Calgarians are indeed a unique kind of Canadian. Some might say we are crazy for living through such long, cold winters. I say, by virtue of our mid-winter respites, we are a bunch of neighbourly optimists. Would we let a few measly days, weeks, or months of below 20 degree temperatures spoil our hopeful and positive disposition? Well, we might if it was months of constant below 20. But no! No matter how cold and icy it gets, no matter how chilly that wind blows, we know that right around the corner is another glorious Chinook to thaw our fair city. Or, that tomorrow the sun will shine so brightly against a clear blue sky, that the temperature will not even matter. And on that day, what will we do? Flock to the streets and drink on patios!
On Saturday, February 6, Joe and I decided to take full advantage of the balmy, 11 degree weather we were having. We donned our lighter, but still super warm, winter coats and head to a Calgary institution, the Ship and Anchor, on 17th ave. We joined the three other groups on the patio, sat at a picnic table directly in the sun, and ordered our first patio beers of 2016. The Ship is a place of no judgement, so I ordered my patio fave — a Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy with a side of clamato juice. Heaven. I’m in heaven. One very beautiful thing about a day like this is that while the sun shines and warms your face, the weather is just cold enough to keep your beer perfectly chilled. Just glorious.
Tim Huss played some tunes for a packed house inside the bar, and Joe and I were lucky enough to hear his sweet Canadian songs through the speakers. Between the song about the Heinz Ketchup factory and the song called C-A-N-A-D-A, I felt that my day couldn’t be better.
The sun began to disappear behind one of those great, 17th Ave trees, and without that direct sunlight, it was too cold, so we changed picnic tables. Twice. Then the wind began to blow. We started shivering. The server asked if we needed anything. We asked for the bill. She laughed and said, “yeah, it isn’t warm.” I think she was impressed by our dedication. Joe decided it was actually our denial that kept us out there for so long. I think it was our Calgary spirit. The optimists! The neighbourly! The sun-loving, beer-drinking, patio lovers who have been kept inside for far too many months. Thanks for the patio beer, Calgary!