This past weekend was great. And now for the stories for those of you who didn't attend.
Thursday night liz dropped me off at the Delta Chelsea in Toronto. The room was on the 20th floor and had a fabulous view of the city. Mark was there and we started on the cigars and whiskey then Tom arrived and we headed out for chinese food.
Amazing duck, fabulous noodles and some very delicious crispy beef along with a few other things like soup and spring rolls. Tom ended the meal with a hearty belch everyone in the restaurant could enjoy. Huzzah!
Then it was back to the hotel for some more refreshments and sleep.
Slept in until around 11 or 12 or so and Jason arrived. So Mark, Jason, Tom and I headed out for breakfast at golden griddle and then took a long at the old maple leaf gardens and found out it was being turned into a loblaws (grocery store). There was even a tasteless poster on the wall stating that 'our bakers might be caught for icing'... ugh..
Anyway we then walked down to the harbour front to take a 2 hr cruise around the harbour. At one point we thought we were going to be late but apparently the cruise company had given mark a boarding time that was half an hour earlier than the actual boarding time. So we arrived with plenty of time to spare.
The ship was magnificent. A large ship with four masts and a nice open deck (and full bar!). She set off on a course along the shore line, through the channel between TO and the island airport then out towards the back of the barrier islands then back to bearth. As we got going it was a fairly interactive cruise with us helping to raise the sails etc. (I would have also enjoyed being interactive with some of the crew gigdy gigdy gigdy ALLLL RIGHT!). So with more cigars in hands and about 3 G&Ts we cruised the migthy waters of lake Ontario.
That night liz and her friend andy met us and we all went out the the 'THEATAH' looking very spiffy. We saw Spamalot. The music based on the Monty Python classic 'Search for the Holy Grail'. While the first act was a bit slow and kitchie the second act really picked it up and it was freakin' awesome. Very funny, very fun, good music and a few interesting new twists.
Then on to food. Mark made reservations for us at Barberian's Steak House. Apparently a Toronto landmark since 1959. THE BEST STEAK... EVER. The food was deliousious, the decor very warm and homey, the service impecable, the food phenominal. It was a perfect choice!
After this it was back to the Hotel for more whiskey and chatting. Liz and Andy went home as liz had her shower the following day. Andy came back on saturday for the rest of the celebrations.
Woke up around 11 in order to meet the larger crowd of about 20 people at st. lawrence markt. After having some second cup, and some fabulous fresh cut back bacon sandwiches we moved on to the distillery district. Unfortunately the distillery mark had booked us a tour of called at the last minute to tell him the place was being renovated and would not be available for a tour. So we had some beer (Mill Street Tankhouse ale, chocolate porter and a few others) then wandered around the district before lunch.
We ran into a friendly penguin (pictures soon available) a few interesting shops and an amazing art gallery specializing in glass and sculpture. Daniel Ferandes does what he always does and found a piano and started playing. The old crabby art curator came over to pooh pooh his playing. Luckily the day was saved when a young curator came over and said 'let him play he's good'. Of course he's good, he's daniel fernandes.
Lunch was at the mill street oyster bar or something like this. Good food and more mill street ales and beers.
After lunch was the big game. We piled into 2 cars and 2 vans and headed to lazer quest. I must admit, I was skeptical, I haven't done this since I was about 17 (TEN YEARS AGO... SHUDDER). That said when the game began it all came back to me and we had a 'very zappy birthday' I mean great time! We had some excersice, shot each other and general had fun. It was great.
Supper was highlight. Not just because the food was great but also because of the 'entertainment'. A four course moroccan meal, with a bottomless glass of leffe brun, and 'interactive' belly dancers. Hot ones too. BEST EVENT EVER. The Sultan's Tent was the restaurant and true to the name our party of 20 people had its very own 'tent' inside the restaurant where we were served and entertained like sultans.
And then... the drunkenness. First was the BierMarkt which has an aweseom array of biers from belgium and many other countries. It also had a pretty good band playing and 2 bachelorette parties. While this was fun I still had sandals on and due to this fact didn't feel 'inspired' enough to stay and crash the bachelorette parties. That and the plan was to bar hop, see toronto, and generally be a rowdy road show. We then went next door to scotland yard, beer; then wandered into the loose moose on front street which was strangely quiet, Guiness + Guiness; then wandered up John street to Smokeless joes which was much smaller than expected, MORE BELGIAN 10.5% Bier. OH YEAH!.
We stopped by speakers corner wher they boys forced me to do a 2 minute improv with the key words moist and duck hunting. I think considered I had about 15 drinks in my at that point I did pretty well. After that all I remember is ending up in a fountain and sinking barret's privateers with tom most of the way back to the hotel during a torrential downpour.
The six people that remained went for breakfast. It was good. We all departed to go home and recover.
To everyone who helped plan this weekend, to everyone who helped contribute to this weekend and otherwise make it a success THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
A special thanks to Mark who from what I hear from just about everyone was the main driver in bringing everything together. Just amazing Mark great job.
Another special thanks to Mark, Tom and Jason for keeping me company at the hotel during the evenings, smoking the cigars and drinking the whiskey!
Honestly, we should use the email distribution list and at least twice a year have a 'larger than life' weekend like this. It was most sithum! Thanks again!