On August 12, 1979 (a Sunday), at 6:03 am, a wonderful thing happened – I was brought into this world 🙂 As my mom likes to say, just in time for breakfast. She also threatens to call me at that time every time a birthday comes around. Fortunately, she waited until after 8 am for the obligatory Happy Birthday phone call.
I have had one jam packed, fun filled, exhausting birthday. Isn’t that how all birthdays should be?
I started my morning out with a decadent breakfast.
I made a fancy bowl of birthday oats:
- 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water
- 1/3 block Mori-Nu Silken Firm tofu
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3/4 banana, frozen
- splash of Mailbu 😉
- 1 tbsp flax seed
- marshmallow creme
- chocolate chips
- edible gold dust (!)
Hey, of you can’t break out the gold dust on your birthday, well, I don’t know when else you can.
I also made a fancy hot chocolate, using the last of my milk, my Ecuadorian hot chocolate, and a wee bit of Caramel Baileys.
It all seemed like a good idea…but I couldn’t finish it. Yes, I made myself a breakfast even too decadent for me. I actually didn’t think that was possible, but it happened. I managed most of it, but had to toss a few spoonfuls of the oats, and 1/3 of the hot chocolate.
While we waited for our reservation time, we wandered up the bungee jump bridge to take in the views. Alas, no one was jumping at the time.
Finally it was time to get suited up in our harnesses. Talk about comfortable. If by comfortable, I mean the opposite of that.
We had to go through a mini training course, to learn the rules and get used to the types of tree courses we would face high up in the tree tops.
That first photo shows you the kid’s course. The regular courses are waaaaay up there. I believe the highest platforms are around 70 ft up in the trees. There are a variety of obstacles, some much harder than others, and a bunch of short zip lines that were super fun. You go through the course pretty independently, with guides wandering around below to help out if you have problems, and to ensure you are adhering to the course rules.
I tried carrying my camera with me to get some shots, but it was a pain, so I had to pass it off to my friend, as he had zippered pockets in his pants. It was really fun, and a total upper body work out. My biceps have been letting me know how they feel about it all day. I’m also sporting some sweet bruises on my legs and arms. It took us about 2 hours to go through the course, which was longer than it should have. There were a couple of younger kids on the course in front of us that were having some problems hooking & unhooking their safety lines, and didn’t have an adult with them doing the course, just below taking pictures. Couple that with our longer than expected drive up island due to an accident on the highway, and you had a couple of starving people – it was 2 pm when we finished! Good thing I packed a snack.
A ProBar Sesame Goji food bar. This thing was a brick! I nibbled on about 1/3 of it on the drive back down to Victoria, so I didn’t try and eat my arm off. I didn’t want to overdo it though, as we had a great lunch out (er, dinner by the time we actually ate) planned once back in the city.
We headed out to one of the best patios in the city, at the Canoe Brewpub.
How can you not enjoy a dining location like that?
Especially when you have a refreshing drink in hand.
I ordered the Bloody Caesar – clamato juice, vodka, fresh lime, horseradish, and spices. Garnished with an olive, pickled onion (love!), and little pepper.
I think Caesars are a Canadian thing – seems the Bloody Mary is more popular in the US? I could be wrong though. I’m all about the Clamato juice – clam & tomato juice? Mmmm. There was definitely a repeat of this baby as we dined in the sunshine.
Guess what I ordered.
Did you guess right?
I couldn’t pass up the Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese – parmesan, provolone, mozzarella & aged Balderson cheddar, fresh cream, thyme. Oh, and noodles (rigatoni I think?), and beautiful chunks of fresh Dungeness crab (sustainable & smart seafood choice!).
This glorious dish was served alongside a salad of organic seasonal greens, beets, carrots, cucumber, tomato, and a light dijon vinaigrette.
The mac & cheese was amazing. It was perfectly creamy, great blend of cheeses, and had a substantial crab component. You always worry they may skimp out on the crab, but this was awesome. I would love to try it out at home. One word of warning – that cast iron skillet is HOT. As in I burned my arm twice on it, even after the waiter warned me. What can I say, I’m a slow learner 😉
Even though we were pretty full, we may have ordered a little dessert. What’s a birthday meal out without dessert?
The chosen dessert?
Bruléed Cheesecake – strawberry rhubarb compote.
But wait – that wasn’t all the dessert brought to our table. The restaurant gives you a complimentary dessert on your birthday, so they also brought a mini slice of carrot cake, with the candle and all. Too bad the wind kept blowing out the candle 😉
The cheesecake totally trumped the carrot cake. I do love a good carrot cake, but I think I make a better one myself. Plus I wasn’t a huge fan of the candied orange peel on top. But that cheesecake. OMG. It was a heavenly vanilla flavoured cake, as you can see in the pictures, all those lovely vanilla bean specks. And it came with rhubarb – a win/win! If I’m going to be picky, I would like more rhubarb with it, but the cheesecake was just so good, I can overlook it.
My friend dropped me off at home, where I managed a quick nap, then it was off to bootcamp. We had a hike planned around Thetis Lake again, which was perfect – my legs were ready and rarin’ to go. If we were doing something involving upper body, I’d have been done. HA! There may have been a trip to the pub afterwards, where I had a chocolate martini (vodka, kahlua, creme de cacao). May, or may not have happened. You’ll never know 😉
I was home by 9:30 pm, and I was T.I.R.E.D. So much fun, fresh air, and fabulous eats, all enjoyed with the company of my good friend. I think it turned out to be an excellent 30th birthday, don’t you? 😀