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I heard some exciting news over the Winter. My sister announced that she’s getting married. It’s been almost 10 years since I tied the knot with Rodney and she stood by my side in Mexico as my Maid of Honor. And I’m thrilled that I now get to return the favor.

Carrie held her Bachelorette party in Toronto a few weeks ago and I flew up to spend a weekend with her and her closest friends. My Mum was nice enough to let me crash at her apartment even though she was traveling that week and I made sure to spend plenty of time on her patio, gazing out at the skyline.

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Lucky for me, she lives right next to some fabulous food shops and a standout liquor store. The government-run liquor store (LCBO) is built in a former Canadian Pacific Railway station which was modeled after the Campanile di San Marco in Saint Mark’s Square in Venice. It’s stunning, and makes shopping for booze, clearly one of my favorite activities, even better.

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With the liquor store’s clock tower as a backdrop, I spent Friday night with family, including the future Bride and Groom, eating grilled pizzas al fresco.

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With clouds accumulating overhead, and the dark skyline in silhouette to the West, we huddled under the restaurant’s blankets, drank coffee, and finally called it a night.

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The next morning, I hosted a brunch for the girls. I had a few hours of prep work before they arrived, starting with the purchase of my favorite summer Shandies at the Beer Store. I remember spending my teen years attempting to shop at this very store with my fake ID, unsuccessfully because even at 16 I still looked 12. Dial-A-Bottle was always more successful, where you’d order your booze by phone and by the time the driver had stocked his car, driven to your house, and realized that you might be (read: clearly were) underage, he’d overlook the issue and quickly pocket his cash.

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These days, I drink a little more responsibly; the bigger excitement was buying brunch food at the nearby Harvest Wagon. I came back with all kinds of treats: the most beautiful eggs – I found a mix of organic chicken eggs, plus some pale blue duck eggs and the most stunning, tiny speckled quail eggs:

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bacon_cashew_caramel_cornDon’t worry, I haven’t let you down.  I’m bringing snacks to The Bachelorette finale viewing party: sticky bacon caramel corn. As Chris Harrison promises at the end of every season, this will certainly be the most dramatic finale in Bachelorette history.  So it probably goes without saying that I needed the most dramatic snack I could get my hands on.

I’ve watched the show religiously for as long as it’s been around.  Yes, I even watched the first season with that dirtbag Alex Michel. The only season I’ve missed is Deanna’s season. She has the energy of an aging Coonhound. I know, not so nice, but I think it’s fair game when you sign up to have helicopters, designer clothes, and reasonably good-looking, if not somewhat creepy dudes thrown at you for six weeks straight. And yes, shockingly, that’s how long filming lasts, from the courtyard meet and greet, to getting down on bended knee. Six weeks!  It would take me that long just to learn how to make a proper espresso, let alone meet, date, and become engaged to my life partner.

These days I don’t have much time for TV, so I’ve had to narrow it down to one show.  And I just can’t part with The Bachelor.  Lucky for me, Rodney has the same addiction.  He’s the only guy I know who’ll actually cop to watching the show.  Ever see the episodes with a live studio audience?  There’s a reason why all of the guys are wearing baseball hats and fake mustaches.  Guys do not like to be associated with this show, unless they’re an actual cast member of course. At which point they’re desperate to be associated with it.

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