TBT – Antiquing in Almonte

Almonte Antique Market
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The last stop in Almonte was to spend a little time antique shopping at the Almonte Antique Market.

Tough life I live, eh? Shopping? Ugh! Twist my rubber arm, why don’t you?

Anywho…this indoor market didn’t look like much from the outside – but when you stepped in – holy smokes! With multiple levels, and hundreds of vendors – we ended up spending so much time here we almost missed our lunch reservations!
The Almonte Antique Market had everything from clothing and jewelry to housewares and furniture. Comic books, posters, trinkets, there was so much to look at and appreciate!
Below are some of the amazing finds at Almonte Antique Market.
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You can learn more about the Almonte Antique Market HERE

Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum

Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
Sometimes – there are places that do only one thing…and they do it really, really well. When I went to Almonte, ON – I was lucky enough to visit one such place – Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum.
Now – off the hop, I have to tell you that getting to Wheelers Pancake House from Almonte, ON was not an easy task. There were many times we seriously questioned whether we were going the right way. We had to drive down narrow, winding roads that were covered in snow and ice. And on top of that – we barely had any phone signal so we couldn’t even check Google Maps or anything!

Note to self: If the car you are driving does not have GPS – print paper maps when you are in rural areas!

Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum

But, alas – we made it!

Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
The Wheelers Family
Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum is a family run business. Back in 1978, Vernon and his wife Judy tapped their first trees and their business hasn’t stopped growing since! Not only do they have the Wheelers Pancake House on the massive property, there is also the Wheelers Maple Heritage Museum, Wheelers Sugar Bush, barns and playgrounds and you can even go along the trails year-round.
Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
We only had enough time on our agenda to grab some lunch at Wheelers Maple Pancake House. So after we placed our orders I went to check out some of the maple offerings available. Everything is made on site! If you are a maple lover, (c’mon – who isn’t?) you will be in heaven here! Maple sugar, maple butter (yes – butter!), maple candies and pure maple syrup are all available. You can even purchase gift baskets and wedding/party favours!

A maple themed wedding…how Canadian would that be? LOL

Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
The menu at Wheelers Maple Pancake House is…minimal. But, being a pancake house – what else would you expect? LOL We had been craving pancakes all day and were excited to finally get to Wheelers after an epic* drive from Almonte. We each ordered pancakes with sausages and got one dish with a slice of french toast…just for good measure.

*epic = scary

 

Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum
As expected, the breakfast for lunch dishes were delicious. The pancakes were massive. Seriously…like the size of my face and I’ve been told I have a big head…so…yeah…LOL
The Wheeler family combined several local and Mennonite recipes to come up with their secret, signature pancake recipe. And the sausages…well, of course they were maple sausages and of course they were fantastic. Obvs. Made on site with lean pork, spices and their very own pure maple syrup. Delicious.
If you are in the Ottawa Valley, passing through – definitely stop by Wheelers! It’s well worth a visit!

You can learn more about Wheelers Maple Pancake House, Sugar Camp and Maple Museum HERE

Disclaimer: Lunch was complimentary as part of the Press Trip to Lanark County, however my views are, as always – entirely my own and those maple sausages really were bomb dot com.

Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen

Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen
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When I go on a trip to a small town, I always try to find a family-run inn or bed and breakfast to stay at. The feeling of “home” while away is always nice.

Don’t get me wrong – a little spoiling and pampering at a 5-star resort is always nice too!

So when I started planning my trip to Lanark County with Lanark Tourism, I was very happy to come across Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen. It had the “homey” feel I love, yet was still upscale, especially with their on-site restaurant – ARKitchen.
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Located on the Mississippi River, Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen is a heritage estate in Almonte. The inn itself isn’t large, with only a handful of rooms – but the property is spacious. You can wander down to the waterfront of the Mississippi River or relax on their patios before taking a dip in the river – weather permitting, obvs!
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Though it was winter when I visited, and everything was covered in snow – limiting the patio time to next to nil – the views, as you can see, were beautiful. Catching both the sunset and sunrise was a sight to be seen. There are also gardens you can wander around and even use host events or weddings.
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Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen is a converted estate. So after walking up the flight of stairs to get to our room I was puzzled as to why we didn’t have keys for the room. That’s when one of the owners showed up that you actually didn’t get a key. You entered a 4 digit personal code for access to your room!

Très cool.

I didn’t know what to expect when walking into the room. Pictures on websites can be decieiving…but I was pleasantly surprised when we entered! It looked just like the pictures online. Bright, airy and a gorgeous Tiffany Blue colour on the walls.

I loved it!

 

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After settling into our room, we were asked what coffee or tea we would like brought to our room before breakfast the next morning. After having an amazing dinner at Cafe Postino, this little touch was greatly appreciated! It was exactly what we needed to get started on the second half of our trip! I sat at the antique desk in the morning, getting some writing done and getting ready for another busy 12 hours.

It’s the little things that count, right?

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Not only were we asked about the coffee and tea for the morning, we were also asked to decide what we would like for breakfast the next day. A lot of times you will only have the option to choose one dish from the menu. At Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen, you can order whatever you’d like!

