YYC Hot Chocolate Festival

We’ve had a very busy weekend! As we stayed in Calgary for the long weekend, we’ve had time for lots of adventures with friends.

Saturday morning I hit up CrossFit Sunalta with Meg and Wade. After doing some pretty tough WODs on Thursday and Friday, the last thing I wanted to do was workout but it’s hard to say no to a team WOD on Saturdays.

Feb 13

I got a heavy front squat of 165# and tried 175# twice but failed. The WOD was a real burner. Meg and I worked with Arden and were well-matched, but we all wished we had a fourth person to share the work with! I think we rowed 204 calories in the 20 minutes and got through all but 158 reps of the 750. Close but no cigar. Fun WOD though!

When I got home, Dana and I did a big house clean and walked Penny 6 km. I was utterly pooped after!

We got cleaned up, picked Meg up, then drove downtown to check out Market Collective with Haley and her boyfriend Mike. I’d never been before! It annoyed me to pay admission for a farmers’ market-type event, but I was impressed by all the vendors’ wares. No purchases were made by me though. Dana bought a nice bike print for our eventual bike art gallery wall.

From Eau Claire, we started our YYC Hot Chocolate Fest tasting. The festival has been running for five years now and supports Calgary Meals on Wheels.  Different vendors all over Calgary craft special hot chocolate recipes to compete for best hot chocolate in the city.

Up first, home of last year’s winning hot chocolate, The Bean Stop in the Eau Claire mall.  Meg and I waited about twenty minutes in line to try the Black Magic hot chocolate.  The Bean Stop only had one older gentleman working, hence the wait.  The gentleman talked to us and explained all the ingredients, all the while crafting the very elaborate Black Magic.  Apparently it has magical aphrodisiac powers, but I can’t really speak to that.  🙂

The verdict: it was traditional hot chocolate spiced up with orange and cinnamon, and about three different kinds of sprinkles and “magic” dust on top.  Tasty for sure!

Then we walked up the river to Kensington for more tastings. Wild & Raw had the most expensive offering of the day – $10! But it was my favorite with a mild salted caramel flavour and a nice smooth texture.  Up the street at Higher Ground we tried a Black Forest-flavored hot chocolate. Least favorite of the day, but I really don’t like Black Forest.  The last stop was Pie Cloud for their spin on classic hot chocolate. The whip cream was divine and the hot chocolate was very rich. It was my second favorite of the day. A few of us tried some pie too and they really liked it!


Going as a group of five was a great way to try quite a few offerings without feeling totally sick after. We’d just buy one hot chocolate at each stop and split it – hopefully no one has cooties!  The walk from Eau Claire to Kensington was a nice break too.  With all that sugar, we definitely had energy to burn!

All totaled, I think I walked at least 12 kilometers on Saturday!  It was a very active day for me.  When Dana and I got home, we had a late dinner of chili and sweet potatoes and watched a bit of TV before heading to bed.  We needed to be well-rested for Sunday’s hike!



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