CHRISTMAS WISH LIST

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You can expect to see a lot of posts about Christmas over the next month. It’s the next big holiday and I, of course, am obsessed. I have already started my Christmas shopping, and am hoping to have it done at least a few weeks before the big day. My wish for this Christmas is for it to be as stress-free as possible. Here’s what I’ll be asking for this year:


1. Aesop "A Rose By Any Other Name" Cleanser
2. 
Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara
3. Macbook Pro
4. Balenciaga Florabotanica
5. Canada Goose Freestyle Vest
6. Mast Bros. Chocolate (Broolyn Blend + Stumptown Coffee)7. Baratza Vario Burr Grinder
8. American Apparel Unisex Chambray Short Sleeve Button-Down With Pocket
9. SOREL Women’s 1964 Premium™ LTR Boot


Also, I still have no idea how to get rid of the annoying shadow around all of my photos. If anyone knows how, please let me know!

MAP OF CANADA

Room

Decorating my bedroom is well underway (sort of)! I kind of got screwed over got the short end of the stick when I moved back home, in terms of living arrangements. Before I moved away for school, I had the entire newly developed basement to myself. It took YEARS and YEARS to get the darn thing developed and it had always been promised to me. When I moved out, my little brother moved down there, so now I'm back upstairs. The room is small. It's a lot smaller than the basement and also smaller than my loft in Victoria, but it's doable. I don't really need that much space to myself, and despite my furniture being a tad crowded, this is a good space.

Room
Room
It's a pity that the wall color isn't really reflected in these photos. The rest of the house is painted in shades of brown and red, so my new bedroom is quite the change. The walls are a lovely shade of light seafoam green, which contrasts really nicely with my furniture. I'll forever regret not getting my Ikea set in cedar, but oh well. The space above my bed was sparse for what feels like forever. I had no artwork up, no shelves until recently, and quite a bit of my things were still packed away. A few weeks ago I got around to putting together this map of Canada, and it was finally put up today. I'm really very happy with the result. My next step is to get some new bedding (grey and white striped duvet + shams), smaller sized pillows, and a couple of prints up on the wall opposing my door. 

SUNDOWN CHOWDOWN

Sundown Chowdown
Sundown Chowdown
Sundown Chowdown
Last Friday, The Calgary Farmers Market hosted Sundown Chowdown, which was the joining of 12 food trucks and market vendors for an evening of really great local food. The market stayed open late, and SO MANY PEOPLE came out to get their paws on some of the grub.

I headed down with my mum relatively early in the evening. After doing our rounds of the market (picking up fruit + veg for the week) we went out to the 'food truck alley' to get our supper. We opted for The Bodacious Bhaji from The Naaco Truck and a Big Cheese from Cheezy Bizness. For dessert, I made a point of heading over to Jelly Modern Doughnuts, which I'd had a few times last year and had been omgcraving since moving back.

After wading through the crowds, my mum and I ended up getting a tad overwhelmed and went home to eat our food. While we might not have stuck around long enough to truly experience the excellent evening, I was still pretty thrilled with what we got.

LOS ANGELES: DAY 2 + 3

M Cafe
M Cafe
M Cafe
Lette macs
Cheesecake Factory
Cheesecake on the floor
Transportation was without a doubt the biggest issue in LA. I'm pretty good at getting around on pubic transportation in any given city, but LA was the exception to the rule. The plan for the afternoon was to head to Beverly Hills for lunch and maaaaybe stop in Hollywood for some touristy activities if we had time. Oh, and find a J Crew.

Plan 1: Take a cab to LAX, then take a bus/train/bus combo to Hollywood, and finally take a cab to Beverly Hills. This would have been a great plan had transit not really sucked and would have taken us 197382036012873 hours to get anywhere.
Plan 2: Take a bus to LAX, then take a cab the rest of the way. We were told that transit isn't very safe (which I'm not sure if I believe, but whatever), and that the cab would be super expensive.
Plan 3: Take a cab all the way. We'd be able to get a flat rate from the hotel, but not on the way back. Total cab $$$ for the day would end up being like $150 USD. YIKES.
Plan 4: Rent a car. Ding ding ding. It ended up being the least expensive (besides transit I suppose) and least time consuming option. My mum was a little concerned about driving in LA, partially because she's total crap with directions, and partly because it's LA. She had good reason to be worried. LA drivers are nutso.

