Fall Date Nights in YYC

Date nights are always a fun opportunity for me to get dressed up a, throw on a Burgundy Jewel Toned Lipstick and venture out to a new eating establishment we haven’t been to yet. I get nostalgic thinking of when my mom and dad used to go out for dinner which was often saved for special occasions like a birthdays or anniversaries. My mother always had a flair for rich vibrant colors, and would accessorize her long royal blue coat with a ruby or emerald broach pinning her silk scarf against the lapel. Her cheeks freshly rouged as she shuffled me into my black patent dress shoes smelling of Shalimar and Oil of Olay.

It’s only to be expected that I’ve followed a similar pattern of pomp and circumstance on date nights. My boyfriend Tony is well programmed in his responses to my questions around appropriate dress attire where he’ll simply say:

“Wear whatever it is you’d like to wear!”-Smart Boy

It should also come as no surprise that I’ve been extremely overdressed on multiple occasions, but chalked it up to sometimes Truck Stop Diners with world famous pie deserve the opulence.

According to its Website:

We’ve had a couple of mentionable dinner dates in the last several weeks. We finally had made it out to Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, located in a historical site in Fish Creek Park, Calgary Alberta.

According to its Website:

“The story of the Bow Valley Ranche is nearly twelve decades long. Throughout its many years, the house has always had a reputation for holding unforgettable parties. It began with a few characters who were critical to the development of Alberta’s cattle industry, the Big Four. In fact, the idea of the Calgary Stampede may very well have been conceived within the walls of the house.

In 1896, cattle rancher and businessman William Roper Hull purchased property along the Bow River and built a sprawling ranch house. The ranch became a centre for refined social activities, as he entertained many local and foreign visitors there. Among the activities popular with the guests, tennis and the outdoor pool were crowd favourites, as you can see from the pictures below.

Hull owned the house and property until 1902, when it was purchased by Patrick Burns, a successful cattle rancher who eventually became a senator. Almost a century later, local residents Mitzie and Larry Wasyliw created the Fish Creek Restoration Society in 1995 for the purpose of restoring the Hull residence. In the summer of 1999, the ranch house was opened as a fine dining restaurant.”

Bow Valley Ranche is a fine dining resteraunt and we were celebrating our common-law anniversary, which is a thing for some of us fearful of marriage!

September 28, 2020 gave us an abnormally warm evening and looked forward to clutching on to the last few days, hours and minutes of outdoor dining we could. We had also been aware that they were hosting the Foodies in the Park Series : Wonderland Dome Dining which we will return to experience on October 23rd, 2020. Stay tuned for that!

We strolled along the pathway leading up to the impressive farmhouse, lined with old fashioned street lanterns. It reminded me of the scene in Mary Poppins, Bert and the children went to the park and broke into song singing:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious !

Amazon.com: Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition: Julie Andrews, Dick Van  Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

A quaint little fountain in the middle of the Ranch House’s garden marked its way before we arrived at the steps leading us onto a porch that wrapped its way around the house. I knew that was where I wanted to sit for dinner, and we were led to a discreetly placed table

We started our dining experience with a hearty helping of Oysters on the half shell, fresh grated horseradish, lemon and mignonette du jour. On our first date, we had worked our way down 17th Ave, Bar and resteraunt hopping with our last stop being Market. There we drank cognac and ate Oysters until we ended up taking the party back to my place *wink *wink- So it only made sense to indulge.

For dinner I had the Smoked Gouda & Wild Mushroom Stuffed Chicken with macaire potatoes, asparagus, tomato confit and roasted peppers. Tony had the Rougie Duck a L’Orange, with Russian Blue mashed potatoes, green beans, baby carrot vichy. Both entrees were delicious, however we had a little giggle over the plating of his food, specifically his Russian Blue Mashed Potatoes.

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We ended our evening of with a dessert of truffles that were on the house. Our waiter was so excellent and quite charming, ensuring our glasses remained full or if we needed anything in the most cordial of ways.

It was a beautiful way to finish up a gorgeous September.

Last night we ventured North of the bow River to SS106 Aperitivo Bar, and Italian Kitchen nestled in the heart of Crescent Heights on Edmonton Trail.

According to their Website:

“SS106’s name derives from the SS106 which is a 491-kilometre highway on the Ionian coast in southern Italy, stretching between the towns of Reggio Calabria in the west to Taranto in the east. While the highway offers incredibly scenic views of beaches, ancient coastal towns and the sea, it is also known as one of Italy’s most dangerous roads, due to tight turns. However, Domenico (the owner) wanted to change the highway’s reputation right here in their hometown of Calgary.

SS106 Aperitivo Bar was opened to create the Italian lifestyle here in Calgary. The Italian lifestyle is very social and every Italian visits their local bar daily even if it’s just for a quick espresso. Many people who have not traveled to Italy have a perception that Italian restaurants are only quiet and candle lit. In Italy many Italian restaurants & bars are very social, happy and louder. SS106 Aperitivo Bar has brought a piece of Italy to YYC.”-Website

And loud it was! It made me long for my girl gang and a time during pre-pandemic days where we’d sit for hours, drinking, laughing and taking no particular notice of the other diners around us regardless of how racey the topic was.I could see the owners vision at work as small groups of diners grazed over plates of Charctuterie, Olives and Pasta.

