Hopoxia!!! 2017 Edition

This weekend was BUSY with a capital ‘B’ but hey, I knew that about June 2017 and I am totally loving it!!

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Saturday, I knew I was on a tight(er) timeline- I was trying to fit in a run (long), a ride & pack and clean up horse for the dressage show on Sunday, and a walk to Phillips Brewery for their Hopoxia beer fest!

I started with the run- 18km. It was absolutely horrible. I had terrible asthma, making my chest/lungs constrict in a super frightening and unpleasant way. I was gasping and clutching my chest. Hm, maybe I should have used my puffer, or at least carried it with me…It’s becoming very clear that I have either allergy-induced or exercise-induced asthma (or both!!) and it’s pretty nightmarish to try and run with it.

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Anyways, that was frighting and sucky and I hated it, but I did it. I did have to listen to my body and walk when I started gasping for breath, so be it. I did it! And went home to a great breakfast courtesy of my great husband, and then it was off to ride & pack up my stuff and give Oats a bath!

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I tried to go as quick as I could, and zipped home (note- I only showered on Sunday, after allllll of my events were over. Good choice or bad choice?? ha).

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We walked to Hopoxia, and I had a fab time there! We tried so many awesome beers, chatted with a friend/colleague and I really enjoyed the chance to try some super cool and unique flavours- standouts include a bunch of really sour ‘sours’, and the ‘A day off your life’ beer that was like 11.5%!?!!

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A great time was had by all 🙂

Victoria Beer Week: Beer, Cheese & More Beer

I went to two beer week events this week but thought I’d review the one last night for your reading pleasure: Beer, Cheese & more Beer

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Snapshot review: Go and be ready to hustle. Food goes fast!

Actual review:

A fun, if extremely busy event at the Victoria Public Market. The beer token allotment is VERY generous (like 8 tokens?) it was definitely enough beer sampling for me.  Vendors brought their most interesting beers, heavily featuring ‘Bocks,’ German-smoked beer, some cask-aged beers, including a highlight by Daagerad- their 6-week ‘labour of love’ that I had two samples of!

And it wasn’t just cheese either, though some beer vendors had cheese displays on their tables, there were food vendors too. Victoria Pie Co, Very Good Butchers, a deli, etc. You could also get beer & cheese soup, a flatbread sample, vegan mac’n’cheeze (it was good, not great), samples from a deli (AMAZING), raclette with sausage, the sourest gherkins ever, so good! Olives stuffed with cheese, and vegan pizza rolls.

There were definitely crazy lineups for the food options- you could eat as much as you want but the catch is this- they run out FAST. And stop replenishing the cheese/most food options after only 1 hour! So yeah you have to move quick and prioritize.

I did try a very mild green(???) cheese from the deli, and Ian tried a cheese that looked innocuous- like cheddar, but that I heard one girl describe as ‘fish and peanut-butter’ hahah ew.

So go, it’s not too expensive for the fun options you get- (beer and food and it costs with tax per person about $31.50) but be ok with crowds and getting your beer elbowed a lot. It was such a busy and fun time that it made me forget that Ian and I saw a guy get hit by a car on our way there. That was actually really frightening, the guy got up and was ok – it was not a hit and run, the car stopped, etc. But still, jesus.

 

Victoria Day long weekend in Port Renfrew!

And now for something entirely different- we went camping in Port Renfrew for Victoria Day. I desperately needed to get away from my personal horse drama (that continued the week after, no thank you rotten Oats), and what better place to reconnect than the quietness of Port Renfrew.

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Ripe salmonberries

Unfortunately, everyone else on the entire island had the same idea. Port Renfrew is a hidden gem no longer. It was very busy on the campsite at Pacheedat, and we practically had a party/disco going on full blast around a km up the beach. I’m NOT kidding- it was nuts! They had generators powering huge speakers on stands, disco lights, about 50 tents in the area, and more than 100 people.

Sheeeeeesh.

Well, we tried hard not to let that ruin our weekend away. We had a good campfire going, and it was just me, my husband and our dog. A nice time. We even picked salmon berries and those were ripe already and totally awesome, if you can believe it. We roasted weenies, drank beers and just had a nice time.

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Camp-style

Do I kind of wish we’d done more? Maybe. But I was kind of fried and burned out, so it came at a great time. The next day we checked out Botanical Beach, got stuck on some rocks that led to us clambering around on them for wayyy too long (ha) and then wrapped up the day by grabbing burgers in Lake Cowichan.

