Orange Cat Coffee Review, Lewiston, NY

Coffee shops… where to begin? I can’t think of one person who does not enjoy going to a coffee shop whether it be local or chain. Stuck right on the heart of main street in Lewiston lies a local favorite coffee shop: Orange Cat Coffee. Inside the shop or outside on the patio you can find a really cool mix of local retired regulars, students from the local universities, and friends of all sorts chatting over a cup of coffee, specialty latte, tea, pastry, or lunch item.

IMG_2625Orange Cat is the exact image that comes to mind when you think of your ideal small town coffee shop. The environment is cozy and small yet roomy with plenty of places to sit. The staff is super friendly and welcoming, knowing regulars my names yet also greeting first time customers with a smiling face, and the overall vibe of the shop is super charming with its cozy features making it an inviting place to enjoy with a group, a friend, or alone.

Orange Cat is one of those places on the main street of Lewiston that is always at least somewhat busy. I have gone in when it is easy to get a prime spot on the couch and I have gone in when I have to wait in a line out the door for coffee. Either way the shop is usually well traffic. I will make a note here that if you are going in alone and plan on sitting for a while and feel a bit awkward, the initial walk to the back area to find a spot on a busy day can be quite intimidating on a busy day being surrounded by groups of people laughing together.

So on to the food and drinks. I’m pretty sure I have mentioned Orange Cat in a post or two before but the shop features a large selection of freshly brewed flavored and regular coffees with rotating flavors, specialty lattes, tea, cookies, scones, muffins, and a lunch menu with a soup of the day and salads.

This is a place where I can honestly say I have tried almost everything and literally everything is good! My personal favorite when it comes to the pastries would definitely be the snicker doodle cookies. First off it should be noted that these cookies are about the size of your had and at least a half inch thick. I have personally found myself to be a very dedicated fan because they are soft cookies—so basically when you bite in it does not snap or crunch. It is simply just a velvety bite of sweet deliciousness and the best part is that because of the size you can enjoy longer than the average cookie. The muffins and scones are also super delicious and these usually become my go to if I am lucky enough to be here when there is a fresh batch out of the oven.

Coffee wise I usually go with one of the flavored coffees of the day simply because the prices are honestly really good. I think on the days I get a coffee and a cookie it comes to right around three dollars, which I think is extremely reasonable—especially cause I have spent at least this much on Tim Horton’s for something comparable. Recently my go to with the flavored coffee has been to mix the two flavors of regular coffee if they seem as though they may go together.

On a special day if I have a taste for something sweet or a flavor catches my eye on the latte menu I will opt for a flavored latte. Honestly I think the most interesting thing I have had here would be the latte that has I believe caramel coconut and kiwi, which I believe is called funky monkey. I initially had to get it because I was skeptical of Kiwi in coffee. This ended up all mixing really well together to make the perfect treat for my little extra need for sweet. Today I opted for a latte as my eye caught the sweet and nutty latte, which has cinnamon and almond flavoring.

Today is also the first day I am trying out the lunch menu. I decided to try the falafel salad and was honestly surprised with how inexpensive it was. The salad was 4.95 and because of this I just assumed it would be a small portion but instead the salad came out definitely a full portion that I would say would be filling for lunch.

So my meal today came to right around nine dollars for a salad and medium specialty latte and I would personally say I am quite satisfied with the price I paid. I can 100% say that this is far more reasonably priced than other local places and even than other chain such as Panera or Starbucks. As well, the taste is definitely comparable if not better than most places.

Another really cool note about Orange Cat is that everything on the menu is vegan. So all the pastries and salads are made vegan and dairy substitutes are available for coffee. This is something that doesn’t really seem to be advertised, partially because I think people freak out when they see vegan thinking its going to be ultra healthy. But here you can treat yourself to a super decadent pastry, salad, or coffee with a clear conscience knowing your goodies are cruelty free.

So If you find yourself in Niagara county and are looking for a place to go for a coffee or to sit back and catch up with friends or family, or a place to go to study or get some work down Orange Cat should definitely be on the list of places you need to try. I think the only way you could literally not like it here is if you don’t like coffee and you don’t enjoy sitting in a coffee shop. Even then—give it a try and be ready to leave with a happy heart and a satisfied stomach.

