Northern Canadian Class – Dining In Style At ‘The Back Eddy’

Classy dining around the globe is a hobby that I take very seriously. Enticing the palette with incredible and unique flavors and food pairings, all while surrounded in a comfortable chic atmosphere – is exactly what I am after when dining out. I am continually on the hunt to find the best and most amazing places to experience and share around the world. It’s an art that one can’t help but appreciate.

Here in the hub of the North – Hay River, NWT, there happens to be one of my absolute life long favorites. The Back Eddy. They always provide an unforgettable experience, and the dishes will never disappoint.  Having been in business for over 40 years,  it is clear there are many things being done right here.

The decor of The Back Eddy reflects a nautical theme, adorned with helms, and various pieces from ships.

Hay River has been a port for shipping and barging for many years, so it was very fitting for The Back Eddy to take on this theme. The name is derived from an ‘Eddy’, which is a whirl of water, and in this case, ‘Back Eddy’, intended to represent the whirl of water created by the back of the ship.

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The original owner of The Back Eddy also created what’s called, Back Eddy Spice, which is still sprinkled in quite a few dishes on the menu to this day, as well as sold in many stores. It’s a Back Eddy staple. The Back Eddy has now been family run by some pretty phenomenal people for the last 16 years.

The atmosphere is inviting and very relaxing. Particularly now with all of their festive decorations making the place feel ‘oh so magical’.

Each month they feature different lunch and dinner specials, as well as a monthly dessert(made in house).

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The majority of their dishes are all made from scratch in house and with plenty of love, so you are guaranteed to always have a fresh flavorful experience.

One of my absolute favorite dishes of theirs is the ceaser salad. Nothing fancy, but they make their own dressing, and it is sooo darn good. I can eat it every day. In fact, when I am home every year, I pretty much do eat it every day. I have yet to find another around the globe that compares.

This time around on our ladies of leisure dinner, rather then one of their tantalizing menu items, we were after one of their other classics. Hot Rocks.

Hot Rocks are just that, heated marble slabs, that you get to cook your own food on, right at your table.

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It’s seriously a lot of delicious fun. They come out already nicely heated and then you place them on the flames to keep the sizzle going.

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You have the choice between meat rocks, seafood rocks or a combo of both. We decided to go for the combo rocks which included, Lobster, Prawns, Chicken and Beef, along with plenty of various veggies.

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The platter is very abundantly stocked, and has a fabulous array of house made butters and dips. So you absolutely will no be going home hungry – better bring those stretchy pants.

First thing was first though. I needed to prepare my palette by getting the vino flowing(lets not forget who we are talking about here). It’s simply the classy lady way to begin any culinary journey. For a small Northern establishment they do have quite a good little selection of Vino to choose from. I opted for a Rose, a nice inbetween of white and red.

With hot rocks, your act of having dinner truly turns into an experience. It so nice to share fabulous food, great chat, and good drinks all while being surrounded by an extremely comfortable environment. It’s the best way, and always creates it to be nothing less then memorable.

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You won’t forget how full you were in the end either. Good thing the seats have wheels on them – in case you can’t get up and need to be wheeled out. Isn’t that a classy mental picture?!

The Back Eddy truly is a Northern Gem, and it only gets better with age. That’s right, just like a fine wine. If you find yourself in Northwest Territories, and particularly in the Hay River area, make sure you stop in and enjoy some Northern class and true North hospitality. Cheers to keeping the palette adventures going!

Top 3 Sights To See In A Day At Yoho & Banff National Parks

Road trips are one of the best past times of mine. They can give that feeling of spontaneity and adventure that our souls yearn for. Being in Calgary at the moment, and so close to Yoho & Banff National parks, it only makes sense to get out there and enjoy them as much as possible. Both parks offer unparalleled beauty. With lush forests, you have plenty of opportunity to see wildlife, while also enjoying the mountains, and stunning scenic views all around you. When you stop outside of your vehicle you get the intoxicating aroma of pure nature. It’s all nothing less than absolutely wonderful. Of course I prefer taking my time on my adventures, but sometimes you just ain’t got it.

Fortunately, if you only have a day to drive through the Yoho & Banff National parks, you can see a few sights that will be hard to compare to, and in a leisurely fashion. It is also quite easy to keep it inexpensive. You will need your park pass for the day, which is about $10 per person, gas in your car, and snacks if you don’t want to eat out. Fancy a picnic surrounded by raw nature?! Well here is your chance. Just be sure to clean up after yourself so you don’t attract or harm animals and their delicate eco-systems. Being out in nature is my happy place. That’s for darn sure.

So if you are taking a day to cruise through these stunning parks, and want to see some incredible sights, then here are my top 3 picks.

1 – Emerald Lake

Located in BC in the Yoho National Park, about 10 kms from the town of Field, you will find the stunning and pristine Emerald Lake.

