exploring

The Coffee Exchange

I was inspired by Liz’s project,Β Forty Days of Fika, to make my own list of coffee places to visit in my new city. Further pushed by Ash’s development of her blog,Β coffee with ashley, I broke down and plucked one place off my list to visit today.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was excited for a new coffee place, exploring a new part of the city, and of course, coffee. What compounded my excitement was their online menu. Zombie drinks.Β What are zombie drinks? I wondered the same thing. Walking in gave me my answer: White espresso, which supposedly has twice the amount of caffeine as normal espresso. But I’m getting ahead of myself. πŸ™‚

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After the cozy outside seating, bright flowers, bright blues, and “Gluten-free items available” sign on the front window, the first thing that struck me was the door handle. A bronze elephant head. Very interesting, very unique, very funky. Β When I opened the door, I looked straight to the back. The brick & wood walls, the artistic canvases, the variety of seating. A rather large business meeting was being held around a large round table in front of the ordering area. Seemingly in the middle of everything and yet out of the way. Interesting. And the office chairs around the table that the folks were sitting in: high backed, comfortable, rolling office chairs. Interesting.

I chose a table right next to the window and almost instantly regretted the decision because the sun was already beating down strongly at 9:30am. But I decided to order before perusing the other tables. Before ordering however, I put my stuff down and took a look around. There was a book nook, a large bulletin board covered with fliers, announcements, advertisements, etc., a display case of seran-wrapped homemade lemon bars, pumpkin bread, cookies, and all sorts of other goodies. A table set up in front of the case had cream, sugar, honey, clean spoons, a spot for dirty spoons, napkins.

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Walking further into the shop, I stared in amazement at the menu. Huge, covering almost the entire wall, so many things to choose from. In addition to a large variety of coffee & espresso drinks, they also serve salads, sandwiches, and had a small liquor section at the end of the bar. Interesting! While the gentleman in front of me was ordering, I took the time to try and take in everything on the counter and on the wall in front of me. Fliers, treats, bumper stickers, decorations.

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I noticed a couple batches of what looked like peanut butter cookies on the counter. Homemade goodies. πŸ™‚ After looking over the menu, I asked the barista what she liked best. She pointed out a few options, then pointed out a new zombie drink they had recently added to the menu: the Dirty Zombie. I.e. white espresso, dark chocolate, and peanut butter syrup. That one was definitely calling my name. After I paid I walked back to my table, taking in the business meeting and the people that were trickling in here and there. The gentleman who had been in front of me in line had taken the table I was going to switch to, so I sat back down at my original table and just observed. They called out my drink, I took it to my table, and marveled at it.

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And the table. The table had coffee beans IN it.

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How cool is that?!

I gradually worked my way past the delicious whipped cream and took a sip. Decadence. Heaven in a cup for sure.

For a while I just sat there and soaked everything in. People trickled in and out. Two ladies at the next table over seemed to be having a cooking discussion, sharing articles and tricks. The gentleman was reading something in the paper and writing occasional notes on a notepad. Three young women in business attire came in and got coffee drinks to go. It seemed to be a popular place for business people, but was still had a casual and laidback environment and feel to it. I figured I should open my computer and try to get some work done but I was too entranced with the place and the people. I sat there, sipping my coffee and observing, until the gentleman got up and left. As he walked out he met my eye and told me to have a good day. That is what I love about coffee shops; the genuine companionship you feel, even if you never say a word to each other. I smiled and said the same to him, then moved to his now vacated-table. It was much cooler, and I opened my laptop to work.

I did get some studying done, but I couldn’t help but notice the people who were coming and going. It was fascinating to watch: women in running outfits, men in suits and ties, a lady with a bluetooth, two friends grabbing coffee before going about their day.

Eventually I wrapped up the section I was working on and packed up my stuff. I hadn’t kept time on how long I’d been there but I figured my parking time was almost up. I was reluctant to leave, but that gives me all the more reason to come back!

Instead of heading straight back home, I decided to tour the street a bit more and see where it headed. Let’s just say, I found the downtown part of the Springs, one way streets and all. Yes, I hate one way streets. But instead of being fearful and just pledging to stay away from it, I’m going to take it as a challenge. I will learn the layout of the downtown and be able to drive there confidently. Plus, it is much more beautiful than my hometown’s downtown. And I found a few signs leaded to a park that I have not yet checked out! On to another adventure with Jayde. πŸ™‚

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As soon as I got home, I took Jayde for a walk (i.e. squirrel hunting). She had a blast. We walked around the complex for about an hour. She treed many squirrels. At one point three different squirrels went three different directions and she had no idea which way to go. My girl is comical. I get such a kick out of her. πŸ™‚

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I’m definitely going to be exploring more coffee shops in town, so expect more posts of that!

Peace&Pawprints

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Hallelulah I’m connected to the outside world again!

Jayde and I are settling in nicely to our new apartment. Together we’ve been exploring the city just a little bit. Compared to my hometown, this city is huge so it’s going to take a while to get used to the difference in traffic and number of people. We’ve found some awesome hiking trails and picnic spots, as well as a particularly popular tourist spot that every.single.person. mentioned to me before I moved.

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While we haven’t quite settled into a set daily routine yet (I’m sure that’ll happen once class starts and once I’m settled into my work schedule), we do manage to go for at least one walk a day, as well as fit in at least one chuck-it session a day, and we’ve been working on lots of tricks, old and new. We’ve found a few training clubs that I’m hoping to join once I get some money flow going. Classes for agility, at the very least, for Jayde’s mental stimulation and interaction time with fellow dog lovers, and perhaps a canine freestyle class. I also found a couple groups on meetup.com that consist of dog owners and lovers Β in my area who meet every week or every once in a while for a walk or a dinner or some other get-together. Our first encounter with one will be this Sunday, and I am very excited to see how it goes. πŸ™‚ And of course, we I found a vet that I believe is satisfactory. ;P

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I am excited to begin working/making money (always a stress point, unfortunately) so that I can do a few things:

  • Begin saving
  • Explore the coffee shops, cafes, shops, & restaurants that appear to be endless in this city
  • Settle into a routine and schedule
  • Get enrolled in an agility (& maybe a canine freestyle) class with Jayde
  • Get photos printed & buy frames to hang them in
  • Get the last few necessities that I need for my apartment (like a floor fan)

Another thing to look forward to is class, which begins next Monday. I have a virtual orientation on Thursday to attend. It is exciting because it is something I am looking forward to studying, yet it is nerve wracking as I take on the demands of class once again. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚

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I will admit, I am writing this through a bout of insomnia that has hit me the past couple of nights. Tonight This morning I woke up at 4:30 and could not get to sleep. So I pulled out my computer. Perhaps getting all of this out will help. I have been meaning to blog since Monday but couldn’t get the right words to flow. From here on out, I’d like to post about mine and Jayde’s adventures and explorations at least twice a week. It is going to take a change in perspective as well as a change in the silly expectations I hold for myself of this blog, i.e. in-depth, thought provoking, or otherwise interesting and exciting posts. I’ve been finding that simple posts by fellow bloggers have sometimes been the most enjoyable. And of course I need to adjust my perspective and realize that my life can be exciting if I look at it with the right attitude. πŸ˜‰

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Peace&Pawprints