Syros Restaurant Review, Lewiston, NY

As many of you could probably tell by now, I am a lover of all things brunch and breakfast food. Seeing the words ‘all day breakfast’ on the menu for me is like walking into a store and seeing the words ‘clearance’ in large font.

One of my favorite places to go for breakfast in Lewiston and a top contender for Niagara County would be the restaurant Syros in Lewiston, right off main street. I first discovered this restaurant about four years ago with my family when they came to visit me at college for parents day weekend. We were walking around the town of Lewiston for the Harvest fest and happened to ask for a suggestion for a place to go for breakfast. Luckily for us the restaurant Syros was suggested and I have been loving going here ever since!

Syros is the place to go to enjoy a bite to eat amongst family, catching up telling stories, and enjoying the company of loved ones. Or a place I’ve found myself with friends recapping an evening after a long night out, filling in the gaps in each other’s memories. Or more recently, a place I’ve gone several times alone, enjoying a quiet breakfast eavesdropping on the ever-intriguing chatter of small town gossip from the locals. No matter what the situation may be I always find myself feeling welcomed here with fantastic service and even more incredible food.

Food wise Syros is basically your average diner style food but with some super unique specials. My go to here for the last couple of times has been to get a gyro and feta omelet, which comes with potatoes and toast, and then to kick it up a notch a side of tzatziki sauce. After having my breakfast with tzatziki sauce the first time, I really don’t think I can go back. Even if I were to find myself ordering something that tzatziki was not included with I would literally pay extra to have it.

Now I know the restaurant does do a lunch and dinner menu but I have never been during this time, and even if I did I would probably still order breakfast.

Another really great thing about this restaurant is that there is quite a lot of seating yet the restaurant still feels cozy, which in my opinion is the best sort of vibe for a diner.

I have been able to share some awesome memories, great laughs, peaceful mornings, and amazing food here at Syros and I always look forward to any opportunity to go here or recommend this restaurant.

So what are you waiting for???

Time to go try out Syros !!!

 

Power City Eatery Review, Niagara Falls, NY

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Good Morning!! This Sunday morning I got up the courage to get myself out of bed and head down to my favorite coffee shop in Niagara Falls: Power City Eatery. I have been going here for a little over a year now and have always enjoyed this little spot on third street down town Niagara Falls.

This morning I came in here with the intention of getting some writing and other work of that sorts done. One of the reasons I chose Power City over the many coffee shops closer to me in Lewiston is because I love the atmosphere. I find for writing Power City Eatery has for me, an ideal vibe. I can sit in the very open space and get my work down without feeling claustrophobic in a small town coffee shop—don’t get me wrong though, I have nothing against a small town coffee shop, today was just not one of those days.

Anyways, apart from an awesome cup of coffee, some great pastries, and tasty food, Power City Eatery is surprising very large inside. The whole interior has a really cool industrial looking vibe and features information about Niagara Falls as décor. The rest is just kept really simple which creates overall a great welcoming atmosphere.

On to the food now.

My go to when I come here has been to get a latte or a cappuccino and some sort of scone. Today’s choice was a large cappuccino and a blackberry chocolate scone. For someone that usually stays away from fruit and chocolate combos you can trust me when I say that this flavor is awesome! I know what you’re probably thinking—Hannah, why did you order a blackberry chocolate scone if you don’t like fruit and chocolate? Too be honest I’m still thinking about the same thing. I seem to have this habit of pointing to something in the pastry display and just going with it. In this case we had success! Fortunately the scones are always delicious here so it is kind of difficult to go wrong.

Some other things I have been able to sample here are the breakfast and lunch sandwiches. In both situations the sandwiches are well loaded up with all the goodies. My personal favorites were either the turkey or roast beef sandwich. Once again I am not normally a roast beef person but the reason I enjoyed it so much was because they kicked it up a notch by adding thinly sliced apples and topped it with this really tasty horseradish mayonnaise. Similarly, I enjoyed the turkey sandwich extra or the spicy mayo sauce that goes with it.

