Salt Lake City is renowned for many interests, such as biking, hiking, and skiing, yet most don’t know that it’s also the capital of craft chocolate in the U.S.! During our stay here, we learned that the city is home to many award-winning chocolatiers who follow a seldom-practiced “bean-to-bar” approach, which foregoes roasting cacao beans to preserve the nutrients that they would otherwise lose from roasting. One of these chocolatiers, The Chocolate Conspiracy, was among our favorites not just for its variety of bars, like wild spice and blackberry ginger, but also for its cool and friendly craftspeople, who took the time to share some samples and tell us about chocolate’s exceptional history in the city. Be sure to visit when you’re in town for good company and delicious chocolate that’s actually good for you! Where in the world have you found your favorite chocolate?
We love visiting and shopping at vintage stores for many reasons. They serve as time capsules of past trends in their area, which helps us learn more about it and local tastes. They also enable us to shop kindly, meaning that beautiful pieces from yesteryear are spared from overflowing landfills. Decades Vintage Clothing in Salt Lake City excels at these points. It has many elegant classic and costume pieces that reflect men’s and women’s fashion of the area spanning most of the past century. Best of all, much of the clothes are less expensive than what’s found in fast-fashion stores, and there are a few plus-size options (a rarity for vantage stores) so that everyone can appreciate and purchase all that the store has to offer. Where are some of your favorite vintage stores?
Among the most common misconceptions about vegan cuisine is that it lacks flavor and that it is too expensive for most to enjoy it - that it’s a luxury that only those along the coasts or other relatively affluent areas can afford. Fortunately, restaurants like Boltcutter prove all of that to be false. Its Sin Carne Tacos, pictured here, are composed of asada seitan, salsa verde, white onion, cilantro, lime, and guacamole. Even more delighting, one can get two very filling tacos like these for only $7 USD. And, most unexpectedly, this restaurant and its delicious plant-based menu is located in the heart of Salt Lake City - just going to show that some of the best vegan cuisine is found in the Midwestern U.S., too!
One of our favorite venues in Salt Lake City is Sugar House Coffee, which is a center of social and kindness with its gender neutral bathrooms, live local entertainment, and eclectic menu. Our favorite drink there is one of their specialties: a beetroot latte with unsweetened almond milk, which we got in our reusable coffee cups that we always bring with us when we’re out to cut down on plastic consumption. What are your favorite kind hang-outs?
This #TBT we’re reflecting on our visit to the Canadian Supreme Court in Ottawa last year! We had arrived right as it opened at around 8:00 AM in order to beat the crowds and ensure that there’d be space on a tour for us. It turned out that we were the first to arrive that day, so we were actually treated to a private tour of this magnificent building! It’s just another example of how preparation and timeliness can be very rewarding. Do you plan experiences in advance when you travel?
We’ve just begun the next course of our journey, which begins with Salt Lake City, where the cherry blossoms near the Utah state Capitol are in full vernal bloom! Be sure to follow us and check back for daily posts about what we’re learning and savoring along the way - and how people in each place are exercising kindness in business, cuisine, and nature.
In a modern, international city that is rife with gleaming skyscrapers, it is all the more interesting to find older and well-maintained buildings like the neo-gothic, 19th-century Cathedral Church of Saint James, nestled between them. Where have you unexpectedly found beautiful monuments to the past along your travels?
Even a casual stroll anywhere in Montréal is like exploring an art exhibit where the inhabitants decorate their homes in the most enticing arrangements. What kind of exterior home decor do you appreciate?
Amongst its beautiful downtown area, its verdant parks, and excellent eateries, the Union Bagel Company is one our favorites in Portland, Maine. All of its bagels are artisanal, made in-house, and one in varieties that satiate all tastes - like this vegan bagel sandwhich with seasoned hummus, avocado, and cucumber. We would be in remiss if we didn’t give a shout-out congratulations to @unionbagelco for having recently opened their second location on 46 Veranda Street! If you or anyone else you know would enjoy this, then tag yourselves and be sure to visit this local favorite! What are your favorite bagel toppings and which city is your favorite for bagels?
Anyone who follows us can definitely see that cuisine, architecture, local and vintage products, and nature bring us joy - particularly nature, for we always are in awe of the beautiful animals that we encounter along our travels. We enjoy their personalities as we believe that kindness should always be extended to non-humans, too. Have you ever met nice non-human friends in your own travels?
The city of Edmonton, Alberta, encompasses the most urban parkland in North America with more than 160 kilometers /99.4 miles of maintained pathways and 20 major parks - and much of it spans alongside North Saskatchewan River. On any day, we would see hundreds of kind joggers, walkers, urban hikers, families, and even a few LARPers enjoying and sharing the verdant landscape. It just goes to show how nature is an integral part to human kindness and civility, and, unexpectedly, we found that Edmonton was a prime example of that. Where have you found nature bringing the best in people?
The most common surprise we hear from people who try vegan cuisine for the first time is “Wow! This tastes just like the original!” - meaning that the dish they’re savoring reminds them of the animal-based version. It’s even more exciting to hear those individuals exclaim that their meal is even better than the meat-based original, which is all that we heard from everyone dining in KaTi, which serves plant-based versions of classic Thai cuisine. The Pla Rhad Prik Vegan, pictured here, delights the tastebuds with seaweed-wrapped tofu instead of fish, and the addition of the red and green peppers make it as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s another instance where plant-based cuisine can be more satisfying than animal-based alternatives. Which vegan or vegetarian dishes have made you go “WOW!”? Tag everyone you know who’d love this for a meal and be sure to visit KaTi when you’re in Portland, Oregon!
We’re fascinated by anachronistic structures and places - that is, places where old and modern structures stand side by side. It’s a way to see how a place and its inhabitants used to be, and what they valued, while tracing the path to how they are today. For those like us that are fascinated by that, then the Royal Ontario Museum will leave you in awe by its architecture and collections that span millennia. Its modern, angular exterior that looks like an effect from the film “Inception,” while the older brick buildings still stand across the street. Its beautifully ornate antiquities span entire halls as the interactive displays reveal entire lifetimes before you. All this considered, the Royal Ontario Museum is among the most beautiful anachronistic places we’ve ever visited. Which places have you visited that seem old and modern simultaneously?
Being located in the Atlantic Maritimes, one may first think that the city of Saint John, New Brunswick, would only offer shellfish, beer, and little else in terms of cuisine. Quite the contrary is true! After a long day of exploring the city, we had dinner at Thandi, which serves Asian fusion cuisine in the downtown area. Its menu was rife with vegetarian options - including some of the most delicious pad thai that we’ve ever had! What have been some unexpected culinary surprises during your travels?
Visiting the Old Citadel in Halifax is no easy feat as it’s a two-mile trek up a X-degree incline. In our experience, a sudden rainstorm made it feel twice as long and steep, yet the feat of reaching the top of the walls of the Citadel with their panoramic view of the city and Halifax Harbour in the distance was well worth it. What are you proud of accomplishing from your travels?
Brownstones aren’t just specific to Manhattan - they’re in Boston as well! This neighborhood along Newbury Street in the Back Bay is a favorite among locals for its great shopping, food, and architecture. If you venture northeast, you’ll eventually hit the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common. If you venture south, you’ll be within a mile of Fenway Park. Which areas do you like to walk in?