Café Cubano: My Favourite Miami Wake Up

While running along the promenade in South Beach was perhaps my favourite way to start the day, the ultimate Miami wake up was found off the beach, and on the strip and in one teeny, tiny cup of delicious Cuban Coffee.

Pour me a (mini) cup of Cuban Coffee

Maybe it’s the way it’s brewed – humbly, in the back of mom and pop shops, with genuine friendliness, as if those who serve it are offering you the first moment of respite after a long, weary travel. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s meant to bring people together, served in one cup and accompanied by enough smaller cups to share with however many companions you happen to have by your side. Most likely, it’s the flavour; the smoky beginning, and the silky smooth way it leaves a sugary trail running down your throat. Whatever the reason, I can honestly say I am addicted to Cuban Coffee – in the best kind of way.

Cuban Coffee, Miami, travelCuban Coffee, Miami, Travel

What is Cuban Coffee?

Having discovered Cuban Coffee during a recent bachelorette trip to Miami, I find myself craving it around
sunrise and sunset most every day. It is just the perfect way to start the day, and the nicest way to end it.

Admittedly, before writing this, I had absolutely no idea what cuban coffee was. After digging around a little,  I can know tell you that Cuban Coffee, or Café Cubano, is an espresso shot that is sweetened with demerara sugar (a type of brown sugar) while being brewed. Apparently the recipe is pretty flexible, so it may or may not be consistent from cup to cup, or cafe to cafe.

However they make it, if you’re ever in Miami (or anywhere else that serves Cuban Coffee), don’t hesitant to try a cup! The locals will love you, and your tastebuds will thank you. Grab a friend (or five) and enjoy the rich taste of  Café Cubano.

Categories: giraffe travel, street eats: foods from around the world, thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Short, Blonde, Bearded Germans Tackle the Capital One Race for Kids

I may have accidentally stumbled upon what is by far the sweetest race in all Toronto. Picture the Amazing Race. The adrenaline, the checkpoints, the challenges. Now bring all that hype to Toronto and donate all the money raised to a charity whose mission it is to to “provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.” Welcome to the Capital One Race for Kids.

Short, Blonde, Bearded and sort of German

Capital One Race for Kids, TorontoThe weather was perfect as we rolled into the square at Yonge and Dundas. The sun was shining and there was a light breeze sweeping over
race participants as they entered from every corner of Toronto. Most were wearing the bright red Capital One Race for Kids T-Shirts we’d been given as part of our race-kit. Others, like us, had customized their uniforms and showed up in neon jumpsuits, corporate swag and serious looking sports attire we weren’t 100% prepared for.

As 60+ teams gathered together in the square, we started to get the sense that this was a bigger deal than we’d anticipated. We’d signed up months ago at the recommendation of a friend and nearly had to back out because of injuries, babysitting trauma and other complications that would have made it way easier just to stay at home and work on our tan. Thankfully, last minute, we’d managed to get our act together and show up on time at the start line. The Short, Blonde, Bearded Germans had arrived.

After mixing and mingling with the race organizers, and posing for a few pictures for tourists, we were welcomed to the main event by a kids dance group who rocked the stage and a warm up led by a fitness guru who sent a number of the men skipping their way straight to the sidelines. Upon receiving a detailed break down of the rules, which included the ability to use public transit, and allowing the corporate fundraisers a 5 minute head-start (darn you!), we were off. Continue reading

Categories: giraffe lifestyle, giraffe on the run, the view from above | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Earth Coffee House and Bakery: The Best in the West

On a recent dash out to Calgary – en route to Canmore for a long weekend of celebrating the nuptials of a dear old friend – I had the opportunity to enjoy an early morning run along the Bow River. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and I was running with one of my best friends in the whole world – it was absolute bliss.

Those of you who follow me, know of my LOVE for discovering a new city on foot. There’s nothing like waking up before the sun’s up to unlock what lies behind the tourist scene; watching people open their stores, what kind of transport they take, and scoping out all the good coffee shops as the scent of freshly baked goodness floods my, what is by then, very receptive nostrils.

Canmore, Travel, Good Earth Cafe

It’s not a big surprise that these runs normally end with me in one of these coffee shops, drink in hand and pastry crammed into mouth. After all, I run because I really, really, really like desserts. Ergo, early morning run = right to enjoy foreign pastries. While I’ve been fortunate enough to literally run into some delicious coffee joints, I recently discovered a new favourite, which currently has locations solely throughout Western Canada, and will henceforth be known as “The Best in the West”.

Good Earth Coffee House and Bakery is a delicious chain of coffee shops with a dedication the creation of killer coffee and delicious pastries. After months, possibly years of not eating muffins, I dug my teeth into a delicious zucchini barley muffin… twice. As much as I hate myself for saying this, all I could focus on was how moist it was. God, I hate that word. But that’s exactly what it was; unbelievably and inexplicably moist. With chunks of berry in between every bite, it became a morning ritual I could definitely get used to (of course, at 300 calories each, I’d have to add an additional 5k to the run, but it would be so, so worth it).

My drink of choice? A Skinny Earl Grey Tea Latte. Skim milk and sugar-free. No love – or flavour lost. Enjoy!

Canmore, Travel, Good Earth

Categories: giraffe travel, street eats: foods from around the world, thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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