Thursday, 15 December 2011

Winter Beersbee

Jen holding the Photographers Bevy!
November 30th. Gary's birthday, and more importantly time for the third annual winter beersbee outing! What the hell is beersbee you ask? Well, you get a minimum group of four people together (feel free to increase the group size, preferably in increments of two), you pound two sets of two posts into the sand on your favorite beach a frisbee and two fists apart on each end (separated by a distance that's suitable to the skill level - maybe 10 paces to start?).
Kerry and Jeremy - Worthy Opponents

Place a cup on each of the 4 posts and arm yourself with your favorite alcoholic beverage in hand. The object of the game is to knock the cups off at the opposite end with a frisbee. A point if you do it unless someone on the other team can catch the cup with their free hand in which case they're awarded the point.

Kerry and Mia, Beersbee '09

Getting the frisbee through without touching gets you two points, and knocking your own cup off for any reason takes five points away from your own score. Game goes to 21.
The Rest of the '09 Crew!

What the hell is winter beersbee you ask? Same deal, but in snow, and chances are it will be with people who get It. Reason being, if they don't get It they will probably question why you're doing this sort of thing and then not do it.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Mix

The Mix
Puerto Banús, Marbella, Spain
Trish and her brother Dave had been living and working in Vancouver, Canada for many years when the boredom of the daily slog had finally caught up with them back in 2005. So with the help of their generous parent's airmiles account, they found themselves aboard a plane headed for somewhere they had never really heard of in Southern Spain.

The town was called Puerto Banús (a municipality of Marbella) and the plan didn't extend much further than taking a few weeks vacation to try to figure out what to do to improve life's repetitiveness. While at one of the town's 50+ bars one night (an Irish one, incidentally; note that Puerto Banús only has around 5000 residents - that makes it 1 bar per 100 people!!), they ended up meeting a fella who happened to have a bar he was trying to sell. It seemed they had found what they were looking for...

Although the bar was relatively inexpensive (around 70K euros) it wasn't the kind of money they had lying around. So off to Ireland they went where they could secure the funds needed through a bank loan (luckily Trish and Dave have Irish passports so they didn't have to come all the way back to Canada). The other obviously important thing they didn't have was a proper handle on the Spanish language :) So the first thing Trish did upon their return to Puerto Banús was take a 3 month intensive course on the subject, which had the beneficial side effect of making plenty of connections with other people living in the area.

Trish and brother Dave
While learning Spanish, they spent time renovating the bar into what they wanted it to be (a cocktail bar in fact), and figuring out how they would make it all work. The next 2 years were spent doing just that, and having a great time doing it. Talking to Trish, she doesn't make it sound like it was a particularly easy thing to do: summers are awesomely busy, winters not so much; the bar was located on the 2nd floor of the building and so it was always a challenge to coax people up there to check it out; Spanish people stay up late. Really late. The bar usually closed for the night around 6am in fact. (!!)

But despite it being so much work she says she wouldn't trade the experience for the world, and she would do it all again (of course in a slightly different way knowing what she knows now). Trish and Dave have since returned to Vancouver where they are once again living (I'd imagine with a little more space between them :)... as much as they loved running the bar in Spain, it was just too much work to sustain, and they were breaking even, but unfortunately that was about it. I suppose with such a high ratio of bars per capita, there would be a lot of competition there...

Trish with her supportive parents
Anyway, hats off to Trish and Dave for getting out there and doing It!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Tom's Swim in the Pacific

On April Fool's Day of 2010, my girlfriend and I headed south from Vancouver, Canada for a three month hiatus that would take us on a 20,000km+ tour down to the southern point of the Yucatan Peninsula and back, essentially driving a complete circle around the perimeter of Mexico. We started the trip by meeting friends of ours from England, Tom and Steph, in San Fransisco, and spending the first month with them on a California road trip.
Contrary to what any reasonable person from England would assume (and quite frankly us Canadians too), the Golden State, with all of it's deserts and vineyards and beaches (not too mention Death Valley, the hottest place in the Western Hemisphere), is *not* the warmest place to be in April. 
In fact, we started the trip by rear-ending someone on the highway while caught in a snow storm! Ugg. The remainder of the month was spent searching for some form of warmth, and we only found it by heading as far south as quickly as possible to Palm Springs, the land of the old or the gay (not too sure why that is, but that it is). 

Anyway, we were on the coast somewhere just north of Pebble Beach on yet another cold, rainy and very windy day, and Tom thought it would be fun for us to all pull over and have someone take photos of him changing down to his bathing suite, and going for a swim in the beautiful Pacific waters...

Nice one Tom, that's one for the team!