whitehills trail

So hands down, my absolute favourite part of being here in St. John’s is the hiking trails. Well, actually, I guess my TRUE favourite part of being here is being near my family, but definitely the second best part is the hiking lol. My friend took me on a hike I had never done before and let me tell you, I will be going back!! Very soon!20130730-165718.jpg

You start the hike at the base of Quidi Vidi Lake (you have to drive around the lake near those big green storage containers) and from there you can park and hike up the hills. Apparently you can go all the way to Logy Bay – we heard it would take approx 2-4 hours, depending on how fast you hike. I would love to do that soon – but this time we only went to the top of the staircase. (I don’t know how to describe it other than that). We were probably hiking for an hour and a half.

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You get a bird’s eye view of Quidi Vidi Village (so quaint) and the ocean. There were lots of boats going in and out.

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It is not always clear where you are going on the path, and it would be easy to veer off the intended trail, if you weren’t totally paying attention. We tried to follow the East Coast Trail signs and any wooden walkways to keep us on track.

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This is us at the top of the stairs feeling great from that fabulous hike!

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The view seemed to change at every vantage point. I just kept clicking photos.

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This is a panoramic photo I took with my iphone. Gorg.

I’m on the top of the wo-orld lookin’, down on cre-a-tion…..

Ear worm?

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Looking forward to finding more trails. Stay tuned.

friday fare – the cafe at the rooms

The Rooms is located in downtown St. John’s and is the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum.  I am looking forward to taking the kids there sometime in August to see the current exhibit, but last week I had to settle for a quick visit to The Rooms Cafe to meet a dear friend for lunch. Please see my caveat about my food posts.20130725-173109.jpg

The photo below is of the cafe, but the sun was streaming in through the window.  Not so helpful for my photo – but lovely for lunch! See all those windows?  WHAT A VIEW!  Really, lunch is just secondary to that view.

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Lucky for us, the food is also fabulous.  I ordered a quinoa salad off the Organic Menu.   It had apple and cranberries and a sesame dressing (I think).  I didn’t make notes of the ingredients, but it was so tasty!

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My girlfriend ordered the Duck Confit Salad with candied hazelnuts, fennel, red onion, cherry tomato and grapes in a honey vinaigrette. I really wanted to order this too, but I guess two salads would have been a bit much 😉

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Such a perfect place to have lunch.  Lots of parking and an incredible location.  I detoured after lunch to take a photo to show you the view.  I mean really. REALLY???  How lucky are we to be here. Notice how you can see the reflection of the blue ski and clouds in the floor.  I’m guessing that was not an accident.

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I’m still awestruck every time I see the ocean. Do you think it will wear off in a few months?

I hope not.

friday fare – piatto

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CAVEAT:  I would like to start out by telling you that I hardly know anything about food.  I don’t watch the food network, I don’t consider myself a foodie and am generally not that discerning.  If someone else is going to cook for me, I’m just not that picky. Having said that, I do love to go out to eat at different restaurants! It is such a treat!!  I thought I would share some of my favourites here with the understanding that I really am not a credible source of “food” information. I do know what I like though, and DH and I had a LOVELY lunch at Piatto this week.

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They have two bar areas where you can sit while you wait for a table and one of the bars, overlooks the guy making the pizzas.  Fun to watch.  The place was hopping when we arrived – I’m not sure if they are always that busy, but those servers were working their tails off. The regular lunch special is a salad and small pizza for $12.99, which is an excellent deal. We both ordered the Misto Salad which has mixed greens, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers all in a red wine vinaigrette.  I love the artichoke hearts and the red peppers and the dressing was scrumptious.  I probably should have asked for the dressing on the side, since there was too much for my tastes but it was so good!

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For me the pizza decision was an easy one.  I am always a big fan of the Margherita Pizza no matter where I go for Zaa. I even like to make it at home with pizza dough from the bread machine, so I am actually a bit particular about it (despite the caveat above lol). Piatto’s Margherita Pizza used crushed tomatoes (it really was mostly just the tomato sauce). I would prefer them sliced, but again – what do I know about these things??? The fresh mozzarella was divine and the basil so perfect. Despite the lack of sliced tomatoes 😉 I still LOVED it and would order it again.

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DH ordered the Pollo di Pesto with garlic, chicken, fresh mozza, cherry tomatoes, evoo, fresh basil, grand padano (I had never heard of that before – I looked it up, it is an Italian cheese) all on a pesto base. His was delicious too.  We traded a slice each – isn’t that the perfect way to dine out?  I love getting to taste whatever he orders too!

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When we walked in, we noticed that Jeremy Charles was eating lunch there too.  For those who may not know, Jeremy is a famous chef around St John’s (and loads of other places too I am sure). We first experienced Jeremy’s creations at Atlantica several years ago and I had THE best meal of my life.  The food was incredible and the service was IMPECCABLE! I mean, on a scale of 1-10, service was a 100.  Anyway, I figure if Jeremy was eating at Piatto, that’s an awfully good sign. Jeremy now owns the restaurant Raymonds (with Jeremy Bonia) and we are hoping to get there later this summer. I will definitely let you know how that goes – I have high hopes!

Back to Piatto.  Trendy decor, lovely staff and yummy food.  We will certainly be returning another time.

What type of Zaa do you prefer?

lunch time yoga

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Guess what I did at lunch this past Wednesday? I did yoga on Parliament Hill! What a fabulous idea to do Yoga outside and in such a great and central location! As I stepped out of my office building just before noon, I joined in with several groups of people toting Yoga Mats too, heading north to the Hill. The class is free for anyone to join and when I arrived, the lawn was already packed. (Notice the stage was already set up for Canada Day – not so great for the photo op, but exciting for Canada Day ). The clock in the Peace Tower struck twelve at the beginning of the class and the bells starting singing.

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It was a great class. I didn’t hear the name of the instructor, but she ran a quasi Bikram class.  (A Bikram class is always 90 mins but she had to adjust it to fit in the alloted 60 mins). Normally Bikram is done in a heated room and considering how HOT it was outside, that was perfect. You know when you are walking on a beach on a hot day and your feet almost burn when you step onto new sand?  When I would adjust positions, my yoga mat was so hot, my feet had to adjust to the heat!  I did love that warm feeling though – and getting back to Yoga was so wonderful.  I have already scouted out a Yoga place I want to try in St John’s.  Things have been so crazy, we have lost any semblance of a schedule.  I’m looking forward to some everyday things again like Yoga and cooking regular meals (instead of dashing out of the house at supper time for a showing).

Soon.