Canada, Cocktails & One Hell Of A Surprise

September 9th 2015

Story originally written and experienced: September 7th 2015

“Oh and Olive, don’t forget to bring a t-shirt.”

“A t-shirt?”



“Just…in case…”

“…In case of…”

“Just bring the shirt…you’ll see.”

“…Okayy…” I said skeptically as I jammed a volunteer tee into my debatably-petite duffle bag during a Skype-packing session with my co-adventurer Jared, the day before we were Canada bound.




We were peacing out of America for Labor Day weekend, you see. #patriotic

Packing our pants, potato chips and t-shirts for a weekend full of food, festivities and some goddamn fun.




The getaway was meant to be a quick trip to Toronto finished with a necessary pit stop in Niagara falls.

And the absurd thing that happened after that?

don draper gif


We’ll get there.

Stop 1: Toronto, Canada.

A kickass metropolis with teeny tiny tacos:

A saucy photo.

So saucy.


Mixed drinks to fund local female wrestlers:

Just supporting the cause.

Just…supporting the cause.


A beautiful string- – -of—islands- – – – – -just a simple boat ride away:

Tata for now Toronto.



On the rocks.

Centre Island.


Making waves.

Ward’s Island.


And of course, hott women:


Irresistible, I know.



My favorite part?

Of possibly the whole damn place?

Was the 1:15 AM decision we made to go somewhere for one reason and one reason only.

Al said we have to goooo,” I told Jared with slurred speech circa 1 AM. “He said we have to go to this place so we have to go!”

“Then we GOTTA GOOOO!” he responded with optimal support.

Off we go!



And so we went.

En route—post dinner and ample drinks—with a delayed sense of direction aiming for a destination called “BarChef” we’d hope to soon call home.

And a sWeRvInG 10 minute commute later.

We had arrived.

Hello, world.

Hello, world.


And what we saw was beautiful.

It's true.

It’s true.


Not only in decor.

But in our orders as well.

“HI!” I said as I plopped down at the fancy pants bar.

“Hello there!” said the friendly Canadian bartender.

“I was told by a friend that I needed to come here and get the white truffle. Is your kitchen still open?”

“Ah…it is not…but I think what you’re looking for is the black truffle…cocktail.”





He was right.

What I was apparently seeking twasn’t a snack, but rather, an experience.

Let me explain. 

I ordered the black truffle cocktail with glee, and when it was delivered to me, what they placed in front of me was this:

barchef toronto 1



“Here’s how it works,” the trendy little waitress told me. “There are five bites placed here. Each one is filled with a spoonful of ‘black truffle snow’, smoked salt, dill frond, coconut foam and lime zest. You put each bite in your mouth one by one:

barchef toronto 2



Swirl it around in your mouth for the full effect of the taste:




And finally, sip it down with our gin-based cocktail made with coconut and elderflower liqueur:

barchef toronto 3



It was a fucking masterpiece that inflicted pure happiness to every degree.




But wait.

Jared still needed his drink.

“I know what this man wants,” the intuitive bartender informed us. “This guy…this guy wants the ‘Mad Man.’ “

The Mad Man:

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 11.27.54 AM

I’ll cheers to that.


“…Essence of antique leather?”

“Oh, you’ll see.”

“Awesome. I’ll take that.”

And what was put in front of him was this:

(slow mo-ed for dramatic effect)

Turns out.

The “essence of antique leather” referred to an aroma hub that pumped out a cascade of antique-leather scented smoke for an all-senses experience. Complete with beaker-type glass shaped like a pipe for the finishing touch,

Makes scents.

Makes scents.


Happy and undeniably impressed by our late-night discovery, we left le tipsy, satisfied and excited to see what other…surprises the long weekend had in store.

And we weren’t disappointed.

The next day we bid adieu to our whirlwind wanderlust experience in Toronto and visited a place with a hell of a waterfront view.


