Thursday, May 21, 2015

Life Lately

I've been up to a lot of things that don't quite warrant a whole post on their own, so I thought I'd take one post to share a few of the things I've been up to lately.

Drift Sidewalk Cafe Saskatoon Saskatchewan

This is over a week ago now, but my friend Brandi (who blogs over at For One Day) and I met up for lunch at Drift Café earlier last week. I had never been before, but it had been on my list to visit for awhile. Since I work downtown I just walked over for my lunch break. If you're able to avoid the lunch break rush I would recommend that you do - we managed to snag a table, but it was super busy. Brandi has been there before outside of the lunch rush and said that it's definitely not as busy.

Drift Sidewalk Cafe Saskatoon Saskatchewan

We both went with the French Giving Panini. There were quite a few things on the menu that caught my eye, so I am hoping to head back soon!

Pitch Perfect 2 Opening
My boyfriend and I went to the Pitch Perfect 2 opening last Thursday. We're huge fans of the first movie, but the second was disappointing. There were parts we absolutely loved, but there were also parts that we really could have done without. The music was still fantastic, though!
On Friday we went out to Candle Lake for the weekend. Our friends have a new cabin and they invited us to stay the weekend with them and other friends and family of theirs. We had a great time, even though the weather was a little cold and super windy. I didn't get any photos, since we spent quite a lot of time indoors and it was just nice to relax and not always know where my phone was.
We came back into the city on Sunday so that I could get to a dance rehearsal in the evening for an upcoming recital I'll be dancing in. We were teaching the dance to two new dancers who were covering spots for others that couldn't make it, and then afterwards we went out for supper and drinks at Earl's with some of the money that we won at competition earlier in the year. We donated the rest to a couple different charities. Side note: I totally didn't realize the 18+ category could win money at competitions, so that was a nice surprise!
Victoria Bridge Saskatoon Saskatchewan River
We have been getting back to gorgeous weather this week. On Tuesday evening my boyfriend and I went for a long walk along the river and I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the Victoria Bridge.
I'm coming up on a dance-heavy few days with dress rehearsals and three different days of recital. I love dance and teaching, but I'm looking forward to the freedom that comes with it ending for the summer! 
What have you been up to lately? Feel free to share below!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ciao Pasta Bar - Windsor, ON

I'm here today with one final post about my weekend in Windsor, ON. I've already shared an overview and about my visit to Taloola Café.

On my last night in Windsor I did a Google search for somewhere to eat and I was having a bit of difficulty, because restaurants that had been recommended to me or that appealed to me online were either already closed or closing soon (it was Sunday at about 6:30 pm). I finally came across Ciao Pasta Bar and the hours were accommodating, so I decided to check it out.

When I arrived I was definitely impressed by the décor. The yellow, white, black, and grey colour scheme is one of my favourites, and they did it well with white tufted panels and large mirrors on darker walls, offset with yellow accents throughout. I really liked the sturdy, oversized, natural wood tables and chairs - it made it feel like you were in someone's comfortable dining room. My favourite part, though, was the gallery wall on the back wall. I didn't get a chance to look closely at it, but it added to that comfortable, personal dining room feel.

Now for the menu. I really liked that you could create your own pasta dish, and that you could get a half plate; pasta is filling and sometimes you really want to plan for dessert. I went with a half plate of whole wheat capellini topped with a blush sauce with chicken cooked in and added asparagus. When the plate arrived I have to admit that I thought the portion looked a little small, but that together with the starter bread was actually the perfect amount of food for me. I also had a pomegranate martini and it was super tasty.

I decided to treat myself to dessert to round out a very pleasant meal. I ordered the chocolate Nutella tart with a latte to go with it. I can't even describe how delicious that tart was! It was a bit much for one person to eat alone, so I would recommend splitting it with another person if you ever get the chance to stop in. The latte was well made and paired perfectly with the dessert.

I would highly recommend Ciao Pasta Bar if you are ever in Windsor, ON. It would be a fantastic date place, but it's totally family-friendly as well. I saw something about family movie night on Sunday evenings that sounds like a lot of fun as well.

That's it for my trip to Windsor! I am really hoping that I get a chance to head back sometime in the not too distant future - any tips on where I could visit next time?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Taloola Cafe - Windsor, ON

I didn't get the chance to visit too many places while I was in Windsor, since it was a short trip and I was there for a wedding. As I mentioned in my recap post about my visit, one of the places that I stopped in at was Taloola Café, on a recommendation from the bride and groom via their wedding website. They have impeccable taste, so I wasn't surprised when I really enjoyed their recommendation.