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It’s surrounded by some of the most impressive peaks that the Rockies have on offer.

When the sun is shining, the lake lights up and becomes a bright emerald green(hence the name). Here you can canoe, hike, cross country ski, camp, picnic, or stay in a lodge and enjoy the pristine surroundings with that special someone if you want a romantic getaway. It is a great place to spot wildlife, and if your partial to a cold dip, then a chilly swim may be right up your alley.

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You can even just sit and lose yourself while taking it all in.

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There is a restaurant with a great little patio, and all the rental amenities that you could need.

2016-05-23 001 015 There is no cell service so the pay phone really does come in handy. It’s great and refreshing to disconnect from the world sometimes.


I love this place, its absolutely not to be missed.

2. Takakkaw Falls

Located again in Yoho National Park,  13 kms off the Trans Canada Highway at the end of Yoho valley road, not far off from Emerald Lake actually, you will find the awe inspiring Takakkaw Falls.

IMG_2868Having a free fall of 254 meters(same height as the bungy jump I did in South Africa), they stand to be one of the highest waterfalls in Canada.

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You can walk right up close to them, and feel the powerful energy, and super wet mist. Something about waterfalls is so majestic. They feel so raw, and fierce. Especially waterfalls of this measure. When you get so close to them, you can truly feel their power. There is also a campground right in the area if you fancy a sleepover. What ever the case may be, if you want to be pounding of the falls hitting the earth, and get drenched in mist, then this is a must see.

While you are in the area, I highly recommend to stop and hug a tree. Trust me, it’s good for you.

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3. Peyto Lake

Located on the Alberta side in Banff National Park near to Lake Louise, about 25 kms towards Jasper, and not a far drive away at all from the Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls, you will find one of the most magical places I have ever seen in my life. Peyto Lake.

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I had no idea what to expect when I first got there, I just knew I was told I had to go. With a short hike up the snowy peaks to the Bow summit where you get the best view, there she was, in all her glory.

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Due to the large amounts of glacier rock flour that flow into the lake, it is the suspended rock particles that give the lake its bright turquoise color. With that and the surrounding mountain peaks, it is a grand feast for the eyes. I could sit there all darn day and just bask in it.


Each one of these places are so unbelievably amazing, they will continue to blow you away one by one. If you want a day of epic proportion, and you just need  break away from it all and feel mother nature at her absolute finest, or perhaps your only in the area for a very short period of time, then be sure to check each of these destinations off your bucket list. After appreciating these three enchanting places you will feel on a natural high, that will ignite that fire deep inside yours soul.

Epic Eats And Treats At the Corner House Cafe

We all know that I like a classy establishment where I can dress up and put on my heels, but I am a small town girl at heart, so sometimes I like those down to earth, home cooked flavors in a more rustic ambiance. I have driven by ‘The Corner House Cafe‘ many times and it always caught my eye – I knew I had to stop and check it out at some point.


Finally, long behold I was once again in the area visiting my family, and this time I made it a point to stop in! It had to happen. I am also the type of person that once I get something in my head, I will not be able to get it out of my head until I have tried it or done it. This situation was no different.

It has a charming, warm and inviting feel. There was just something about it. Clearly, otherwise it wouldn’t have been calling out to me for so long.


Upon entering I was pulled right in to the homey ambiance.

Not a bad view.


It’s family run, quaint, busy, and very friendly. Apparently from what I am told, they are always very busy, which doesn’t surprise me, I can absolutely see why.

It’s a great place, with great food.  I was impressed with their little menu.


We were all in need of some grub at this point.

Being Sunday they were only offering breakfast, which really was not a problem for me as a Sunday Breakfast was exactly what I was after.


I was stoked to see that they made smoothies, and the smoothie of the day had loads of green ingredients in it, and for me the greener the better! So I was one happy patron.

I made sure to share it with my nephew, I do believe it’s never to young to prepare for a life of health and vitality.


Train those taste buds as soon as you freaken can!

All in all, it was a pretty awesome experience, and I was finally able to check it off my list(let’s not forget how important that is to me). I will say – if you ever find yourself in the Millarville area and happen to come across ‘The Corner House Cafe‘, pull on over and treat yourself! It was pleasantly surprising, and I will absolutely return to try out their lunch menu.

Keeping it random, local and classy every day of the week.

 Loved Week 6 Of My Orange Theory Fitness Challenge

6 weeks and feeling stronger every day! It’s incredible really. I am loving the changes I am feeling in my body. It is almost like an addiction now. I am happy to report that I set out to do 4 Orange Theory workouts a week during this challenge, and so far I haven’t missed one. If anything, I feel like pushing that up to 5 a week. Yes, you can call me a keener if you want to.

In reality though, Orange Theory does become a part of you. When I leave there I always feel like I am on fire. Your so mentally and physically pumped from the whole experience.