A good long weekend and well-deserved break from reality.

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Dog-eye view of the campsite

Weekend Wrap-up: The Great Detachment?

Had a nice weekend, actually. Nothing much got done, but nothing much went wrong either, so I’m gonna say it’s a win!

Weather was good, times were fine with Oats. My husband and I went for a short jog Friday night before dinner, which was ok, but I have trouble really getting in the ‘groove’ per se on runs around 5k.

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A spunkier Oats on the weekend. Photo courtesy of Hannah R.

Saturday I hauled myself out to the barn, and galloped Oats over some fences! (I’m starting to see a theme for the outdoor ring= jumping only…) and it was FUN! I headed home and changed into my run clothes, and jogged out to the ocean and back for a fairly reasonable 12k.

We went to go see a pretty good movie, ‘the Green Room’ Saturday night. I liked it, a tough, gritty and extremely violent flick. Well done in a very spare, tight and concise style. Nothing wasted with that movie.

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We don’t have these crazy things anymore, too bad!

Sunday I was up and at the barn, and Oats was being a total prick. He was soooo up, and neighing frantically- a new horse came to the barn and his routine was being disrupted!! He rode ok, we galloped over some small fences again, and then I worked on some flatwork. I quickly learned that jumping= yay! Flatwork in the outdoor arena= sucks! Yikes, his balance was off, he was heavy on the forehand, dragging me down a bit, and breaking into trot (due to the balance issue). UGH. This again…

Well, something to work on I suppose. The jumping is just so much more fun!

It was HOT, well for us, here? Like 23 deg!? We were both soo sweaty by the end! I hosed him off, and he did his jerk move of trying to run out of the cross-ties…Lovely. I can’t believe he was doing that again. Jeesh.

After finishing up at the barn, I met my husband to check out an open house (liked it, but for the third attempt to put an offer in that will probably go nowhere, I’m not holding my freaking breath…) and then we drove to the beach for some sand time!

It was really nice, but the wind was super chilly. Husband still got sunburned though, whoops! Later at home we put back on the runners and did 5k worth of hills- 4 hills I run twice, for a total of 8 tries. It was pretty hot…and I recovered by drinking a beer when I got home. Ha..

So, a good but nonsignificant weekend. That’s ok though!

Tempest

So, you know how on Friday I was like, wow, this week was crazy?

The weekend was even crazier!!

Family visiting= insane. But, mostly in a good way right now. Friday evening, we bought tickets to Beer Week’s ‘Beer and Fish’ event night at the Victoria Public Market.

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A snapshot of our weekend- NOT me in the wedding dress!

For $40, you got 8 beer sample tickets and 2 food tickets. My only complaint about the night was that it was very beer-heavy and light on the food. Oh well! We had a really nice time regardless. Food options included seafood chowder, fish’n’ chips, candied salmon pieces, and oysters. We opted for the fish’n’chips and the oysters, and my sister got my dad’s food ticket and shared the candied salmon with us. YUM!

It was a LOT of beer though. I had a mega headache the next day. Oy…

Then we’re rolling into Saturday, where I took my sister riding on good ol’ Oats, and he was a great pony. I hopped on to warm him up, he’s been fairly hoppy anticipating the canter recently, so I just cruised him for a bit and worked over a small cross-rail. So far, so good! My sister got on and he was golden with her. It was lovely! They even trotted over the cross-rail a few times.

Then, my husband, sister and I headed to Witty’s Lagoon to go check out the beach and sea life. We were NOT disappointed! It was a veritable crab fest! Every rock we knocked over or picked up was boiling with crabs, some pretty big ones for the little guys. It was awesome.

We capped off our crabfest evening with buying the biggest, most expensive crabs I have ever had in my lifetime. ($42 EACH!). Ouch! But, they were sooooo good and it was the most crab I have ever eaten. Dinner that night took us 1.5 hours!

My husband and I then jetted off to put an offer on a duplex we liked (wasn’t accepted, oh well!) and my sister and mom went to try on wedding dresses. A big, crazy, long day, but a good one!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Sunday’s recap. Hint: it includes lambs!

Beer Week event recap: Pizza, Beer and more Beer!

My lovely husband bought tickets to this ages ago, in December, for my Christmas present! I had been counting down the days to be able to go…And then it was yesterday!

