What could be better than an afternoon spent stuffing yourself with chocolate truffles and rich, dark hot chocolate? How about another afternoon spent stuffing yourself with chocolate truffles and rich, hot dark chocolate. You would think so anyway.
With my sis in town (she got in yesterday and we had late-night noodles), we headed out for a delightful drive around Vancouver’s side streets as we endlessly circled the various neighborhoods looking for parking. And while most of the day was actually spent in the car, I wasn’t complaining because the important thing wasn’t so much what we did, but that we did it together. Also, it was pouring rain outside. Still, we did manage to find cover long enough for us to check out a few interesting places – Petites Fours Pet Boutique being one (things were hopping when we dropped by), the Rex Hotel for another.
The Rex Hotel is a doggy hotel, spa, and daycare in one, the sort of place an overprotective dog-owner such as myself would look to board their dogs if they were heading out of town. Located at 760 Terminal Ave., the its decidedly industrial location belies a clean, sleek interior. In fact, the reception area is reminiscent of a lot of the high-end establishments I’ve stayed in and specifically the W Hotel (if the W Hotel was actually staffed by human beings instead of black-clad automatons). Owner Barrie Balshaw was on hand to show us around and, with him leading the way, we toured the facility: separate play and lounge areas for the big and small breeds included doggy play-sets and flat screen t.v.’s, a luxurious spa, exterior waterpark and deck, and separate “suite” accommodations for the solitary canine (group sleepovers for the rest overseen by an employee who actually beds down with the little furballs). It looks like a very nice place and the dogs we saw certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to drop by Chocoatl on the way back. We sampled about a dozen truffles between the three of us (holy smokes is that whisky truffle good!) and some hot chocolate (the Ecuadorian denso for me, the Tanzanian denso for my sis, and the regular Peruvian hot chocolate for mom). We were on our way out when I noticed Themis plating a fantastic-looking slice of chocolate cake. I made a mental note to try some next time I was in. But as I said goodbye to Themis, he held up the cake and informed me that he had prepared it just for us. How could we refuse? And so, we returned to our table and ate the cake – which, it turned out, was as fantastic as it looked.
By the time we got home, I was piqued by the familiar cresting of the over-enthusiastic gourmand’s scourge (a.k.a.: I felt fucking sick to my stomach). On any other day, I would have had a cup of green tea and some low-fat cottage cheese for dinner, but these are the holidays and my mother and sister have only so many days in Vancouver. So I’ll still have that green tea but, instead of the cottage cheese, I’ll be steeling myself for tonight’s dinner at Fuel. We’ll be doing the cote de boeuf and, as Emily can attest, it’s a dish that requires exceptional focus and mental fortitude.
Let’s squeeze in a mailbag before dinner –
Constance Auclair writes: “Do you read Fantasy novels if so have you read the Wayfarer Redemption trilogy series from Sara Douglass?”
Answer: I haven’t read Sara Douglass but I do read a fair amount of fantasy. Come join this month’s book club. Read The Princess Bride and participate in January’s discussion, or read Sean Williams’ The Crooked Letter for a chance to one a copy of the second book in the series.
Charles Schneider writes: “Given that my birthday falls on the holidays, do you have an recommendations based on my dinner options?”
Answer: Nothing says Christmas like sushi.
Erin Anderson writes: “Have you ever watched Babylon 5?”
Answer: I watched the first three seasons on dvd.
Emily writes: “OMG. This is exactly like the SG-1 season 3 episode “Pretense.” Can’t you think of some original ideas???:
Answer: Our version will also include a villain in a ridiculous hat. Stay tuned.
Jenny Robin writes: “Wish me luck.”
Answer: Good luck!
Rachel writes: “Broken Ties? Are you doing a bondage episode?”
Answer: Apparently, I’m the Ties Guy, as I’ve written The Ties That Bind, Family Ties, and now Broken Ties.
Annie from Freemantle writes: “Do you have all the episode stories figured out before you start filming for the next season or do you invent as you go along?”
Answer: We usually have a third to half of the season written by the time we start production, and a good three-quarters of our story ideas “on the white board” along with a pretty firm idea of where we’re going with our major arcs (and where we’re going to end up by season’s end).
DJ writes: “Have you read “Her Majesty’s Dragon” by Naomi Novik?”
Answer: I did. Just do a search for the book’s title and you’ll find my write-up in the archives.
Erika writes: “Does Brad Wright like Vala?”
Answer: Brad, Rob – in fact all of the writers love the Vala character.
Fsmn36 writes: “ I have to ask, those events listed a few posts back. Those were real Vancouver events?”
Answer: 14 out of the 15 listed were, in fact, real events. One was a gag.