Our journey to Beverly Hills wasn't too difficult. We drove down Rodeo Drive, which was all that I got to see of it. In all truth, I really didn't want to walk down there. Driving past all of the boutiques was enough drooling and sadness for me. Sadness because I'll never be able to afford anything in those stores except for Coach. Aaaanyways, we found some free parking (quel surprise) and walked over to M Cafe as per a certain hippies review. My mum ordered the hummus + falafel wrap with scarlet quinoa salad, while I opted for the california club with chickpea + dandelion salad. Both were DELICIOUS. I could not have asked for a better meal. After lunch we walked around and stumbled upon Vosges and 'Lette. At Vosges I picked up a sampler box of chocolate and a bag of BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE!! I had a little freak out when I saw it. I reaaaaally wanted to pick up either Handsome or Intelligentsia beans while we were there, but sadly for me both were pretty out of the way (if anyone wants to SEND me some I would love you forever). I didn't think I'd be able to hunt down Blue Bottle, so finding it at Vosges was the best surprise. At 'Lette I got a dozen beaaaautiful macs... Earl Grey was my fav. We made a quick stop at Whole Foods (the 3rd time so far during the trip) where I found the Blue Print Cleanse drinks! I picked up a CAB + Cashew Milk, loved both of them, and am now debating paying the serious hefty price tag for a 3-day juice cleanse. By the time we were done at Whole Foods our parking was up, so we sadly had to call it a day. It was getting late in the afternoon at that point, so all other plans didn't end up happening. We got stuck in crazy-ass LA traffic on the way back, which I guess wasn't a big surprise. There's no way that I could deal with the commute every day! I don't know how people do it!

By the time we made it back to Redondo Beach it was suppertime! As per the request of my mum + Aunt, we went to the Cheesecake Factory. Let's just say the food was less than subpar and leave it at that. My mum and I got a veggie pizza solely because we had the option of adding goat cheese.... that we ended up forgetting to ask for. I had a couple of pieces along with a glass of wine. It was far from being the best pizza ever. I'm gonna go out on a whim here and say that Panago is better, and I really don't like Panago. What saved the meal was the cheesecake. We each got a slice: Caramel and turtle, Hershey's chocolate, and banana cream. We took them back to the hotel, and we miiiight have eaten them off the floor while the kiddies were tucked in bed.

Day 3 began with more yogurt (and another one later) and an iced coffee drink. I made oooooone last trip to WF while the rest of the crew went to the beach. When I headed back to the hotel, my key wasn't working and I was locked out of the room for a little bit! Once I did finally get in, I did our final packing, which consisted of moving items back and forth between mine and my mums suitcases in order to make sure we didn't go over the weight limit. Then we were off to the airport! A handful of hours later we were back in Calgary.

When it really comes down to it, we didn't actually do a whole lot while in California. The trip was a little too short and we were a little too far away from the city to do a whole lot of touristy activities. I still enjoyed myself quite a bit, and managed to hit up a few of the places that I wanted to go (seriously, waiting on offers for a Handsome Coffee delivery). My dad was in awe that we didn't do any shopping except for GROCERIES of all things. And so continues my obsession with Whole Foods and specialty items that are definitely not available in Canada. I should note that I ended up bringing home 8 (EIGHT!!) different nut butters... which should hold me over until September long weekend. After that I'll need to take another trip! While I'm really partial to going back to LA and seeing all the touristy stuff, I'm also liking the idea of going to Phoenix or maaaaybe Orlando for Harry Potter.

LOS ANGELES: DAY 1

LAX
Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach
La Salsa
Our lunch - 'California burrito'
Hermosa Beach
Mum + Fi in LA
Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach
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Manhattan Beach pier
Last week I was absolutely spoiled by my mum when we took a trip to LA for a few days with my aunt, uncle + their kids. I'd never been to LA, so it made the trip extra special. Before leaving, I made a list of places that I wanted to visit, and - no surprise - they were all food related. I'm the funniest traveler. I really just travel to eat at cool restaurants, spend an atrocious amount of time in Whole Foods + Trader Joes, and hunt down the best coffee in the area. This trip was no exception.

