N&K review of 3 Trails in Palm Springs

N&K went to Palm Springs🔗 last month for the annual birthday jaunt.

We had good food and wine (stay tuned for reviews). Good pool time. Good sleeps. #renindianwells. Good shopping. And of course a good bit o’ exercise.

Click here🔗 to read related N&K’s Palm Springs posts.

Read our other Travel posts here🔗.

Hike v. Walk*

We had a discussion about hikes versus walks🔗. We both think the term hike means a walk-with-attitude. So immediately you know it won’t be as easy as walking to the corner store. Thus, for folks with mobility or health issues, hikes will generally be harder.

If you have concerns… We recommend you research a hike site well, before you go. Reviews are a good source of secret info. You will need to consider access to: Help/Rescue, rangers/guides, cell service, water availability, transport, seaaonal access, etc.

What we love in a hike

…good exercise, solace, lovely things to see and peaceful to hear. So, doing the Grouse Grind🔗 (in Vancouver, Canada) with crowds, unvaried scenery and a sense of urgency doesn’t appeal to either K or I.

The Cross

The Cross🔗 is a walk-up, upside big hills† with windy, narrow★ dirt paths. Some parts have rocks, shrubs. Others have a baby-bluff for respite and to take in the scenery. You end up at the summit with a… You guessed it: a big cross.

I’m not in phenomenal shape. But I do cardio 6-7x/week. And, I was quite surprised that I was dying on the Mount Everest-esque hills leading up to the Cross’d summit.

Later, we realized it was 39C, dry blazing sun. I should have drunk more water before heading out.

So our plan for the next day’s hike was to get out earlier to avoid blazing sun. And I’d have more water beforehand.

(And yes, this helped immensely!)

7 Sisters (Water)Falls

There are several beautiful hikes available through the Indian Canyons 🔗.

Kells chose the 7 Sisters Falls hike. The hike took us across a varied landscape. We went from desert dryness to an Oasis to shaded green majestic tree’d areas to big climbable rocks and the soothing waterfalls.

TBH considering it was called The 7 Sisters Falls, I was kind of something explosive. It was definitely enchanting but don’t expect Niagara Falls.

(Kells did this hike with one of her besties last year, and with her infink nephew in a bjorn… And though lovely, it was unfortunately too dry to see the Falls.)

This hike was challenging for me not because it was hard per se. It was more about challenging my own anxieties. I had to cross waters by balance-walking on logs. I had to climb across smooth rocks (smooth=no friction=trouble for Nals). Lots of fallen vegetation around, which creates fab hiding spots for biting, stinging creatures. So yeah… There was that.

I left a piece of myself in 7 Sisters that fateful morning.  And, I will always have a piece of 7 in me.                                        

As I was surveying the sheer rockface that I was to climb (that K just basically hopped on like a baby goat), I noticed a nemesis lodged in the rocky outcrop. I said to this stick “we will be like ships in the night, you and I…” Unfortunately, it had other ideas. As I climbed that rockface, I promptly stuck the stick promptly stuck itself into my knee. This gd stick. Just a half-inch diameter. A fallen child trapped in a rock world. Shriveled. Dry. Pathetically beige. And fierce enough to almost penetrate my knee cap. Touché my friend. Touché¹.

The road Runner Trail

The Road Runner Trail is an oddball hike. It’s on the outskirts of the city, near some ritzy hotel and regular streets. Seems like it’d be an easy stroll with nicely planted flowers and shrubs.

Except it’s not… There is a collection of rancid hills that you ascend (then descend). You aimlessly traverse these rando hills for eons. (Remeniscent of that movie The Cube🔗.) And suddenly, you’ve got an amazing bird’s eye view of the area. It’s surreal!

You must become one with the narrow★ trails.

There were times where the precariously-gravelled trail was flanked by (guaranteed) steep falls into one rock abyss or another. In a Black Swan ballet move, some of the gravel seemed fall away at the trail edges, at the same moment I was approaching it. Like a warning. Or a taunt. I paused. Time stood still. Eerie crackle-sounds of the falling gravel. Puffs of dust billowed as each piece bounced off the land, and twirled up again. My stomach lodged in my throat. That gravel bit could be me in a heartbeat. I was quite concerned that it may be idiot-proofed, but not Nals-proofed. It all turned out okay. But it got dicey².

