Why yes, I do want to live in a tree house.

Specifically, this treehouse, perched on the rocks of Passage Island.  This amazing place is just a 5 minute water-taxi from Fisherman’s Cove, West Vancouver.  It’s listed  for $399,000 – why does that seem like such a deal?

100% self-sufficient…solar panels….generators… views to kill for…

How good would a latte and a book be in this very spot?

Grey clouds have dropped like a gauze over the city today. It’s reading weather.  I am a chapter into Anne Michaels‘ newest book, The Winter Vault. It’s only the second novel she’s ever written – her first being the famed story of Jakob Beer in Fugitive Pieces (oh how I loved Michaela). Most interesting so far has been the history surrounding the St. Lawerence River and the construction of the seaway as it swallowed whole towns. If you don’t like aching, poetic language, this is probably not the book for you.  I just happen to love what tortures others.

Thought: homes should be designed to inspire reading. What does that mean? Full of places that invite you to linger.  

Admission: I watched Marley and Me last night and cried like a baby. If you don’t have a dog, you might not get it.

Bon Weekend!

No one wants to see pictures of snow (Lost Lake Trail and other things you’ll need to know about Whistler)

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When it’s all sun and cherry blossoms in Vancouver, it’s hard to imagine that a short 1.5 hour drive away you could be faced with snow – and lots of it. All over the trail and in your way while you’re trying to be active so you can justify drinking more champagne.  That’s why in the pictures below we look terribly under-dressed for such arctic conditions, just so you know.

On Friday, we decided to head up to Whistler and walk the Lost Lake loop trail with Whiskey. We packed the following essential hiking supplies, none of which are available at MEC:

  • Tim Horton’s water – check
  • Unfinished squares of Mink’s PB & hint of J chocolate bar – check
  • Begging Strips for Whiskey – check
  • Half a bottle of champagne  – check

Luckily, despite the lake’s frosty appearance, it was really quite mild out. Even luckier, our trained eyes spotted the perfect opportunity to chill our champagne with a quick burial in the parking lot snow drift. Here are instructions for a lovely day and night in case you find yourself in a similarly distressing situation:

wolf blass burial

First, dig a hole.

Burying champagne in the snow

Second, place the champagne in the hole (bury it a little so other hikers don’t find it before you get back).

the border collie cross

Warning: your dog will look highly unamused at being delayed.

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Once the champagne is secured in its bed of ice, commence hiking.

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If the road looks treacherous, take some time to ponder your options.

Grandfather's Beard

We suggest finding some grandfather’s beard in order to look more ponderous than usual.

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Whatever you do, do not fall into the ice. It is, afterall, called Lost Lake for a reason. Chances are no one will find you.

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Rest often.

When you finish the 5km loop, drink the champagne.  Don’t be afraid to pretend you hiked farther than you did. The champagne will taste better the farther you say you hiked.

Next, get a walk-in rate ($159/night; dog bed included) at the Whistler Hilton.  

Do not eat soup at the Mix at the Ric’s. Even if you are really, really poor and think soup will save you money, get the burger. Trust me.  

Finally, re-live your respective  pre-wedding parties like it’s 1999 at Buffalo Bills

Eat breakfast here if you care about things like bacon and hashbrown (and you should!).

Then, return home along the confusing new sea-to-sky (it’s so disorienting not to see the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal anymore) without ever once mentioning to your wife/girlfriend/buddy that she/he sleeps with their mouth open like a stoned caveman.

Bon Weekend

 

I love when people email me to say they’re going to try one of the many champagnes we’ve dutifully tested here (ha!).

Just before the long weekend, I received a note from Kristin of BonBon Rose telling me she was off to pick up a bottle of Wolf Blass for her and her hubby! I was so excited we bought another one ourselves. It ended  up here:

Burying Champagne in the snow 

More on that later…

Kristin, along with her friend Megan, write on the heels of fashion deals, home design and the modern mama from their respective homes in Tampa, Florida and Washington D.C. They were kind enough to write a little post mentioning Champagne Wednesdays – not to mention sharing this great deal. Stop by and say hi!

Les Iles D’or

The only thing I could possibly love more than champagne is a long weekend. Throw in a fourth day and now we are talking! Ash and I decided to step a day ahead (since today is  untechnically Friday) and start celebrating Champagne Wednesday on Tuesday. Then when Wednesday came around, we couldn’t leave it unmarked -so a second CW was observed all in one short week. No wonder I’ve had little time to blog.

I am excited to share with you the deliciously-dewy Australian substance that carried us through: Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut.

Dry, crisp, good length, undertones of apple…all the things one would say about a perfectly ingestible sparkler for $16 dollars (or $14.99 if you can make it to an actual liqour store – we tend to be of the convenient beer-and-wine variety).

The painting above is by Henri Edmond Cross, titles Les Iles D’or. We bought a print of it from the Musee D’orsay and I am hoping to get it framed soon. The only trouble is I can’t decide how to frame it? Any thoughts?  

