Wednesday Weekly May 9: Oh Canada (& Pepperettes)

Everyone knows I love to visit Canada and Thunder Bay in particular. They also know that when I come to Thunder Bay, I hit it hard. This trip to Thunder Bay was no different. On my last visit, I was on a mission for an amethyst for an engagement ring. This visit I was on a mission for pepperettes.

Last week’s Wednesday Weekly was dedicated to the things I did in Wisconsin and Minnesota. This week’s shows what I did in Canada and my drive back to Texas. If you think I did a lot last week, I did almost double when I was in Canada. I told you when I come to Thunder Bay I hit it hard!

After getting a good night’s rest at the La Quinta in Duluth, I hit the road for Thunder Bay.

My first stop was a Holiday gas station to get some gas.

Other than topping off in Grand Portage, I drove straight through to the border. Of course, I spent about half an hour in secondary questioning. Impulsive traveling definitely can hold you up at the border. My car got searched, and the border guards finally sent me on my way.

Honestly, I expect to go into secondary questioning anyway so I make that a part of the plan. I know it’s going to happen when I see the border guard filling out a little pad of paper as they’re asking me questions. After the questions are done, I’m asked to park the car in the small parking lot and go inside.

I’ve got this routine down well. I’ve always been treated with respect and professionalism. It sounds like the computer just flags me, and it’s their job to question me further. Sometimes going inside is a bonus because I can get a recommendation on a place or two to visit. Funny thing is some of the border guards at Pigeon River are familiar with this blog.

Upon going to Thunder Bay, I immediately started my pepperette quest. I ended up hitting up eight different places in total (read about it all here).

In the middle of hitting up meat shops, I hit up the marina. It was still frozen over!

After that, it was time to check into my hotel. This time I opted for Shoreline Motor Hotel because I was looking for an adventure. I can tell you the stay at Shoreline was definitely an adventure! You can read about it here.

Seeing how disgusting my room was, I quickly headed to Walmart. I wanted to get some disinfectant products. They had those, and surprisingly they were selling beer. I see Ontario is starting to loosen up its alcohol laws.

I disinfected my room and essentially left it cleaner than how I got it. I felt a bit more comfortable and I went to bed early to get a good night’s sleep. The next morning I’d continue my pepperette quest and would have an action filled night.

I woke up and tried a bunch more pepperettes. I also made it to Canadian Superstore in search of local products.

I put what I bought back in the hotel room and then walked over to the marina again.

After my walk around the frozen marina, I headed over to Wolfhead Coffee. I was looking to get my caffeine fix straight from the source and also to catch up with Dan. They were making fresh coffee when I arrived. I made sure to get a bag to bring back with me. I also got some smoked wild rice to try.

I had a little time to kill, but not much. I went to the hotel and relaxed a bit. I didn’t stick around for long, as it was time to go to CILU.

I first sat in on my friend Ryan’s program Lipstick and Leather.

Right after Lipstick and Leather, came Glam Roxx. Glam Roxx is hosted by my friend Matt (who I obviously know through Ryan). I stuck around and profiled his show for my blog.

After Matt’s show, Ryan, Matt, and I planned to hit up the town. I offered to stay sober and be the designated driver. We ended up at Cheer’s and then hitting up Dragon’s Den, The Wayland, and The Bar. I can tell you by the end of the night I had a heck of a sugar rush from all the pop I drank!

The next morning, I pretty much holed up in my hotel room to work on the blog. Such is the life of a travel blogger. It wasn’t really until dark when I was completely done with last week’s Wednesday Weekly.

I met up with Ryan again. Matt was also up for round two. This time my work was done and I planned to celebrate. Ryan’s dad gave Ryan and I a ride to a house party. Matt was already there. We had a couple of drinks and then everyone from the party walked downtown to The Apollo.

We then headed to On Deck for a drink, but ultimately ended up back at The Apollo to finish the night.

The night was soon over and I had a great time! It was awesome meeting a bunch of new people and also hanging out with old friends. Sadly, the next morning I’d have to leave Thunder Bay to head back to Texas.

I woke up and hit the road. I made a quick pitstop at Metro to spend some of my Canadian cash and then headed back down to Austin.

The drive was extremely windy and I got horrible gas mileage. It took me about 24-25 hours of driving, but I was back in Austin. Now it’s time to try all the local products I bought in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Thunder Bay.

There’s a lot of things to try and I can only eat so much. It’ll take me a while to literally digest everything I tried, but I can say the stuff I’ve tried so far has been good. This trip up north was fun and I can’t wait to visit again!

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