Touring Breweries

Since last Wednesday, I stopped at a few breweries for a couple of Growler fills and to try something new.

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First we stopped at Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company for a fill of a blonde and grabbed a couple of bombers.

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Before making it to my mother’s, we stopped at Gladstone and got a fill of a Cream Ale.

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The next day we stopped at Shelter Point Distillery.  I shared that adventure here. Followed by a stop at Beach Fire Brewing Company for a flight and a fill of a Raspberry Beer.

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We headed to Powell River the following day and stopped at Townsite Brewing.  I was here in the spring and enjoyed a flight. We picked up a fill of a Blackberry beer since Powell River was celebrating Blackberry Days Festival.

My wife and I enjoyed the brews we sampled and have some remaining to enjoy at home.

Campbell River

We had 48 hours in Campbell River.  So we made the most of it.  

My wife and I hit the Shelter Point Distillery at lunch and then off to the Beach Fire Brewing Company for some more samples.


My wife and I had a lovely afternoon together sampling booze.  We paused at the 50th Parallel for a short walk and enjoyed the scenery. We returned to my mother’s place for dinner with the family and then headed out again.


We goofed around with a selfie stick and the kids took pictures at the beach with their cameras.  We took my mother’s dog with us for a walk as well.  My family has stopped using her slave name Jodie and renamed her Snowball. (Rick and Morty fans would love this dog!) 


We checked out this year’s wood carvings.  It added a bit more silliness to our night.  Then we headed back to Gramma’s for some dessert and another sampling of Sunshine in a Barrel before calling it a night.


This morning we went down to the local beach near Gramma’s for an early morning stroll. Our oldest daughter grumbled and argued about going. In the end, we “forced her” to come along. We parked near the sea walk and her and I wandered out towards the water.  


There was a large rock that had an entire ecosystem living at the base. We saw sea stars, crabs, hermit crabs, a sea anemone, some eels and a sea slug. My daughter took some photos with her cellphone.

After an enjoyable walk, we went back to Gramma’s and I made breakfast. We were getting ready to pack up and head out to my sister’s place next when my sister called. My kids decided that we should invite Gramma to Auntie Nikki’s. More because they wanted her dog to show up.


We ventured forth to another ferry. And waited for almost two hours to catch this ferry.  We wanted to be early so we could wander the beaches nearby and our oldest could take better photos with a digital Canon Powershot S5 that we lent her.

All-in-all it was a good 48 hour visit to Campbell River. The family and I are all smiles going on these journeys. Our puppy was happy as well.

Busy Busy

Today's post is short. I've been rather busy picking up some of the chores my wife usually does. I don't usually do laundry, but today was an exception.

We both have certain things that we do to keep the household running smooth. We have a good understanding of the shared responsibilities. Tonight I also prepared a dinner for some friends coming over. We went to meet our friends up the road at the Krause Berry Farm for a glass of wine before coming to our home for some brisket and mashed potatoes.

The kids helped to take down and fold most of the laundry. They also helped make dinner and set the table for our guests. It is nice that our kids are helpful without any fights.

We ate dinner outside with our friends and… I forgot to take my underwear off the laundry line. So now our friends know my brand of underwear…

How To Throw A Good BBQ

Last night we went to a "Backyard Bash". There was a $15/person fee to enter and enjoy. And enjoy we did.


The main food attraction was a spit roasted pig! It smelled and tasted heavenly.

There was a live band echoing some fun and amazing cover tunes.

We played badminton (for fun this time, not like I mentioned in Bad Min Ton). My daughter and I then had a water fight and a few more people joined in.

There was a face painter and a guy who made balloon animals. My daughter learned how to make balloon dogs and is now contemplating a career in it…

Food and drinks and friends and family and music and fun. A perfect Saturday BBQ party. All proceeds going to Stepping Stone Community Services Society.

All-in-all it was a successful mid-summer BBQ.

Pudding Cups

For work I usually pack a lunch.  Mostly due to the fact that I like to save money.  But also because I don’t want to be eating McDonald’s at 3am four days a week.  

My lunches are usually pretty straightforward. My main meal is either a serving of leftovers or a sandwich. I try and have a piece of fruit and homemade cookies or banana bread.  I also take snacks that I steal from my children throughout the school year- such as granola bars. But the one thing that is a constant in my lunch is pudding.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t really like pudding. I have gone for weeks with the same pudding cup packed in my lunch.  I’m not saying I hate pudding- I just don’t tend to eat it.  I usually pack a good sized lunch that I can graze through during my shift. It’s almost as if pudding is the last option and I’m still starving after eating the rest of my lunch.  