 

My only two complaints about the place are that it is a tad pricier than other places and the hours. For example, today I ordered a large cappuccino and the scone and it came to a little over 8 dollars. After tipping and everything I spent about 10 dollars. I don’t really have too much of a problem with paying this but basically what I am getting at is there are definitely places that would be less expensive. As far as hours go I believe it is only open until around 3pm every day. As well, the do stop serving breakfast at 11am. I could be a bit biased because I am a lover of all things all day breakfast but I wish they would keep their breakfast going a tad bit longer.

Anyways, Power City Eatery is an awesome place to go for breakfast or lunch, a quick bite, sweet treat, or coffee break. This is definitely a hidden gem in the Niagara Falls area and great option for someone looking for something local over the Starbucks 2 blocks away. I love coming here and I look forward to coming back!

** So I am making a slight amendment. Since the time of me writing this and me posting this I have returned to Power City Eatery for coffee around lunch time and I just wanted to add in here that the line was literally to the door to order for lunch. SO if you are looking for a quick bite in Niagara Falls for lunch, Power City Eatery may be the place to go… a line like that says they are surely doing something right!

Hope you have a marvelous day!

11.26.2016 Zagreb Croatia

Okay, so I have taken yet another hiatus from finishing these posts. To be honest I didn’t really realize how fast this semester was flying by until right about now, as I have less than a week of classes less this semester. That doesn’t really excuse my lack of writing but I think I just kept telling myself I had more time and well, now here I am.

So let me take you back nearly six months to the time I spent in Zagreb, Croatia.

This one is a slightly more complicated because I really only was in Croatia for evening time, so unlike the others, there was no daytime exploring happening and I can’t say I ventured too far but I absolutely LOVED my time there. Seriously, I have completely fallen in love with this little city!

So back to the start.

I arrived in Croatia a little bit before dinnertime. First off, I had sort of forgotten that they do not use the Euro here so I made sure to stop at an ATM in the airport and get a little bit of the local currency.

I had read online that my best bet to getting into the city was to take this shuttle to the main bus station, which was only a short walk or metro ride to where I needed to go.

There wasn’t really any place to pay before hand so I approached the bus sort of looked at the man and made sure this would take me where I needed to go, which he responded yes. At this point I had still yet to pay for the transit, nor did I know how much it would cost. But, I continued on the bus and plopped myself down in a chair. After everyone who would fit on the bus for the given departure time was loaded on, the driver started towards the back of the bus appearing as though he was checking tickets and I sort of had a little panic because there wasn’t one other English person on the bus, everyone seemed to be speaking Croatian, so I really wasn’t sure what the driver was checking until he had got to me. I had then found out that this was when I was supposed to pay. Unfortunately I don’t really remember how much it exactly cost me but I want to say it was between 20 and 40 Kuna each way.

So as the bus is going it makes its first stop and I start to realize that I am actually not 100% sure what my stop exactly is. I knew it was the main bus station area but I didn’t really know after how many stops this would occur and I seem to always have this persistent sense of self-doubt in me.

Eventually I got to the station, which was pretty obviously identifiable. As I am typing this I am trying to look for some sort of picture so I can better describe it to you but I really can’t find one. All I can say is just trust your instinct, you’ll know.

Once I got off the bus I technically had these screenshots of maps of Zagreb, as well as directions. However, as soon as I got out of the station I had this gut feeling that the directions were leading me in the wrong direction. So I followed my gut and honestly prayed that my instinct was going to take me in take me to the correct place (spoiler alert for my worried mom probably reading this: it worked out).

Basically when you get out of the bus station you walk towards the underpass and cross the metro tracks. And make a left. Once you make a left you will be sort of on a road where the metro acts as the boulevard in the middle of the road, you’ll want to follow this until you reach a cute little series of green areas. At this point I was following my screenshots of the maps on my phone; however, the screenshots were too zoomed out to include what the street names were so I was just kind of following I guess you could say ‘regionally’ where it seemed like I needed to go.

Basically once I got to the green area between buildings I made a right and followed it what I think was three or four blocks, or however many was till you reached the end of it. After I made a left and walked for about another block and then a right which took me right to the main, old city square (this was where my hostel was located).

