Knocking on the door of a two story semi-detached flat in the middle of the night hoping we’d had the correct house as they was both the last of visible light and numbers. Waiting nervously with anticipation for the familiar face of friend to answer the though sunk over us that it could be another sleep in the rental car on a side street. Then with a sudden click the door swung open and there before us stood the man that all that have had the pleasure to meet, love.
‘Sorry guys I was taking a crap, didn’t think you’d make it. Wanna a beer?’
At one o’clock in the morning and having driven up from Seattle all we craved was bed. But this is Kyle and with Matt spending three months travelling through the Middle East how could you pass on a cold brew?
Having been Vancouver many times over the years we didn’t see any of the ‘sights’ live Canada Place, Granville Island or Wreck Beach. We only had one last tick on the list left that both fire and snow had prevented previous attempts. The Grouse Grind.
Waking the next morning, breakfast done it was off the take on The Grind. Being a short, punchy, STEEP track heading for the summit it’s not one for those on the wrong side of fit. Parking the car up at the bottom and starting the stop watch we took to the trek. With clouds were hung low a false sense of climatic ease though within minutes we were down to base layers. The humidity in the tree in September only added to the challenge. Matt, as usual, always hates the first 20 minutes or so though with sweat cascading down his face he did well not to bitch about it.
Finding it quiet amusing that people at the being are racing past you with the determination to overtake as many people as possible only to flail before the midway mark. Generally it’s the lazy half of the relationship ‘letting the side down’ and the boyfriend/husband urging them on by shooting daggers.
Finishing the Grind in just under 1:03.00 it was time to get down and to business, beers with Kyle, Kate (he’s wife) and friends. To get off the mountain one needs to take the cable car as they do not recommend that you walk down due to traffic and terrain. The only thing is that they fail to mention that you need to pay for the Gondola down. Taking our way into a couple of free tickets ‘Sure well come back and pay’ we descended.
Scrubbed up and in form for a beer or two, from the ever rotating selection, the meeting spot was Portland Craft catching up with old friends the time came for food. Heading down to The Five Point Gastropub for a feed the chef pops out and asks us if we like spice. Sending out two of the hottest osphugus stripping chicken wings. These bad boys were so hot it took 3 people just to eat one.
One of the crew, Gavin, loves a little spice or showing us he has a big set of balls by exclaiming that held have not 6 but a dozen of em. Half a dozen in and you can physically see the sweat creeping UP his neck. Losing the war of the wings he reluctantly gives up and sends out chef the congratulations along with the rest of the plate for others to try. A few of us manage one wing each and then need to duck outside for fresh air and cigarette just to ease the taste buds. Rest of the night was spent drinking, laughing and eventually on to someone’s house.
In true North American style and still clutching on to college days of old the beer supplied would be in the form keg (re write this last line) harbouring R&B’s Red Devil Pale Ale. Today was Labour Day. Having made a shit ton of food, drinks on ice and Tarpulins hung due to possible rain, it was time to crack a cold one and relax, watching Kyle and Kate as they sat around in anticipation, nervous if anyone would show up. If there’s a keg, a bunch of food and good music you ain’t gonna turn it down, are you. Well people did show up, some with more food, some with more beer, someone opens a bottle of champagne with a sword and hey presto party started.
As expected, the next day was spent cleaning, eating a late Dim Sum breakfast and a late lunch at Ryu Sushi on Main Street (good price with great service for a Sushi place). The ladies even got their beer served in a glass boot!