I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia and still live there today when I am not on the road traveling. Recently I was contacted by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission and I was asked if I wanted to participate in their #BigDayDowntown campaign. Basically they would give me a $150 visa credit card to go use in downtown Halifax however I wanted. Of course I said yes immediately and I started thinking about all of the awesome things I could buy and do with the money. However there was a bit of a twist as we were suppose to take suggestions on ways to spend our money from our viewers/readers. They were calling it “People’s Choice”. I crossed my fingers and hoped that people suggested a fancy dinner at the Bicycle Thief or a nice relaxing massage. Here is how my big day downtown in Halifax unfolded.
I surprisingly got a lot of suggestions to go to the Urban 30 Blowdry Bar to get my hair done for a fancy night out. It sounds like a really awesome, fun place and a few of my friends have been and loved it but I just didn’t have anywhere fancy to go with a fancy up do, so I kept looking for more suggestions.
In the end I came up with a pretty good list of places to visit and I turned the #BigDayDowntown into the “treat yourself” day and spent mostly all of my moola on me and me alone. #YOLO
My first stop was to Spirit Spa (a seemingly popular spot amongst myself and fellow bloggers). From sitting at a computer all of the time my shoulders and neck were screaming for a good massage so I went with their 30-minute Knot Again massage to work out all of my kinks for $55.
After my massage my second stop was to Rousseau Chocolatier for a little more self-indulgence. Newly opened in May I learned about this delicious gem of a find from twitter. How had I gone these past 3 or 4 months living in Halifax and not knowing there was a chocolate store like this in the city? Owned and operated by a young married couple, she is Canadian and he is a chocolate master from France, the small store with a viewing window into the kitchen where the chocolate magic happens is truly delightful. Keeping things simple they sell various hand made chocolates, macarons, and only a couple other items as well as hot chocolate that is literally the best thing you will ever taste.
To spoil myself (and because I also knew that people at home would be looking to steal some of my chocolate goodies) I went for a box of 12 chocolates which came with a pricey price tag of $19. However once I tried some (RE: all of them) I definitely understood why. Quite possibly the best chocolate I have ever eaten in my entire life. Literally.
I went for the dark chocolate and chili chocolate, the dark chocolate and sea salt (actually fleur de sel from Bali), the orange and balsamic, the caramel and the cranberry with peanut butter chocolates. As plain as it may sound my favourite was definitely the caramel. So freaking good it is impossible to describe its oozy gooey deliciousness. I have no photos of the oozy gooey bits however as it didn’t last long enough after I had had my first bite. You will just have to trust me on this one.
I felt bad spending all of my money on just myself so my next stop was to one of my favourite restaurants in the city Ristorante Amano. However instead of dining on their delicious Pollo pizza (with chicken, goat cheese, grape tomatoes and balsamic syrup) I bought a $20 gift card for my friend Sarah as it was her birthday. Not only did I get to share my money around to a business that I love but I also got to hopefully make someones day a bit better and who knows maybe we will go back to Amano and enjoy the gift card together.
My last stop of me “me day” in downtown Halifax was at one of my favourite hangouts, the Economy Shoe Shop. There is nothing more that I love to do on a weekend then grab a beer and some nachos with good friends at “the shoe”. I think it might actually be impossible for me to go to the shoe and not order some nachos. Nachos that should and must be shared with friends. When I went for nachos on this day however sadly all of my friends were working and couldn’t join me. I don’t know what I was thinking ordering a plate of these nachos for myself. Fast forward 30 minutes later, I’m stuffed and it looks like I have hardly made a dent in them. I gave up. Without a doubt these are my favourite nachos in the entire city.
Add up the costs, plus tip and taxes and my Big Day Downtown came to about $142.01 with $7.99 left to spare. Now what else should I spend it on in the city?
Make sure you are following Downtown Halifax on Facebook and twitter and stay tuned for announcements as soon they will be giving away more visa cards fully loaded for you the public to use and enjoy in Downtown Halifax too!
Special thanks to Downtown Halifax for including me in this years Big Day Downtown campaign. As always all opinions and views expressed are my own.