Today’s adventure was an unexpected delight. The plan was to meet a friend of mine who lives in L’Orignal in Alexandria for coffee and a treat. I left the house bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to make the 45-minute trek to the village just North East of Cornwall. What I didn’t expect was to get caught up listening to Colbie Caillat and Rob Thomas while inevitably missing my exit and driving 20 km past it before noticing that I was minutes away from the Quebec border. For the record, this is not an unusual occurrence for me, so you’ll need to get used to it. After getting off at Exit 69, (not as exciting as it sounds), I backtracked and eventually made my way to The Quirky Carrot.
As expected, the moment I walked in I fell in love. I don’t know what it is about a good coffee spot that lights my heart on fire, but there’s something incredibly romantic about my love affair with the bean, so I suppose it’s only natural. The neutral hues paired with pops of colour were so warm and inviting. I couldn’t help but be drawn to their chalkboard menus, exploring every inch of what they had to offer. It didn’t take long for me to decide on the Bowl of Goodness and a Bulletproof Coffee. They definitely know how to make a good brew, because hours later, I was still buzzing! My friend Julie and I continued chatting and catching up since it had been almost a year to the day since our last meetup in New York City. Her latte was made to perfection with a lovely heart clearly displayed on the foam in her cup.
Julie had other obligations, and so she took off. Moments later, an ex-coworker, and I think I could now call him a friend, Dennis walked in. We chatted for a few moments, and I was instantly reminded of how I love that my flexibility is allowing me to be the social butterfly that I am. As I walked out of what is arguably one of the cutest places I’ve ever been to, I regretted not having a book in hand to read on their generously sized patio.
I hopped into my SUV and started driving down the street when I noticed R & L’s Book Nook. I thought to myself that I should really make a stop there on my next visit. After driving down a few moments more, I realized I was utterly ridiculous and that nothing was stopping me from heading in there right then and there! I zipped down a side street and headed back to pop in and check it out! I was immediately greeted by the creepiest looking dolls. You know the ones that look like they may come alive at night? Well, there were two of them, and I promise you that they had Chucky written all over them. After getting over their unpleasant faces, I made my way to the classics and poetry section. I had spent the morning going on and on about how much I loved Brooklyn to Julie, so when Betty Smith’s 1943 novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn caught my eye on the shelf, I had to grab it. I also found a copy of Louisa May Alcott’s A Marble Woman. I swiftly made my way to the register where the delightful gentleman at the counter and I exchanged pleasantries, and I made my way to Island Park Beach.
I’ve only ever visited Island Park over the winter months. The Festival of Lights is a beautiful and inexpensive adventure over the holidays, and it seems the same applies in the summer. I sat at a picnic table, sipped on my coffee, took a selfie to document my joy for a slow and mindful morning, and eventually packed it up after a few chapters read in my new book. To say that today feels like success would be a serious understatement.
I’m now home sipping on water because I’ve had more beans than I care to admit, and I’m already planning my next coffee spot and bookshop stop adventure. Because you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to have a lovely experience in your own backyard.
Do you know of a coffee spot I need to check out? Please, don’t hold back! Tell a girl where she needs to head next! Better yet, come with!