Staycation :: Waterloo

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Yes, it was one of those days weekends where I needed to get away yet again. Although it was also fuelled by the fact that last weekend was the only weekend one of my best friends Ali and I were able to connect before I journey to the Philippines. So Friday night I was off in Ellie (yes my darling little Mazda3 has a name) over to Waterloo, the city where I spent way too much money on school and apparently still love being reminded of this fact. It was a very relaxing weekend filled with quality girl time and wine. I arrived quite so a quiet night in was a given. Ali had recently been to an economics conference in Paris so I was very excited to hear all about her adventures in the French capital. There was also discussion about a post-graduation celebration trip (for her, I’m just a supporter of all things travel) for Lollapalooza Berlin. Nothing is set in stone by any means, but I have a flight price notification for September with my name all over it.

Saturday began with an early start as my friend had some Skype meetings to attend to, so I set out to Uptown Waterloo for a breakfast date via the Iron Trail. I only trekked about a kilometre of it, but this trail takes you from Uptown to Victoria Park in Kitchener, passing by little eateries, shops, etc in Waterloo and Kitchener. The Iron Trail is becoming more popular as the sun’s getting warmer, and I’ll definitely need to see it through another day. If you’re looking for an easy trail that’s paved with little elevation – check it out! It’s also a part of the Trans Canada Trail, which I can never get enough of!

My breakfast date was at Cafe 1982 in the base of the Huether. Despite my 5 on-and-off years in Waterloo, I had actually never eaten here, so it was a mini adventure! I had their Waffle Sandwich and yes it was as good as it sounds. A fresh Belgian waffle with ham (or bacon or sausage), egg, and cheese sandwiched between it with maple syrup. How Canadian eh? I should have taken a picture but I was too hungry and it smelled too delicious so it was in my face before my phone was out. The fact that I ate it in about 10min should be testament enough and make you want to try it.

After a little bit of shopping to work off my food coma, I returned to Ali’s house as she was free from her Skype ball and chain. She is currently in the final months of her master’s program at Waterloo, and thus had a final paper to work on while I was in town. In order to show my support, as well as help the words roll out of her fingertips onto her computer, we were guinea pigs to my very own sangria concoction. Loosely based off of an LCBO recipe I found in their In-Cider pamphlet, it was exactly what we both needed wanted on this beautiful sunny day. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you in the dark! Check out the recipe at the end of this post.

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!

I dedicated Saturday afternoon to reading, which is something I haven’t done in a while. When I was in Calgary I randomly picked up a book called Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City. I’m already over 50 pages in. This book is AMAZING! Written by Bradley Garrett, it tells the story of how he inserted himself into the community of urban explorers in London, England. These people travel the world looking for remnants of old buildings with the sole purpose of experiencing them in their newest state – a state of decay. It discusses how ruins protected by the state aren’t true ruins as they’re trying to stop time in order to keep these artifacts in their original form, instead of allowing them to go through their natural process and move into the next stage of the building’s lifecycle. It’s extremely well written, and I think many different kinds of people – especially travellers – can relate and understand the beauty in the words and photos. Oh, did I forget to mention he’s included his own photography in there too? It’s a wonderful book, and I suggest that anyone with a curious mind grabs it. It’s definitely an inspiration for me to not only be more adventurous, but think more about my relation to places, moments, and technology.

As the sun began to set and I had achieved a lovely sunburn, I trekked back to Uptown Waterloo for a visit to Beertown to meet another lovely lady Amanda. Only a few years old, but already a fave for many locals, it prides itself on having a great selection of craft beers, beer-inspired cocktails, and hearty food. They have great sampler paddles, for which I opted for the girliest (is that a word? Well it is now!) of them because that’s how I roll. I also tried a few of their cocktails and was not disappointed. If you’re not a beer fan, you’ll still love these so everyone can enjoy a good drink! Beertown also has a sweet patio which is great for when it’s 5’o clock somewhere.

By then the fruit from the first batch of sangria had worn off so that signified dinner time. Being a creature of habit and the sheer proximity of Belmont St led Ali and I to getting take out from Thai Bistro, which I’ve talked about before in my Eat Like A Local >> Waterloo article. Although I switched it up a little bit and got the red curry instead of the green, and it was just as delicious. We also had their shrimp rolls, yummy! If you’re craving curry, check this place out. There was talk of heading to Uptown that evening to meet up with Amanda and her boyfriend, but alas the second batch of sangria combined with food coma led us to staying in, watching Netflix and a bedtime of midnight. I told you it was a lazy weekend! A glorious, lazy weekend.

A beautiful sunset to finish off a beautiful sunny day!

A beautiful sunset to finish off a beautiful sunny day!

Sunday rolled around with a lunch date to Sweet Dreams (also mentioned in my Waterloo food article) where I had my usual spicy udon. Although Ali tried a new kind of bubble tea, the Yin Yang, and was kind enough to let me have a taste. Super yummy! It’s a mix of black tea and coffee, and as a cold drink the perfect way to start your day in the summer. I might just have to stray away from my pecan pie latte and get this next time I’m in town! With one final stop to grab some of my favourite pad thai for myself and the famjam from the Vegetarian Fast Food restaurant, I was on my way home.

Sometimes a girls weekend is just what the doctor ordered for an emotional and spiritual reset. Not so much for my liver, but I made that up with a trip to the gym yesterday. Good vibes all around!


As promised, my recipe for a wonderful Summer Sangria, which makes two big punch bowls:

1 Bottle of Riesling Wine (I used this wine but any sweet Riesling will work)
2 Bottles of Crabby’s Ginger Beer
2 Cans of Okanagan Pear Cider
Fresh or frozen fruit (I opted for pears, raspberries & lime but follow your heart)

I split the recipe in half each time I made it and half lasted us an entire afternoon. Super refreshing and not super sweet, just mix well and enjoy on the patio!

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