#livelocalkw: Coffee & The Great Outdoors
We’re taking part of #livelocalkw, a challenge to eat, shop, and play locally for one week. I hesitated on signing up to take on the challenge, as I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and I didn’t want to be held accountable. Sure, our family shops at the market weekly, tend to choose locally-based restaurants when eating out, and stay in the area for most activities, but we don’t make a conscious effort to restrict our choices to being local only. With groceries, we tend to focus on prices and convenience, which when ‘local’ isn’t always the cheapest or in season. But the $20 membership to Baileys Local for #livelocalkw participants was the motivating incentive to push us forward, so we’ve signed up and have had lively discussions with each other on what is considered ‘local‘, with questions from whether social networking and blogging need to be on a hiatus, to whether our house is truly local because of the materials that were used to build it, but I think we’ve settled on being local-minded as much as possible, so for me, no online shopping on Amazon or streaming non-locally based YouTube or Netflix videos for example, but we can still take part in conversations online with folks around town and to share about our progress. And if we cheat, we’ll give $2 towards Foodlink Waterloo Region
So this week, I’ll feature some places that I enjoy going to eat, shop, and play (even though they may not be a participating business for the challenge). Will you consider joining us this week as well? It’s not too late to sign up!
Here are the first three:
EatCoffee & treats at DVLB (Photo: Emily L)
We’ve had delicious home-cooked meals with local lamb chops, lamb meatballs, and spiced chicken with local swiss chard, kale, bacon, butternut squash and beans as sides thus far, but when it comes to eating out, one of my favourite coffee shops around is DVLB (short for Death Valley’s Little Brother) – they make some fantastic coffee (including espresso-based drinks and even hot chocolate, and for those who have only been drinking Starbucks/McDonald’s/etc., don’t expect them to be syruped or necessarily big in size), and their desserts and pastries are great complements. I also really like the atmosphere as well, with repurposed wooden tables and cycled artwork on the walls.
Adventure Guide is my go-to for quality outdoor gear. The team at Adventure Guide knows their stuff, and most of the time, they are happy to help you and answer any questions you have, even if it’s not related to their products (like, how do you keep an infant warm when camping?). They also rent out some great equipment for reasonable prices as well.
Twice a year, they wake up early and put on a fantastic sale for members. Sadly, one can only get so many shoes ($40) and jackets (70% off) before you have too many and need to stop buying the great deals – because they are quality products, they don’t typically wear out that fast either! Clothing and other miscellaneous items are often bundled into the sale as well. And the best part is that membership is only $10 for a lifetime and you get points from all purchases (even from the sales) that you can eventually use to redeem on future purchases.
PlayTurtle in the sun at Huron Natural Area (Photo: Emily L)
Maintained by the City of Kitchener, Huron Natural Area, is an urban trail park that is conveniently close to us. Seems like the trails are accessible throughout the year (even with a stroller), whether in snow, rain or sun. I especially enjoy watching the turtles bask in the sun, but we’ve also seen and heard many frogs there too!