For the uninformed, Beer Week has been going on for three years, I learned last night. It’s a week of educational and fun beer learning/drinking/eating events. Too many to list here, so here is the site to check it out: Victoria Beer Week March 4-12, 2016.

We went to the second seating at Prima Strada, a very fine pizza establishment. The name of the game? Pizza and beer pairings, the more unique, the better! I was HUNGRY too, having ridden Oats very quickly beforehand and zipped home to change…

We bought a beer while we were waiting for the festivities to begin. Seating is the long-table style of dining, which is pretty cool but always seems to end up with me going for a seat, and then the person next to it saying they were saving it for someone…Every time! Jeesh.

Anyways, there was a lot of ‘other’ seats available, so we had our choice. And even better, we ended up with brewery representatives at the table too, sitting across from us. They were super cool, and really pleasant.

Here is how it went down: Four beers from four different breweries, and four unusual pizza pairings. It started VERY strong, with a Townsite beer that was like 9%!! It took me ages to drink it, hahah. The pizza pairing was light, roasted root veggies with gremolata and mozzarella. I didn’t love this pizza. It was very ‘eh’…

The next one wowed me though- Driftwood beer paired with Thai-style coconut yogurt with basil pizza. SO GOOD! Yummmmm. I could eat/drink a lot of this one.

And then we had another amazing pizza- and bear with me, because I thought it sounded bizarro at first…Creamed brussel sprout pizza with very salty bacon? It was SO GOOD! It was paired with a surprisingly drinkable IPA from Yellow Dog Brewery. (I usually really hate the bitterness in IPAs so this one was a nice depart actually).

And it wrapped up with a beer that was a real showstopper- Category 12’s special cocoa nib/coffee stout. Wow. It was so dense and rich, and coffeelike, that I swear it kept me up at night! It was paired with a really cool pizza- pulled pork with red cabbage. I know, you’re thinking–red cabbage? On a pizza? But it totally worked.

A great event, we were wrapped up by 10pm and it started at 8pm. Now I can’t wait to try some other awesome Beer Week events!

Oktoberfest at the Victoria Public Market

Last year we went to Stein & Dine at the Victoria Public Market and had a blast! It was a lot cheaper last year ($35/tix) and this year the price practically doubled 😦 at $50/tix but we went anyways and it was still a really fun time!

There were beers, ciders, the world’s smallest sausage- a micro-sausage? And fairly reasonable portions of pork schnitzel. I enjoyed ciders from Spinnakers (the pear cider was ok but boring, the raspberry-apple was great) and a Pumpkinhead beer from Fernie Brewing Company.

Our friends came and we all really liked this year’s entertainment- it was definitely beefed up from last year. The German dancers did the traditional log-cutting dance, the slap-dance, and this crazy move where they linked arms and swung these more petite German female folk dancers in this insane centrifugal force move. It was nuts! And VERY popular!

Hahah.

Not a late night but certainly a fun one!

Saturday I went to see how Oats was doing, and his nose had completely cleared up, though he still had a cough…He was quite lethargic though, and maybe I will chalk that a bit up to it being unusually warm out for October- it’s been 19-20 degrees everyday! Isn’t that crazy! I rode a little, nothing too much just to feel him out a bit.

Sunday, I went back and Oats had a lot more energy. I noticed that the evening feeder had both not seen my note on the dry-erase board about Oats having his dinner grain already in the feed bucket (it was his last day of meds, and I wanted to make SURE he got the right baggie of grain) and also didn’t look inside his grain bucket when she was feeding…So he got double-dinners that night.

I was kind of annoyed but I bet Oats was NOT complaining!

He had a lot of energy on Sunday. Tons! He still had a cough, but he was zipping around like his tail was on fire. We cruised over a few of the jumps set up in the outdoor a bunch of times, five max I believe, and did the barrels once too. I didn’t want to push him too hard, good mood notwithstanding, because he was just coming back from his infection…

He was very sweaty after the ride, big fur coat coming in with very unseasonably warm temperatures= white foam sweat on his chest???

He got a sponge down and some apples, and I’ve called the vet to tell them that he still has a bit of a cough – they recommended wetting his hay for the duration – so that’s my next course of action.

I’m glad the infection has cleared out of his snout.

And next weekend, weather and knee injury permitting, I am thinking seriously about running to the barn. Nuts? Maybe!