November 12, 2008

C, eh, N, eh, D, eh

Greetings from the USA. Those fools at border patrol let Half Pint and I back into the country despite not having our passports. Um, next time I'll know I need my passport even when driving, and so will she.

So truth be told, I only booked an event in Vancouver, BC to say I did an "international" book tour. CANADA is officially a foreign country, eh. So we used the trip wisely to explore the city I call the San Francisco of Canada, which was Half Pint's first time in the Great White North. We rode the Sky Train, which is essentially a monorail that works. We drove around Stanley Park, where I had a 100% touristy lunch of a burger (with Alberta beef) with Canadian back bacon, poutine (if you like cheese fries, you'll loooove fries with cheese curds and gravy) and washed it down with a Molson Canadian. Molson IS Canada's oldest brewery, afterall, though this beer tastes no better than Coors, which they own. Oh, and for dessert: maple nut ice cream. Mmmapley.

The event was in the Shebeen Whisk(e)y Room behind the Irish Heather, a BC gastropub in the Gastown district. Because the back of the book says I can, I charged $17 Canadian instead of $15 American, which meant my books sold that night covered our entire beer and food bill. What was on that tab? A pint of the Nut Brown ale from Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish, BC (who also makes the Father John X-mas ale in liter bottles, which I'll be bootlegging back home) a bottle of Black Cat black lager and the BĂȘte Noire (oatmeal) stout, both from an awesome brewery located in an even awesomer place, Paddock Wood Brewing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and a Belgian-style Wit Beer from the Mill St. Brewery in Toronto, which I liked but found a bit heavy on the orange peel. I know my party--including my friend Canadian Dave and his friend Boris--shared a bottle of Crooked Tooth pumpkin ale from another local brewery, Phillips, which Boris graciously put on his tab. If I had another beer, I don't recall, because, this being primarily a whiskey bar, Randy the bartender poured me something that resembled Laphraig, my favorite single-malt scotch from the Islay region. I love those scotches that I describe as tasting like a bonfire in a peat bog. Incidentally, whereas Half Pint opted for the Belgian frites and muscles, I had the house pot pie, which was steak and Guinness! Bon jour and bon appetite!

To complete our Canadian experience, we bought complimentary toques the next morning, which, had we been wearing them when we attempted to cross the border, would have truly foiled our plans to convince border patrol that we were not Canadian or any form of illegal immigrants, but good ol' Americans who stand for the Red, White, and Brew.

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