Friday, June 1, 2007

Life in the 'Fax Lane

After a four hour ride that took me to Peggy's Cove and through some sleepy towns on the outskirts of Halifax, I experienced my first taste of Atlantic Canadian hospitality at a waterfront residence in Dartmouth on Saturday night. While I usually like to eat before dipping into the sauce, especially after a long ride, it was worth making an exception. I met a guy who makes his money selling porn to hotels - you'd be surprised at the stats. And then there was the guy who ran Ironman Canada on a dare - how hard could it be? It took him 17.5 hours - that's got to hurt! A subset of us later headed out for dinner at a cool little restaurant called Seven (the food was fantastic!) and then a bar called Bubbles Mansion, which has ties to Trailer Park boys (which I have never seen, but pretended to be impressed by).

I was surprisingly fresh for my 7am (4am my time) departure to the golf course the next morning. I don't golf much, but I like tournaments because the popular 'best ball' format lends itself well to concealing my incompetence. When I arrived at the course, I was informed that we were not, in fact, playing best ball. Thankfully, I was paired with two very easy going golfers, one of whom had me in stitches from the first hole and took it upon himself to mentor me on the game. For example, laughing hysterically when he pitched out of one sand trap and into another (several times) is apparently called 'poor etiquette'. I heard, for the first time, the term 'ferocious' used to describe someone's golfing style, but I'm not saying whose. The S&M hole was totally not what I was expecting, but was fun nonetheless, as we tested the limberness of our hips.

Dinner was at the Citadel, a fortress atop a hill in the middle of Halifax (thanks Amar!). It was completed in 1856, but the location has been used as a military defense since 1740. Living in Calgary, sometimes it's easy to forget that Canada's heritage goes back that far, so it was a particularly memorable event for me.

Among the people I met was Malcolm (aka Pepsi). He works for a competing firm, which makes us arch enemies, but we put away our differences for the evening. He worked in Halifax during university, so he knew all of the cool bars to go to, which, of course, we did (well, only two). Check out this video I took of a guy dancing at the Lower Deck. Unreal.

We unanimously elected to find another bar once the Lower Deck shut down. If that isn't adequate proof that alcohol impairs judgement, perhaps the fact that we ordered Jager bombs when we got to Cheers is. We were joined (completely randomly) by a new friend "Chevy" (It MAY have actually been Shiva, but who cares?). Nobody was quite sure what his story was, but he sure took a liking to Ryan, who likened to Barishnakov and who he insisted is going to be the next Prime Minister of Canada. Sometimes I swear I'm in the twilight zone.

My excitement to hear the conferences keynote speaker, Henry Kravis, got me out of bed early for the conference the next day. He did not disappoint. Legend.

After the conference, I snuck out for a quick bike ride and then headed to dinner, only to find that the conference organizers were making everyone trade in their pants for kilts. Great icebreaker. So good, in fact, that we decided to go out on the town again - but only after indulging in a little scotch tasting. Getting booted from the Lower Deck immediately after paying our cover charge turned out to be a blessing as it created the opportunity to see a few more local watering holes. Now I get why Great Big Sea exists. All said, super fun and memorable night.

I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit tired at the conference the next day. Once the conference finished, Jason, Chris and I headed to the Alexander Keith's Brewery (built in 1863) for a beerless lunch. Jason and I checked out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, while Chris took a tour of the 102 with his new friend Jack. We met up later for dinner at a restaurant called the Press Gang. Built in 1759, it was the second oldest building in the city. We classed it up by trying some oysters, which Jason chased with a grape slurpee.

On Jason's advice, I grabbed a seat in row eleven on the flight back. What a scam, it's the row immediately in front of the emergency exit, which means the recline function on the chairs has been disabled. Not really consistent with my plans to sleep on the flight. Fortunately, Chris also fell for Jason's trick, so I had some entertainment. We had a beer or two to wash down the peachy penguins and other candy that we grabbed at an adult candy store called Freak Lunchbox. It was at this time that Chris revealed to me his belief that, if he had to, he could win a fight with a crocodile. Okay. It was one of the more enjoyable flights I've been on.

And now, it's time to recover from my Halifax Adventure - I'm exhausted. I never knew life in Atlantic Canada could move so fast. Thank god I have coffee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the "Life in the 'Fax lane" title... Brilliant.

As for the croc wrestling, let's look at the facts:
I live in Calgary.
There are no crocs in Calgary...
Coinsidence? I think not. They know the score...

June 1, 2007 at 1:31:00 PM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

In a spelling bee, I'm afraid the croc might win. You'd definitely take him in a marathon though.

June 1, 2007 at 3:39:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Poyote said...

Coincidence lol

June 2, 2007 at 7:30:00 PM MDT  

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