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Josh Likes Paris

I've unapologetically become my parents when it comes to travelling, which primarily means that I like to arrive at airports hours and hours before I realistically need to. Combine that with what Erin and I decided to drink the night prior, which was all of Cava, fresh hop beer, and bourbon. Why?! But the morning turned out fine, and we had shitty mimosas and beer at the airport to satisfy the unending ghosts of the night prior. The short layover in Montreal slowly eased us into our French-speaking modes, followed by a decent 7-hour flight to Paris. I sheepishly told the flight attendant that I would like the chicken option for dinner, which really just means I muttered "poulet". I don't remember what in-flight movie I...

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JOSH IS ALONE IN NEW YORK CITY: Day 2

Before the Wine Bloggers Conference in a couple of days, I thought it would be a great idea to change it up from the previous night and hang out in New York City by myself for a bit - and perhaps I would meet up with the rest of my Vancouver crew for dinner if I didn't end up crying by a NYC alley in the fetal position (TRICK QUESTION: Manhattan doesn't have alleys). Just a few days ago I signed up for this thing called the Free Tours By Foot: it's essentially a themed tour in a listed city where you pay however much you think the tour is worth at the end. I'm sure there's some sort of reverse psychology witchcraft that goes on where you guilt yourself into...

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JOSH IS ALONE IN NEW YORK CITY: Day 1

So this year, the Wine Bloggers Conference is held in New York, and a small group of us decide to spend some time in NYC as a pre-pre-conference excursion before heading to the Finger Lakes. But it was only literally just a couple of days before our flight to New York that I found out my airplane buddy Donita could no longer go due to a health issue, so besides the couple of Vancouver friends I would meet up with later, I came to the realization that I was going to be mostly alone in a city I recently denounced as being crowded and scary. THIS IS IT, YOU GUYS. GOD IS TESTING ME. I was late to the interview to my current...

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Post-Pride and Pre-WBC15 Wine Dump

Bit of a tasting note dump between the Maryland trip and Vancouver Pride, since I am not drinking for a week in a simultaneous effort to recover from Vancouver Pride antics and to prepare my liver for the Wine Bloggers Conference in New York. Huzzah. I am surprisingly doing well so far, and I have stepped into the world of non-alcoholic beer. [caption id="attachment_4492" align="aligncenter" width="300"] pictured: Vancouver Pride and fun and yay[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4491" align="aligncenter" width="300"] nah[/caption] (I've failed miserably.) There's not really a common thread here, except for maybe the general Old World? I've also found out that my travel buddy had to cancel her attendance to both the Wine Bloggers Conference and our pre-conference trip to NYC due to a health issue, so I'm semi-alone in...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 3

We were literally scheduled to just chill out and have an appropriate lazy Monday the day after New York City, though some of the family opted to go visit some large church or something. Monkeying around seemed much more fun, though I can say I went to a Chipotle for the first time ever, so technically I accomplished something. #goals We ventured back out to DC the next day, getting as close as we could to the White House because how can you not, and then we had a big nerdy day at both the Freer Gallery of Art and the Museum of National History, both of which I loved. You can only retain so much information, but hey: cool rock exhibits are pretty and...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 2 (New York City)

Every fear I had about New York City was true. Times Square - though I've been told that it's much more magical at night - was a saturated shudder-fest, with everything seemingly hedonistic surrounding you: towers smothered with flashy promotions and posters of celebrities, insistent half-nude street performers (I've honed an impression), and junk food everywhere, all wrapped up in a frame of hot sun and a small dash of claustrophobia. But yes we're ~*here*~! To explore possibilities and make dreams come true in the city, you guys! JK because the parts of New York City we visited weren't exactly my steez, but I'm back in a couple of weeks for the Wine Bloggers Conference so there'll be more exploring. My cousin lives here and he led...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 1

I've found that I can't enjoy full-fledged roller coasters anymore, but I enjoy the hints of thrills from airplane turbulence and chunky landings. Kinda gross. We fly to the eastern part of the continent for a family reunion on the mother's side - not just the immediate family, but a whole congregation of 19 humans of all ages on a plane. And Baltimore is the closest relevant city to where we're staying - so that's where I tell people where we're going for 13 days - and I have little knowledge on these parts of the United States so I understand none of the references on crabs ("...

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Exams and grand slams

It's done. I've completed (or performed, rather, since we'll find out whether or not I've actually completed the thing come September) the last unit I needed to complete for the WSET Diploma! I'm tempted to prance around maniacally while getting drunk really quickly on this fantastically sunny day, but September will have to wait for even bigger celebrations, I suppose. Which calls for fancy Cava instead of Champagne, maybe?! I mean, no, of course, but I bought this already so let's. In a couple of days I envision myself in a state of academic and mental paralysis. I will have a weird need to study, and I will give in. Someone make me watch a TV series or something! Alta Alella "Laietà" 2011 Gran Reserva...

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Sun rays and Vouvrays

Studying for the upcoming diploma exam in around 4 weeks is just as terrifying as it is satisfying, with each strikethrough on my study planning sheet providing temporary pleasure before moving on to another daunting section, though I was particularly proud of myself for the past few sections on Australia and USA. The sun's also begun to commit to bright and humid days, which means more exposed skin and mostly, weekend days that equate to regret when I'm literally rolling around in my bed with my laptop trying to relax and study at the same time. And it works - almost too well, to the point where I'm questioning why my growing talent for memorizing soil types isn't better put to use by,...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 18: Workshop #4

Because I skipped Workshop #3 for drunk studying. Like I know I'm supposed to be pseudo-sentimental right now because it's the last class of WSET ever, but all I can think of is how much material I have to learn until the exam in June. Holy shit. I really need to make a study plan. That I won't end up sticking to. Ugh. Life has been on the rise in a vague way. A good (wine) friend has moved to the other end of the country which really sucks, but it was a good sendoff. [caption id="attachment_4278" align="aligncenter" width="500"] How alcohol nerds celebrate.[/caption] 2005 Coulée de Serrant = amazing. 2006 Elderton Botrytis Semillon = amazing. Everything in between = amazing. Taxi rides home, hugs in...

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