A little mid way disclaimer, I am sorry if there directions don’t really make sense. I sort of needed to make a game time decision and I sort of memorized my location based on visual references rather that streets. So don’t necessarily take my word if you are trying to use these directions. But a quick tidbit of advice that is if you are lost follow a metro line because those are usually the main areas where people will go and or will lead you to where people go.

So once I got to the main square, I had this idea of where my hostel (main square Zagreb) was based on where it was located on my map screenshot. However, little did I know was that some of the buildings had two floors, SO I did not conveniently run into it like I thought I would. Fortunately I looked up in the air at the right time and saw ‘Main Square Zagreb’ on a glass window about 2 or 3 stories up. This led me to a sign where I was which brought me to a staircase that took me straight to my hostel.

Oh my gosh was this hostel absolutely perfect and I would 100% recommend staying here! The staff was extremely accommodating and helpful to me, and also spoke great English, which was nice after a long day of travel and I guess what you could technically consider lost (but I didn’t feel lost). The man at the front desk gave me a map and marked some recommendations for food and also helped orient me to where the bus station was, which allowed me to visibly see what path I took, which was comforting because it was actually rather simple. As well, he also pointed out where everything was in the hostel.

My dorm room was super cool. All the beds were aligned on the wall opposite to the door and were situated in a way, which made each bed its individual cubby. As well everyone had his or her own locker, which was nice. I just really enjoyed how I could have my own little space with whatever I wanted right next to me, and didn’t have to feel like I was bothering others.

After I situated my stuff and took some deep breaths, I followed the front deskman’s advice for dinner. As I walked out of the hostel (to the outside) I took a left and basically followed it to where I found my restaurant for dinner. Along this road there are plenty of options for dinner I just sort of kept walking until I built enough courage to finally enter one of the restaurants.

I eventually found myself in a place called Village Tavern and was able to sit in a little covered, seated area outside, which had a heat lamp near by. This was nice because I was in a place where I could also people watch as I enjoyed my meal. I decided to try a soup (I think it was mushroom) to start, followed by a risotto as my main. The food was really great and the menu was in English, which was nice because sometimes after a long day of travel having something that is arguably convenient is really nice. After my meal I decided I would walk around a bit and explore. As I walked back the way I came I decided to explore other little streets that seemed interesting because I figured if I realize there is nothing interesting that way it is easy enough to just turn around and go back the way you could say I now know.

I got to see the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and take a quick peak inside. What an impressive cathedral! This thing is huge and the closer you get the more and more intricate detail you continue to notice. The archway over the main door you enter is absolutely breathtaking, there are so many tiny little carving, and it truly is absolutely incredible! I then continued left if you are looking at the road from the church which conveniently brought me into the actual main square area.

To try to give you a better idea of where I was in relation to where my hostel was, basically this main square is surrounded by buildings, my hostel is on an upper floor on one of the sides of the square, to get to dinner I went left through the underpass and followed the road, the square is on the opposite side. So basically from my hostel you can have a view of either the area I was for dinner on one side, and the other view is the main square.

I took a lap around the main square, enjoying everything it had to offer and eventually made my way back inside because now, it was safe to say I was pretty tired.

The next day I had planned to take a morning bus trip to Graz, Austria, which departed from the same main bus station I had arrived at and was already familiar with. So it kind of worked out that I was forced to figure it out the day before because I knew exactly where I was going this time.

I made sure I got there early enough so I could find my terminal and also have enough time to get a pastry and cappuccino. Everyone at the station was extremely helpful because instead of guessing where I needed to go, I straight up just walked to a ticket counter and asked which terminal my bus would leave from. I was not going to push my luck with this one.

I’ll write more about my time in Austria in another post but now I’ll bring you back to my final evening in Zagreb. I got home, once again, around dinner time and chose to walk around a bit before calling it a day, as it was a pretty tiring, long day of walking. I walked around the same streets as I did the night before taking in any little details I had missed the first time, truly. For dinner I just went to a simple walk up place that sold pizza basically right across from the cathedral right on the corner to the road that brought me back to my hostel.

The next morning I had planned a decently early morning bus ride to Ljubljana, Slovenia before I left for Poland. Although this had me up around 5:30 in the morning to catch a 7am bus ride I am so thankful I did it. Who would have thought walking around a town between 6 and 7 in the morning would seal the deal and literally cause me to fall in love with it.