The OT marathon has begun, and I started mine on Saturday. We have the month of April to complete it.  I am in competition with no one but myself.

I am looking forward to pushing myself and seeing how far I get with it, Although there is one more reason I may push myself up to 5 workouts a week this month instead of 4, get those miles! I have never actually done a Marathon, so I truly wouldn’t mind completing one.

How about another challenge while I am on this challenge train?! Sounds good to me.

I started Monday off in Justin’s class at the Creekside location with strong determination and feeling on top of the world.

 Once again, that excitement to get back in there was massive. Right now, I am feeling the best changes ever starting. So that being said, there is no way I want to slow down, I want to see where I can go with this.

It was my first time attending one of Justin’s classes, and as it goes at OT, he is another great trainer!

He was continually on top of providing awesome trainer support to everyone. Not only that, he was a great sport at helping me get material for this here blog. We had a nice chat about how much we love OT too, and how true it is that it does become something you would prefer not to live without. 

Trust me, after first getting into OT in Florida 4 years ago, it was super hard for me to leave OT and head back to Spain. A bit heart wrenching really. So clearly I am over the moon to have it back in my life, and not have to leave it any time soon! Anyone who gets into OT feels the same way, so its always great to be amidst like minded people.

Tuesday I played hooky and didn’t go to OT. Kidding. Tuesday I had to work my butt off and couldn’t make it to OT.

Wednesday I was hauling ass to get to Matt’s class at Royal Oak  Traffic and work held me back. When I thought there was no way I was going to make it, I called in, and the awesome ladies at the front desk told me to still come and get in there(in one piece that is), as they were waiting for me. No was not at option. Now, you see just another reason I love OT so much. They love having you just as much as you love being there.

I got there just in the nick of time. I ran in, put my shoes on as fast as I could, ran past the desk while telling all the ladies how awesome they are, and straight in and on to the treadmill, where I continued to run my little heart out. Happy days! That is until my darn shoe laces came untied once again!!

‘Seriously shoe laces, we talked about you coming untied on the treadmill!’

It was a super busy class that day, and Matt was all business. He was making sure he kept everyone on top form. The class flew by because,

A) I was late, and so that meant straight into action.

B) It was super busy! It was a go, go , go kinda afternoon.

I was so happy that I made it in the end – and grateful to OT Royal Oak for being so accommodating. 

Thursday and it was full force once again in Cam’s class at Royal Oak. Actually we were also graced with Trish’s presence assistant coaching too as it was a fast paced and full session.

It was such an awesome class! We paired up with partners, and spent the class doing rotations between the treadmills, rowers and floor workout. I got teamed up with Khrista, and she was an absolutely awesome partner. If your gonna almost kick the bucket, sometimes it’s better to do it with someone else.

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She was tons of fun to pair up with and full of team spirit.

 We both pushed ourselves as hard as we possibly could, and finished with massive smiles and lots of sweat(obviously).  Exactly how you should look after an epic workout.

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You could definitely say that was one tough workout! 

I am growing more and more fond of the rowers. I think in the beginning the rowers were working so many muscles in my body(especially in my shoulders), and seeing as how my body was adapting, rowing was tough for me. Not to mention, some days I am a rock star, and some days my form on them is not on!

This day was no exception, and Cam and Trish kept catching me and correcting my form. It does make a massive difference, and I appreciate every correction I get. That’s the beauty of having trainers there to coach you.

Cam’s classes are always great, and he is full of fab energy that gets people moving.

We had some good laughs trying to get in position for a photo:)

 

In the end we nailed it!

I finished my 6th week off on Saturday in Deanne’s class. It had been awhile since I got to attend one of her classes, she is always happy, and so good at motivating you!  I was tired as heck that day, and was seriously contemplating re-scheduling for Sunday, but when I seen there was a wait list for most of the classes, I figured I best push myself and just go for it. I didn’t want to take the chance of not getting in on Sunday. ‘Come on Petrena, get your ass moving’. Self talk, some of the best conversations I have are with myself.

Once again, those days you really don’t feel like doing it, are always the ones that turn out to be some of the best workouts!

Clearly I found my sweaty zen

Deanne’s class rocked my little Orange Theory going world! I felt ridiculously awesome afterwards, and was pepped right up to tackle the weekend. She rocks! And of course we high fived the heck out of it.  There was just no other way. As per usual. 

I was able to rock all 4 of my work outs last week, and consistently get my splat points in the Orange Zone. Every workout, my body shows me more and more of what it is capable of. Its actually more exciting then anything, where can I take my body and health? The sky is the limit and OT is my ladder.

My measurements have gone down once again after a week of stalling, and it feels great.

