...as the Burger Long-Weekend.
Jaime was away for work for a few days so Saturday I had an empty house. I got up early to do a workout because I had plans for the day, so I wanted to get in a quick P90X workout before the start to the day. About 5 minutes into it I heard the garage door open and was like, "What? It's 7:00am! How is Jaime home already?" But it was actually the lady who watches Tank when Jaime is away. She was dropping him off about 9 hours earlier than I was expecting, which kind of threw a wrench in my plans for the day. The plan was to drive downtown to meet up with a friend, hit up a morning farmer's market, buy some delicious food and head to the beach for the day. Now I had to add a high-maintenance and highly demanding dog to the mix. Alright. No worries.
So I packed up Tank and headed to town. Dogs aren't allowed in the interior area of the market so I ended up just perusing the perimeter of the fence and looking at the stalls that lined the outside of the market while my friend went in to buy some delicious food for the picnic. I learned how much I LOVE the Fairfield area of Victoria because the houses are mostly all restored Historian houses and the area has a very "Nelson" feel to it. I was instantly smitten. We headed to the beach (I can't remember the name!) which was an awesome area to bring dogs to. We spent a couple hours there and at no point was not someone walking and/or playing with their dog along the shore. Tank always had someone to play with (aka, someone to bother) which was good for us because we didn't have to entertain him the entire time. Unfortunately what this meant was when we wanted to just lay in the sun and do nothing for longer than 2 minutes, Tank wouldn't allow it. He needed to see and sniff everything and I soon got a bit annoyed. He was physically tired from playing so much but couldn't relax because there was so much going on around us. I couldn't tie him up because he can slip out of his harness (damn Bulldogs not having necks makes things difficult) so after some time, I decided it would be best to drive him home since Jaime would have been home soon anyway.
So I drove him all the way back to the West Shore then headed all the way back to town.
I need to find a place to live downtown.
When I got back to town, we headed to the Inner Harbour to go meet up with some friends at the free concert that was happening down by the water. It was an online RSVP event, which works OK in theory but as soon as we arrived we learned that things didn't work out as expected. They way overbooked the concert so by the time we arrived there, the line-up was a good hour long wait. Luckily it was an outside concert and the weather was awesome, so we just found a grassy knoll nearby and enjoyed the music while sitting in the sunshine. No line-ups, elbow-to-elbow crowds, shouting at your friends or the pressures of feeling the need to cheer and clap after each song. We grabbed a beer at an outside patio pub, which was about 20 feet from the concert, and also enjoyed the show there. Good times!
After the show we headed to another pub to have some late-night dinner with a group of friends, which is where the Burger Long-Weekend all started. Every night last weekend I had a burger for dinner. Each one of them very different than the next, but all were very enjoyable.
Burger #1 - consumed at The Beagle Pub - The Bison Burger. Topped with goat cheese and a whiskey bourbon glaze...yes please! It was a lot tastier than I would have expected and I ate every last crumb of that thing. The actual patty was nothing all that special but the sauces and spreads made it scrumptious.
The next day I volunteered to help my friend Chris paint his new condo. He's been a bit of a stressball about getting all of the renovations done in time for his move-in date (which is today) so I was more than happy to help him out. Plus I truly enjoy painting. I find it very cleansing - like a fresh snowfall that covers up all of the ugly snow buried beneath it. About half way through the work day we had to go to Home Depot to pick up some more paint and painter's tape, so we decided to also take a late lunch break afterwards.
Burger #2 - consumed at the Shine Cafe - The Berkeley Veggie Burger. I heard great stuff about this place and I was not disappointed at all with my choice. The homemade patty was topped with mushrooms, cheddar, onions, pesto mayo and all the trimmings. It was falling apart all over the place and my face and plate was an absolute mess. But honestly, it was the second best veggie burger I have had on this island and dare I say the second best veggie burger I've ever had?? Yup...definitely a possibility. It was pure awesome.
After 12 hours of painting, we called it a night and I went home and crashed in bed. Two busy days in a row, plus one more before the weekend was done.
The final day of the long weekend again started in the early morning. I was feeling guilty about my shitty eating habits the past 2 days so I headed to the gym to get in a quick cardio workout. After a quick shower and change of clothes, my friend Alice and I decided to take advantage of the continuous nice weather and went for a hike up Mt. Finlayson. I've only ever done this hike once before when my parents were in town, and this time I knew what to expect. It's a crazy steep hike with some dodgy areas to get through, but the view from the top is quite lovely. While I enjoy this hike, it's really not my ideal trail because you have to concentrate so hard on where you step or else you'll plummet to your death, so you can't really enjoy the view around you until you reach the top. But it was still a fantastic way to spend some time with Alice and enjoy the early afternoon.
After another shower and another change of clothes, I headed back downtown for a few hours to hang out with friends before the weekend came to an end.
Again, I really need to find a place to live downtown.
Burger #3 - consumed at Bin 4 - The Ginger Soy Tofu Burger. My all-time favourite place to eat in the city. It never lets me down. Considering it was already around 7:30pm and I had to get up at 4am for work the next morning, I didn't want to eat a heavy burger, so I went for this one with the butter lettuce instead of a bun. As much as I absolutely LOVE the buns they have there, I figured eliminating the bun would be easier on the old GI tract since I knew I had to go to bed fairly soon. And as always, even though there was no bun for my burger, I was not let down at all by the flavours and textures of my meal. Such a fantastic place to eat.
PS. Bin 4 has my all-time favourite veggie burger - The Mr. Bean. I dream of this thing.
Honestly though, I was looking forward to getting back to work so that I could actually stop and sit down for longer than 5 minutes! It was definitely a great weekend though. Also I think that Burger Long-Weekend might need to be a new personal tradition for me. Can a person ever get sick of delicious burgers??