Vanilla and butterscotch are my two most liked flavors.  They are simple and easy to enjoy.  Pretty hard for a company to screw up either of those flavors.  Honestly, even the flouride provided by my dentist has these flavors, not to mention it’s virtually the same texture as pudding.

I’ll eat chocolate or the occasional extreme flavor (like lemon meringue) pudding if it’s all that we have.  But I refuse, refuse, to eat tapioca.  It looks and smells gross, like the innards of a caterpillar that’s been squished and it’s guts came out of one end only. The texture of tapioca pudding reminds me of the after effects of waking up from suffering a head cold: The chunky boogers are mixing with the runny snot and you have no choice but to swallow it otherwise you wouldn’t be able to breath.

So ya, pudding cups stay in my lunch for quite a while. I’d rather take some yogurt.  I hear that shit’s good for you.

Grumpy Bums

Our two youngest children are attending some free summer school programs this month.  Essentially it’s a summer camp Monday-Friday as they learn about science and tech.  It’s as if the school board took all the fun stuff from elementary school and put it together for three weeks of fun. Our children are really enjoying it. That’s about the nicest thing that I can say about today.

This morning, I told my wife at the last minute that we were going to take our oldest daughter and the dog when we went to pick up the two youngest.  I said that I wanted to go for a picnic and we could pick up some KFC and find a park or some place.  That’s when the grumpiness kicked in.  


Our oldest daughter didn’t want to go.  She had slept in until 11am and barely wanted to get dressed.  My wife didn’t want to go without a better plan in motion.  She was also upset that we were behind schedule in leaving to get the children.  It’s not that we would be late to pick them up, just late to find good parking.  It didn’t help that on our way we got stopped by a train for an extra few minutes…


After we picked up the kids, we went to pick up KFC.  I thought it would be a nice treat: some greasy overpriced chicken.  It’s something we rarely eat, to a point that our 11 year old son says he’s never had it. We took our bucket of 12 pieces and a box of fries and hit the freeway.  Seriously.  There is no nice way of advertising a “Bucket of Chicken”. 


We got off the freeway a few minutes later to go to a small place called Barnston Island.  As we headed towards the tiny ferry, we got stopped by another train.  Sometimes my work follows me everywhere. The touching, pushing and nagging was in full force in the back seat. We made it to the ferry (aka tugboat and small barge) and crossed over to the little island in the middle of the Fraser River.  I drove us around to the other side, pulled over and we all got out and headed towards the edge where the water was.

No one wanted to carry anything.  Not the food, not the drinks, the blanket, not even the leash for the dog.  So my wife barked some orders out, and the grumpy noises occurred and they all took something.  We headed towards the rocks and found a little spot to eat lunch. 


Even though the weather was a bit grey, we sat and ate.  The meal was peaceful.  No fighting.  Except when my wife tried to use her new selfie stick to get a family shot.  No one was cooperating.  Even the dog was unimpressed. Shortly after eating, a few raindrops happened, so we packed up and got back into the Pathfinder.  It was a brief lunch. The bickering and touching occurred in the back seat once more where it had left off.

What I was hoping to be a nice surprise picnic lunch was less than stellar.  Last minute planning isn’t our thing as a family it seems.  I better plan the next “spontaneous event” at least two months in advance.

Nacho Break

This afternoon was the perfect day to share a plate of nachos with my family.  My children had never shared a plate of nachos before, so that’s exactly what we did. We went to the one place I remember always getting a large plate of nachos to share with friends- Boston Pizza.


We shared a plate of over priced and small portioned nachos from Boston Pizza.  Needless to say it was disappointing.  This has secured the fact that we will not be returning to any of the Boston Pizza franchises for food.  It also means that my children as they grow up, won’t want to go to Boston Pizza with their friends. One person tells five and they tell five, etc… 


With the fact that the food was over priced and not in large portions hurt my feelings.  It pissed me off because my wife and I remember mounds of toppings that even four grown adults would have trouble finishing them. In order to not be discouraged from nacho share-ablility, I am making it my goal for the rest of the year to find a perfect plate of nachos.  