Week 5: Chest 36, Waist 36, Hips 40, Arms 10, Legs, 24.5

Week 6: Chest 35, Waist 36, Hips, 39, Arms 9.5, Legs 24

Here are some clips from the week


I can’t even tell you just how much I loved week 6. The best part about this whole 8 week challenge, is that yes it has been challenging, at times, VERY! But its a challenge in an environment that I love, which is what has kept me going. The support you receive at OT, and all the awesome energy, accompanied with the awesome workouts, just keep me going back. If you find something you love doing, then not only is it a challenge, but its also a reward. It’s one of my happy places, that’s for darn sure.

Welcome to week 7!  

 

Revitalizing myself in a Float Pod

I had never envisioned myself immersed in an enclosed pod containing 1200 pounds of Epsom salts and 11 inches of water? Nor was I aware of the health benefits of it until I discovered Float Life in Calgary.


Apparently floating has been around since 1954…. So where the heck have I been? Well other then having not graced the earth with my awesome presence for quite a while after that time frame….. It could very well be one scenario. Oh and I was working in the jungles of Central and South America for awhile, and busy crossing Africa. So I suppose I was a little out of touch. However, being into natural healing my whole life – I am really surprised I hadn’t crossed paths with it sooner. I love learning new things though! Every darn day. As ‘they‘ say. I still haven’t figured out who they are….

With such a large amount of salt in the water, it makes it completely buoyant, and you literally float right on top of it. Floating with isolation, and with no sensory input, is one of the fastest ways to put your body in a natural deep relaxation state, restoring its chemical and metabolic balance. It’s also said to promote stress release, pain relief, and enhance your creativity and focus.

The place itself is warm and welcoming, with a clean natural feel, and earthy colors. I could feel the healing already.


The customer service was equally as friendly and welcoming.


They offer various kinds of tea and water as a complimentary service. I love tea, it’s a nice relaxing(let’s not forget healing) brew to sip on, so I clearly jumped right on the tea train.


After I poured my herbal concoction, it was time to check out las cabinas. Where I would head off to my float pod land oasis- the land of healing opportunities.

The rooms are fitted with all that you need for your floating experience to be a success.


Equipped with the Float Pod(obviously), a shower, that has shampoo & conditioner, body wash, fresh towels, ear buds, face wipes, and small packs of Vaseline to cover any open cuts. Time to get this show on the road.


Once I had my pre-shower, I was ready to dive in! Ok, don’t dive, its only 11 inches. Perhaps gracefully stepping in, is a better choice of wording for this situation. The water was warm, not hot, they keep it at the same temperature as your skin, so that you will become one with the water. Which if you can let go and just be, then you definitely do meld together. I closed the lid, and was ready to float any tensions away…..

It can take a bit to relax, I really just had to focus on just shutting my mind off and being present. I am usually very good at this, but this day I was quite exhausted so it took a bit more effort. At first I had a pink light on inside, and some very ambient and relaxing music, shortly into it though, I decided I would relax and clear my head easier in a complete dark, silent environment, and so I shut the lights and music off. That is when the real bliss began for me. I had just driven to Calgary the day before from NWT, which took me 15 hours, and I have a busy ass schedule of being awesome in Calgary – so some rejuvenating relaxation was exactly what my little soul needed.

Lying there, if you feel your skin, it almost feels slimy from the salt, although the water itself doesn’t feel slimy getting in. Once it dries, there is loads of flakes of salt on you, almost like little salt shards. I felt scaly ass. I did think it was pretty darn interesting though. As long as you don’t move yourself around inside, you lay pretty still, and 90 minutes goes by quite fast. Many people tend to fall asleep, and I am sure I could too, but I didn’t this time around.

At one point I made the mistake of scratching my face and getting salt in there. Dang it, exactly what they advised me not to do. However upon sitting up, I opened my eyes, and remembered it’s complete darkness, and not that kind of darkness that your eyes adjust to. It was total complete darkness, for a moment I though I could envision my hands(envision is key word), because I was probably just hallucinating from my brain being on float vacay.

Once your time is up, the lights will come on(in case your sleeping), which means its time to snap back to reality, get your bearings, get your butt up, and into the shower to wash all the salt off. I was feeling pretty freaken relaxed I tell yah. They have a nice little area set up to blow dry your hair and put your face back on, if you so choose. Or you can head on au naturel.


Now I have only done it once so far, so I can’t say I have had earth shattering changes. They say that it gets better and better, and you usually start feeling more profound affects around or after the third session. So that being said….. I went for it! And I signed up for a 3 month membership. I need to test this out, I am looking forward to seeing what comes once I get deeper into it. Maybe some profound effects.

Go ahead, give yourself a little pressie, and go enjoy some RnR in a float pod. You deserve it. Float on peeps.

3 Steps to take when your locked in an Outhouse

First of all, how in the heck do I end up these situations?! Really now, the most random situations always seem to sneak up on me. It’s either the most incredibly amazing things, or the most ridiculously random. There seems to be no middle ground.