Our first day started off ridiculously early. We were up by 3 to meet the rest of the fam at the airport for our flight. In a lovely turn of events, we got to fly first class the whole way there. I could definitely get used to flying like that, but the likelihood of it ever happening again is slim to none. After a quick layover in Vancouver and an additional 3 hours to LA, we finally made it. We took a quick (ha) cab ride to our hotel in Redondo Beach, and then set out to find some grub. As per a suggestion from my uncle, we got Mexican at La Salsa. My mum and I shared the California Burrito with a side of three yummy salsas (avo, fire roasted tomato + mango). Later that day, my mum, aunt + I rented cruisers and rode by the beach. As it was Memorial Day, they was some festival going on at Hermosa Beach (or maybe it was Manhattan Beach...), so we didn't get very far on our bikes. It was craaaazy. There were so many people out and about! We were moving along so slowly on our bikes that skateboarders and joggers were passing us. It was pretty funny. At Manhattan Beach we got off our bikes and hung out at the pier for a little while watching the surfers. A little while later we headed back to Redondo Beach to return the bikes. My aunt hung out at the hotel, while my mum and I set out on a hunt for Trader Joe's. Okay, while I loooove spending time in the States, it's kind of a serious pain in the ass to get around, since I can't use my iPhone's map for directions. I knew that there was a TJ's somewhere south of the hotel and that it was roughly 2.2 miles, but that's all that I had to go on. Welllll, our walk ended up taking us waaay longer than it should have (see: we got a little lost), but we did eventually make it there. What was arguably even more thrilling than TJs was the Yogurtland payoff after our long walk. I loaded up on Coconut, Birthday Cake (it was meh) and Root Beer Float, topped with some fruit. By the time we got back to the hotel it was roughly 6PM and we were exhausted, so we noshed on our fav chips (Way Better Snacks Sweet Potato Chips) + dip (TJs tomato + basil hummus) that we sadly can't get here. After snack time we both called it a night and passed out the second we hit the sheets.

MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH

Homemade Nutella
It seems that the only way to get me out of bed early these days (like, since Christmas) is if I have some sort of stressful event taking place later that day. Not even the longest to-do list with non-time-sensitive items will get me up. However, yesterday we were throwing a Mother's Day brunch, so of course I was up very early to get started on the cooking. I had managed to do a little bit of prep the day before so that the day-of could be focussed on the big items. I candied walnuts, roasted beets, prepped salad dressing, made a rhubarb crumble, and managed to have a little time to sit down in the scorching sun for a couple cups of coffee to keep me going. My parents eventually wandered out of bed (my brother was still nowhere to be found), and my mum opened her gift from my brother and I. I'm not sure how it happened, but one minute I was enjoying my coffee with infinite time to spare before the party started, and the text we were 20 minutes to go time and I was not ready at all. It's funny how it sneaks up on you.

We did get everything ready in a timely manner, and our guests started to arrive. We did a great deal of mingling, and uh, my brother and I did a little boozing (what's a family get-together without a little alcohol right?). Eventually we got around to eating.

The menu
Chris + mum
Egg + toast cups, Baked amaretto french toast
My dear brother gave us all the pleasure of making an appearance at our brunch by skipping his workout that was scheduled part-way through. He was texting his friend to tell him of his 'situation,' and paused to laugh. I asked him what he was smirking at, and he said (to his friend), "I guess I'm carb-loading today."

Yes. Yesterday was a day of carb-loading.

Isn't that the way that it always is at a family get together? Well, this time 'round it especially was. I handcrafted the menu myself, so I suppose that I'm the only one to blame/thank... something in the middle? The thing about breakfast/brunch done family style is that your options for not having a super carby meal are pretty limited. Who wants to be standing over the oven dishing out omelettes the entire time instead of mingling? Baked eggs would be the best option, yes, which is exactly what I went with. Bacon, Egg + Toast Cups, along with the vegetarian spinach option. The other main dish was Amaretto (there were little guys, so I omitted and went with Almond extract) baked french toast. As a side, I made a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts. My Aunt brought the most delicious quinoa salad that somehow managed to taste like a taco. It was very, very good.
The dessert spread
Post-main meal we finished off with dessert, which was a combo of chocolate chip cheesecake bars with chocolate salted ice cream, as well as rhubarb crumble with strawberry ice cream. All homemade, of course. As far as I could tell, half of the guests were into the salted chocolate.... It was definitely my pick for favorite next to the rhubarb crumble. Two very opposing flavors that really manage to tickle the taste buds.
Mama + me
It was smoking hot outside (and in thanks to the oven), and the forces seemed to be against us. Full bellies, a smidge too much to drink and above-average heat. Nevertheless, the get-together went on with only the slightest of hinge. We mingled into the early evening until the guests trickled out. I began the clean up while my mother enjoyed the rest of her day, my dad did some work, and my brother took a snooze (?). For a day that was really quite chaotic, I think that it went quite well. I can only hope that the day was a good one for my mum. She certainly deserves it.

