Sunday, September 30, 2007

Apricot Wheat Ale

Apricot Wheat Ale
Originally uploaded by iTripped
I remember seeing this apricot flavoured beer by St. Ambrose earlier this summer, but wasn't adventurous enough to actually try some. Well after a trip to Germany and then another to the US, I felt it was time to give it a chance.

Boy, I'm glad I did. This stuff is yum!

First things first: this still tastes like beer. Sure, it has a slight aftertaste of apricot, but no more than Granville Island's Maple Ale has a maple aftertaste. But where the apricot flavour is strongest is definitely in the aroma. To smell this beer is an odd sensation as it doesn't really smell like beer at all.

Still, the verdict is the same: I will be sampling more of this beer in the future.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This has got to stop

Every day for the past 4 days I have either bit my tongue or bit the inside of my mouth. For the last 3 days, it has been in the same place, so it's starting to really hurt. Of course, now that it has swollen up, it's even easier to bite now too.

Don't worry, intrepid blog readers. I decided to not photograph my pain.

On a side note, we had our second French class last night. The required text book was about 40% off which was a nice surprise. We each had to bring in 'something French' to talk about in group discussion. While in theory this sounded like a great idea, in practice it went less smoothly, mostly because this is only the second class we have had and most of what we have learned so far involves adverbs and not adjectives. So anyway, I brought in a bottle of Dijon mustard (thanks to my wife for even remembering we had it, saving me a frantic last minute trip to find something) and the best I could come up with was reading the paragraph on the label. Or saying I eat mustard with bread. Sigh. The book has a CD with more language lessons so hopefully that combined with the class time will help.

My personal goal: to retain more French than I did with German. My personal confession: I never really tried hard to learn German. My admission: the bar to success on my goal is set very low here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yarr, mateys!

It be Talk like a Pirate day! All you scurvey dogs need to be in pirate regalia of some sort, and silliness should rule the day. One of the guys on my team in the office happens to be a true descendant of an official pirate, so we have an air of authenticity. It also helps that he looks like a pirate on a normal day too.

But here we have me (the one with slightly less fake facial hair) and the Dread Pirate Gandhi posing for the camera. It is a well known fact that all pirates love to ham it up for the camera. We were no exception

Le bien, le mal et villain

My wife and I started an Intro to French course last night. It's basically conversational French, which is good since neither of us knows much about it at all. The instructor teaching the course is a man with a sense of humor, which definitely helps with keeping my attention. In fact, he is the one who came up with the title for today's blog post as he was introducing words and noticed he already had good and bad listed and added ugly to capture the common phrase.

However, one of the things I am noticing is that I have to stop trying to appear as a know-it-all, especially when clearly I know-it-not-at-all. I was acting this way toward my wife more than a few times last night.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tomatoes from the Farmer's Market

Yes, those are ALL tomatoes in this picture. The farmer's market had some special treats for us last weekend and we were quick to sample as many as we dared.

They taste fantastic. Really.

I am not one who is normally excited about tomatoes, but the variety, colour and differences between these ones definitely made it a fun experience. We got a lot of other tasty treats there too, including some multi-coloured mushrooms and as usual, Louise got lots of attention from strangers. So overall, a good morning.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

From Bells to Statues

You just know I couldn't see the Liberty Bell without also taking some time out to see the Statue of Liberty. So that is just what we did. After a day's rest, we headed into New York City for a brief drive by some of the more notable sights.

Actually, that's not how it went at all. We already had to go to New Jersey for some other business, so we figured that since we would already be that close, we might as well drive through the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan. Along the way we stopped at Liberty Park to catch a view of the Statue of Liberty. We got to see her from behind.

The Empire State building is a very tall building indeed. Rather than show you the traditional view from a distance, I thought I would show what the ESB looks like from street level. Speaking of street level, I also got a typical view of traffic on Manhattan streets. Note all the taxis. It did not take long to realize why traffic is so heavy in Manhattan - everybody is funneled into just a few lanes to cross the river either by tunnel or by bridge to get in or out of Manhattan. Our choice was to use Holland Tunnel, which was much brighter than the tunnels I am used to driving through in BC.

Overall, it was a fun day trip. We got out and walked around in Greenwich Village, which was nice. We saw the 'brownstones' and some fun shopping areas. After that, we drove across the Brooklyn Bridge so that we could visit Coney Island. But that will be another post on it's own as this one is getting too long already.

Bad picture of Liberty Bell

Bad picture of Liberty Bell
Originally uploaded by iTripped
While visiting family in the US, we managed to take some time to tour some of the American landmarks. One of the days had us drive into Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell, among other sights.

The security put in place around such landmarks is starting to feel like an airport in a second world country. You still get searched, but it is manpower driven instead of machine driven. Four guards sit at a table, and you pass them your bags so they can search them (for pocket knives, forks, laundry detergent or anything else that can be considered a weapon of terrorism.)

Moving on from there, we got directions on how to get to Sonny's - a restaurant that was recommended to us by several of the locals for their Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. We arrive in this empty little take-out styled sandwich stop, order our sandwiches, endure the expected bad service (not just poor service) and ate our food. Good news: none of us suffered from food poisoning, so I guess I can see why the locals still recommend the place.