For the 5th year in a row we've booked an "adults only" weekend with our friends in Bowmanville (home of the Bowmanville Zoo and the lions that starred in The Ghost and the Darkness). This time we committed ourselves to actually heading in to downtown Toronto for some jazz/blues and a nice (quiet with no kids) meal. As luck would have it this weekend was forecasted to be around 40 degrees with the humidex. Ack.
The gang with the tower thingy in the background
Me with Ed the Sock (can you guess which one is Ed?)
We hit the King St. area around noon and after a quick tour of Speaker's Corner and the MuchMusic store we headed over to "The Rex" for a pint and some live jazz. Other than the fact that it was not at all air conditioned it was a nice little jazz joint. The ceiling fans on high and windows cranked wide combined with sweat soaked musicians mobbing brows with handkerchiefs just added to the ambiance and gave things a real southern New Orleans feel.
Not exactly a sold out crowd but hey, it was only noon (and 40 frickin' degrees)
While relaxing between sets the 186th annual Orangemen's Parade marched by so we stepped outside to pay our respects. The Orange Order was formed in 1795 and their parades through the streets of Belfast have definitely seen their share of violence. Luckily today's heat and humidity zapped the strength from any would-be protesters.
From The Rex we headed back out into the heat and strolled over to the King St district in search of food and beverage. After scoping out a few possibilities we stopped in at MEC and Europe Bound to check things out and we both picked up some sling packs for $15.
A gigantic case of freezing cold beer, it was like a mirage.
At some point we decided on Indian food and settled for the $10.95 buffet at Dhaba on King. This was a huge hit. It was interesting to see how each of us tackled the buffet differently. Having been warned that they would be closing it down shortly, Steve went for the pile it high technique (he actually "lost" his samosas) while Paula's concern over possible consequences with the hot'n'spicy curry drove her choices to be a little light in selection. Meanwhile Rhonda and I seemed to both go for the classic sample selection technique with the intent on a quick top up on what proved to be tasty. All in all this was a hit with the whole gang.
Our bellies full we high-tailed it for the van and home for some R&R, cheap drinks, and a movie. Oh yeah the movie selection process was a bit of a scene as we had one vote for Transamerica (some piece of crap flick about a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual) and Freedomland with Samuel Jackson. With only one vote each (and two silent abstentions) we somehow ended up with Freedomland. Now I love Sammy J, but let's just say I think the one about the gay freak would have been the better choice.
Movie followed by more food and more beer/coolers/wine/coconut rum and more good times.
Next year we're considering a road trip to Buffalo for some real jazz/blues.
PS: Note to self for next's event, do not suggest culinary techniques to Rhonda no matter how great they are.