The Summer Grind

This was the summer of libraries and mountains, of books and trees.

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Joffre Lakes

Beginning in May, I spent grueling hours at the library studying for the MCAT exam (Still waiting upon my scores and I am getting extremely antsy about it.). Everyday began bright and early. I would hitch a ride to the local university with my mom who was off to work, then I would head to the library or a quiet building to begin a long day of reviewing content, practicing questions, watching endless Khan Academy videos and memorizing equations. My brain was crammed so full of formulas, terms and techniques that I actually breathed a sigh of relief on exam day.

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Grouse Mountain

Throughout this uphill roller-coaster climb of studying, I went on a few of my bucket list hikes on the west coast. These hikes were a literal breath of fresh air away from the books and the libraries.

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Saint Mark’s Summit

Although the uphill may have left me struggling to catch a breath, my legs screaming with fatigue and my heart pounding at an insensible rate, the view at the top of the mountain made every sweat-stained step worthwhile. From hiking Saint Mark’s Summit, to Joffre Lakes, to the grueling Grouse Grind, these hikes seemed to parallel the MCAT study grind. I have to trust that like the upwards climb of a hike, my hard studying for the MCAT will have paid off. Fingers crossed.

-Bel


No recipe today but here’s few cafe reviews from my study breaks and post hike grubs.

1. Nemesis Coffee
Address: 302 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm Sat-Sun 9am-5pm

Amazing food, coffee, tea and pastries. My friend and I (hi Grace) came here after doing the Grouse Grind. I fell in love the moment we walked in. Bright and airy with tons of seating, this coffee shop screams Vancouver. I got the avocado toast and Grace got the salmon roesti. Both dishes were bright, light and packed with flavour. This cafe is known for their coffee but since it was later in the day, I didn’t want to risk not being to sleep at night and passed up on it. Grace however did enjoy a cup and said it was amazing. Next time I come back, I’ll be sure to try a Kouign Amann (an underrated and obscure but my absolute favourite French pastry) and a cup of joe.

2. Yi Fang Tea
Address: 1131-8328 Capstan Way, Richmond, BC
Hours: Everyday 11:30am-11pm

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One particularly difficult study day, I decided to end my review early and to walk over to the grand opening of Richmond’s Yi Fang Tea instead of wallowing in my frustrations. Knowing that the tea shop was having a $2 drink deal for their fresh fruit tea, I anticipated a wait. Lo and behold, when I reached the counter to order, the cashier informed me that the wait for the drinks was one hour. ONE HOUR. But, since I had already made the commitment to walk 25 mintes to reach the shop, I decided to stick out the wait. Am I crazy? Maybe (though I did made use of the time by doing my flashcards). Was the drink worth the wait? Maybe not. Was it worth the 2$ deal? Definitely. The tea was truly fresh with passion fruit pulp, slices of apples and slices of orange. It was a wonderful treat for the hot summer day. A little sweet but this can usually be customized. If I were to return here, I would try their signature brown sugar pearl milk tea. I’ve heard so many good things about these pearls but also that the chances of getting it are slim. They only make this drink at certain times a day with a limited number each time.

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