BIN 4 BURGER LOUNGE

IMG_0677

The roommates and I headed to Bin 4 two Friday's ago to get a taste of their Dine Around menu. Dine Around & Stay in Victoria is an event that's been running for the last month that pretty much allows you to be a tourist in your own town. A bunch of hotels and restaurants offered discounted prices on rooms and three course meals. Bin 4 was offering a $20 menu including an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It was craaaaazy busy when we went. I even called an hour ahead and had our names added to the wait list, but we still waited 20 minutes when we got there. I ended up completely forgetting to snap any photos of the food, because I was seriously so hungry that I dug it without restraints. 

As per usual, we were started off with a small bowl of their house made potato chips. Those things are to die for, and are a super replacement for any kind of silly bread bowl. The seasoning on those bad boys is pretty delicious. Jenna and I both started our meal with the almond and blue cheese salad.

Almond Praline & Blue Cheese Salad 


fresh artisan greens, Ermite blue cheese, almond praline, sliced apple, honey balsamic vinaigrette

I'd had it as a side the first time that I came to Bin 4 and it was the obvious choice to get again. The sweetness of the candied almonds paired with the saltiness of the blue cheese is faaaaabulous. Carlee opted for the pork and chorizo lettuce wraps to start. I'd already been to Bin 4 twice since they opened and had tasted both of their veggie burgers. They offer both a tofu and a bean burger. I was more partial to the tofu burger, but the bean burger was offered on the Dine Around menu so I went with that.

Mr. Bean 
Chick pea, black bean, cumin, fresh cilantro, goat cheese, curry aioli, butter lettuce, tomato, red onion

The goat cheese was my favorite part. The entrees still came with a side of either fries, onion rings or a salad. Since we'd already had salad to start, we each got a side of either fries or onion rings along with three dips (truffle aioli, chipotle aioli, and jalapeno aioli). It made for a LOT of food and we barely touched the sides at all except to sample the dips. For dessert Jenna and I both got the Butterscotch Creme Brulee while Carlee went for the Lemon Tart. Omigod omigod. I have an undying love for creme brulee, so I was pretty much in heaven with this one. I took forever to eat it, because I was trying reaaaally hard to savour every bite. 

Bin 4 is always a pleasure to eat at. It's usually pretty busy, and for good reason. Despite the long wait, once you're seated the servers are always attentive and very helpful at pairing wines and helping to narrow down the best menu items. Chances are that I most likely won't make it back during the next month (my last living here), but I'll definitely make a point of coming back when I visit!
Bin 4 Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

FERRERO ROCHER BIRTHDAY CAKE

Jenna's Birthday cake
Jenna's Birthday cake
Jenna's Birthday cake
Jenna's Birthday cake
Jenna's Birthday cake
Jenna's Birthday cake
Jenna's birthday

We celebrated a birthday on the 4th. It was my roommates birthday. She turned 24. By "we celebrated," I mean I made a cute banner, a cake, and there was some tea involved. Jenna went out for brunch and dinner with a few of her friends. It was a pretty low-key day, but we think that's how birthdays should be.

March is a big birthday month this year. It isn't usually! August is the big birthday month for me and thinks tend to get a little hectic. This year March is filled (well, only 3, but still) with birthdays all within the span on two weeks. Both of my roommates birthdays are this month (with the next only a week away), so I'm on cake duty. I made this little gem with a Bailey's ganache and raspberry/hazelnut chocolate truffles instead. These girls love their white chocolate and raspberry. This cake looks a little homemade, as it should. Ugh, I've never been very good at frosting cakes. This is one of the better ones. The construction of these guy was a bit of a disaster if we're being completely honest here. Note the very thick white chocolate cake layer surrounded by two little dark chocolate cake layers and Bailey's ganache. Well, first I split one of the chocolate layers in half when I was trying to move it onto a plate. I didn't allow the white chocolate cake to cool enough before moving it from the pan, so it stuck. Somewhere in there is a thick layer of frosting glue. That shiz is amazing. All things considered I'd say it turned out pretty well. Disaster averted. I'll take the homemade appearance in the sheer delight that I didn't destroy it enough to end up having to make a trifle (or something). OH, and it's totally delicious. Perfectly indulgent along with some popcorn ice cream a la Cold Comfort.


