This weekend, I went on one walking adventure and one romp through the woods.
The walking adventure was up a 14% grade hill. It began at the base with a book and a bottle (of water) and ended with a pasty and a game… and a truly spectacular meal. Being of a leisurely pace, the climb was pleasant. Normally, on a rainy day, driving down that hill terrifies me, even when I start a couple streets from the end. It feels like coming off a wall.
At the false peak, at the main intersection, we popped into the very charming Cederberg Tea House. I had an iced rooibos and Homsey had a chai latte and a Milo bar. My old roommate, the one who got me into triathlons, introduced me to rooibos tea and it is now on my list of favorite teas. CTH is named after the region where rooibos tea naturally grows. (Note to self, add that to my list of places to visit.)
CTH was filled with small groups enjoying enviable tea parties consisting of cozies and tiered treat trays. Our tea party didn’t feel near as fancy, but we had only just discovered CTH and agreed that we’d come back for a fancy tea in the near future.
Having arrived at the main shopping district of the neighborhood, we meandered in and out of shops and eventually got stuck in Blue Highway Games, another new find. We decided to buy a new game and settled upon Innovation, which was a small struggle to learn but 100% worth the effort and fun. BHG is another destination for future adventuring in and of itself, especially because it has a fully stocked game library and a lovely loft.
At that point, we had crested the hill and began our descent into the neighborhood. It was filled with latent Christmas lights, BBQ parties and dogs. Everyone was enjoying the first signs of spring. The hill rolled us right into Eve, our final destination. Eve is owned by a fellow swimmer, a Very Fast swimmer. I just happened to share a lane with him a couple days earlier, so it was fortuitous that we ran into him at Eve that evening. Without going into a full on restaurant review, I will say that we agreed Eve deserved 5 out of 5 stars.
Then there was a woodsy romp with Bestie and Pooch. It was another rare springtime tease of a day. The sun was out, the birds were peeping and Monday’s snow had almost completely melted. Instead of our normal loop, I suggested we visit the ravine.
It is a wild, forest in the middle of the city. You can’t hear traffic and, amidst the many paths, there is a bubbling brook, running the length of the park. Pooch was able to romp and tromp to her heart’s delight. We were walking at a fast clip, so as to count it for our exercise of the day, but, somehow, when you enter the park, the universe slows down. You stop to take in the beauty of the trees and the park and the raw earthiness of it all.
After we emerged, a little muddier, we tried a new coffeeshop, Cowen Park Grocery. Someone was playing the guitar outside and it felt like Stars Hollow in our pocket of the city. It was a perfect compliment to Saturday’s walking adventure.
What do you do on your off days? How do you explore your own neighborhood?