Recommendation


Kells & I loved all of these “easy” hikes.

Side effect: We’ve known each other now for over a decade. We need know each other well. But during the quiet peace of the hikes, we shared some new and interesting thoughts with one another. So yeah, hikes are definitely worth the effort!

More info on Palm Springs hikes here 🔗.

Footnotes
*For some perspective: The Vancouver walks that Nals has been on were at Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake, etc. There’s the Coquitlam Crunch. I would consider this a hard walk (or easier hike). The actual hikes I’ve previously done were at Deep Cove, or upside a volcano in Costa Rica. Those I’d consider easy but towards the harder side of easy.
† I don’t know the difference between a hill and a mountain but this was a big ass mofo hill. So let’s just call it a mountain. With no trees, minimal shrubs and hot dry dirt.
★so narrow that if another person was coming in the opposite direction, one of you needed to hug the wall. And there wasn’t always a “wall” to hug. If you’re afraid of heights then you may want to avoid this one.
¹I survived to tell my tale. How did it happen, Nals? What a weirdo, freaky thing, Nals. This is the life that Nals has come to call her own… Where physics meets magic meets the exact opposite of what Nals was thinking. ²Dicey in my head. Sure, one should be cautious. But, I wasn’t going to let my anxiety rule me.

Burlesque Babes Update (Fall 2019)

N&K are again joining burlesque progressive classes leading to Vancouver Burlesque Company‘s 🔗 Student Showcase (adult version of a recital). It’ll be Thursday December 12, 2019 at 9 pm at the Rio Theatre 🔗.

Unfortunately Kells and I couldn’t join the same class this quarter (boo!). Her themes are Mad Scientist (Cleo Victory’s contemporary) and The Circus (Chastity Twist’s chair). They sound like so much fun!

Kells in Chastity’s chair class: Circus Bunny

My 2 classes are more classic burlesque styles. My themes are Women*’s Personas: Public & Private Faces (Cherry On Top’s Ingenue level) and Vegas Showgirls (Ariel Helvetica). My classes are a lot of fun, too. We’ve mistreating pink feather boas* and red-and-silver heels.

Nals in Cherry’s classic class: Women*’s Personas

There are a variety of babes in our classes: some new-to-the-scene and some familiar faces. Very exciting mix!

The show is going to phenomenal folks! So please come to see us and cheer us on. We promise lots of good energy, fun vibes and good times.

Footnotes:

*mistreatment as in humping and other fun things. No feather boas were harmed… Yet.

N&K review of Esmeralda Bonvoy Marriott (Indian Wells, Palm Springs)

Nals and Kells went on their annual October birthday girls getaway. This time, they flew to Palm Springs, and stayed at Marriott Bonvoy Indian Wells🔗.

Kells has been there a few times already. But this was Nals’s first time.

Kells’s review is here🔗
N&K Do: Birthday Girls Getaway to Palm Springs.  They stayed at Marriot Bonvoy: Esmeralda in Indian Wells.

Fantastic Staff

Vanity* got us a lovely newly reno’d mountain view room (on a side that wasn’t going to get construction done on the following day – how thoughtful!). Staff are kind and respectful from front desk, valet, bell hop, pool staff & wait staff.

Construction warning
After 30 years, this joint is getting a rehaul! So, there is noise & water-stoppage 7am-4pm in certain areas. We had a room on corner so hardly heard construction. There was some noise when in commons. The in-room water disruption was: some coolish shower water on day 2 (despite using the hotel’s techniques), odd noises when flushing the toilet & turning on shower water for first time. When we were at the pool, we were unable to use the bathroom** in the fitness/pool area. Otherwise, minimal disruption.

Overall Impression

Hotel is huge with lots of nooks and crannies to explore: bar, restaurant, ballrooms, fitness centre, stores, spa, parking area, hallways, outdoor seating area with evening firepits, outdoor fountain, lawns, lagoon, …and the errant roadrunner.

