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

How the Germanwings Crash Changed The Way I See Travel (and More)

Last week, a Germanwings flight crashed into the French Alps, killing 144 passengers and 6 crew members (read more here). An airplane crash is bad enough. But an airplane crash where the incident was facilitated deliberately by the co-pilot and where the victims included exchange students and babies? Well, that resonates pretty loudly and makes me question when it’s time to travel, and when it’s time to just stay put.

How safe is travel?

As a traveler, you put your lives in the hands of airplane pilots, train conductors, bus drivers, taxi drivers and boat helmsmen every time you set out for another adventure. An adventure filled with excitement and moments that define for you what it means to live – not to die. While the odds of being killed on an airplane are significantly less than your odds of being struck by oncoming traffic as you cross the street for ice cream, it still seems like a big deal. You are boarding a machine that will fly you into the sky, during which time you have absolutely no control over whether you land or… not.

Prior to this disastrous event (any loss of human life can be classified as such), while I trembled at turbulence and shuddered during take-off and landing, it never occurred to me that my worst fears could be made a reality due to the complete lack of respect someone had for human life. Sure, terrorism is a real threat. But there are measures put in place to filter out the crazies and keep everyone who does board, safe for the duration of the flight (needless to say, as history will show, even the most scrupulous screenings can breed exceptions). But to have the person in charge of your safety deliberately crash the plane in total disrespect for human life, is, or was, completely unimaginable. If you can’t trust the person behind the controls, where are you to turn for comfort when you get a case of the cold-wings? Continue reading

Categories: giraffe travel, the view from above, thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Delicious (and Thirst Quenching) Ways to Enjoy Boston

This winter, I had the pleasure of visiting Boston for the very first time, and wasn’t at all disappointed. While the reason for the visit was a wedding that was held at the Petit Robert Bistro ( a charming restaurant that I would certainly recommend for both the ambiance and the deliciously catered spread they offered following the ceremony) we also had time to saunter around the city and explore the many flavours of Bostonian cuisine.

Finding innovative ways to escape the cold, my husband and I sought sanctuary in coffee shops and other eateries around town, and as a result, discovered some (by no means all) pretty delicious ways to enjoy Boston. Here they are:

Max Brenner

From the minute you walk into Max Brenner until you finally sample a heavenly cup of cocoa-based goodness, it’s impossible not to get lost in the luscious smell of chocolate circulating throughout the cafe. When you first sit down, the menu seems endless, filled with both food and drink that are slathered in oodles of all types of chocolate.

Since we were buying our time until lunch, my husband and I decided to limit our order to whopping cups of delicious dark and milk hot chocolates. Both were luxurious, but the dark chocolate was absolutely to die for. The best part? The cute little hug mugs they use to serve warm drinks; the perfect wrap-around size to warm your hands up on a cold day and make you feel right at home.

Hug Mug, Max Brenners, Boston

Boston Travel Max Brenners

Eastern Standard

Come one, come all! Eastern Standard offers what are, hands down, the best cocktails in Boston. We had the opportunity to visit twice over the course of three days and each time we left wanting to try just one more of their creatively concocted seasonal cocktails. What I loved about Eastern Standard was that it served as both a watering hole both for the upwardly elite and the grounded hipster. With room to dine and a bar that is packed, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect cocktail, whatever your taste.

The best part? The list of late night snacks they write on the mirror directly behind the bar. It’s such a great way to let people know what’s on the menu and I can only assume… it’s frikkin’ delicious. Continue reading

Categories: giraffe travel, thetravelinggiraffe, top tips from thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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