So yes, in case your wondering, I did get locked into a damn outhouse. I have been accustomed to outhouses all over the globe. Or at times shall I say versions of outhouses…. I mean the rotted wooden hole filled caving in ones that I had to use when I was working in the jungle’s of Central and South America were one version, oh and there was that one in very rural Mozambique which was 4 thatched walls, strung together, and inside is no hole in the ground, yet just a pile of boulders, in which you have to step on top of other people’s business and find a spot to do your business – and being the only foreign person these people have ever seen, you have a whole village just stand there watching you go inside and do your thing. Of course I maintained my classy composure, did it like a rockstar(literally rock-star), while smiling and waving at everyone while I entered and then preceded to try my best to hover over these rocks that you would rather not step on. When in Africa…. Sounds like pretty pleasant experiences don’t they?! They definitely weren’t the most glamorous loos that I have ever had the pleasure of using, nor did they smell like a bouquet of roses that some hunk bought me.  Trust me that’s only a couple of many outhouse stories.

Of course I prefer porcelain and marble, however in some circumstances, you just ain’t got that option – and if there is one thing that I am, it’s Adaptable. Whether I enjoy the experience or not, its still an experience that I am alive to feel, so I always maintain a smile, and a good sense of humor to the best of my ability.

So here I was yesterday morning, on my 15 hour drive from Northwest Territories to Calgary, in – 30 c weather, and ridiculously icy road conditions, when nature decided to call.


I should know better then to drink a coffee and a tea directly before hitting the highway, as there isn’t much of anything for the first few hours of the drive.

The first road side turn out with an out house that I came across and I immediately pulled over to try and answer natures call…..

Holy geez! Someone did their business all over the toilet seat rather then inside, and it was -30 so it was frozen to the seat. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty – and I could darn well hold it and give nature a busy signal.

40 km later, and I reached the NWT/Alberta boarder, where there happened to be another outhouse. I pulled over once again, jumped out, looked inside, and was once again flabbergast at what I saw. Are you freaken kidding me?! Is it the new in thing to use the toilet seat rather then the toilet hole? Is there some sort of stomach bug in the area? So many questions. Yet I couldn’t stand looking at the sight, so I put nature on hold once again and hit the road. You and I both know, nature does not like being put on hold, and she was getting a bit antsy and starting kicking me in the bladder. Ok, ok, I promise not to ingest so many liquids before my road trips in the future.

20 kms down the road again, and I came up to a little place called Indian Cabins, where you get snacks and cheap alcohol in the middle of nowhere.


I seen the frozen out house and instead of going inside to see if they had a nice warm ladies room, ‘as there just wasn’t time for that’, I went straight to the outhouse and answered the call. I mean third times a charm right?


Mother nature was peeved though, and not so charming this time around. As soon as I found my relief and went to vacate the stall, I realized I was locked in. What the!? There is no way this is happening I thought. I rattled the door knob, and to no avail…. I kicked the door a couple times… Wearing my sneaker wedges weren’t exactly the most ideal for the job. I rattled the knob and pushed the door at the same time… Well it didn’t take me long to realize that Nature was obviously pissed at me, and was trying to hold me captive! In such brutally cold conditions, and not having mitts a hat, or proper boots, I could feel frosty starting to bite at my toes.

I dug in my jacket pockets and all I had with me was my car keys, and my bottle of Abundance essential oil…. I started calling for help, knowing that the one person that was inside would never hear me, and in that kind of weather people don’t go outside unless they have too. I also contemplated inhaling my abundance oil, although I wasn’t sure what kind of abundance it would bring me in that moment, but it would never fail to be relaxing.

So on to Plan B, ‘Survival of the fittest’

I am pretty quick thinker, and I do have loads of wilderness first aid and survival training… So, I stayed calm, and rationally assessed my situation. Freaken Petrena…. How do you find yourself in these places. Here are the three steps I took, to free myself from Natures cold ass cage.

Step 1Call for help, I mean even if no one can here you. Call your little heart out. Not to mention it keeps your blood pumping, which keeps you warm, and keeps your vocals singing. Its darn cold outside, and I was about to turn into an ice princess. I have too many ambitions in life for that shit.

Step 2 – Use whatever you have in your pockets as a tool to help you. I realized that on my keys was the car alarm!! I know whomever was inside would never hear me calling for help, but perhaps they would hear the car alarm. So I sounded the high alarm! It would only go off for about 5 minutes at a time before I would have to press the button again, but I wasn’t giving up.

Step 3 – Look at other ways of escaping. Seeing as how my super human strength wasn’t happening when I tried to kick the door down, I looked up and seen there was a bit of openings going over to the other side. It was quite high, but I tried my best to shimmy up. I realized I could probably do it, I would have had to kick off my wedge heels though, and then figure out how I would get down on the other side without breaking a leg on the 6 foot drop. So I decided to wait it out bit longer before that attempt at being in Cirque De Solier.