Let me bring you into my world for a second.

There is something special about this time of day because only a few people’s days have started. The sky was still dark so all the lights set up for winter happened to still be illuminated. In fact, the park that I follow to get to the bus station had all of its trees and pathways covered in white lights which at this time of day with so few people out felt like a fairy tale. This feeling was very similar to my magical Eiffel tour feeling because indeed, the lights surrounding the pathway I was taking were glittering. I actually could have seriously cried in this moment, everything was so perfect.

After coming back form Ljubljana I stayed at the bus station and caught the next bus back to the airport, which was extremely easy to find because there terminal to get to the airport is in its own little area.

So that was my time untraditional time spent in Zagreb! Yes it was a little on the unconventional side but I tried my best to make it work and make the most of it and I am more than satisfied with my takeaway from the experience. My heart will always remember the magic of this beautiful little city.

Have a great day!

xxHannah

11.25.2016 Bonjour Paris

Forever in my mind will I associate Paris with the idea that dreams where made to come true. I’ll get to this later but here I experience the unexplainable feeling that anything is possible. My soul was touched in Paris.

I don’t know why I have been procrastinating writing the rest of the posts for so long. I mean seriously who wouldn’t want to write about their adventure through Europe? Well better late than never, I’m not going to let myself just put this off. These posts are long but this is truly my journey, this is how I felt, and these were my thoughts.

To begin. I arrived in Paris relatively late on the 23rd. After getting out of baggage claim, I was expecting to have my passport stamped. In the moment I was a little worried that I screwed something up and in turn would not be able to leave (I wouldn’t be complaining though). To help ease my thoughts I walked over to a Relay café in the airport and got a coffee and a sandwich because I was also a little hungry anyways. I figured at this point there’s not much more I can do, and eventually I was reassured through a quick text conversation with my mom and a couple google searches while I still had wifi.

Since the Charles-de-Gaulle airport is about 50 minutes from the city itself, the easiest option and the most cost effective is to take a train/ metro into the city. Even though I took the metro from Athens to the airport, this time I had to change trains about 3 times making it a little less fool-proof aka 3 more times to mess up. This was really my only option though because a taxi would have been WAY too expensive. So I put my big girl pants on and followed the signs for the RER B to the city.

After purchasing the ticket from the window I proceeded down the stairs and prayed that I was getting on the right train. I was surprised with how user friendly the metro system is in Paris. It was SO simple. You basically follow the sign that is clearly labeled with all the stops that metro takes until you get to your correct train. Even for an American tourist who had been up all day, who has also little to no experience taking the metro, this was EASY. Trust me.

It took me a little over an hour to ultimately get to the stop closest to my hostel: Aloha Eiffel tour hostel Paris. If you plan to stay here the directions listed out on hostel world are excellent!

The first moment of magic occurred as soon as I was a couple steps out of the metro. I immediately was faced with the incredible architecture on buildings one would probably consider insignificant. Then after a couple more steps I noticed the top of the Eiffel Tour lit up in between buildings. Even writing this two months later I still get the chills thinking about it. My energy level, spirit, charisma, you name it, was instantly boosted.

Shortly after I found myself at the hostel, got my stuff settled in my dorm bedroom and then walked to me my friend Heather who was studying abroad in France at the time.

The walk was absolutely brilliant. The streets were lit up giving it even more charm and every so often I was blessed with another sneak peek of the Eiffel tour.

The walk was a basically one road that I just had to follow down to reach the campus, which the study abroad group was staying at. Our plan for the evening was to take the lovely Paris metro to the Eiffel tour and walk around the grounds to see it lit up at night.

As soon as we got out of the metro, walked over and started to try to take some pictures I was shocked to find out that that not only is it lit up at night, but on the top of every hour it actually glitters for roughly 10 minutes. I had no idea that this happened. I have been to Paris more than once before, I have no idea why I didn’t know this. I simply thought that it was only lit at night (which is already outstandingly beautiful enough).