Hell0O0O0O0O Niagara Falls!


Did the whole boat tour thing.

Never looked more prepared.

Preparing for battle/kid-friendly cruise.


All whilst looking fantastic in our complimentary ponchos.

Perfect fit.

Perfect fit.



Maiden of the mist!

Maiden of the mist!


Took in epic views:

Chasing waterfalls. My bad, TLC.

Chasing waterfalls. Our bad, TLC.


Calm before the storm.

Calm before the storm.





Apparently snapped a pic with a Ruby Tuesday’s




And called it a damn day.

And that was it.

Or so I thought.

The next day I asked Jared what we should do with our final vacation day.

“Relax? Take it easy since we had a crazy few days?”

“Well actually…you packed a t-shirt…right?”

“Yes…oh right…what was that for?”

“Well I made an appointment for 1 PM…to go skydiving…if you’re at all interested.”


“That’s it?! That’s the surprise? The shirt thing?! That’s what the shirt is for?”

“Yup. Booked it earlier this week. They recommend you wear a t-shirt since you’ll be in a harness. I know it’s kind of a list minute thing, but you mentioned a few weeks ago you’ve always wanted to do it…and so do I so…want to?”

I was terrified.

Truth be told.


I did say I’d do it. Only because I was talking about how I had a hindering fear of heights, and the only thing I could think to get over it. Was to do something extreme.


Jump out of an airplane.


And now.

I had the combination of spontaneous sentiment and the real opportunity to do it.

So I said.

“I…I…um…okay…? Yes…okay yes! I’ll do it!”


“Great. We’ve gotta leave in 30 minutes.”

And we did.

Packed up the car again and drove 40 minutes. In the middle of nowhere.

And before we knew it.

We were harnessed up in our t-shirts and ready to fuckin fly.

Unidentified hand signals brought to you in full by yours truly.

Unidentified hand signals brought to you in full by yours truly.


“Okay, here’s what you’re going to do,” the instructors told us as we were shooting up 9,000 feet into the sky.

We're listening.

We’re listening.


We’re each going to be strapped onto your backs. As soon as the door opens, you’re going to put both of your feet onto a little foot stand.

And whatever you do.

Don’t look





Throw your head back. Fall forward. Kick your legs behind you. And we’ll take care of the rest.

And then the door

shot                        open.

Olive screamed bloody murder.

Put her feet on the footstand and threw her head back as instructed.


Your wish is my command.


And she was gone.


A view Jared said he would never ever forget.


In case you’re wondering how terrified I wasn’t:

"No, it wasn't scary at all."

“No, it wasn’t scary at all.”


No more than 6 seconds later.

Jared was launched out of the plane too.

Right on, brotha.

Right on, brotha.


And once we grasped some semblance of reality.

It was really fucking fun.

So down to earth.

So down to earth.


Things are looking up.

Things are looking up.


After a 30 second









Our parachutes.

Shot         Open


If I didn’t believe I could fly before…


And we said hi.

Places I did not see myself on a Monday afternoon = here.

Places I did not see myself on a Monday afternoon = here.


Enjoyed the 7 minute descent to the holy ground.

Hello down there!

I’m comin for ya!


Landed like champions all by ourselves.

Landed like champions.

Kidding there was an experienced stranger strapped to our backs.


And that was that.


Post gamed with ice cream and a rogue blog post.


I guess the interesting thing about the weekend was.

We knew borders existed


We decided to cross —             —them anyway.

In the categories of country, fear and surprise.

And because of that.

We suddenly we found ourselves

In Canada, drinking cool cocktails and eventually spiraling towards earth at 120 miles per hour on a Monday afternoon.

Happy Monday.

Happy Monday.



Because we decided on the party theme:




And in some way, I hope you decide on it too.

On some weekend, or even on a regular day.

Whether that’s trying something new, rejuvenating something old or hell, jumping out of a damn airplane.


I                                recommend it.