Fitness Room

Note that the fitness room is available with the resort fee.

Pools

They have 3 pools. 1 for kidlets with a faux beach (& beach toys). Bar (with loungechair service) available. 2 small hot tubs. Plenty of lounge chairs. Towels available at pool.

Poolside service

Service by Joel was friendly and non intrusive. Nachos, Corona and the BLT (with avo & turkey) with fries were delicious!

Our Room

Our room had a balcony, loveseat, small glass dining table & chairs, TV, double sinks, fabulous pillows, comfy AF mattress, hair dryer, Aveda toiletries, mini fridge and Keurig. They supplied coffee & tea pods, condiments, paper cups and water glasses.

We missed . . .

There is no cutlery, mugs or microwave. We would’ve liked a bit more counterspace and dimmable lighting.

Surroundings

If you want to venture out, there are:

(Click 🔗 to see links.)

Recommendation

Rooms are huge. Renos are lovely. Hotel is large but warm. Staff are fabulous.

We would absolutely stay here again.

Footnotes:
*Vanity surprised us with a lovely handwritten birthday card, a chilled bottle of champers and a plate of unbelievably delicious chocolate-covered strawberries.
**Canadian term. American term is “restroom”. You will be made fun of if you call the crapper a “bathroom” in the USA.

Nals CoverGirl Supersizer Mascara3

Mascara Review: Covergirl’s SuperSizer (Lashblast)

All right N&Kers, it’s time for another installment of N&K’s Mascara Funday*!

Today, Miss Nals will be reviewing Covergirl’s SuperSizer (Lashblast) 🔗. 

Their website states “The Super Sizer Mascara gives you 400% more corner-to-corner volume for full, fanned out lashes. Our amazing Lash Styler transforms even small lashes— just twirl as you apply it to your lashes for an instantly Super Sized lash look. Opthalmologically tested, suitable for those who wear contact lenses”.

Click here to read that description on their site

Reviews on their site 🔗are basically favourable at 88% (1161 reviews).  Covergirl has suggested they contact Customer Service to remedy an unfavorable situation, if a reviewer mentions it.  People might respond to this with of course they would because they don’t want bad PR. But, it takes time to read each review and respond accordingly°.

Makeup Alley reviews 🔗are also favourable in scores (218 reviews, 68%) but comments are varied°. 

Nals CoverGirl Supersizer Mascara3

Getting back to the N&K review…

Nals’s lashes are long (partially due to EnEnvy 🔗 and our reviews are here 🔗 and here🔗) but straight.

Lengthens

Yes! (And even at the corners with the stumpier baby hairs.)

Volumizer

Not so much, despite the flared bristly brush and thin product.  Reminds me of a product that contains fibers such as Rimmel’s Wonder’fully Real mascara 🔗 (N&K review is here🔗). 

Separation

Product clumps with >2 layers.

Curl

I curl before and after applying mascara**.  Mascara holds the curl well through out the day.

Thickener

Product colour is black, which helps the look of fuller lashes. But since it clumps with >2 layers, there’s not a lot of thickening effect.

Application

Due to flared brush with bristles in a spiral formation (like DNA or pineapple seeds), application is best when you follow instructions on the package.

✓Mascara didn’t interfere with my contact lenses.  ✓This particular tube had staying power and was waterproof.   
×But it stuck on like a SOB.  I  use an oil-based facial cleanser (such as Julep’s Love Your Bare Face🔗).  I tried all-sorts like soaking my lashes with Julep cleanser then gently rubbing to lift up product.  I used makeup remover before cleanser… And then tried after.  I tried to triple wash my lashes.  And there were days that I didn’t get all of it off.  I still haven’t found the best method because each time is slightly different.

Recommendation

This is not a good mascara for a newbie/novice due to the application instructions and difficulty of removal.

For the experienced mascara-ista… I probably would not recommend it again due to difficulty of removal and clumping properties.

