It’s been a long 18 months or so, a time during which many of us haven’t left the confines of our own four walls or, if we were lucky – we at least had a patio or a balcony to provide a welcome change of scenery. But now, now it’s time to venture out, with friends, meet for a coffee or perhaps even a particular beverage of choice (if you catch my drift) and enjoy the opportunity to socialize with others again. Fair warning though, you might want to change out of your pyjama pants! It’s time for coffee at a café – don’t you agree?

If you said a resounding, “Yes!” where will you be going and who will meet you there? What precautions will you take, if any and will you sit outside or inside? For some folks, there’s still a lot to think about when it comes to dining out or even grabbing a coffee at your local McDonald’s. Regional restrictions still apply depending on where you live and when you are a “mature adult,” no matter what shape you’re in, chances are it just makes sense to take a few extra precautions. After all – you might have travel plans in your future, or grandchildren you want to hug. We might be looking for reasons to get outdoors but as seniors, we still want to be careful about it. 

Coffee Anyone? Who is YOUR Favourite?

What’s your favourite coffee chain? We know many folks who say that the traditional brew at McDonald’s is unpretentious, tastes great and is a reliable “go to” beverage every, single, time. Amintro readers living in Canada may argue this, pointing instead to the ubiquitous Tim Horton’s coffee chain located on what feels like every street corner! In fact, Tim Horton’s sells about 54% of all take out coffee sold in Canada, even though in a 2019 poll, McDonald’s McCafe topped the rankings as Canada’s favourite cup of coffee. At least both offer indoor and outdoor dining options so they can accommodate you whatever your preference is. We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about Starbucks, the Seattle based giant of coffee consumption, who dominate in the American market. The chain has long offered comfortable indoor experiences with many of their coffee shops resembling lounges, living rooms and even some with an almost bar-like atmosphere. Outdoors however, depending on location is a little harder to predict what might be available. Where are you heading when you head out for coffee? Maybe you have a favourite small, quaint and local coffee shop, or you frequent a great place that also offers a “Seniors” discount. We love to share great information with our fellow Amintronians so why not head over to our Facebook page and share your thoughts and recommendations on good coffee there! 

When You Head Out – Who Is It With?

It might seem like an obvious question but we’re finding some folks are still pretty choosey with who they choose to have coffee with. Close friends who feel similarly might rank ahead of family whom you feel uncomfortable going out with. Are you actually asking people the tough questions like, “Are you vaccinated?” If you do ask, are you prepared to hang out regardless of their answer? Do you have some friends you are willing to visit with outside but not inside? Are you ready to dine with more than one friend or more than one couple or currently limiting outings to “one on one” visits only? It’s a lot to think about and we’re not even at the stage of asking whether you are ready to get on an airplane or stay overnight at a hotel! 

To Mask or Not To Mask – That is the Question.

We’re not really going to get into a debate – we know people have a wide variety of opinions on the topic, likely influenced by such factors as their individual health and/or the health of those around them. The reason we bring it up – is you will have to think about this issue (just like the others we’ve mentioned) when it comes to inviting friends or family to meet you for coffee and a muffin on a Sunday morning at your local bistro. First of all, will the restaurant, diner, bistro or coffee shop require you to be masked? You may want to check that out first. Are vaccine passports a thing in your neighbourhood, town or city, and if so, you may find mask mandates are also in place. You’ve waited this long to go out for coffee – make sure you are fully prepared for an enjoyable experience by doing a little planning ahead of time!

Whether it’s actually a cup of coffee that’s your destination, or you choose to meet up with friends at your favourite local pub and enjoy a beer or glass of wine, these days, there is a lot more to think about than what to wear and who will be your designated driver! A morning coffee on a lovely fall day might make the decision to venture out a little easier because even cooler patio weather is fine for enjoying a warm beverage. Heading out to a bar or restaurant for a drink might be a different and/or more difficult decision. Smart restaurants will know to cater to older adults who have the disposable income and the time available to dine out. Many have already made dining out safer with menu options that include the ability to read a menu from your own cellphone using a QR code rather than handling an actual paper menu. You might want to be sure to bring your “cheater” glasses with you if that’s the case. We may not think of ourselves as old but our eyes have been working hard for 50+ years – give them a break! Go ahead, step outside of your pyjama pants and put on some lip gloss or a shirt with a collar! Get out and enjoy life now that we can and ask a friend or two to join you – perhaps even a friend you made the Amintro way!