I love August, especially the first week! Not only is it generally warm and sunny, but this week also includes both my birthday and my favourite event of the year – Toronto’s Festival of Beer. I believe this year marks approximately my 10th year at the event (I say approximately because I honestly can’t remember.. but its seems like its been a lot of years!), and never fails to be an amazing day. My friends and I long ago determined that the Beer Fest was indeed, better then Christmas, and have taken to wishing eachother a Merry Christmas on this day – at the beginning of August. Even my Mom gave me a ring on Saturday to impart the joyous message.
Jillian and I started off my birthday festivities on Thursday by sweating it out at the gym and then enjoying a few libations down on the ‘Coast.’ I left the reunion of Jillian and Mr. Moustache a few hours later and made my way to Union station to collect two of my dear friends that made the trek down from Ottawa for the weekend. Andre and Eve arrived at 10pm and we all made fast work of getting some beer into our bellies (or in Eve’s case, White Wine – ‘grape juice’ as our waiter called it) at a local watering hole. I decided to make the most of their visit and had booked the Friday (my actual birthday) off work, so we spent the next day checking out the Beach (yes, Toronto has several of these), travelling on the TTC and dining on Patios.
In order to keep ourselves fresh for the Saturday’s day drinking festivities, we decided to have a low key BBQ at the homestead on Friday night. We enjoyed some delicious eats and a few beverages, while feeling as though we were trapped in the 40 year old versions of ourselves – staying in on a Friday night and watching Dateline? Yup, Happy Birthday to me!
Finally, Christmas in August arrived and we all piled on a sweaty Streetcar on Saturday morning, destined for the Beer Festival. Luckily, the rain that had been threatening to dampen our spirits managed to hold off – but the humidity was palpable. This was definitely the swampiest day I have ever experienced in Toronto, and likely the world (maybe I just ignore the humidity when I’m in the Caribbean?). Luckily, the sun was shining and the beer was flowing freely enough to make the suffocating humidity a non-issue.
Like every Beer Fest in my past, the day seemed to go by far too quickly. I managed a few quick visits with Jillian and Mr. Moustache, saw a few friends from High school on the streetcar ride in, and managed only about two minutes of face time with my partner in crime Depot – at least from what I can recall. As usual, we spent the majority of the day hanging out near the SteamWhistle area – just because I’m surrounded by hundreds of breweries doesn’t mean I have to stray from my tried, tested and true Pilsner of choice.
Shortly after the event closed its gates we piled onto yet another swampy Streetcar to begin the considerably hazy trip home. We were down one soldier (Korean) from our initial group – not too bad considering the general insanity of the day. The weather started to break at this point and we managed to get rained on a bit, but by that point it was a welcome relief. We swooped into a Thai restaurant to pick up some much need filler on the way home, and then all settled into the couch for an evening of movies, tv and (a little) more beer. Any aspirations of heading back out into the world for the evening were quickly abandoned.
Our Sunday started off eerily early, with Andre, Eve and I hitting up a brunch spot at 10am – I guess if you don’t go out on Saturday night, 10am really isn’t that early! Shortly afterwards they were off on their journey back to Ottawa and my weekend of celebrating was nearing an end. I happily spent the remainder of my Sunday puddled into the couch finishing off the epic first season of Game of Thrones and watching the Ring that evening with the roomies and Officer.
Ithink we can all agree that Nancy’s birthday can officially be retired for the year. Ahh… 362 days until my 30th, a birthday Month might have to be arranged!