SS106 makes all their pasta in house and lived up to its charm of not trying to be anything else but just that. A perfect spot to drop in, fill your belly, and try one of their craft cocktails. I enjoyed an Apertivo called the Busted Negroni-Cinzano | Campari | Prosecco | Soda.

We ordered the TAGLIERE (BOARDS) Fromaggio and Calamari to start which were pretty standard and tasty. For our entree’s I had ordered the Gnocchi ai Funghi which is their House-made gnocchi served in a gorgonzola cheese fondue with seared mushrooms. Tony ordered the Fusilli Calabresi pasta served in a tomato sauce with parmesan cheese, which I ended up wishing I had ordered with its nicely spiced, well balanced sauce.Alternatively they have pizza’s as well that perhaps I will try next time. It was a nice time and I was happy Tony had come across this place for our date night. The service was awesome and quick, and very Italian!

Stay tuned for our next date nights in YYC : FoodiesintheparkWonderland Edition

Don’t forget to follow my Instagram @BPEYYC & my Facebook Page:@shegotthatBPE

U.S. Presidential Race: A Canadian’s View

If you are a new reader to my blog page or have not yet had the opportunity to read some of my previous publishing’s I’ll quickly recap. I’m Canadian, and my boyfriend is an American, hailing from St. Louis Missouri. He is a Navy Veteran now living here in Canada working back in the civilian world which to the rest of us is the only way of life we know. Since our cohabitation however, I have grown exponentially in terms of my own knowledge inadvertently as a result of how my partner engages and is effected by the American political climate. To be perfectly honest, in my own ignorance I often wondered how beneficial it was for him to be consuming and absorbing so much political propaganda on such a rapid pace. The constant discouraging news and racist acts of violence, exacerbated by a President’s twitter fingers had me screaming at the television constantly. It pissed me off, and I couldn’t imagine what it was doing to my partner who is toting some serious PTSD as a Navy Vet and a black man that served; willing to die for his country. So you can imagine I was initially concerned about the effects in which the constant media bombardment was having on us both.

Until something clicked in me.

Now admittedly I have always been fascinated with American Politics on a very superficial level until the dumpster fire grew bigger with the introduction of President Trump. Since that inaugeration, during my travels I’ve always steered away from discussing politics with the Americans I’ve met, fearful of what they may divulge with regards to their own political positions. I didn’t want to disrupt the potential pool pong partners or swim up bar vibes we had going on. In fact I really didn’t want to hate them based on where they sat on the spectrum. I knew it was wrong to feel that way, but nonetheless my truth. Seems harsh I know, especially as an outsider looking in as a guest observer essentially looking down from her left winged nose. That sense of unfamiliar divisiveness I felt that was triggered within my own being I imagine is what is dividing an entire country. For me to experience a sense of inherent disrespect for someone based on a political position is merely non-existent in the world of Canadian politics. Can you hear the shame in my voice? I’m far more pragmatic and open than this kind of avoidant behavior. While Canadians have varying views particularly based on Industry, Indigenous and Environment issues- I can’t say that I’ve ever despised someone for voting Conservative, Liberal, Green Party, NDP or Independent before.

In order to grasp the the comparisons between our two political climates here is my take on it. If you ever need a sedative to sleep just throw on CPAC and you will be lulled to sleep by the polite bickering between Parliament Candidate members. There is nothing sensational about it, however in my opinion superior in terms of its integrity (I use “integrity” loosely speaking). To be honest the only time I do tune in is when my old school mate Nicholas Milliken-MLA Calgary-Currie is on and I’m there just for his impeccably tailored power suits. Sorry Nick.

I admit I am flawed here. And that’s why its important to highlight my biases and how they may impact my lens.

I’ve asked myself why as a Canadian was I so enthralled with American politics and less interested with regards to my own countries leaders? I came to the conclusion that perhaps its because there has been no overt controversial attack against what values I hold, my safety, or livelihood as a white Canadian woman.

Gulp* That my friends is a perspective based in privilege- the ability to feel relatively safe regardless of the political climate within the country I live in.

This however is relatively a different narrative to our indigenous and POC populations. And for this reason is why I must disregard my trivial concerns regarding the emotional impact and become outspoken on the subject. Putting my fears aside and having those political conversations with Americans and Canadians as often as necessary. I can give thanks to my very own American consiglieri for that as I can hold my own equipped with far more in depth insights than ever before. The reality of my partner, his family, and others life experiences is being played out in front of our eyes. It’s clear to me why he navigates the world apprehensively and with an element of mistrust; he’s been living in this state of fight or flight as an American all his life.