This is what I like to call the Sparkly Eiffel tour feeling. I cannot even begin to explain but like I said there is something about this that makes you feel like anything is possible. It literally felt like something inside me ignited. I think in that moment there was this even greater, newfound sense of hope that sparked in me. I was so moved by this I could have cried if I wanted to.

We continued around the grounds of the structure taking time to catch up and tell stories, which also allowed us to see the sparkles one more time. Once we finished our lap, we walked back to the metro to where she was staying. I walked home form there because I already knew the way and would be best oriented. As I was walking back to my hostel I saw the sparkles again from the distance, peeking out between two buildings. I’m not kidding when I said I had to stop, take it in and let it permeate for a couple seconds. Knowing that this feeling was possible caused me to question why people should feel anything less than this sparkly Eiffel tour feeling.

I went to bed with a smile on my face and an inspired heart.

The next morning, Heather and I had planned to meet at the Notre Dame at around 9:30. Our plan was to tour the Notre Dame, go to the Christmas market, follow the Champs d’Elysees to the Arc De Triomphe, and then continue on to the Eiffel Tour again.

On my way to the Metro, I passed a café called AM Martinho and got myself a quick little breakfast. Before the start of my trip I had joked with my parents that my Thanksgiving meal was going to be a pain au chocolat and a cappuccino, so you can only imagine what I ordered. I also decided that I would be brave and test my French. To my surprise I actually ordered successfully, and was able to answer the worker’s follow up questions. I think that also helped make the coffee and pastry taste even better than they already were: sweet, sweet victory.

I was able to successfully take the metro from the area of my hostel to the area of the Notre Dame. I am not lying when I say that Paris makes the metro basically foolproof. I found myself in a bit of a pickle; however, when I got out of the metro station. See, I knew I close to the Notre Dame, but I realized that I didn’t really know which way I had to go except for hopefully near the little river.

Ultimately I did walk the wrong direction for a couple blocks, but quickly turned around without getting discouraged, once I felt like it was not the correct direction.

Eventually you will see the waterway and the Notre Dame itself, and if you’re like me, you will also get the butterflies.

In typical Hannah fashion, I was a little bit early so I had the opportunity to walk around the area in front of the church and take some pictures until my friend arrived.

Once we met up we went inside the church.

I have been here before yet I still found myself blown away and beyond impressed. Both the interior and exterior are so grand. To say that this cathedral is exquisite would not be dramatic at all. The craziest part is to think that this and many cathedrals of the same stature were constructed long before the wonderful technologies we have today.

Once we finished touring the inside we decided to pay to climb to the top. I couldn’t help but be excited as I thought of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This is something I would 100% recommend doing. Even though I have traveled to Paris before, I have never experienced the view from the top of the Notre Dame.

You will be climbing something like 433 steps to the top in a spiral staircase that happens to get narrower and narrower the closer to the top you near so if you are in any way shape or form claustrophobic I wouldn’t recommend but it is definitely worth it.

I actually enjoyed this view probably more than climbing the Eiffel tour and the Arc de Triomphe. This is because the view from the here is high enough that you can see EVERYTHING while also getting to see the Eiffel tour in the view, which I found to be super cool! When you go to the Top of the Arc de Triomphe it is a very great view and definitely worth it, but it is a little harder to see everything. Obviously climbing the Eiffel tour is awesome but I think seeing the Eiffel tour from a view was probably cooler. If you have the chance, I would say do them all; but, if you can only choose one I would definitely recommend seeing the view from the top of the Notre Dame.

After our decent, we got back on the metro to the Louvre stop so we could walk from the Christmas market to the Arc de Triomphe. Paris is an awesome city to walk because you really can’t get lost. You can basically see the top of any major landmark you are trying to get to at all times, which is really convenient.

The Paris Christmas market was huge and my far probably the most Grand that I experienced during my trip. I did not make any purchase here except for on food. The best thing about those 433 steps was that it justified everything I was about to try at the Christmas market. I tried a cheese and potato dish, a mushroom and onions dish, potato pancakes, and a glass of mulled wine. My taste buds were so satisfied. As we walked out of the section with a lot of food vendors in one place and continued down the road, we passed a crepe stand where I realized that because I was in Paris I just needed to get a crepe. So I continued to enjoy that as we proceeded.

