Category Archives: Canada

Revisiting Tim Hortons

It’s always exciting when new businesses show up in my home town. Recently, in Prior Lake, we acquired a few new restaurants and businesses, but the most exciting to me was the arrival of Tim Hortons. Neal and I stopped at a Tim Hortons while traveling on our honeymoon and I have found myself wishing ever since that there was one near home.

Two weeks back, on July first, I decided to venture over to our local Tim Hortons for the first time. Boy was that a mistake, which I am currently laughing about. I failed to recall that it was indeed Canada Day and that Tim Hortons is a Canadian company. The entire place was packed with local Canadians and they had no donuts left, which is what I was on a mission for.

Sadly, after standing in line for fifteen minutes until I could finally see the doughnut case was empty, I left empty handed. I decided to try again the following weekend. This time I went through the drive through. I was disappointed to find out that they do not have old fashioned chocolate or blueberry doughnuts, so my husband and I settled for something other than what we were looking for. I did try the coffee, which I admit was quite tasty.

I cannot comment on the other food at Tim Hortons, because I have not tried it. They do have a vast menu and I could definitely see myself stopping in to try one of their sandwiches or other specialty items in the future. Their website will definitely make you hungry, the sandwiches look amazing. I would probably drink the coffee again, but not unless I were ordering something else off the menu to go with it.

After this experience I can truly say that I would be just as happy going over to Holiday for a doughnut when I’m going through that twice per year craving. Tim Hortons doughnut price is a little extreme when I know I can find something similar and just as tasty for a less. I had definitely built this business up in my head, but then again, Neal and I were also on our honeymoon, so everything looked pretty great.

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Diamond Estates – Niagara Falls

Yesterday I wrote an article regarding Neal’s and my trip to Niagara Falls. In that article I mentioned several of the activities we took part in; one activity in particular that I greatly enjoyed was our trip to Diamond Estates Winery. This trip was part of a hotel package deal, but you can definitely go there on your own as well.

If you love wine tasting and you like exploring different wineries, this is definitely a great side stop for you while visiting Niagara Falls. If you are like me, you will want a nice bottle of wine to go with your evening whirlpool experience. This winery has 10 different labels to choose from at all different price points.

While visiting Diamond Estates we took a tour of the winery, checked out the vineyard, and we got to taste four different wines. Overall, the complete time spent there was about an hour. There were plenty of opportunities to take photos and to check out the many wine labels that they offered.

The tour was great as far as providing insight into some of the different wine making processes. It was neat to learn about what makes ice-wine so unique. Even if you are not a wine drinker, this tour would be great for anyone who is interested in learning about wine making.

One of my favorite things about Diamond Estates is that Dan Aykroyd has his own wine there. His wine label is called Dan Aykroyd, and the label has a picture of a microphone on it. We did purchase one of his reds, I believe it was the Cabernet/Merlot; it had a very nice flavor to it.

If you leave the winery feeling frustrated because you can only bring so many bottles back to your country of origin, not to worry. Diamond Estates has a website where you can purchase all of your favorite wines. Just in case you get home and cannot remember which wines you liked, I would highly recommend making a few notes for future reference.

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An Overnight Trip To Niagara Falls

Every now and then I get the desire to go to Canada, overnight. Really I would like to visit for at least a week, but ironically, the two times I have gone were overnight trips. The first time, the group I was traveling with, drove from Island Lake, Wisconsin, to Thunder Bay. The second time, my newlywed husband and I drove from Sevierville, Tennessee to Ontario, to see Niagara Falls.

I don’t care who you are, sometimes you need a crazy adventure to spice up your life. I consider the length of drive to Canada, overnight, to be quite the adrenaline rush. When you know you only have so many hours to explore a place, you plan your time wisely and you do as many things as possible.

Granted on my first trip to Canada I didn’t see much. We went to dinner and then I went to bed. The entire ride up to Thunder Bay I had been in the sun, in the backseat of the car. I felt awful. So the people I traveled with had a blast, but I missed pretty much everything. One fun thing did come out of that trip; we met a couple of crazy Canadians who frequented the same festival as us each year. That following summer they were camped out two sites away from our group.

The second trip to Canada was part of Neal’s and my honeymoon. We had a blast. We took advantage of a Groupon that gave us a whirlpool suite within walking distance of Niagara Falls. Our package included a chocolate factory tour, as well as a wine tasting package at Diamond Estates winery, which Dan Aykroyd is partial owner of. We also received vouchers for several different restaurants in the area, which made choosing food a bit difficult.

While in Ontario we walked up the street, through the tourist zone, to Niagara Falls. We got to take tons of daylight pictures. We saw a street performer, who was singing Johnny Cash music. We took some time to just feel the spray off of the falls, which was a pretty neat experience, considering how far away the falls are.

When you visit Niagara, you can take a tour of the falls via boat. There were tons of people on boats that were shuttling back and forth between the falls. Everyone on these boats had rain coats to keep them dry. I personally enjoyed just watching the boats and people, from a distance.

After we’d had our fill of the falls in daylight, we decided to head back to our hotel for a little downtime. I needed to take in one of my favorite travel perks, the whirlpool. We made sure to ask the front desk attendant what time the falls would be lit up so that we could go back and get night photos. Unfortunately, we were sadly misinformed.

I was under the impression, as was the front desk attendant that the falls would be lit up all night long. That was not the case. When we arrived back at the falls, they were no longer lit up except for a couple of small spotlights. We were very disappointed that we had missed out on one of the most spectacular views of Niagara, and by mere minutes.

If you decide to take a trip to Niagara Falls, be sure to see the falls in the daylight as well as at night. Don’t make the mistake we made and think that the falls are lit up all night long. We now have to take another overnight trip back to Ontario to experience the night lights of Niagara Falls, which actually sounds like fun to me.

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