So I arrived to Vancouver from LA after Below Deck’s 2nd round of interviews only to be greeted by my beautiful friends Ryan and Sam in the most fabulous way – an eski full of ‘Monkey Lala’ cocktails (which was a Utilian special alcoholic beverage from where we all met 3 years ago in Honduras, Central America).
While sipping away arrival cocktails in ryans car, both my friends proceeded to tell me our plan was to get some sushi for lunch then go sky diving. just casually. yes, sky diving. Obviously not being able to object we met up with Ryan’s house mates Brayden and Danica at the Japanese restaurant to discuss sky diving plans for that afternoon.
All of us having an impulsive almost ADHD mentality towards life, we scoffed down our food with excitement and headed straight to the skydiving range. It was an expensive and hour long process to get geared up and have a briefing that was SO brief i didn’t necessarily feel as safe as i wanted to be being thrown out of a plane…
The plane ride up was cold, slightly terrifying but mostly just amazing. After 15 minutes of us shit stirring each other with comments like “hey sam is that clip supposed to be undone?” and “we’re supposed to deploy the parachutes ourselves right?” I was the first the jump out.
The door goes flying open and I leant out with my instructor attached to my back and I’m surprisingly not even scared – it just didn’t look real! and off i went. Then looking around, my friends floating in front, above, underneath…!! wahhhh what a feeling!
After getting out of gear, jumping in the car to head to Ryans and 45 minutes of a trying to calm down our adrenalin rushes we go straight into have a house party. We set up lights, music, cocktails, preparing homemade party pizzas etc.
What an amazing night that was! Good drinks, fresh food and amazing company!
Rachel and I decided to canoe and camp at Kakakise Lake in the Killarney Provincial park.
Straight after work we loaded up the car and headed to the George Lake Rangers office to pick up our camping permits for the next couple of days. At the front desk, while the park ranger was going on about park safety mumbo jumbo, I noticed there was a FREE outdoor education activity book on the counter. OBVIOUSLY I took one because there’s nothing more exciting then an ages 3 and up activity book about the wilderness… and what sort of adventure were Rachel and I already on you ask? One that is filled with ‘activities’ in the ‘outdoors’ – it seemed only appropriate.
So we embarked on our evening paddle to find the ultimate campsite, isolated with a campsite, bonfire pit and wood all there waiting for us!
In celebration of a day off at our own campsite, on this beautiful temperate evening, I took all of my clothes off and jumped into the lake. So it was just bare me and mother nature. I can’t even describe to you how amazing this moment was for me. I felt Intune with my body and soul, the water that was moving with me, the sounds of the wind and leaves, the smell of the pines. One of those moments you’ll feel and will remember for the rest of your life… then Rachel through a cider at me and that was that!
By the time night came we had a complete open tent (without the waterproof cover) which meant we fell asleep to our last view being of the stars and night sky and sounds being of the wind and owls mating calls. It was amazing. It was a night of bonfires, delicious freeze-dried space food and played with an outdoor adventure activity book which kept us in laughing tears for hours! The next morning, we paddled straight to work after a hot fresh strong coffee.
On my travels over the last 5 years or so, when I had a discussion with a travelling Canadian about food (which was obviously quite often since food is the best thing in the entire universe), they always mentioned this mysterious dish called ‘Poutine’. Originating in Montreal, Quebec ‘poutine’ was first created by Sir Alfred Poutine who made fries in his B&B in 1812 and accidentally spilled his roast dinners gravy and cheese curds over his midnight snack – and it tasted… fabulous.
Ok that’s not the actual story but to elaborate on the dish its French fries, covered in gravy and cheese curds. You’ll find it at almost any diner, pub, restaurant and even McDonalds has a “for $2 more upgrade your fries to a poutine!”
What the actual fuck. Really? REALLY?
So one of the first things I had to eat on my arrival was this miraculous poutine. So my new co-workers took me to Red Rooster in Sudbury, Ontario and ordered me a tray size dish of poutine with extra curds. It looked like someone had eaten a roast dinner and thrown up more recently eaten fries onto a tray. I was intrigued but not overly excited.
So there it was. Looking at me with its sloppy, salty deep fried cheesey face. And I dug in. and lord have mercy IT’S THE BEST DISH AND I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING LIFE IS NOW COMPLETE!