Saturday, March 17, 2012

A boy's weekend

With Connie spending a few well-deserved days in Seattle with a girlfriend, Kai and I are spending a weekend together. So what have we been doing so far? Well, on Friday morning we headed up Grouse mountain. It had been dumping snow up the local mountains all week so it was time to sample some of it. Grouse early on a weekday morning is a completely different experience than Grouse at mid-day on a Sunday. No crowds, no line-ups and heaps and heaps of fresh snow. It was pretty epic actually, we got a few hours of powder runs in until we were both exhausted and headed down again, thoroughly satisfied. We headed straight for Thomas Haas for a sumptuous lunch:

Oh and might I add that my little sports car, much derided for being impractical, easily held my big powder board and the rest of the gear we brought up?

We then headed home where we spent some time lounging around. Well, Kai did the lounging while I spent a long time trying to figure out why my wireless router wasn't playing nice with the new cable modem that Shaw sent me for the broadband 50 service that I signed up for. A 50 megabit connection is great but I didn't expect to have to spend many hours trying to figure out why things didn't work as before. The shaw tech support guy couldn't help either so in the end I gave up and had him enable the wireless option in the modem. That solved things but it meant I had to go around and reconfigure the many wireless devices in the house. This included the wireless bridge that I have a bunch of things like the Xbox and the Denon receiver hooked up to, I never knew there was so much to know about IP addresses, gateways, DNS servers, etc. But I managed to make it work in the end.

The arrival of the long-awaited iPad caused lots of excitement and Kai was soon happily playing away with it while I was still staring at router setup screens. Dinner time came along, I had booked us at Kits Daily, one of my local favorites. Chef Brian had a six course tasting menu set up and we were ready for it. Razor clams, asparagus soup, duck meatballs in risotto, pork belly, steak and pear almond tart were all eagerly devoured. The meal was incredible and Kai loved it. He was quite the hit with the other diners and the staff, I guess 8-year olds who manage 6-course tasting menus don't come around very often!

Pork belly on barley risotto topped with a quail's egg

On Saturday morning we went for the famous Cartem's Donuts. We drove out to their bakery on Commercial Drive which turns out to be in a great little smoked meat shop. The donuts were almost sold out already but we managed to score a couple of cinnamon sugar ones and I have to admit their were delicious. I also picked up some smoked ham, krakowska sausage and pot pies. We then visited the farmer's market and headed back home for some more iPad fun. I found a cat toy that displays moving balls, mice and other colorful objects that Jude went pretty crazy about. I read about these earlier and the glass of the iPad is strong enough to withstand cat claws so it is safe for them to swat.

The weather cleared up a bit and the sun actually came out so we headed for the soccer field by Kai's school to burn off some energy. Kai surely did his best and ran around like a little madman until he actually asked to stop, something he rarely does!

When I heard that Refuel is closing at the end of next week, I was devastated. I also resolved to eat there as much as possible so tonight we headed there for dinner. Neither of us ate much during the day so we were famished and ready for some Refuel classics: the rack of porkbelly confit. I had my favorites, a Negroni to start off, some leek and potato soup followed by the absolutely out of this world delicious pork belly rack. Think a strip of pork belly, bone still on, slow-cooked in pork fat (sounds much worse than it is!), then crisped to perfection in a hot pan. Tonight it came with a little mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts. Two of Kai's favorites so we achieved perfection.

The rest of the evening was spent watching 'Real Steel' while Jude lounged in the armchair.

Tomorrow morning we'll head for the Science Center and we'll see what is in store for the rest of the day!

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