I wish you could all be here to celebrate and eat some cake. Don't worry, I'll save a slice.

WEST COAST WAFFLES

Let's talk about breakfast. 

I have made it no secret that I am a little obsessed with oatmeal as can be seen on both Instagram and Tumblr. Before moving to Victoria, the only time that I ever ate oatmeal it came straight from a sugared up instant package. Over the last six months I've become hooked on the stuff. It's for real like my morning smoke or crack or whatever other bad things people do (but in the best way - we are still talking about oatmeal here). Every once in a while I'll write some other breakfast into my meal plan just for varieties sake. Lately it's been the occasional Flax or Hemp Plus Waffle (I have yet to find a low-fat/low-cal homemade waffle that suits my fancy) topped heavily with berries and a dash of nut butter. They're good, but they're no oatmeal. Cold cereal is another mystery to me. One of my roommates has a constant stash of numerous sorts of sugary cereals (bless her soul, she really tries to make healthy cereal choices but usually comes up short) that she goes through on a weekly basis. I've had the same box of cereal sitting in the cupboard since we moved in... I'm curious about Nature's Paths millet flakes/heritage o's (thanks to the cereal posts over at KathEats... seriously check out that bowl) but I can't help but think that they'll just sit in the cupboard sadly neglected when I reach for my containers of rolled/steel cut oats instead...

Take this morning for instance. In honor of National Pancake Week (not just day you guys, c'mon) I made some flapjacks this morning. When I think of pancakes I think of my mum making my brother and I fun pancake shapes for breakfast. From what I can remember, I enjoyed them for this very reason. Oh, and because they were a yummy change to cereal that we topped with sugary goodness in the form of Rogers syrup and Summerland Sweets. My mum wasn't quite as exquisite a pancake maker as this fellow, but she still made the cut. This morning I made these banana pancakes with bananas pressed into the batter while cooking instead of mixed in. I topped them with more bananas, blueberries, a little peanut butter and no sugar syrup (I'm still too cheap to buy maple syrup and had some of this no sugar crap left over). Don't get me wrong, these pancakes were good (as all things katie creates are) but they left me completely unsatisfied. They left me craving a big bowl of oats. *sigh* I can't even wait for tomorrow morning.

There are only two exceptions to my oatmeal rule, and those are (1) hungover savory diner brunch, and (2) West Coast Waffles.

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West Coast Waffles

My friend Meagan and I first discovered West Coast Waffles on our trip to Vancouver/Victoria two years ago. I've since dubbed it my favorite breakfast joint the best place on Earth. I've done so much raving about it that whenever anyone is here there are no questions asked about the one place that we will for sure be visiting.  We went here when one of my roommates and I came house hunting over the summer. We went when my parents moved me out to Victoria. My mum and I split a peanut butter banana waffle while my dad got the Wake 'N Bacon. They've been trying to recreate the Wake 'N Bacon at home, but nothing compares to the real deal. We went when Gabi came to visit over the summer, with my roommate, and again when Jess came to visit last week.

"It's just a waffle," you say. "What makes it so special?"

Let me tell you. The actual restaurant has a pretty cool vibe to it. It's got kind of a modern feel to it, but with a fun, retro twist. Upon walking in you're greeted by the staff no matter how preoccupied and busy they may be. If you haven't been there before, they'll walk you through the creation of your perfect waffle. The waffles are pretty customizable. They have an extensive menu featuring both savory and sweet waffles, so you're bound to find something that tickles your fancy. First you choose a batter: Original, buckwheat, or spelt and rolled oats. Next comes the type of waffle you want. I usually go with mix and match fruit, but the sweet waffles get as crazy as chocolate almond, gummy bear ("The Yummy Gummy") and frozen yogurt waffle sandwiches. I'm not even going to venture into the savory waffles... They're pretty insane(ly good sounding). Next you get a choice between yogurt or syrup, which ranges from real maple to an assortment of Summerland Sweet flavors.

I'm like clock work here...

West Coast Waffles
Spelt and rolled oats + Banana and blueberry + Yogurt + Maple syrup

The menu also features real fruit smoothies, a variety of juices, beverages, and coffe. I say walk down the street to Wild Coffee for your caffeine fix. 

Next, take a seat, chat up your friends (or the other patrons... everyone seems to be in the mood to talk over waffles), listen to the funky tunes and wait for your waffle to be made. The waffle is brought out to you, and the presentation of these bad boys are stunning. I have half a dozen photos of the exact same waffle on my cellphone, because I have to take a photo every time I go. The staff like to check in on you to make sure you're enjoying your meal, which is a nice touch that makes it feel more like a restaurant than a sort of fast food joint. 

