Posts Tagged ‘cider’


2012: A Year in Review

December 27, 2012



Stuff we did: Went to the Vandusen gardens for the first time, it was also the last day for the Christmas lights there, so it was busy.  Attended the wedding of one of Orgle’s coworkers. Apparently, I attend one wedding a year, this was it! The biggest snowfall of the year came and went, to Orgle’s dismay. I saw my favourite band, Fitz and the Tantrums for the second time in less than a year. We got free tickets to an Oilers-Canucks game here in Vancouver – even getting to sit in the box of the Oilers’ owner. (With whom I’m less and less impressed.)

Travel: A terrifying trip to the interior to go skiing – from freezing rain on the way out to white out conditions on the way back.



Stuff we did: Strapped on cross country skis for the first time since I was a child.  It was NOT like riding bike.  I have forgotten everything I once knew. I got really sick midway through the month. I also got around to finally printing some of my pictures in a darkroom.  A lot of fun.   Sad to think this hobby will soon be difficult – or even obsolete.

Travel: Up to Whistler for a week to ski (I end up only getting one day in due to pneumonia-related symptoms). We went because Orgle’s dad and brother were visiting.

Life events: Meeting Orgle’s dad and brother. Later that month my mom retired – joining my retired dad on the Island full time.



Stuff we did: This was probably the most relaxed month of the year. Some skiing (both downhill and cross country), lots of cooking, dinners with friends…

Travel: Off to Vancouver Island to celebrate my dad’s birthday and to ensure my parents weren’t driving each other insane, living together 24/7 for the first time in many years.



Stuff we did: I was a speaker about online legalities at the RTNDA BC conference. I joined a women’s team for a soccer tournament in Squamish.

Travel: We went to Seattle and Portland with my parents, my brother and his wife.

Life events: Celebrated a year with Orgle (with dinner at Chambar). I sincerely can’t say enough nice things about him. His unwavering support through my unemployment has been monumental. He is a caring soul who believes in me even when I do not. I didn’t know I could love someone this much.



Stuff we did: This is as active as I got all year.  I bought a bike to ride to work, I’m still playing soccer and now volleyball a couple nights a week. This would come to a crashing halt six weeks later. I was a speaker about the future of news online at the BCAB conference.

Travel: Third annual take-over of my parents place in Cedar.

Life events: At the start of the month, Orgle tears his ACL playing soccer. Eight months later and he is still up to 5 months away from surgery and another 8 months to a year from recovery.



Stuff we did: I was interviewed to be the head of the new Huffington Post BC edition. (The first of many interviews through the rest of the year.) Finally got Orgle to the Alibi Room – a big deal after some failed attempts.

Travel: Camping on Orcas Island.  Boy did it rain.

Life events: In a soccer game, I badly sprained by ankle. Six months later I’m still recovering. Hoping to play again in January. Also, this blog turned 7! (Meaning two months later I celebrated 7 years in Vancouver.)



Stuff we did: My balcony garden really started to take off. Sure, I planted my tomatoes too close together, making them tall and skinny instead of bushy.  I also accidentally put the mint in with other things.  I think I managed to separate it out, but we’ll see what sprouts in the spring! I started a cider blog and Orgle reconfigured our wine fridge to fit in more beer as he keeps cellaring it.

Travel: A trip across the country to Newfoundland (More pics here and here), where the people seem warm and welcoming even if you’re not entirely sure you know what they are saying.  It’s a beautiful, rugged landscape and every meal seems to be served with fries. We also are off to Vancouver Island again, this time to celebrate my mom’s birthday – my oldest friend, Sabrina, happens to stop by!

Life events: Tell my boss I’m quitting in August.



Stuff we did: It’s Orgle’s favourite day of the year – Dog days of summer at Nat Bailey.  It’s a night where people can bring their dogs to the stadium for baseball.  Orgle loves pups.  We wander the Richmond Night Market, gorging ourselves another night. We officially become Whitecaps supporters. We bought a five game pack with friends and watched most other games on TV. We head up to Britannia Mining Museum – familiar ground for Orgle who once worked at an underground mine.  Despite his knee and my ankle, we get out for some hiking through the summer. We hiked near Whistler and then went to the spa afterwards. Some of my final shifts at the radio station are spend working at The Fair at the PNE.  Orgle wanders the grounds for the first time, even taking a zip on the wooden rollercoaster.  He also goes to his first (and last?) CFL game.

Travel: Whistler for hiking and spa.

Life events: Walk out of the radio station for the last time.  I spent nearly five years working there and it was time to go. On the last day of the month, we head to the airport, Australia-bound.



Stuff we did: More than half of the month was spent in Australia. The rest was spent celebrating birthdays and, well, starting the process of figuring out what to do with my life.

Travel: Having been with Orgle a year and a half, it was time to fill in some of the knowledge gaps.  In other words, it was time to visit his homeland, meet his mom and other sister, see pictures of him as a baby and get to know his friends. We spent just over two weeks in Australia. (Pictures: Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, Melbourne/Great Ocean Road, Adelaide/Wine Region, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary), It was a painfully short visit (planned as such with the hope that I would be able to get it off work, which in the end I quit over).

Life events: Celebrate my 31st birthday and Orgle’s 29th. We’ve also been in our little apartment a year which, if my moving history suggests anything, is a milestone.



Stuff we did: I read career help books and applied for dozens of jobs. Orgle worked.

