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Published: March 6th 2015
CANADA COCKTAIL CULTURE...Pt 1...Vancouver.
Canadians must be the politest folk on the planet.
So polite they offer a shot on meeting...another 'cause it seems like a good idea...another one for the road...and maybe ones between.
At each stage "Sir" or "Mister"...Gotta be the politest folks on the planet.
But I digress...explanation later.
We arrived in Vancouver after 30 hours of travel from Sydney airport. Replaced plane, missed connecting flight in LA, eventually arrive in Vancouver at 11.45pm.
Message from our AirBnB...prepared to wait up until we arrive.
Arrive in Gastown...magnificent Georgian apartment block surrounded by highrise...greeted by Michael and the biggest dog I have ever seen...a 100kg British Mastiff, Hugo.
Michael had been the Art & Music reporter for many of Canada's daily newspapers for many years...connoisseur of classical music and poetry. Apartment full of books, fine paintings, antiques, rugs and collectibles. Our bed of feather mattress with a picture of the coronation of Queen Victoria looking down.
Michael pours an Irish whiskey for me and Scotch whiskeys for Den & he...chatting...great host...2.30am calling it a night.
We have arrived. Welcome to Canada.
Our North & South American tour has
It is Winter solstice today...the snow at the summit of Grouse Mountain glistening white.
The Gospel Choir of Vancouver singing Christmas cheer...double hot chocolates...views down the gondola into the golden bay...fingers of God cutting through the clouds onto the ships down there...striations of yellow light like a pergola canvas.
Reindeer and skaters around Santa's house...sign leading to the North Pole...kids in furs around the fire...elves with Denise...sunset at 4:15pm...where are we now?
So at 5pm we head down the mountain.
Our son Simon from Toronto has booked us into a bar called Uvo for 8pm...a haunt from his time here during the Winter Olympics...within walking distance from our digs.
Lily is expecting us...reserved table by the window...Simon is friends with Lauren the manager who is away in "the interior" on business...feeling we are VIPs...Lily & Olivia will look after us tonight.
Welcome drink...Freddie's Crusta for me...Per Diem for Denise...heading into orbit already.
Degustation delights...Denise in heaven.
Another cocktail or two and I'm chatting to the folks at the next table...blues music fans. Now I'm in heaven.
Kate's parents met at a
Taj Mahal concert!
David fresh off a North Dakota oil rig raving about Colin James and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Then they introduce me to Eliza...an Aussie from Perth with gorgeous eyes and a funky hat...looking forward to her first cocktail comp next week.
So I tell her about our son Simon...recently won the Canadian national cocktail comp and just back from Barbados as a prize from another comp.
"Barbados" she says. "I've got a friend who has just come back from Barbados...I wonder if he knows Simon."
It's a small world we often say. Here's the proof.
Eliza is back...and she's excited.
"I've just spoken to Jez. He's best mates with Simon. They were in Barbados together. Jez represented Vancouver and Simon represented Toronto. He's invited us all over to his bar!"
Kinda felt bad leaving the delights of Uvo...but everyone was excited...another cocktailer Daniel also joining us...into two taxis...whisked away into the night.
Sorta felt like I was in my twenties again. These guys treating us like members of their gang. Yep...I feel like I'm in my twenties again!
Keefer Bar was pumping...narrow room...funky guys
behind the bar twirling this and that...speeding in overdrive but not missing a beat...table for two for us six...searching for Jez.
Seven shot glasses laid in front...pouring to full...a guy with a big smile and a funky hat hugging us.
"Hi I'm Jez. Salut. Welcome to Keefer...you are my guests tonight."
Still makes me smile as I think about it.
We were introduced to nearly everyone.
So many funky people...so many smiling faces...so many adopting us as their substitute parents as they were missing their families at Christmas time.
Canadians must be the politest folks on the planet.
Got us absolutely hammered...all gratis...yep...Canadians are the politest folks on the planet!!!
What a great few days we had in Vancouver. What a beautiful harbour city.
With Michael & Hugo in Georgian opulence...with the cocktail crowd in funky bars.
Now we are warmed up...can hardly wait to see Simon and his bar in Toronto that is winning awards.
Another shot for the road.
I think we are ready.
Coming ready or not.
Relax & Enjoy,
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