Enjoy your days of freedom.

Jen

We pledge allegiance to the…

The Fallafel, of course. Yum (thanks for the reminder, Dorie).

In the spirit of cheap eats, we will seek one out this weekend and on Sunday, we’ll be visiting the new Vancouver Convention Centre for a free tour. They’re hosting events over the weekend between 10am and 4pm with highlights including a six-acre grass and wildflower roof.  Photos shall be taken for your viewing pleasure.  

What’s your plan?

Also momumental this weekend: tonight, a visist with the Sambrooks and their new baby boy, Evan. And April 5th, my parents 30th wedding anniversary!

Have a great weekend.

Crazy Tuesdays

Jennifer & Ashleah's Mexican Honeymoon

Celebrated Champagne Wedesday a bit early last night with Rich and Erin at Zefferelli’s and then Le Crocodile for dessert (both the solid and liquid varieties). My creme brule was a bit disappointing, especially from one of Vancouver’s most famous French restaurants, but the champagne was perfect, crisp and sparkling. We had a good laugh with – or at – our Frenchy waiter too, who was kind despite our dessert-only dining. As for Zefferelli’s, Ash and I have been there a number of times and I just plain like it. On all levels, it’s a comfortable place to dine. $25 bottles of Tollo wine. Generous and reliable pasta (not mouth-watering but wholly satisying). Antipasto bar. Windows overlooking Robson Street. Pleasant waitstaff over the age of 18.

I like when we make the most of a Tuesday. It adds a little speed to the week. Plus, we all got to reminsice about our recent trips to Mexico.

Jennifer & Ashleah's Mexican Honeymoon

Ahhhh, Mexico.  Ahhh, honeymoons.

Erin – I hope your neck feels better soon!

Adventure Saturday: Fort Langley, BC

One year and 200 posts later, I celebrate my blog’s anniversary with a return to antiquing. You might recall last March when I came home with this champagne bucket from Mission. That seven dollar bucket still brings me great joy. It’s funny how far small wins can take us. I am glad I stuck with blogging – otherwise I wouldn’t have this circle to complete  and a few wonderful readers to complete it with. I really appreciate everyone who’s stopped by Champagne Wednesdays and I’ve especially loved when you’ve left your comments. I’m pretty certain a few bottles of bubbly have been cracked as a result- and that is the ultimate reward.

This March, we headed to Fort Langely, in part to peruse the Antique Mall, in part to go to the Fort Langely pub, and in part to try and ride the Albion Ferry before it closes forever this July. Here is what most Vancouverites know about the Albion Ferry: 7 to 10 sailing waits. You hear it everyday on the radio and it makes you really, really happy you don’t live outside of the Vancouver-core – at least that has been my experience.

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Unfortunately, Fort Langely was very rainy and very cold. So we cut short all the hustle and bustle of Fort-life, skipped the obligatory gelato, reminsced quickly about the days of yore and headed fairly directly to the pub. But even in our rush to be seated fireside with beer, we saw a few gems that are worth returning to on sunnier days:

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1) Coast Perrenials – a pretty little garden shop with every variety of well-marked herb you can think of at growers’ prices. Next to the hardware store.

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2) Summer house: a charming, weathered atilier with modern fashion and bohemian antiques. Perfect for finding the quintessential white summer dress.

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3) Admittedly hard-to-spot through a jungle of trinket-hell, a few fine antiques at good prices. This Medalta stone pot was a steal for $92.

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5) A little puppy love along the Fort to Fort trail linking Fort Langely to Derby Beach Regional Park. It’s not the prettiest trail but you can walk forever along a riverside path with no cars. What more can a dog-owner ask?      

6) And finally, the pub itself.  A pint of Rickard’s Red and a colourful meat draw between 1pm and 2pm. It’ll have you singing, I’ve been working on the railroad before you know it. I would stick to your standard beef dip, burger, french fries fare. I saw a shrimp melt. It wasn’t pretty.

Oh yeah…and there were hats!

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PS: We did not ride the Albion Ferry afterall. There was a long line-up.

Noted in the margins

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Perfect spot for blog strategizing with beer: Post Restaurant & Lounge, Seattle.

Patricia Gray, I am so glad you are from Vancouver. I am also glad you told me about these.  Spring picnics anyone?

And this snippet, from the poem Marginalia by Billy Collins and found on the blog Wide Open Spaces. It made laugh heartedly:

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written “Man vs. Nature”
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

Good Husband – check.

Climbing on Santorini 

I am one of those lucky women who can say they married well. Very well.  Look how he saved me from falling over this steep and unruly cliff. 

Ok, maybe he didn’t save my life, but he made my life. Even better.

Today’s proof: a smorgasaboard of muffins delivered to my office (in-person) from Fratelli Bakery – the centre of all things good, Italian and buttery on Commercial Drive.

Thank you, love.

J