Travel: Taking advantage of my unemployment and Orgle’s decent vacation day allocation, we drove down to Seattle and caught a flight to Iceland for just over a week. It’s a beautiful country built on lava rock. It’s like they say, Iceland is green and Greenland is ice. (We flew over Greenland.) – If you consider Australia an island (which technically, it is not), it was our fifth island in less than five months. We also went to Vancouver Island for Thanksgiving.

Life events: At some point you realize your relatives aren’t going to be with you forever. I’ve lost my dad’s parents and the inevitability of my mom’s parents passing is upon us.  I have a grandfather who doesn’t remember me, nor the answer to a question less than five minutes ago. My mother recently made an astute comment that modern medicine is keeping his 87 year old body in relatively good shape, but is it worth it if his mind is going… going… gone?



Stuff we did: We watched Obama win again. That was pleasant. We were hiking North Shore mountains into November without snow or legitimate cold (this would soon end). Other fun things included hosting a clothing swap, convincing Orgle we needed to go to Ikea, learning how to make bread and going up to Squamish to look for eagles and dead salmon (finding a great out of the way meal too!).  I signed on with CBC to do some casual fill in as an associate producer for current affairs programs. I also got more involved with volunteer and political work.

Travel: Our second annual group getaway to the Sunshine Coast. It’s an excuse to sit in a hot tub and play board games (not at once).

Life Events: Three months without a full-time job. To be fair, if I wanted a job, I could have one by now. But I don’t. I’m terrified by the idea of taking something I will hate again.



Stuff we did: Started the month at Orgle’s company Christmas party, then woke up early the next morning to catch a ferry to Nanaimo. My brother and his pregnant wife were there visiting my parents. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend a day there before heading back to Vancouver for an interview with CUPE. Alas, it wasn’t worth it as I didn’t get the job.  Like November, it was a month of lots of interviews, meetings and rejection calls.  In less depressing news, Orgle got himself a case of Westvleteren – I’ll let you google that one. Friends joined us for a potluck on the 15th and karaoke on the 21st. I’m blessed to have such wonderful friends (and more Christmas cards than ever before!) We even got a little snow just before Christmas, and more presents than I deserved under the tree.

Travel: Took Via Rail to Edmonton to give Orgle the real Canadian winter experience.  It was -23 degrees when we got off the train. Christmas lights are better in the snow.  Also spent Christmas in Cedar with my parents and relatives.

Life Events: Another year over.

Next post: Looking forward to 2013.


The best liquor stores in Vancouver (and my new blog)

August 6, 2012

First of all, let me get this out of the way. I have a new blog: The West Cider

It’s a cider blog, because *surprise* I like cider.

In the past five years, craft beer brewing has taken off here in BC, following the lead (somewhat) of our friends down south (especially in Oregon). I think craft cider can’t be far behind.  I know it will never be to the extent of other beverages, but some variety would be appreciated by…well…me.

So, how about the best liquor stores in Vancouver? Sure, I got you here with that promise. The truth is, these are just my favourite liquor stores.

My favourites are those with a good cider and craft beer selection.  I like wine too, but you can find something decent in pretty much every store (even Newfoundland!).

Honourable mention (and probably better than #5 or #4 if I take the sentimentality out of it): Darby’s Liquor Store in Kitsilano

5. Lennox Liquor Store in City Square Mall – For the last five years, it’s been the closest liquor store to my work (and at times, my home) which means, it has been the source of many most of my drinks.  Your options for hard liquor aren’t wide-ranging, but it has a little bit of all the things I like.

4. Viti Liquor Store – I avoid downtown Vancouver. I only go there if I have to. (Now that I’m soon-to-be unemployed, that may change if an opportunity arises.)  Viti does a good job of bringing in lots of different stock in a small space.   Prices aren’t the best, but I’d rather pay a bit more for something different than less for the same old.

I didn’t really feel like putting these three in some arbitrary order, so they all are number one:

1. Firefly Fine Wines and Ales – (Not just for Vancouver! If you’re in Maple Ridge, there’s a location there!) It’s not a big back cold room, but I get lost in those two aisles of beer.  There’s only about one shelving unit that I need to ignore completely, and there’s a good choice of ciders as I walk in.  Note: It can be very cold in there.

1. Legacy Liquor Store in the Athletes’ Village – I talked about getting lost in the beer fridge at Firefly, but Legacy, if not for its high ceilings, you’d get lost in the store itself. It’s really big. I took a friend there last week. You could see her eyes light up as she walked in the doors. It was also the only place I could find Tempt Cider. It’s no longer there, but I hear it’s coming back. (Check my Cider blog for more info.)  Also, they host some cool events.

1. Brewery Creek on Main Street – Remember how I said I work by Lennox Liquor Store? Well for several years, this was the closest liquor store to my home.  Even before the renovations, they were bringing in lots of great craft beers, but since they expanded, the selection is just fantastic. It has had a great cider selection as long as I can remember.

Note: Government liquor stores are fine. I don’t like the hours. I don’t like the cider selection (which is none). I don’t like the fact that beer is not sold cold. However, the prices are decent.  But, like I mentioned, I’d rather pay an extra quarter or buck to support an independent store bringing in creative options.

Where do you pick up a brew? Are there Vancouver liquor stores I’m totally missing out on…


296: Cans can have secrets too

October 25, 2011

Best cider can yet. (iPhone 4 - October 23rd)


I fancy myself a bit of a cider connoisseur. It’s my thing. I’ve tried many kinds. I prefer a dry, flavourful cider.

Tempt, shown above, has an amazing can. It also is the closest thing I’ve found to straight-up fizzy apple juice. Very tempting. Very dangerous.