[Editor's Note: I really struggled with the title for this one. I was leaning heavily toward 'Armageddon Outta Here!' but I know I borrowed that from somewhere, and with nothing going down, I figured it didn't make as much sense as 'Apocalypse Later!' Though I feel both are equally funny.]
So the clock just struck midnight and we’re all still alive. I guess I haven’t peaked at any news outlets today, so we might not ALL be alive. But I don’t believe there were any major catastrophes to speak of. So that’s good. Although, I will admit, I was fully prepared for something to happen: whilst in Tofino, GFT and I took part in a delectable late lunch which I can proudly say would have been beyond acceptable as a last meal. After a quick hail storm on Long Beach, we popped over to Red Can Gourmet and the Tofino Brewing Company to grab some food before hitting another beach and devouring said food. If anyone reading this makes it to Tofino, I implore you to make that part of an itinerary. First of all, Red Can Gourmet has easily the best pizza I have ever eaten. Ever. Anywhere. Including New York City. With a brewery right across the street, there is nothing better than popping in, ordering a pie, and while it’s being cooked, pop over for some free beer samples. So we ordered our pizza (calabrese, diced tomato and caramelized onion on my half, swap the calabrese for mushrooms on GFT’s half) and grabbed a quick sip. We ended up ordering a growler (two litres) of their IPA and a growlito (one litre) of their seasonal coffee porter. A quick jaunt back and our food was ready. We also picked up a tuna dish because it read good on the chalkboard menu. Excellent choice? Yes, yes it was. What the dish turned out to be was a prosciutto…
Sorry, I lost my train of thought – I had to play “Kitty Wrangler” in order to vacate a cat from underneath my bed.
Um…right, lunch. It was a prosciutto wrapped Albacore tuna, with tomato salsa, artisan greens with a maple balsamic vinaigrette. Turns out it was a salad. Turns out, what a salad! Best salad I’ve ever had? Without hesitation, YES! Well, with some hesitation because I had to type it, but I screamed ‘yes’ at my computer before typing, just so you get the idea. Anyway, before I go off on a diatribe about this salad and its amazitude (here’s a hint, there’s quite a bit of amazitude), all you need discern is that you must go to Tofino and go to Red Can Gourmet (and also Tacofino, but when I finally get around to posting about our summer, you’ll be able to hear more about that).
After lunch, we hopped back on the highway and made our way back to Qualicum Beach. Now, at this point, I have to qualify this story with the fact that, yes, we basically drove three hours (each way) through winding forest roads, up and down a mountain, in the snow, for beer and pizza. But, it is really good beer you can only get (at the moment) on draught at the brewery and really, REALLY good pizza. After we devoured the pizza we both concluded that, it was worth the six hours of driving in crap weather because it will be a long time before we will be able to have that experience again. If I had an Instagram account you would have all witnessed the glory of our meal. But I don’t, so just try to imagine it.
As for today, well, I spent the end of civilization in the last place I would want to be if the world ended: a shopping mall. However, I bought myself some snazzy new pants, a cool Blue Jays spring jacket (thank you Winners, the one refuge I find in those vast, mindless, merchandise mazes), and another present or two for my lovely lady. Once we made it out of there alive, we popped into a really neat and charitable Thrift Shop in Parksville and picked up some more cool (albeit, moderately useless) stuff for our future bar. We picked up a cool beer stein, another cool beer stein (which you will all see the full glory of sometime in the summer….ahh, foreshadowing….), some solid brandy snifters (they were only ninety-nine cents! bag it!) and an interesting CO2-less keg contraption. More will come about that device when we put it into practice. Our final stop was at another local favourite, Fireside Books. If the second coming were to have arrived, this is where I wanted to be – a used book store. I was able to check off some much sought after books on my list, and for three-fifty a pop, why wouldn’t I? I grabbed Crichton’s ‘Sphere’ and ‘The Lost World’ (though I couldn’t find ‘Jurassic Park’ or ‘Eaters of the Dead’), Hubbard’s ‘Battlefield Earth’ (don’t worry Mom, I’m not becoming a Scientologist – I’m just interested to learn about why John Travolta is crazy now), Ayn Rand’s ‘Anthem’ (any Rush fans in the house? Well, Neil Peart loosely based ’2112′ on this book and he shared the same English teacher as my dad in high school! Neato, eh? …also, odd coincidence I thought of 2112 on 21/12/2012…maybe the Mayan’s were one hundred years off?!?!?) and Burrough’s ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ (I want to see where it all started). I also splurged on two first edition hard cover James Bond novels. So it will be a good few months of reading.
Right now? I just reached the halfway point in ‘Count of Monte Cristo’ and my eyes are tired of staring at size eight font, so it’s bedtime. Maybe I’ll tackle the last four-hundred-fifty pages tomorrow.
I’m glad you’re still alive.