Taloola Café is in the Walkerville area of Windsor, Ontario, not far from the riverfront. I was there on a lovely warm day, but I opted to sit inside so that I could take in the interior instead of sitting on the roomy patio. Also, I'm a redhead with fair skin so I burn far too easily.

Taloola Cafe Windsor Ontario Canada

The café is decorated in a very unique and eclectic style, with everything being its own statement while still coming together in a cohesive look. The exposed brick and warm hues on the walls and furniture make you feel at home, which leaves you wanting to stick around awhile.

Taloola Cafe Windsor Ontario Canada

I decided to go with the Roberto Panini and a Caffe Mocha. They were fantastic! There were quite a few items on the menu that I wanted to try, so hopefully I'll get a chance to go back sometime!

Taloola Cafe Windsor Ontario Canada

Have you ever been to Taloola Café? What is your favourite thing to order? Any other places in Windsor that I should add to my list to visit if I ever head back? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Jet-setter: Windsor, Ontario - May 1 - 4, 2015

Airplane Windsor Ontario Skyview

I spent this past weekend in Windsor, ON for a wedding! I had never been to Windsor before, so I took a bit of extra time and toured around a tiny bit. I had wanted to try and make a vacation of this trip and head to Guelph, ON to visit some family (like I did at the start of 2014), but it didn't work out that way. It's so expensive to fly within Canada that I like to take advantage of the times I book flights and do a lot in between, but I had two new roommates moving in on Sunday while I was gone and May is a very full month, so I decided to just make it an extended weekend instead.

On Friday I flew in to Windsor via Toronto. The Toronto-Windsor leg of the trip was in a pretty small propeller airplane with only nine rows of seating. I can be easily affected by motion sometimes, although I've never truly gotten sick, so I was kind of worried it might be a bumpier ride but I am happy to report that it felt the exact same as a larger airplane. Windsor is right across the river from Detroit, and it happened that I was on the right side of the airplane to catch a pretty spectacular glimpse of Detroit from the sky before we landed. Also, the view from above reminded me so much of Saskatchewan, with the patchwork quilt appearance and flat lands.

I rented a car and then checked in to the Hampton Inn & Suites on Huron Church Road, one of the hotels that was recommended for the wedding.

Hampton Inn & Suites Windsor Ontario Huron Church Road
I really liked how each door number had a different black and white photo beside it - I got the lucky horse shoes!

Next I looked on the bride and groom's wedding website for an idea of where to go to grab a bite to eat, I settled on Taloola Café in the Walkerville area of Windsor, not far from the river front. It was super tasty!

Taloola Cafe Walkerville Windsor Ontario

I then wandered over to an abandoned building across the street that had caught my eye through the
window while I was enjoying my late lunch. It was so sunny, so I didn't get a great photo, but the building is overgrown with ivy and windows on every storey of the building were shattered and boarded off.

Abandoned Building Walkerville Windsor Ontario

After that I went back to the hotel before going shopping at a nearby mall. After a bit of window shopping I went back to the hotel once again and I had a relaxing night in, complete with a visit from my boyfriend's sister, her husband, and their two children, who were also in town for the wedding. I love traveling alone, but it can sometimes feel lonely - this was a nice trip that combined solo travel with still having people I know around.

Saturday was wedding day! If you'd like to see photos from the wedding, check out this post by Laura-Anne, their very talented wedding photographer! (And an absolutely wonderful person too!)

On Sunday I joined my boyfriend's sister and her family at Mass where we were able to see and say goodbye to a few of the wedding guests. That afternoon they took off and I was alone in Windsor once again. I took a nap (the king-sized bed was oh so comfy) and then went in search of a restaurant for supper. I found Ciao Pasta Bar online and it had pretty good reviews so off I went. It was delicious as well! I don't think I tried a single bit of food this weekend that I didn't seriously enjoy. Since I had napped in the afternoon, I was definitely not ready for bed so I ended up working out and taking advantage of the pool and hot tub at the hotel. For some reason I rarely ever take advantage of these amenities when staying at a hotel, I guess I rarely have extra time because I'm usually visiting for a specific reason.
Ciao Pasta Bar Downtown Windsor Ontario
My final morning in Windsor was Monday and I woke up to a cloudy, grey, and drizzly sky. It was actually a welcome change from the absolutely beautiful and hot weather during the rest of the trip. I had wanted to go for a walk along the river once I had checked out, but the rain was pretty constant, sometimes letting up to a drizzle, but mostly just pouring down, so I just went to the river for a tiny bit. I didn't want to miss out, no matter the weather.

Detroit Water Front River Windsor Ontario

Have you ever been to Windsor, ON? Where would you recommend to visit if I get the chance to go again?
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