It needs to pass three simple factors:

  1. Large portions
  2. Price
  3. Taste


None of the nachos are to be “specialty” nachos. Simple toppings of cheese, ground beef, peppers, onions, and tomatos.  Side of salsa and sour cream. No cheap nachos and watery cheese either.

Please comment on some of the great nacho places that you have enjoyed. I don’t want to lose faith in nachos.

Pants-Free Comfort at Home

I came home tonight after work and did a very “Dad” thing.  I took off my pants and just hung out in my underpants and dress shirt. It’s a liberating sensation to just drop the trousers and let your legs air out.


Usually I put some on lounge pants or shorts, but today I didn’t.  No reason really. I just didn’t want to.  Maybe I’m a bit lazy. Maybe I wanted some more freedom in my own home.


Butt, I’m happy not putting on pants this evening.  Sure, my wife and kids are embarrassed- only more for themselves, not me.  I’m not embarrassed.  It was mentioned though by everyone in the household that I should be wearing pants at the dinner table.

I’m not showing off anything totes inappropes, so who cares.  I know in the past, friends have seen me in far less clothing, or even naked, on occasion.  I’m not exactly a sex symbol to most folks.  However, I’m kind of ok with how I look. I’m not trying to impress anyone.

Don’t look!


So there you have it.  I did a stereotypical “Dad” thing this evening after a long day at work.  Now I’m going to bed.  

I plan on sleeping naked- just in case you needed that visual tonight. All in the name of comfort.

Breakfast for Dinner?

It’s a beautiful summer evening.  Tonight would be a perfect night to BBQ or order a pizza.  When I was younger, we had a fantastic home with an inground swimming pool.  My sister and I, along with friends, would swim all day long.  It was relaxing and fun.  The summer months flew by.


On a night like tonight, my parents wouldn’t bother making a dinner.  Instead we would have what my parents called a “cold plate”.  Essentially it was breads, cheeses and sliced deli meats all laid out to make our own sandwiches.  This is also where I discovered how much I love deviled eggs.  I also discovered that if you eat too many, you have an “oopsie” if you trust that fart. Even worse is when you’re a twelve year old boy that is sitting at a picnic table, still wearing the swim trunks, damp from swimming, and trust that fart.  Literally a wet fart.  I now limit myself to two deviled eggs, no matter how good they taste.


So tonight, I just want some enjoyable comfort food.  Something easy & tasty, and not too processed.  We don’t have any deli meats or artisan breads at the moment.  We did receive some country fresh eggs yesterday and we have a large smoked ham.  I was thinking of making deviled eggs, but would much rather enjoy them in another style.  Tonight it’s breakfast for dinner! I’m going to make everyone some sunny side up eggs and ham and toast.  Easy and delicious.  

And no “oopsies” planned… hopefully.

Saturday in the Countryside

I don’t know if I could ever give up this lifestyle.  I’m not talking lavish luxuries- we are halfway between being well off and dirt poor on the best of days- I’m talking about location, location, location. 


We live on the outskirts of a suburb in a little corner of the countryside, yet close enough to enjoy the local shops.  Today was a prime example of everything country that makes life wonderful. Except country music.  That’s not our thing.


The day began with me doing maintenance on the bikes that we own.  Just a bit of tightening brakes, oiling chains and straightening handles bars.  As I did this, an older lady in a diesel truck pulled up into our driveway where I was working.  I traded with her a bunch of empty egg cartons and she gave me some farm fresh eggs that she had gotten in the morning from one of her hens. Nothing beats farm fresh eggs- perfect for a ham and egg breakfast.


I finished the work on the bicycles, packed up my tools, then began smoking a brisket for our dinner.  Our oldest has been keeping an eye on the temperature to make sure is does a slow smoke.  She has taken up wood burning as a hobby. While she stayed home to practice her new found art, we had her watch after our dinner. My wife and I took our two youngest on a bike ride up the road to the local berry farm. A few years back, the Krause Berry Farm did a major overhaul and added a bakery, a dessert shoppe and a winery.  My wife and I enjoyed a couple of cold Wine-a-Ritas before cycling back home with the kids.

It was under fifteen minutes to ride home as a family.  On our way, we passed some other families on bikes enjoying the afternoon, some horses grazing in a field, and a guy on a tractor heading down the road.  With the exception of the horses, everyone waved and smiled.  It’s very surreal to have such friendliness shared amongst strangers.  But that’s the country lifestyle.  A lifestyle I’m not ready to give up on. A lifestyle I never knew I wanted.