Although I have only been living in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for just over one month, I recently had the opportunity to be the expert on the area when touring around with my friend from back home, Melissa.
Melissa and I have been friends since my first day at Reid’s Dairy. I had no idea what I was doing and was brave enough to ask Mel for help and thank goodness I did because now I cannot imagine not having her as a friend. So of course, I wanted her to come see my new apartment!
After weeks of trying to coordinate our days off, we finally set a day for her to come to the apartment and stay over. Immediately, my brain went into tour guide mode. What would I show her, where would I take her? With only one month worth of experiences in the area myself, I created a plan of things to do while she was here with my limited knowledge of the area.
Stop 01/ Moose Winooski’s
After her long drive to Kitchener and hours of catching up together, we were ready for dinner! Once Jake was done work, the three of us headed to our favourite spot to take guests when they come to the area – Moose Winooski’s. Because the restaurant only has two locations, one in Kitchener and one in Barrie, we often take guests here because it is somewhere unique that they can’t go to at home. As always, the food was delicious and the company was even better. With our bellies full we headed home and got some sleep, ready for the next day’s adventure.
Stop 02/ Picard’s Peanuts
The first stop on our day of exploring was actually Mel’s idea. She had visited a friend that was attending the University of Waterloo a few years before and remembered going to this peanut outlet. Seeing as Mel and I both share a love for peanuts and were restricted from eating them because of Reid’s Dairy’s peanut free facility, we were both excited to go to Picard’s Peanuts. The outlet is just outside of St. Jacob’s, North of Kitchener, and was super easy to find. Inside, there were dozens of different kinds of peanuts. Potato chip crusted, barbeque roasted, jumbo, mini, shelled, and more! There were beautiful gift baskets made up, peanut brittle, sponge toffee, candy, chocolates and more. It was a sweet tooth heaven. Needless to say, we both bought a fair bit of delicious treats.
Stop 03/ Chapters
Because I now work at Chapters in Kitchener, I often make this one of my spots to stop when I have friends over. Not only do I get to show people where I work, but I also get a 30% off employee discount that I offer to my friends if they have anything they need or want and then I buy it for them. I bought a couple of Christmas presents while we were there and then we were on our way to our next destination.
Stop 04/ Jimmy’s Minis
This is one of the best stops when touring my friends around, and is not well known in the area. I actually found this place while I was with a friend from College who was visiting the apartment recently, and I haven’t forgotten about it since. Jimmy’s Minis is a small doughnut shop in a tiny plaza in Kitchener. The doughnuts are delicious with flavours ranging from Cookies and Creme, Peanut Butter and Caramel, Maple Bacon to Apple Crumble and more. For only $8.00, you can purchase a dozen of these tasty treats. We each picked out our dozen and were on our way.
Stop 05/ CF Fairview Park Mall
Since moving to the area, I haven’t had the time to go to the mall, but I knew that Kitchener-Waterloo is known for some of it’s big malls and Mel and I love to shop so I was excited to experience this mall for the first time as well. We grabbed some lunch in the CF Fairview Park Mall food court once we arrived and then began our journey. The mall was fairly large, although we were surprised to find that it was only one floor. There was a Walmart attached to the mall, which we have never seen but thought was a good idea. We spent hours browsing clothing racks, finding good deals and enjoying each others company. I was able to find some shirts, a bath bomb, hand soap and some Christmas decorations for the apartment.
Stop 06/ Cineplex Cinemas Kitchener & VIP
As a Virgin Mobile member, I receive various discount rewards through an app on my phone for clothing stores, restaurants and most recently, the theatre. So when I discovered that I had a two-for-one movie coupon through Virgin Mobile, Mel and I decided to catch a movie together. We browsed the movies in the theatre currently and settled on Keeping Up With the Joneses for some comedic relief to end our day. The movie ticket price was $12.99 in Cineplex Cinemas Kitchener & VIP, compared to $10.99 in Belleville and we were both trying to figure out why it was more expensive when we walked into the theatre. The reason it was $2.00 more, was because of the “VIP” part of the theatre. Each theatre was equipped with fully reclining, comfy sofa chairs rather than the typical theatre chairs, making the experience that much more amazing. There are separate theatres in the building that are fully VIP and cost extra as well, where you can order food to be brought directly to your seat before the movie begins. This theatre also has a fully licensed restaurant where you can enjoy a meal and an alcoholic beverage before or after your movie. It truly was a unique experience, even though we did not choose to upgrade to the full VIP treatment.
Overall, we had a very fun and event filled two days in Kitchener-Waterloo. We explored the area as tourists, but also made ourselves at home in my apartment by putting up some Christmas decorations and binge-watching Netflix movies at night. I am so thankful to have such amazing friends to come visit me from home, and to live in such a beautiful city that makes it so easy to be proud to show my friends around.
Stay tuned next week for some tips on Christmas decorating.
Until next time,