West Coast Waffles
Jess' waffle: Nutella with raspberries, maple syrup and whipped cream.


There is no doubt in my mind that this will be your best waffle experience from start to finish. From the friendly staff, the yummy food and the general vibe of the place, you will not leave disappointed. My only qualm is that if you don't go at the right time the chances of getting a table are pretty slim. They get quite busy. Another perk about West Coast Waffles is their hours. They're open early for the freaks like me and stay open until 2:30AM from Thursday to Saturday for the partygoers who want a waffle at the end of the night. One of my roommates is a patron of this late night waffle phenomenon, but in my old-lady-no-party ways I like to keep it for the morning. 

West Coast Waffles, please open a location in Calgary. I'm going to miss you when I'm gone.

You can check out West Coast Waffles website here.

West Coast Waffles on Urbanspoon

SAM + JESS TAKE OVER VICTORIA (PT. 3)

Murchie's
Jess and Habit coffee
Pizza
Pizza and macarons
This is the first year in quite a while that I've made any notice of Valentine's day. The way it would usually play out is my mum leaving my brother and I those chocolate marshmallow hearts at our spots on the counter (that I sadly couldn't eat anyways because of the gelatin) along with a silly valentine's day card. I'd spend the rest of the day working and most likely call it an early night. THIS YEAR I got to spend it with Jess! Originally we had planned on going out for dinner, but later decided that it would probably be easier to go the night before and cook dinner at home.

We started off the day downtown picking up macarons at Murchie's for my roommate (and we got a couple for ourselves) and made another trip to Habit. We also picked up some frozen yogurt from Qoola. I totally lucked out. This place is right down the street from my house. It's a shame that I don't take advantage of it unless I have guests. Dinner was amazing. I'd been wanting to make this sweet potato and spinach pizza for aaaages, but had never had a justifiable reason to indulge in making pizza. This was the PERFECT opportunity. I was incredibly daunted by the whole wheat dough, but gave it a shot anyways. It didn't work out as the instructions said, but it was still delicious. Note: I made this pizza again for my roommates and the dough worked out great. I made a few little tweaks like letting the soaker dough sit for about five minutes before mixing it to allow the yeast to activate. I also pulled the soaker dough out of the fridge at the same time as the biga (roughly 3 hours before using making the final dough). The whole pizza was amazing actually. I made half sweet potato and pizza and the other half was pear, havarti and blue cheese with walnuts and spinach. 


We polished off a bottle of red wine (my fav) and nearly a bottle of rose while nomming on our pizza, fro-yo and watching He's Just Not That Into You and What A Girl Wants. It was a super chill, very girly, and VERY indulgent night. It was perfect! Best Valentine's Day in a long time for sure. 

SAM + JESS TAKE OVER VICTORIA (PT. 2)

Marina (Sidney)
Sidney bakery
Sidney
Marina (Sidney)
Marina (Sidney)
Monday afternoon, we made the trek to Sidney for a walk down memory lane. Jess grew up in Sidney and hadn't been back since our trip a few years ago, so she was super stoked to see everything new and old. We started off our walk down Beacon Ave. at Alexander's for some coffee. I got some crazy concoction of espresso topped with coffee, while Jess opted for a London Fog. Hers was deliciously sweet, and mine was more of a palate cleanser it was so strong! In a good way of course. We completed walking down Beacon Ave. shortly after (it's very, very small), and spent a little time by the ocean at the marina. The funniest thing that I find living in Victoria is that I somehow manage to NOT see the ocean very often even though I do in fact live on an island. It is definitely something that I take for granted, so being down at the marina was so nice. On the way back up Beacon we had hoped to stop at Lunn's for some pastries, but they were ever so sadly closed that day. We peered through the window though, and the items that were in the cases looked devine. Sidney bakery was open (shown above), but we chose not to get anything from there. One of the coolest things that we saw that day was something that Jess and her dad had done many years ago. On a pathway they had carved their initials into wet cement and it was still there! The letters were quite worn down, but you could definitely still make them out. 

I can't quite wrap my head around growing up in such a small city, but the trips back with Jess are always nice. She gets so excited about everything and has lots of stories to share about her childhood. Next time, perhaps I'll give in and we can go to Mineral World.
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