Footnotes
* formerly known as Mascara Monday
° To give you guys an idea, it probably takes Kells and I a couple hours to post and publish ONE post.  Formatting, uploading pictures, viewing and re-editting take scads of time.  Add additional time to take photos, picking topics and then writing.  So, both N&K appreciate how much work goes into it. However, the varied comments on Makeup Alley give us pause. Why are comments different on the CoverGirl vs. MUA site? Hmmm…
** MUAs might balk at this double curling, as the curler could pull lashes out after mascara-ing.  But I curl when mascara is dry as a bone.  If you double curl, don’t do it wet!

The day I’ll never forget

Sept 16th 1963 changed my life. Yes, I know I wasn’t born yet, and my dad was only 10 years old. But this day changed my life. On this day, a man that I will now never meet, was killed while working for the Vancouver Police Department. He was doing traffic control for a BC Lions game and was hit by a driver and killed. Sept 16th 1963 was the day that I would never meet my dad’s dad. I would never have a grandfather because of this day. I would never know what is it like to go fishing with a grandpa, here stories of his time as a police officer, and never know the man that I have only heard few stories of. Sept 16th 1963 took away memories that I would never be able to make.

Memorial in Victoria, BC located behind the parliament building

Memorial in Victoria, BC located behind the parliament building

My dad was 10. I can’t imagine losing a parent at 10. And sadly, he doesn’t talk about his dad. He wasn’t allowed to, his new step father forbid it and completely cut my dad’s family off from seeing their dad’s family. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I met some of my dad’s cousins and aunts. It’s weird hearing stories of a man you never met. It’s weird hearing people say “your grandfather was so fun” or “your grandfather would have loved to meet you”. Your grandfather. I never had a grandfather. I never called anyone grandpa. (Besides my best friends grandpa, who insisted that I call him grandpa too). To this day, I will say “my dad’s dad”. (And no I never called, or referred to my dad’s step dad as grandpa, he was an awful man and we did not have a relationship with him). It’s so crazy that a man, on Sept 16th 1963, killed a man that I really wish I could have met. I have heard he was so tall and loved to laugh. I hear he was the life of the party and was pretty funny. But one man’s poor decisions took that all way. On the last Sunday of every September, there is a police memorial to honor those who have lost their lives serving. Many people, families municipalities, general public and politicians (mainly because they want to be seen on camera) come to honor those who have died. I sit there looking at the families that have lost their mom/wife, or dad/husband, and though I am sad for them, I’m jealous that they got time with their loved one. It’s heartbreaking to see them hear the name of their family member and watch the tears flow. My dad and aunts are sitting there listening for their dad’s name to be called, their hero, who went to work and never came home.  It’s such an odd feeling of sadness and almost an emptiness.

My dad’s dad

 And I sit there thinking, Sept 16th 1963. Sept 16th 1963, years before I was born, a day that changed my life. And I think, who is the man that killed my dad’s dad. He never went to jail. He turned himself in the next day. He was never punished (except for a hit and run, not murder). It was assumed he was drinking, but he never admitted to that. Who is this man? Is he still alive? Does he remember Sept 16th 1963? Did he go on living his life? Did he ever want to apologize to my dad’s family? Does he know what he destroyed? Does he care? Does he know the man he killed had kids and a wife? That he had family that loved him? That he would have grandkids that would sit at his memorial and wonder? Does he see the news reports of the memorial and think, I’m the reason you are having this memorial? Does he sit with his grandkids and know that there are grandkids that don’t know their grandfather because of him? I would like to talk to him. Is that weird? Not to get mad at him, or yell at him. But I want to know, does he think of these things? This year, Nals came with me to the memorial. I was with my dad’s younger sister and my mom. I go to support my family and represent the families that are impacted by the deaths of the officers that have lost their lives serving their cities and neighbourhoods. I know it’s important to my dad and his sisters that I help remember their father, a man that I would never meet. What was interesting this year, is that during the procession, when the officers walk out, they usually turn and salute the families, but this year, they walked right on by and turned to salute the Premier JH. (Like I said, they come to be on camera and this year, took away from the families). One more thing I will share…my dad’s dad was killed in an intersection I drive through 2x a day, on my way to and from work. Every day, I pass the spot that someone I would know but never meet, died. The report states the driver carried him 80ft before stopping, getting out of his car to look around, and then drove away. I drive this route. This exact spot where Sept 16th 1963 changed my life. Sept 16th 1963; A day that I won’t ever forget.