Eventually the market met up with the famous Champs d’Elysees, which was very neat to see. As well, the view of the Arc de Triomphe was also very clear at this point.

Due to time and money we chose not to go up, I was just happy to see it again because I have very vivid memories of being at the Arc with my Mom, brothers, and Grandma.

Getting to the Eiffel tour from the Arc was extremely simple because like I talked about before, you can quite literally follow the top of the Eiffel tour as we proceed through the streets. Even though we had seen the Eiffel tour the night before, it truly is a different experience during the daytime. For one it is far more crowded and two there is a different atmosphere (all good of course). All I really wanted to do here was just stand underneath. I’m not really sure how stupid that sounds but Oh well, we did it anyways and I loved every moment of it.

At this point we were a little bit tired so we went back to where my friend was staying and had a nap before dinner.

We started out at the restaurant Le Nemrod to get apps and a drink and then kept hopping to other places until we decided to call it a night. Instead of an app I chose to get a crème brulee because once again I figured, when in France I have to get one. I was delicious, but wasn’t anything more special than crème brulees I have samples before. I also decided to sample a Grimbergen dark, which introduced me to a newfound love for dark beer. The flavor was so delicious it tasted velvety. Once we finished and paid there we went into a more of a bar style place. I don’t remember the name because I didn’t write it down or take a picture.

This was our last stop of the night because we realized it was getting late and we both had a relatively early start in the morning.

As I walked back from where she was staying I was fortunate enough to catch a peek of the Eiffel tour glittering again. What feeling and what a perfect way to conclude my last night in Paris. The perfect reminder that I do indeed deserve to feel this magic all the time and the perfect reminder that everything happens for a reason and works out exactly as it needs to be.

This isn’t really in chronological order but I want to talk about the hostel I stayed in: Aloha Hostel Paris. This place was really great! It was close to the metro station and also a very simple walk to any major landmark. I can’t necessarily say a short walk because even from the Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe Google maps told us it would take about an hour. As well, compared to most lodging in Paris this place was very inexpensive and HIGH quality. I did stay in a dorm room, which was shared with six other girls. The bathroom situation was good, not necessary ideal, but I also wasn’t paying for ideal. During the shower I had to hit the button for the water about every 30 seconds and the water wasn’t necessarily the warmest, which was kind of sad for when I had to get out. Another thing I would keep in mind if you plan to stay here is that if you need a towel you have to rent it for like 2 Euros. I did not try it but I think the hostel did offer some sort of simple complimentary breakfast too. If I travel to Paris again I would 100% stay here again and would definitely recommend it to a friend!

Paris this time around definitely exceeded my expectations considering I already had a decent idea of what to expect. It is a really cool thing to have travelled to a place when you are a child and then see it again a little more than 10 years later and see how your see things differently.

Hope you all have a great day!

xxHannah

04.22.17 Tast of Niagara Falls

This past Saturday I had the luxury of being able to eat out three times. So this may not have been the best thing for me but I was happy to have been able to revisit one of my favorite places in the area, as well as try out some new restaurants.

First off, I am very proud to say that this summer I will be interning at Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls doing Event Planning and Marketing. Because of that, on Saturday I had my first day of job training. Little did I know that at the end they were going to treat us to lunch. We went to a place called 3rd street retreat, which has been open for I think a little over a year now.

I was very excited to try it as I had heard a lot of good things about it. Thank god I went there with my work because I would have got totally lost if I had tried to find it myself. This restaurant is neatly tucked out of the way under an apartment building. Don’t let that deter you from coming to this hidden gem, I was shocked at how cute the interior of this restaurant is, as well as how amazing the menu was! Seriously, I think I am going to make a goal for myself to eat through the entire menu before I graduate. I don’t think there was one item on the menu I didn’t want to try. On top of that they have daily specials and the prices are extremely reasonable. There menu features all day breakfast and a vast variety of sandwiches as well as salads and a few other things.

For my lunch I chose one of there specials: fish tacos. As I ate I thought of my Dad who says if he doesn’t know what to order he always chooses fish tacos if available. Today I was thankful for these words of wisdom because by entrée was incredible! The fish tacos featured breaded haddock, a spicy slaw, and some sort of pineappleish salsa.