45 minutes later, I was starting to lose hope and body heat…. But it was in that moment I heard someone come outside, and boot steps coming towards me. It’s always in the moment where you feel like you hit rock bottom that something amazing happens.


A man got to the door, unlocked it, opened it, and said, ‘What are you doing locked in the outhouse?!’

Oh you know, I was just hanging out for some shits and giggles, no big deal. Who doesn’t like a good outhouse sesh? NOT! Clearly I had to pee like a race horse and ran into the first clean looking outhouse I could find. Although sarcasm aside, he was my night in shining armor, and I wanted to through  my arms around him and thank him for saving my life. I didn’t though. I mean I did thank him, but I also kept my classy composure, and hands to myself.

He told me maybe I should go inside and freshen up in the nice warm washroom. Oh Petrena, you silly silly women, you shud have followed your gut in the beginning when it told you to go inside and look for a warm ladies room.

Moral of the story: Always listen to your gut – and when you fail to do that, then, be a survivor in the most awesome fashion possible.  An hour behind schedule, but I was back on the open road of adventure, and I have finally arrived in Calgary!


So here you go, keep this trusty little step-by-step guide handy to get yourself out of being locked in an outhouse, or you can use this guide to not do what I did, and just don’t get yourself locked in a darn outhouse.

Happy road tripping days!

Tunes, drinks, and epic times at Agua Bar

Live tunes, cold drinks, amazing people and an epic atmosphere. Sounds pretty darn awesome doesn’t?! That’s because those things are awesome! Agua Bar in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, is exactly where it’s at if those are things that are up your alley. Agua Bar has it all.

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That’s actually a fish tank in the window, and looks really cool when you are beside it. You know, makes sense as Agua translates in English to Water.

One of my absolute favorite water holes for years now – and for good reason.

Agua has been around for about 11 beautiful years. It makes Palma a better place. Even though Palma is generally ridiculously amazing, Agua is the cherry on top.

Throughout the week they offer lots of various excitement for you to enjoy. Monday’s are flip night, where you can try your luck at a coin toss to see if you can call the throw correctly to nail yourself a beverage on the house. Thursday’s are ladies night, where the ladies can indulge in free wine & cava, from 7 – 10:30. Wine & cava not your thing? Well in that case you can instead receive 50 percent off any other drink your little heart desires. Friday and Sunday are the famous ‘Open mic nights‘, and then there is Charity Saturdays, where the generous, thoughtful and awesome guy’s who run Agua, Rich & Lee, will donate 50 cents from every drink purchased throughout the night to a charity. So you can drink with a cause and not feel guilty about being a party animal.

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When in Palma, I frequent Agua bar on Friday and Sunday nights to take in their open mic nights. There is always some incredible talent to enjoy, and loads of Agua bar locals. Music feeds the soul, and makes my little world go round.

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Why not have a little listen for yourself.

The famous open mic nights are exactly that, so that means they are pretty popular and the place fills up. Everyone wants to either hear or be part of the epic jam sesh’s.

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You could say Agua is almost like a small community, its a place where everyone knows your name, and everyone just happens to be awesome. I am sure you agree that it’s rare and rad to find a bar that’s pretty much rammed with cool peeps. That would be Agua’s magnetism. It attracts exactly what it is. If you are good to the bar, they are just as good to you.

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One of the best things ever is the ‘went for a pee card‘. If for whatever reason you have to leave your drink, all you gotta do is grab a card and pop it on your glass. It works like a freaken charm. Being such a kick ass establishment, its totally legit, and no one tampers with your drink. Not many bars you can say that about now-a-days.

Trust me when I say, no matter what day you go to Agua bar you are always guaranteed to have a damn good time. I have had many endless great times there.

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It has some pretty sweet decor, show casing all the amazing classics all over the walls. The place is warm, inviting, and air conditioned in the summer. Let’s not forget Palma is hot as hell in the summer, so why not go cool down in Agua. Good ol’ Agua, just consistently checking all the boxes. It’s definitely a bar not to be missed in Palma. It will reel you right in – just like it did me. The first time I visited it, magic happened, I felt right at home, and the rest is history.

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Sooo, see yah there this weekend? What are you waiting for?! Whether your there to play or just to listen, it will rock your socks off. Yup, that’s my kinda Jam.

 

 

Eating typically traditional in Palma at La Cueva

One thing to remember when embarking on a dinner mission in Spain – ‘Most restaurants don’t open before 8’. Freaken heck though, most westerner’s don’t like to eat after 8. It can be a tad bit of an adjustment. Seeing as how I am programmed to have dinner quite early in the evening, I always tend to forget this late dinner fact.

My friends and I had dinner plans, and we decided to just wing it – meet up, be spontaneous and just find a place. It just so happened to be about 6 pm, and the streets were quite and most restaurants chained up, dark and lifeless. Yes it was way to darn early. ‘Dang’ we thought, where the heck are we gonna get some chow?!’