Memorial for my dad’s dad in the Vancouver Police Department’s office

IDS: Ideas +

I (Kells) have been busy this week. I’m planning my besties engagement shower for this weekend, but staying true to myself, I needed to add more things. So I went to Address Assembly on Wednesday night then the opening of Vancouver’s Interior Design Show on Thursday night.

If you follow us on IG you may have seen a post several months ago about me renovating. Well this is still happening. But it also means that I get to indulge in my 2nd greatest passion, interior design!

My friend, and former school mate, invited me to come to IDS to check it out, and see the launch of her newest company Ffabb. So of course I’m going to say yes!

First, Address Assembly was a smaller scale IDS, with local designers showcasing their beautiful crafts. They was everything from jewelry to hand crafted cutlery to a swing set seating area to couches to wall art. It was like an art gallery where you were allowed to touch, feel and sit on the displays. Plus they served alcohol and had a meat and cheese platter. Can’t go wrong with a meat and cheese platter! Cool side note, I hear the host Kate, was in my grad class. Sadly, I don’t know that we ever spoke! But very cool she’s doing such a neat event! I’d like to say “I knew her when” but I didn’t, so I can’t.

Address Assembly is still happening till the 29th from 10 to 6 at 550 Malkin Ave in Vancouver. It’s free! But you can make a donation which will go to the BCSPCA.

Now IDS, its happening now till the 29th of September at the Convention center downtown Vancouver. It’s got big venders from Volvo and Versace to smaller Vancouver based companies, like my friends newest company Ffabb. I want to share Ffabb with you. But first I’ll finish my thought on IDS. I really enjoyed my time. What I wish is that companies that are promoting their business at IDS, would give special promotions or something. I did pay to get it after all!! Some places did offer a promotion, like Bear Blooms who were letting people spin for extra free boxes or giving away a free box when you signed up. Would have loved to signed up but can’t because of my renos. But other exhibitors just wanted to give you their boring speech. Like, I get it, it’s a stone sink. I don’t want your stone cold sales speel about it. No offense, most people there are just to look and get ideas. They don’t want the ugly potato sack you are trying to sell as a lounge chair. Inspire me! Don’t bore me. Overall it was neat. I got a flamingo drink holder from Norburn lighting. Don’t ask me why a flamingo drink holder is good advertising for a light fixture, I’d rather a coupon! But hey, people stopped me to ask where they could get their flamingo.

Ok, now Ffabb. Here’s the thing, I’m over the top impressed and proud that my highschool grad class has someone in the IDS. How freaking cool is that!? And not only that, its a real amazing product. It’s not some ugly art piece that looks like burnt popsicle sticks glued to a stand (yes this was there, yes it was ugly, yes it looked just like burnt popsicle sticks on a stand) but this small town girl and school mate, from the class of ’99 has made a furniture line you actually want to own. It’s locally made, it’s got heart, it’s made with love and its sooooo nice. I’m obsessed with the “angler” and I desperately want/need the Coasty Slim: lagoon sectional in my life. Please check out this girl’s amazing work and design. I also noticed her website says -20% off until Oct 15th!! Now that’s worth looking into!

I’m pooped! If you need a lil inspiration and want something to do while dt, you’ll go to the IDS. If you do, please visit the Ffabb booth! Plus there’s pillow balls!

Kells

Mmm wine

Nals was in an anniversary trip in the Okanagan last month.  And of course, we had to do a little dipsy doodle around a couple of wineries.

Super Natural British Columbia is home to over 300 wineries.  A lot are concentrated in the Okanagan area.

MORE INFO HERE
The Mr was my designated driver so I only went to a couple wineries in the area.  Lake Country has a whole host of wineries including Gray Monk Estate Winery.
Tastings are $5-7 for 5. You can choose from a selection of say 10 wines.  If you purchase bottles, then the fee is typically used towards the purchase.

