Sunday, March 16, 2014

36 Days and Counting

So apparently this wedding thing is really going to happen.  I am feeling very confident in La Joya (not the wedding planner, but that's only 20 minutes of the whole thing) and their ability on putting on a beautiful, elegant, delicious wedding.  Woot.  All that's left is getting my ring adjusted and getting my dress back.  Oh and finding some shoes.  Has anyone seen any cute sandals this season?

Here's me and Edwardo Chadwick at the gala dinner for the 10th Anniversary of the Berlin tasting.  He created some of (the?) best wines coming out of Chile (the world?)

This week I totally took it easy, and come Thursday started feeling like a real person again.  In retrospect, I don't think it was food poisoning.  I think it was a lack of sleep last week, Bikini Fit (everything is BF's fault), and the disgusting filthhole that is Hong Kong. I have never ever lived in a city where the entire population is all sick with the same gross cold at the same time.  Mind you, the weather has been super shitty; grey, spitting, wet, and chilly, but my god, does that mean everyone has to cough and hack up crap everywhere?  I find this has split people into two camps; gross hacking cough sick and stomach virus puking sick.  Hong Kong, sometimes you disgust me. 
Finally a view.

Today the sun is out and Paul and I had a lovely Sunday together.  I went for a nice 10k hike up to the Peak before Paul got up and actually had a view for once!  Then Paul (finally) got up and we went for a nice brunch at Nosh down the street.  I've been meaning to go for sometime as it has nice indoor/outdoor seating, but the bloody place is always filled with hipsters and their lenseless leather booted friends.  We barely squeezed in and had a pleasant although not very exciting brunch.  Does anyone else hate eating breakfast out?  What a waste.  I can make eggs and toast at home...and buy smoked salmon...

So many fresh veg for $20
Anyway, then we went on a quest for a coffee shop which posed to be quite the problem.  Hong Kong just isn't into cozy coffee shops.  Too full Starbucks, shitty Pacific Coffee, and other chains with 20 minute internet usage, sure.  Cozy spot to perch down for a couple hours, not so much.  Ended up hitting the Gap (25% off!) and a new veggie market before settling into Saffron, my favorite coffee shop cum bakery in town.  I met the owner, Sean, yesterday at Beertopia and chatted with him more over an awesome latte and chocolate loaf while Paul marked away.  This is a seriously cool cafe and will start bringing live music to Sheung Wan soon. 

As mentioned, this week was super quiet.  I spent Wednesday working on some notes about Chile for my diploma study group. 
 Thursday I had wine class with JC.  This class' topic was blind tasting techniques.  We tasted 6 waters, each with a different additive, to gauge acidity, sugar, tannin, and alcohol levels.  Then we tasted 3 white and 3 red wine blind and deduced together what they could be.  Greg, my old boss, and Florian, my old colleague, were both there, as were a bunch of other new faces.  These classes are awesome and it's about time word got out.

Chilean Sauv Blanc and a Sancerre (Loire Valley Sauv Blanc- much better!)
 Friday AM I skipped Bikini Fit in favor of an HK Social Media event.  Jay Oatway gave an update about what's what in Social Media this month (email is out, WhatApp is in!), and then interviewed two women who used crowd sourcing to fund their new business.  I love these events and am happy to see them making a return. 

 Friday afternoon and I needed a quick break from work so I went over for a quick visit to my girl Sherry at Schmidt Vinotek.  She has me taste some really exceptional wines including a Gruner Vetliner, which I bought, a Dornfelder, a Hungarian Cab Franc, Riesling Kabinett (sweet), a 1983 Riesling (off dry), and another sweet wine I can't quite remember.  Yum.

After finishing my last Bikini Fit boxing day, which was awesome, it was time for BEERTOPIA.  This year was even bigger and better than last with thousands of beers, lots of friends, and some horribly typical Hong Kong weather.  Thanks for that.  

 I met Sarah and Will, and then Nina and Kenny, and then Zara and Sam, and then Adam and Dave, and then Lisa, and other David, Toby, Betsy, Josh, Julia and Mike, Laura and Derek, Kevin, eventually Paul (he had class) and all sorts of new friends for 5 hours of worldwide beer fun.
 I started with a strong (9%) Italian beer which turned out to be the best idea of the entire day.  Marcus and his new wife just started importing craft Italian beers, she also imports all sorts of organic things, and they just so happen to have an amazing apartment in Umbria, Italy that they very kindly offered to us should we ever want it.  We do. 

 WIll and Sarah got there first to man prime real estate right on the water.  Close enough to hear the angry lesbian music, but not too close to be overwhelmed by it.  The next band was much much better and covered Wagon Wheel and Hey Ho.  Get better.
 Jules and Mike were on the clock helping their friend who just began importing Oregon craft beers to Hong Kong.  I loved the Stout and am very much impressed by the breadth of craft beers now available in Hong Kong.  This is most definitely coming off the success of places like the Globe and from importers Hop Leaf and Americraft.  Yey beer. 

 Post Beerfest we head back to Nina and Kenny's for some food and belated birthday celebration.  Paul is so touched.  Happy 64th birthday Nina and Kenny!
Josh, Hailey, Paul, Sarah, Will, Kenny, Sam, Zara and Nina
 The gang and pizza, mac and cheese (well done Classified), ribs and pulled pork (well done Roundhouse).
Sarah, Josh, me, Paul

Another Beertopia success and I was home and asleep by 10.  Paul decided to stay a bit later and managed to have a run in with the drying laundry on the way in.  But that's another story...

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