Long behold, we came across ‘La Cueva’. With 20 people standing outside(well maybe 10, but in dead streets it looked like 20) we figured there was a good chance it was open. We took a peak inside – and damn straight, it was OPEN! Score! We were in there like flint.

Not before having a photo shoot in front of the door.

From the entrance we had to go down a few stairs(I know from the previous photo you would assume up, BUT, it was down), and enter into the restaurant which is very much like a cool ass little cave. With ‘La Cueva’ translating to ‘The Cave’ in English, it only made sense really.


 I am all about fresh and local ingredients, and they definitely had the fresh part going on. I didn’t have a chance to ask about the local part though.


My eyes were already liking what they were seeing. Although, once menu was in hand, and you are presented with what appears to be loads of delicious plates, it ain’t so darn easy anymore.


Oh geez, what the heck to choose?! How about just one of everything?

OK, ok, that’s excessive, it would be far too much…… So we each just chose 2 tapas each for the table.

It was still way too much in the end, but at least we got to try a bit of everything. They have their system down pat, and are ready to rock with the plates at any given moment. It was very good service. The only thing I did notice was the microwave.


We were a bit shocked at how incredibly fast it came, and not being someone whom uses microwaves myself, it was a small bit daunting, but being as hungry as we all were – we weren’t about to complain, and in reality, its not like they were hiding the fact they use a microwave for some things. Everything was made fresh, and I suppose it was necessary to keep up with the capacity of clients they receive. So really, it is what it is. No biggy what-so-ever.

We opted to choose a different Vino then the one on the table, and instead went for the Jose. L. Ferrer. One of my favorite vineyards in Mallorca . We tested out a bit of everything food wise. From olives and aioli,

onward to, potatoes with aioli, mushrooms, pepper padrons(one of my all time Mallorcan favorites), Mallorcan bread and cheese.



Not to mention, shrimps still sizzling.

Calamari, octopus, and shaved ham.

img_6227 Don’t forget to share – sharing is caring.

The food was all ridiculously good to be honest, and super traditional. If there is one thing I enjoy most in life, it’s taking in as much of the local cultures and traditions where ever in the world I may be. Even when it happens to be in my own Country of Canada.

Just when we thought we were having the time and feed of our lives – in came the live music. My little world would not turn without music, and I am ALL about live music, in any and all forms. So this rocked my darn world.

In came the cavalry.

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 Pucker up princess. They were freaken awesome! And such good sports. Not to mention, I do love the accordion oh so much! I am into the most random things. I also happen to play a few tunes on the harmonica. Bet you didn’t expect that.


My time was running short in Mallorca. Even though I am never gone that long, I like to end my time here with the most Mallorcan experiences as possible. Considering we thought we were outta luck unless we waited for places to open – we were pleasantly surprised. A feast for a king – a hungry king at that. This little gem of a restaurant was absolutely great, and I would go back to ‘La Cueva‘ in a heart beat.

Hungry for some traditional tapa’s before 8 pm? Well meet me at La Cueva.

Palma pallete adventures at OMBU.

Treating your taste buds to culinary seduction is always a sensory event not to be missed. It was a ladies do dinner day, and we weren’t quite sure where to go. After gallivanting all around the city,


 enjoying the epic ambiance, and of course being awesome – we needed to pick a place to wine and dine ourselves. We were after someplace new, chic and darn delicious.

Palma has an endless selection of fab establishments to choose from. Mallorca in general actually. You could eat your little heart out with new places to try. So that being said, competition can be stiff -and my love story with Mallorca never ends.

We came across OMBU on our adventures, and having heard so many rave reviews about it, it obviously was a must try.


OMBU is part of 2 other restaurants, Forn & Koa. Each offering different menu’s, and different ambiance’s. I have eaten at both of the other establishments in the past, and had great experiences. Soooo, how could we really go wrong with this choice?!

As any foodie knows, gastronomy is the in culinary craze. Gastronomy is the concept behind OMBU, and their menu specializes in Tapa’s & Cocktails. The décor is modern chic and inviting.


‘Come on in’, it says.

Well, I don’t mind if I do.


    Always do;)

We began our OMBU experience sipping on some vino outside, indulging in some people watching.


I do so enjoy a good people watching sesh. Just about as much as I enjoy a good vino sesh. They do go really well together. Like two peas in a pod. 

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s just darn fantastic how most restaurants in Palma have little fires by the tables to keep you all toasty warm in the winter. My Northern Canadian blood likes a little chill, but a warm chill. I also love the fact I still get to sit outside. Later on though, as the sun had gone down it did get a bit too chilly to dine outside, so we moved on to get the feel for the inside, and grab a cocktail.


We both went for the Psycotonic.