You see American Politics carry a heavy societal influence on how its people interact with one another and how its systems overtly impact its citizens base on race. In a country where celebrity and sensationalism are guiding forces its no wonder how a reality star became president. All it takes is a bunch of misinformed, disenfranchised egg heads to start a militia that breed hate into the vulnerable, poor and uneducated folks of America. We can thank the gigantic socio-economical gaps for lighting the match to that fuel tanker.

But as the Presidential elections begin to wind up here shortly, it appears that the kettle is also getting ready to boil over. I say this because I can see the weight of this elections outcome has on the morale and weariness of my partner’s spirit as he watches intently every detail of the emerging variables that will determine the fate of his country. You see, he is a black man who has grown up in Missouri, where Mike Brown, a black man who was unarmed, shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer occurred. And unless you have been living under a rock, Black people have been 28% of those killed by police in 2020 despite being only 13% of the population.

See Chart: Number of people shot to death by the police in the United States from 2017 to 2020, by race

But you see as seemingly different the political cultures are between Canada and the United States the issues of systemic racism and police brutality remain the same. I believe that these issues have been brought to the forefront again as a result of the mounting tensions below us. Truthfully, its about time, sadly at the expense of peoples lives.

Caesar-Chavannes an Former Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes shared on CTV Morning News that racism in Canada can be seen daily when considering incarceration rates and health statistics.

“When you look at our health outcomes, when you look at our justice system and the overpopulation of our prisons with black and indigenous people, you have to really think about whether or not systemic racism does not actually exist in this country because I think it’s our lived reality every day,” Caesar-Chavannes said.

And if you are American and reading this you are probably thinking I need to be keeping my nose out of it. But you see the impact of these elections span beyond just my personal relationships, they impact my country as well.

In an article on the CBC Beyond Borders they outline 5 ways in which Canada could be impacted by the outcome of the elections.

Energy and the Environment

Trump promises more oil drilling, more pipelines — and less regulation. Joe Biden, on the other hand, says he’d cancel Trump’s permit for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

Biden wants to invest massively in clean energy; rejoin the Paris Accord; and, finally, name, shame and potentially punish countries with green tariffs if they fail to cut emissions.

International Trade

Biden promises more Buy American policies and perennial disputes like softwood lumber would not disappear. But Biden says he’d drop some of Trump’s most aggressive moves against allies, like the steel and aluminum tariffs based on alleged national-security grounds. He has also hinted he might, eventually, try negotiating U.S. re-entry into the pan-Pacific trade pact now known as CPTPP.

Trump’s administration prides itself on a hard-nosed, transformative trade policy that includes lots of tariffs and duties, and has essentially paralyzed the World Trade Organization’s dispute system. His trade team says it has a long-term plan; its critics say the results so far offer more chaos than benefits.

Defense

Canadian defence policy has long rested on the assumption of an unshakeable partnership with the United States. Yet old alliances suddenly seem less sturdy. Trump has rattled old assumptions, repeatedly criticizing NATO allies for under-spending on their military. Past administrations have made similar complaints. But under a barrage of demands from Trump, allies have, in fact, upped their spending. Some defence analysts, and a top former aide to Trump, still fear he might withdraw from NATO in a second term. That uncertainty lingers over a deployment of Canadian troops in Eastern Europe.

Biden is a staunch NATO advocate, and under his watch, Canada could face a different challenge: conversations about NATO’s future role and missions. One major issue continues to hover over the continent: whether Canada will wind up spending billions to install new radar over the Arctic.

China

When the globe’s two superpowers clash, Canada risks getting sideswiped. Just ask the Canadians in Chinese jail cells and the canola, pork and beef farmers punished by Beijing after Canada executed a U.S. arrest warrant against a high-profile Chinese telecom exec. China-U.S. tensions now loom over myriad global issues, touching the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, agriculture, educational exchanges, journalism, new technologies and sanctioned goods. Trump made these issues top priorities. And they’re not going away.

Biden, however, says he wants to approach things differently — for starters, by working more closely with allies. He plans to host a summit of democracies to discuss ways governments and private-sector companies like banks and social media platforms might push back against global authoritarianism. One thing Trump has not clearly articulated — and it’s something Biden would be pressed to offer — is a sense of the long-term goal: How does the U.S. intend to coexist with China?

Immigration

Trump has indicated that for a second term, he would carry on with some of the more restrictive temporary work visa programs he established during his first term. Just recently, for example, he announced a major overhaul for H1-B visas. He is also seeking to end the temporary humanitarian protection of thousands of migrants who face threats back home, and decrease the overall number of refugees who come to the U.S. All this could put pressure on Canadian borders. 

Meanwhile, Biden has said he would reverse Trump’s H1-B visa freeze, review the decision to end humanitarian protection for migrants, repeal Trump’s travel ban and increase the number of refugees coming into the U.S. to 125,000.

In the meantime I can assure you we will be sitting at the edge of our seats awaiting the outcome. I can assure you my aggression towards the television will only get more violent-hide your children. But ultimately I am grateful for the awakening, and look forward to some politically fueled pool pong whoopings with y’all ‘Mericans.”

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