Busy week

I mean, they’re pretty much ALL busy at this point because of work, but this one was busy because of extra-curriculars.

On Sunday Nellie and I joined a bunch of people in a private suite at the Rogers Cup women’s tennis finals. I had really hoped to watch Serena Williams dismantle someone, but she had lost a day earlier in an upset to Belinda Bencic. Still, we weren’t going to turn down the chance to sit in a suite and watch world-class tennis, so we took an extravagantly-priced uberSelect up to York University and drank cold Pilsner Urquell in the shade. In the end, Bencic won the tournament while I was in the bathroom; her opponent, Simona Halep, conceded due to injury while I was peeing some Urquell. Boo-urns.

On Monday I met some vendors for a late dinner at The Chase, since they seemed particularly interested in seafood. I have no great love for fish myself, but it was about the visitors to Toronto, not to me. I’d underestimated the place though — the food was outstanding, and our server was terrific. I had a few glasses of Vouvray, an octopus + chorizo starter, one half of the parmesan-crusted halibut for two, part of our bottle of Norm Hardie chardonnay, and a forkful of each of the three desserts our server brought: chocolate, lime, and strawberry/rhubarb.

The next night I had a meeting at Beerbistro (hey, I didn’t pick it…it’s next to this guy’s office) where I bumped into the same gentlemen from the previous evening. I’d mentioned it to them, and they decided to conduct all their meetings that day from the bar. I stayed for two, then walked around the corner for an impromptu drink meeting back at The Chase. Well…the Fish & Oyster bar downstairs.

On Thursday, after a quick dinner at Monk’s Table we walked to Boxcar Social for — and I swear I didn’t just dream this — a bourbon and chocolate tasting. Arranged by Tipsy Teachers, with bourbon selected by @BourbonThing and chocolate made by Chocosol, we tried (after a little chilled drinking chocolate) four squares of chocolate paired with four bourbons:

  • 75% cacao “Darkness” chocolate + Basil Hayden’s
  • 82% chocolate with raw vanilla + Elijah Craig 12
  • 5-chili bullet chocolate + Maker’s Mark 46
  • Raw-coffee bean chocolate + Four Roses single barrel

I learned last night why I like bourbons such as Four Roses (even this one, a 100-proof) and Basil Hayden’s: they have a much higher percentage of rye. So there you go: delicious, AND I learned something.

Nellie went camping on Friday, and so I, mercifully, did absolutely nothing.

"I don't dance with naked soldiers."

Though Thursday and Friday were supposed to be a short vacation, we actually used them as get-shit-done days. Here’s what we’ve managed so far, the major points anyway:

  • Got my driver’s license and health card renewed in what must surely be the most efficient government-related service experience ever. Ten minutes after entering the Service Ontario office at Bay & College I’d completed both renewals and was on my way home. I was actually a little shocked, and left wondering if I’d done something wrong.
  • Watched all four Wimbledon semi-final matches, or at least parts of them.
  • Went to the distillery district with Nellie (who left work at noon) in search of a hopside down glass (since I broke one) but to no avail. We had a bite to eat and a couple of cold ones at the Mill Street brew pub, and managed to get home without being rained on.
  • Went for a run. Good one too.
  • Watched Passchendaele (imdb | rotten tomatoes), which I had really hoped would be good, but it wasn’t. At all. It could have been, but when a movie called Passchendaele spends the majority of its time in Calgary it wastes whatever potential it has.
  • Walked along the waterfront, checked out the new wave deck at the foot of Simcoe, despaired at the putrid wasteland that Queens Quay becomes east of Yonge.
  • Visited the LCBO to pick up some wine for tonight (simple, tasty Cab Sauv from J. Lohr) and a few bottles of the Innis & Gunn Canadian Cask, as recommended on the always-helpful Great Canadian Pubs & Beer blog.
  • Bought a new camera bag for the SX10 at Henry’s.
  • Finished off (more or less) some rearranging we started last weekend. Lots more room now, junk recycled, shelves put up. Time to finally hang that diploma I got last fall.
  • Picked up the new bench for our balcony at Andrew Richard Designs.

Now we’re getting ready to grill some Rowe Farms steaks, maybe watch a movie. It actually feels more like Sunday than Friday…I have to keep reminding myself that we have two more days off!