It was so delish too! Made with ginger and grapefruit juice. Those just so happen to be a couple of my favorite things.

The menu had a nice little selection of Tapa’s to choose from, and in true tapas fashion, you order a few different things for the table to share.

We ended up having Spanish bread, cheeses, lamb and a couple other meat dishes.


  
The lamb in the martini glass was one of my faves! But seriously, everything was so good. Very well flavored and prepared. We were both very impressed with the food and service.


Our awesome server made sure to bring us an aperitif. Most places in Spain do always offer you a shot after your meal. It’s too good to pass up. So down the hatch it went.

We also were graced with the presence of our friend Paola for a quick catch up.


I would definetly say that if you wake up and find yourself in Palma, do give OMBU a try. It’s super good, and checked all my boxes.

Cheers to another successful dining experience.

4 Steps to take when you find yourself with Liquid Stevia in your eye.

First of all, liquid Stevia in the eye?! Is that a thing? What are the chances. Except when it comes to me. Typical Petrena, always gets into the most random situations. One way or another. They always find me.

I literally just got home from enjoying some work on a writing project, feeling all happy after being in touch with my creative side.  My friends happen to be at a very classy establishment sipping on Vino. My intention was to haul ass, get ready, go unwind in a nice ambient atmosphere  with great friends, and indulge in a nice glass of wine. Potentially(well guaranteed actually) also going to have some great laughs. A few of my favorite things, so you can imagine my excitement.

I had done amazing at getting ready like a rockstar, but being quite exhausted, my eyes were red and tired, so I very quickly(obviously without looking) grabbed what I thought was my eye drops out of my purse,  and preceded to tilt my head back  and give the bottle a squeeze, before I made my rock star exit.

It came out far too quick and far too much to be my eye drops. It flooded my eye! I knew there was something up as soon as it did that. So before quickly doing the other eye – I took a darn good look at the bottle.

‘OMG’ I thought when I seen it, while also instantly painfully laughing at myself.

‘Petrena! You knob! It’s freaken Stevia!?’  Self displine, and talking to myself, those are things.

Nothing like giving yourself crap.

Yes indeed it was, and indeed it was already starting to hurt. It reminded me of the time I accidentally poisoned myself in Africa…. That’s a whole other story though – for another time.

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I needed to take immediate and precise action. In the least panicked fashion as possible.

These are the 4 steps I took in order to get fast relief and make a speedy recovery:

Step 1  – Rinse your eye! For darn sake. Rise your eye as soon as you freaken can. It was a large amount of liquid stevia, and you need to get that $h!@ out as fast as it got in.

Yes it will become inflamed and red. But, I would rather that then burning and closing over. I couldn’t help but question myself. ‘Does stevia in the eye make you go blind?’ I opened my eye to test it out, but through all the water I could still kinda see, so I knew I was going to live. However, keep on rinsing! It still hurts in a very none pleasant way. I did also feel bad that my poor eye ball had to suffer from my blonde moment. Silly me! Sorry eye.

image1 (7)         That classic one eyed make-up look. My most attractive state.

Step 2 Do not add Visine(or on this case, ‘Vispring’, Spanish version)to the infected eyeball. Honestly it is a bad idea, it hurts even worse. Take it from me, I did it. I had a sneaking suspicion that it was not in my best interest. So that’s why I chose a very small dose.

Holy man did I rinse again!! Hard.

At this point I could taste Stevia coming down the back of my throat. Yup, clearly I got a large portion of the bottle of Stevia in there if I could even taste it. Seriously, my poor brain was probably coated with the stuff.

In any case, believe me in taking this step, to not take that other step.

Step 3Be gentle on your priceless eye, and rinse with a glass full of oxygenated water. Shoving water in my eye with my hand was just not cutting it. My poor eye was not happy with me, and I needed to pamper it with some TLC. I do love my oxygen drops for their myriad of health benefits, so I figured, the cells of my eye balls would too.

Oh and did they ever! They were loving them. I could only find a massive glass though.

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It wasn’t the most ideal for the job, but I decided – if there is a will, there is a classy way.

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Step 4 – Laugh at yourself. Because in reality it’s freaken funny as heck.

I may be exceptionally awesome, but I am still just exceptionally human like the rest of us.

When I messaged my friend to tell her of the unfortunately hilarious events that ensued and were sadly keeping me from attending the evening sesh, she did write back and say she burst out laughing in the middle of the restaurant when she read it. I didn’t blame her.

Will I mistake liquid stevia for my eye drops again?

Absolutely not! I learned my lesson – But if you ever do find yourself in this situation, these  four steps worked like a charm, and would be my go to guidelines for a full recovery.

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So here I be, instead of dressed up in a classy establishment, I am having ‘me time’, drinking tea, writing, and doing some sowing. Also things I love.

Yup, life is so sweet and calorie free. As per usual, I am still loving life. Me and my squinty eye.