Blind Tiger is a newer winery.  It is a small family run certified organic winery that opened to the public in 2015. 

My sommelier* was fantastic.  He was a young energetic fellow who excitedly talked about the various wine-related outtings that he had recently been on.  He was an absolute delight!  He asked what wines I like, suggested some and off we went.  He was the perfect sommelier: funny, warm and also left room for me to explore the tasting notes. 

Where to buy: Only through their winery or virtual store.

Click here to reach them.

At Blind Tiger I got: Pinot Gris (2017), Reserve Pinot Noir (2017) & Speakeasy Red (2014).

Ex Nihilo has great range of wines and especially full-bodied reds. 

Tasting wasn’t the nicest experience.  It was a larger bustling winery.  The sommelier’s lukewarm detached demeanor led me to one conclusion:  That  she was a rogue ex-operative from an Archer-esque outfit… and her arch nemesis Barry finally got her 20**.

Where to buy: since the ex-operative was not chatty, I have no idea if they have shops that carry their goods in the GVA.

Click here to reach them.

At Ex Nihilio, I got: Chaos Rosso Red (2018) and Reisling (2017).

Recommendations

I loved Blind Tiger because they were friendly & non-pretentious.  Reminded me of the delightful Les Corcelettes in Oliver.

El Nihilo had delicious wines as well, but this was not a warm and fuzzy tasting experience.  I also wanted to buy the Voignier… but both the tasting & purchase was reserved for “members”.   I don’t know what this means but the sommelier didn’t invite or tell me how to become a member.  I guess as long one leaves with delicious bottles of wine… What else matters?

I would recommend drinking wines from both vineyards. 

However, the tasting experience was far more enjoyable at Blind Tiger and so I’ll be plugging them whenever I can!

Let’s Play Footsie-notes
*Not sure if sommelier is the correct term.  I thought it was better than Taster Guy or Taster Attendant.
**The Ex Nihilio sommelier wasn’t rude per se.  She answered my questions albeit in a detached fashion… with an underlying je ne sais quoi.  Something else clearly had her attention.  Eyes darted around, preoccupied energy, latency of responses… The only conclusion is that her rival finally sniffed out her shoddily-disguised witness protection deets.

Change of Choice

I’ve been thinking a lot about changes lately.

Some career opportunities have come up and so a rehaul was due.

A few years ago, I made a huge change. I left the comfort of my full-time job in mental health, to go to a part-time job in the medical field. I needed to switch gears. And the leftover time would allow me to pursue my business idea and some extras.

This was a brilliant move!

Then things started to feel a little stale. Burlesque, getaways and fitness made things a bit exciting and now we’re back to a feeling a bit stagnant.

So, I took a leap of faith on some opportunities that happened to come my way. And, it’s official: I’m back full-time in mental health!

Overall, this is a good move for me and my future. Then why do I feel this anxiety, which is overwhelming at times?

Did you know that stress is multidimensional?

It affects our cognitive, physical, behavioural and social dimensions.

Stress can*:

  • have a positive (eustress) and/or negative (distress) nature,
  • have a time frame: acute or chronic (or even acute on chronic),
  • be planned or unexpected.

There are pros and cons to everything. And that’s okay. It’s in how you process it and to find appropriate supports.

For me, the CBT approach works best. I know that I ruminate in my feelings like a dog rolls around in a rotting carcass**. My previous negative experiences roll into it. And all these feelings become overwhelming. They overwhelm my logic and I sink farther into the well. I also have a tendency to bottle it all up°.

What works for me

  1. I recognize there’s a problem°°,
  2. I label my feelings and thought distortions,
  3. I use logic to break my thought cycles,
  4. I talk it out with a trusted support person.

This is what works for me. I’ve read a lot about these techniques. I’ve done research on it. I’ve facilitated & observed CBT. I’ve had my own multi-modal therapy.

Please keep in mind that I’ve had a lot of exposure and practice so I know what works for me. This may not be what works for you.

If you are new to CBT or its tenets don’t quite resonate, N&K encourage you to research different techniques. And then to get appropriate support.