As my training finished, I found myself back in my car with a slue of messages from my friends asking if I wanted to go to the silo because it had just opened for the season. Even though I had just ate, the silo is simply one of those restaurants I can’t say no to. The Silo is a seasonal restaurant in Lewiston, NY that was made famous by Man vs. Food for its Haystack sandwich.

This sandwich is one of those things that when I explain probably never makes sense why I am so in love with them, so if you are reading this and are still skeptical you will just have to trust me and try one.

Basically it is shredded sort of beef with mozzarella cheese and I think a little mayo topped with the haystack variety of potato chips. The best part, in my opinion, is the Silo also makes a vegetarian version, which tastes exactly the same (Go Silo!!). There is also something special about enjoying this sandwich with the waterfront view of the river, outside on a nice spring, summer, or autumn day with great company. The best part? If you still have room after you meal there is an ice cream place right next door, which features a variety of sundaes and more ice cream flavors than you could have even imagined existed.

I would be 100% lying if I said I didn’t get ice cream after. Too be honest, I really don’t think I was even hungry anymore, actually, I know wasn’t hungry. There was simply just this sensation inside of me that made me feel as though I needed it. Like this gravitational pull to the ice cream place, I like to believe that in that moment there was a similar dependency between the shop, and me like in that moment we both just simply needed each other.

Okay so enough about that, on to the next one.

Probably a week ago or so, a friend had mentioned to us that there is a taco place (Colosso taco) in Niagara Falls that is opened 24/7. I’m not going to get into details about how we ended up there, but we were excited to eat at a 24/7 place that wasn’t McDonalds.

To be honest, I can’t necessarily say I was 100% impressed. Compared to chains, I wouldn’t say that this place was anything special and the prices also weren’t necessarily brilliant. That being said the prices were decent and the food was good, just not great—especially compared to the food I had tried earlier.

I decided to try the Chicken tender taco, which as I said, was good but not great. I think next time I’ll just go to mighty taco if it is open and I am in need of a taco.

It was an exciting day of trying and getting to eat at all sorts of different restaurants in the Niagara Falls region. As well school year comes to a close I look forward to being able to try more local places and share with you which ones are my favorites!

Have a great day!

xxHannah

04.21.2017 Kiwi and coffee?

Kiwi, caramel, and coconut in a latte? Yes you read correctly!

Orange Cat in Lewiston does it again. Absolutely Delicious.

This morning I found myself with the need to have a little sweet indulgence, so naturally I thought of Orange Cat coffee in Lewiston, New York. Usually when I simply get one of there flavored coffees of the day, sometimes accompanied with one of their incredible cookies and muffins.

Today, however, I decided to treat myself to a specialty latte and one of there to die for cookies. This is where the title of this blog comes in to play. On there menu you will find a variety of I guess what you could say are ‘standard flavors’, however, tucked in the middle you will see one with kiwi, coconut, and caramel. Me being me, I was so curious I just had to try it! I have been loving the coconut cold brew at Starbucks and I love caramel but the fact that it also used kiwi intrigued me.

Lets just say I was not disappointed. This latte was the perfect little treat to start off a happy little Friday. As for the flavor it was a little too sweet for may day-to-day needs, however like I said today was one of those treat yourself days. The flavor is interesting because you can definitely pick up on the caramel and subtle coconut flavor, but then I think the kiwi almost brings a little extra element of acidity and sweetness—definitely not extremely noticeable but at the same time, if you didn’t have it in there I think you would definitely pick up a difference.

As far as the cookies go I really don’t think you can go wrong! I am simply so in love with their snicker doodle one that I have yet to try another. The other really cool thing about all their food is that it is all vegan. Truly, you would never know; in fact I actually didn’t order food there because I assumed it was all too good to be vegan—common misunderstanding.

All in all, Orange cat is definitely one of my favorite places to go to when I want to treat myself or just get something to brighten my day. I love going to a local owned place because you can get these little specialties such as kiwi in a latte or mouth-watering vegan goodies. If you are within reasonable distance to Lewiston, New York, you definitely need to make a stop!

Have a great day!

xxHannah