I grew up in the small town of Port Hope and loved it. I loved the sense of community there, I loved getting involved in the town, I loved being able to walk downtown and know everyone who was there. I have been living in Toronto for ten years now and while I absolutely love it, I sometimes miss that feeling of a small town. If I could split my life equally between the city and country, I would jump on that opportunity in a second.
I had always wanted to visit Thunder Bay. It held some romance to me. This city in Northern Ontario so very far away. Isolated from practically everything and yet a city on it’s own. My good friend Erin lives in T. Bay so last summer, a bunch of us ladies planned a long weekend visit to see her. While a big chunk of our time there was spent in Erin’s apartment laughing and catching up (I swear I came back with a six-pack from all the giggling), I did manage to see some of T. Bay and it’s surroundings. When the ladies picked me up fro the airport with a sign that said “T-Pain’s latest thang”, I knew it was going to be one of the greatest weekends of the summer.
When I think of Northern Ontario and Thunder Bay, I think of rock and trees. While in T. Bay we had to spend a day outside to take in the beauty of the nature so we headed to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. There we had a picnic and hiked but most importantly, I took a dip in Lake Superior. Let me tell you, it was the coldest body of water that this body has yet to enter but when in T. Bay…
One afternoon we took a trip to Grand Marais in Minnesota which is a cute little down with some really cute little shops. There we had a fabulous lunch overlooking the water at a place called The Angry Trout. Hello fish and chips!
One of the highlights of the weekend was brunching at the Thunder Bay Restaurant. It quickly became one of our favourite places ever. The owner of the restaurant, Denise Friday, does it all – taking the orders, cooking the food and collecting the cash. We were told to go behind the counter and get our own coffee (cream was in the fridge!). When our food was ready, she would yell our names from the kitchen to come and collect it. If you do not eat all of the food on your plate, she charges you twenty-five cents. The money later goes to charity. What a lovely lady, that Denise. 🙂 As a photographer, I almost died when I saw the decor in the joint: I loved all of the sign and mementos hanging and I could not take enough photos of it.
Our original plan to get to the T. Bay was to do the drive. I have had dreams of driving along the Great Lakes and getting lost in it all. Due to time restrictions and the fact that we were all traveling from three different cities, we opted to fly. I was happy that my favourite airline, Porter, flies to Thunder Bay and I got a great deal. As always, the flight was awesome, on-time and super convenient. Anything that saves me that $50 cab ride to Pearson Airport is a great thing. Here is a photo of the view from the island where Porter is located. Toronto is pretty.