Here is a list of clickable resources to get you N&Kers started:

The Anxiety & Worry Workbook

Bounceback: Reclaim Your Health (depression)

Women’s Anger Management Workbook

Men’s Anger Management Workbook

Boundaries

Brene Brown podcasts and books

Anxiety Canada

Footnotes:
*Winning a competition can be positive. But, there can be negatives too such as feeling more pressure to win the next comp and feeling like the need to train harder. But maybe you don’t have the resources or social support for this.
*An example of acute on chronic is: having a large distressing debt and then all of a sudden, my car breaks down. I don’t have the money to fix it but I need my car to get to work to help pay down the debt.
**Except I don’t want to roll around in it.
°Not sure why I bottled shit up. It’s probably rooted in not being able to trust. But I’ve learned that I have lots of supportive people around, and I can trust them.
°°It took me a long time to realize that feelings are not fact. Feelings can be overwhelming. There are a lot of tools to help me manage. And I know I can manage when I recognize there’s an issue.

DeButante Dolls: Review of Le Diner en Blanc

What on earth is a white dinner?

ESSENTIALLY, IT’S FANCY WHITE BYOE* PICNIC IN A SECRET LOCATION. 

Long drawn out explanation here

L e R o o t s

Well it started off in the 80s in France with a french dude who wanted to host an elegant outdoor dinner.  He asked his buddies to meet at the park but dressed in white, to be easily identifiable. 

Then… His son started the tradition in Montreal 30 years later.  It trickled into Le Grand Pomme… And now it’s in like 80 cities, worldwide.

The Registration Process.

  1. You put your name down for Vancouver’s DeB waiting list.  (We did this in Winter 2018),
  2. You’ll be emailed 3 more times with VIP RSVP dates (different invitation levels May-July),
  3. Once you get to level 3, you choose your Table/Team Leads, meeting location and if you’d like: booze and nibbles.

We ordered our wine and food.

The Day-Of Travel

When we registered, I didn’t know if Kells was working so I figured the best thing to do was to choose Skytrain option.  (We both live near-ish to stops.)  But it was evening rush hour and we got some snarkerton looks**.  Some peeps smiled and asked if we were going to “that white party”. 

Not gonna lie, N&K’ers: travel was onerous.  But, we’ve got some workarounds for next year.

The Location is revealed only after everyone in your group has arrived.

L e E v e n t

After setting up, it became evident why this was popular. 

3500 folks sat in carefully arranged rows of personalized tables – different food, centrepieces, candles, disHes, attire. 

We brought our own tables. But, since they were all the same shape/size with the white dressings, the whole thing looked like one seemless En Blanc party.  And if there’s one thing Nals enjoys, it’s symmetry

Once all folks were set up, we started off with the napkin wave.  Then we tucked in. 

When I was in Home Economics in highschool, I loved the din at the end of the class when we’d sit, eat and talk.  It was warm, enveloping and cozy.  The low conversational murmur, infectious laughter occasionally breaking through, soft clinks of cutlery and glass…  That’s exactly what DeB reminded me of.

Because the N&K Team & Table Leaders were organized, we were set up in great time.  We chatted with our lovely teammates.

We had a special guest that evening: DeB royalty Francois and his wife.  It was her birthday and Francois serenaded her.  He was probably a bit tipsy, and the singing was a bit off-key but it was the ballsy thought that counts.

When it was dark enough, we ended off with a magical moment: the signature group sparklers.

When it was dark enough, we ended off with a magical moment: the signature group sparklers.

Final

Thoughts

DeB criticisms include pretentious, classist, overpriced, not family friendly and lost the original intent. Kids are not allowed on-site due to alcohol. But other than that, we found that there were a variety of folks there. Some were dressed in simple whites and other tables had lavish lights and overhead deco.

N&K can tell you is that it was a fun, friendly, magical evening. We will definitely be doing it again next year.

Footnotes
*Bring Your Own Everything like food, real cutlery, tables, chairs, table linens and centrepieces. Note that alcohol can only be purchased through DeB.
**Not because we had so much stuff but because we looked so cultishly regal in our blanc ensembles.
¶ This could be because I like to organize things or maybe it’s a facet of biology.