching too much Masterchef AUS).

We also split an aburi platter of a whole bunch of beautiful nigiri. Each one comes with a different sauce or garnish that compliments the fish very well. My favourite was the tuna nigiri because it melted in my mouth like avocado. Scott liked the mackerel one and the scallop one a lot as well.

And then because you don’t stop eating when you’re full (you stop when you hate yourself), we also got some of their special flame-seared aburi oshi sushi. We had half salmon and half mackerel which our chef torched right before our eyes. Super tasty. I loved the flavour of the mackerel.

Overall we were very pleased with our meal. We had been to Miku before, but I enjoyed myself more at Minami, I guess because the atmosphere is slightly more casual and because we got to sit at the sushi bar. A big thanks to Jessie for a helpful voucher and thanks to Scott for deciding to share it with me. :)

Minami 炙 on Urbanspoon

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Birthday Party Shenanigans

A million years ago I had a birthday party. I hope everyone else enjoyed themselves as much as I did, because I had tons of fun.

We had a hotdog bar. There were several types of hotdogs and sausages, plus TONS O’ TOPPINGS. We had: guacamole, mashed potatoes, corn salsa, mustards, hummus, various cheeses, caramelized onions, beer mushrooms, sour cream, basil mayonnaise, bacon, salsa…. and probably more that I’m forgetting. IT WAS AMAZING.

Brian had a great idea of passing his hotdog around and letting everyone put toppings on for him. It ended up with a little of everything, plus a lot of sriracha, and a strip of watermelon. Haha. He still ate it.

Rosemarie and Lauren made me an awesome taco piñata. It looked sooooo cool!!!! Only problem was it was TOO DURABLE! We broke our mop handle and broom handle in the process of bashing the piñata open. But it was worth it for the amount of entertainment gained. I’m glad we didn’t get evicted for Rob being on the roof, especially considering we were being so loud we had a lot of witnesses from the other building. :D

We also played games. PS the above picture shows our answers for “How many acres is Central Park in NYC?”. Apparently Rosemarie thinks that Central Park is only slightly bigger than our cottage property, hehehehehehheeeee. Wits & Wagers and Cards Against Humanity are always fun times.

We really need to have people over more often.

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Skeleton Training Lately

My level of motivation for training for skeleton goes up and down dramatically all the time. It varies from WHAT’S THE POINT, I’M NEVER GOING TO BE A COMPETITOR to I TOTALLY COULD BE A COMPETITOR!!!

Right now I’m in the I TOTALLY COULD BE A COMPETITOR state. I’ve actually been doing sprints!! Running is definitely my weak point, since ummm… I hate it. But I watched a billion videos on youtube and am now full of all sorts of tips and hints to make me faster. Today I videotaped myself at the track and reviewed after each sprint and it actually helped A LOT. The videos helped me see that I was planting my foot too far forward, heel striking, and looking too far down. Lots of problems but at least I know some specific things to work on.

I’ve also been doing lots of shrugs to help develop my neck so I can resist G forces better, upright rows so that I can lift my own skeleton sled into the car, cleans for power, etc etc. The off-season is all about doing everything you can to be a better slider without having any ice available.

I know it’s not very likely that I’ll ever be going to the Olympics or anything but it would be nice to not have to be embarrassed by my start times. My goal for this winter is to move up to starting from the top of Whistler, but maybe my goal for after that could be competing for realz. I would love to be able to do the Canadian selection races (one in Calgary and one in Whistler) so that I could have a ranking. Forerunning big races could be cool as well.

I was invited to participate in the Calgary icehouse push camp this August but unfortunately I am scheduled to work every day that week. That would be a lot of money to give up, plus I don’t even think there is anyone available to cover me. Plus flights and everything = $$$$. Sigh. I am hoping there will be another trip at some point over the winter again though.

So the next thing coming up is the summer testing. In the meantime, MORE RUNNING/LIFTING/JUMPING. :D

 

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The Black Hoof, Toronto, Revisited

Rosemarie and I went to the Black Hoof for dinner our last night in Ontario. We were supposed to meet some of my friends but they all work too hard!! So instead Rosemarie and I had a sister-date and gorged ourselves on all sorts of offal. Delicious delicious offal.

Horse tartare. With crunchy sunchoke chips and an egg yolk. A+ WOULD EAT AGAIN. Raw horse tastes a lot better than you might think.

Sweetbread karaage with Japanese mayo and lots of pickled vegetables. This was my first time eating pancreas. It didn’t have a strong taste, but it did have an interesting texture. Not bad, just interesting. Deep frying anything in crunchy karaage batter helps anything taste amazing. I give this dish an A-.

We had some pork carnita tacos. They were awesome, like last time. Grade: A.

And because we are pigs, we ordered tongue on brioche too. The meat was so tender and tasty, I swear you’d never guess you were eating tongue if no one told you. It comes with grainy mustard and pickled celery. This one gets an A+.

I love this restaurant. I’d really like to go back some day with a big group of people so we could order one of everything on the menu. Still so many things I want to try: salmon crudo, liver and onions, beef heart etc etc. If you live in Toronto and haven’t been yet…. why?

The Black Hoof on Urbanspoon

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