Tofino: An overview/budget review

I have only amassed about three weeks of travel in the past two and a half years. I know it’s a lot, and I know how lucky I am for that. But damn, for someone who’s used to spending 3-4 months of the year abroad it’s hard. So, Adam and I decided a long weekend away was in order. We were going to go to the states, but I’m kind of dodged out by the US because Canadian/American exchange rate is, for lack of a better word, complete and utter shit; also, I’m not too fond of who the people put in power. The combo made it a pretty easy choice to stay in Canada. We didn’t want to fly anywhere, so we thought Vancouver Island would be perfect. With my luxurious family weekend in Tigh-Na-Mara still fresh in my mind, my first thought was spa. Then we looked up the prices for spas. We ended up deciding on Tofino because I hadn’t been out that way since I was about eight, and it has some amazing, super British Columbia-y stuff going for it. Think lush rain-forests and tsunami evacuation signs.

Heralded by everyone telling us Tofino is beautiful but, “oh! It’s so expensive there!” we decided to go for it. I truly believe there always a way to see a place regardless of budget. The problem with this trip was that we only had a weekend. The slower you travel, the cheaper you travel. But alas, we both have steady jobs, so what can you do.

Tofino is pretty easy to get to from Vancouver. You could go this weekend on a greyhound for about $100. We opted to take my Mom’s car because, well, she loaned it to us and Adam likes to drive.

It quickly became a game of me sending pictures like that to her and alerting her to all the fun her car is having without her.

We started our journey from my house in the suburbs and drove to the ferries. If you’re driving the quickest way is hands down Horseshoe Bay- Nanaimo. We made it on to the 8:30 a.m crossing and since it wasn’t a long weekend, our Friday morning was nice and cruisey. BC ferries is… well, it’s the only option so I’m not going to critique it too much. You pay about $18 for each passenger, and an extra $55 for the car.

After we got off the ferry we followed the signs. We did make some stop though….

This is Little Qualicum Falls. They have an upper and a lower route. Because my body is still messed up, we did the lower route. It took about twenty minutes and was a nice little detour.

All in all, there are a lot of amazing things about the off season. It’s cheaper, less crowded… but a lot of stuff we stopped for was closed until March. Most notably Coombs market, which has always been one of my favourite places on the Island.

One thing that wasn’t closed? ….actually it’s only open Saturdays but she sold us cheese anyway… Was Coleman Meadows Farm! We stopped there because we saw a buffalo dairy sign and I’m obsessed with buffalo mozzarella, which ended up being our dinner that night.

Also, water buffalo are super cute. After we pet the dog and checked out the chickens, we headed on.

Continue reading “Tofino: An overview/budget review”

Tofino: An overview/budget review

George Washington’s Eggnog

A long, long time ago I saw a recipe in Mental Floss for eggnog. George Washington eggnog. Super boozey eggnog.

What more do you need?

This year I decided to finally take the plunge and make some of my own. I don’t have any pictures- didn’t get a camera for Christmas, but is eggnog really that photogenic anyway?

No. It looks like eggnog.

Delicious Eggnog.

After some googling, I got the recipe from the Farmers Almanac website:

“One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.”

One problem: it doesn’t say how many eggs. I found a lot more recipes that all claim it’s a dozen. I halved it. While my family enjoys a glass of eggnog, most don’t have the nog love that I do.

Seriously, I love this stuff.

So, it was easy enough to make. I made it on the 20th with the intent to serve it on my family’s yearly drinkdwist: Christmas Eve.

After putting it all together I gave it a little taste and I was worried. It was all booze. Not that I minded, but I didn’t intend to drink this entire batch.

Well, I knew I couldn’t drink the entire batch. Whatever.

I used this as an opportunity to clear out the liquor cabinet. I used a sherry that may or may not be older than me- I think we most likely brought it home when we lived in Spain. When I was born, so…. I used Canadian Club 12 year for the rye, St. Remy for the brandy – it was between that and what I think is a Slovenian brandy. I’m guessing Slovenian? This is a really weird booze cabinet. And, finally, for the rum I used Havana Club 7 year. I know it’s bad to use a nice rum, but it’s what I had, and we have tons of it from trips to Cuba.

Now, I did some spoonfuls because, well, I follow recipes. I got progressively less worried the more it sat. Christmas Eve came, and it was a HIT. And not just because everyone was tipsy enough to sing after like, half a glass.

Though that helps!

I came home from work and had the first sip of this amazing drink… just, perfection. I’m having a glass as I write this in the interest of research.

Yeah, research.

Whatever, it’s Christmas day.

So, the first thing that hits ya is the booze. It definitely has that, “oh hey, there’s a lot of alcohol in here” feel, but the burn subsides super quickly when the eggnog goodness hits.

This stuff is, quite literally, indescribably good. If you’ve never made your own eggnog, now is the time. It’s still Christmas until January 12th, so get your ‘nog on.

As for me, I’ll be posting a bit of a Christmas haul (because I’m one of those girls…) as well as reviews for some awesome gifts- Dior brushes!!! I also bought a Beauty Blender, and I’m signing up for a bunch of subscription services- one that I’m all ready to go with, I just need photos! My bestie Alex and I also have a fun idea… and a trip might be in the works!  So, keeeeeep reading 🙂

Happy (boozey, eggnoggy) Holidays Everyone!

George Washington’s Eggnog

SandyDrank, SandyPrettied: It was a night

Hello All!

When a friend shows up with wine, well, that’s a friend worth keeping.

This weekend was… boring. So. Much. Schoolwork.

I figured out I can do an event management certificate that earns me credits for my degrees, so there was a ton of phone time for school, and I worked. Also, the mother wanted to put up Christmas decorations (that SandyDrank post is to come because the wine I got is WOW!), and we have to get something for the father. Adam also sent me a gorgeous package with something that was on the customs form as a necklace, but I don’t know details. Saturday night would’ve been great for so many alcohol review possibilities, but alas, everything tasted good that night- whoops.

The point of tonight is a sort of review of the amazingness that is Villa Teresa wine, and part just an update.

Tonight I had the pinot grigio, but my main Villa Teresa experience is with the prosecco, which is amazing. It’s a prosecco that’s not to dry, not to sweet. Just like the pinot grigio. If you have a mix of sweet and dry lovers, these are amaze, and ORGANIC! WHOO!

So, super informal tonight, but I have some nail polish, hair dye, some (real) wine, some beer, jeans, and a pants diy that will change your life.  Also, subscription services.

And more wine. Because wine.

SandyDrank, SandyPrettied: It was a night

SandyDrank: Phillips Polaris Milk Stout

Well, I am drinking.

I had an awesome milk stout from Denmark a few weeks back, so when I saw this offering from Phillips, I knew I had to give it a shot. I’m a big fan of the blue buck, so I was on board for something new.  In general, I love a good BC beer.

Let’s get something straight, I have no idea how to properly talk about beer. This will not be formal.

polaris milk stout

So, obviously I first read the bottle. I’m a big believer in reading bottles. Then I headed to the website. They have photos.

What I thought…

You can definitely taste the chocolate and coffee notes- not something I got in the other milk stout (This is a low sample pool and probably a bad way to start a blog.) Like I said, I suck about talking about beer. I tend to judge beer as either is it good, or is it not. This is good. It’s a light stout, and I’m very much behind the smoothness.

I want to drink lots of this, but I also want to put it in cake and cookies. Specifically this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Both with and without the chocolate.

If you want a really intense review, I recommend rDev’s comment on beer advocate. 

All in all, drink this. I’m going in for the second glass. 🙂

SandyDrank: Phillips Polaris Milk Stout