Knowing we would be hungry, with a busy day ahead of us…we ordered a few different options.

ARKitchen often change their menu depending on what is available locally. The chef thrives and encourages using fresh, local ingredients wherever possible on the menu. Not only is one of the owners a chef, they also brought in a chef from Montreal who has worked in some of the top restaurants in the city!

Side note – check out the presentation of the breakfast dishes below. How beautiful are they?

 

Shirred Eggs, Greens, Brie & Breadcrumbs

I have to admit…I had absolutely no idea what Shirred Eggs were before we ordered them! LOL I pulled out good old Google before the dish arrived and found out they are eggs, baked in a flat bottom dish. These were baked with greens, brie cheese and topped with in-house made breadcrumbs.

It was delicious! We dipped our toast sticks in too!

Coddled Eggs With Toast Strips

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Michelle had grown up eating Coddled Eggs. I, like many things, had never tried them before. I know, I know – my eating habits have been…limited – but I’m working at expanding them! Sheesh…let it go, guys!
Anyways…the coddled eggs, let’s get back to that. They were fantastic! Again, taking our toast strips – we used them for dipping. This was a nice, light egg dish. As with every other dish, there was a serving of fresh fruit on the side as well.

 

Poached Pear Red Fife Pancakes

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Now these bad boys were something else! Pancakes made with red fife wheat and poached pears. All.Of.The.Noms! Lanark County is the maple syrup capital – so I knew when we ordered the dish that the pancakes would be served with the good stuff.

And boy, were they ever!

The pancakes were light and fluffy, though made with red fife wheat. The pears, perfectly poached added to the consistency of the pancakes. I just couldn’t stop eating them!
We may not have a lot of time to spend at Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen – but the time we did spend there was pristine. From sitting on the upstairs patio watching the sunset, to laying in bed watching movies after an amazing dinner, then devouring a delicious breakfast – everything at Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen was just lovely.
I would love to go back to Almonte and stay at the Almonte Rverside Inn and Kitchen in the summer. Spend some time laying on the dock catching some rays before taking a dip in the Mississippi River!

You can learn more about the Almonte Riverside Inn and Kitchen HERE

Disclaimer: My stay and breakfast were complimentary as part of the Press Trip to Lanark County, however my views are, as always – entirely my own and I really am looking forward to going back int eh summer!

Dinner at Cafe Postino in Almonte

One of the awesome perks of running awesomejennjenn.com is the chance to try out new restaurants and dishes – especially when I’m travelling. When I brought my friend Michelle to Almonte, ON for a fun 24-hour trip, we had four different restaurant stops in our 24-hour itinerary. LOL
First we had lunch at Mill Street Crepe Company, and that was delicious. Then later that night it was time for dinner – and we made our way to Cafe Postino.
Cafe Postino opened in 2011 and have devoted clientele of locals, tourists and business people that continue to visit Cafe Postino on account of it’s authentic, Italian cuisine. Italian is by far, my favourite cuisine and I knew Michelle was a fan as well – so I was VERY excited to try Cafe Postino in Almonte, ON.
Not only is the food amazing at Cafe Postino, the ambiance and people are too. Chef, and owner Steve along with his wife Claire are like those Italian grandparents you see in the movies that welcome you with nothing but hugs and smiles!

 “Steve draws upon family recipes from his roots in southern Italy using the most flavourful and freshest of ingredients to create preservative-free homemade dishes. He takes pride in the traditional pastas, sauces and custom desserts that are made at the café. The wine list is carefully chosen by Steve to complement the meals, including the daily specials offered at both lunch and dinner.”

I couldn’t stop watching Steve prepare the dishes in the open-concept kitchen
Italian Antipasto Di Affettati
After ordering a bottle of wine, we decided to start our meal off with an order of Italian Antipasto Di Affettati. A plate of Genova salami, capicollo, prosciutto and provolone cheese with marinated eggplant and black olives.
Shortly after, Claire brought over a pizza for Michelle and I to share. We hadn’t ordered it – but she insisted we try it! Piled high with fresh vegetables and crumbled goat cheese – this was a special pizza not on their every day menu.

I love thin crust pizzas – and this one was delicious!

Veal Postino with a demi-glaze, creamy Sambucca sauce
When we were placing our entree orders, I asked Claire what her favourite dish was. She couldn’t narrow it down to just one – so I asked what the most popular dish was. This was the Veal Postino. Scaloppine delicately dipped in flour and sauteed with butter, mushrooms, and green onion with a demi-glaze, creamy Sambucca sauce. This sauce is a specialty created in house and the dish was served with a side of pasta aglio e oilo, which is lightly spiced and topped with shaved parmesean cheese.

My mouth is watering as I write this.

That Sambucca sauce is like nothing I have ever tasted before! It was creamy and just, perfect. I’m not a fan of Sambucca shots (blame my days as a bartender when I did one too many) – but this had the taste of Sambucca, without the alcoholic burn.

Does that make sense?

Michelle opted for a dish that was the pasta special of the night – cheese and truffle stuffed ravioli in a tomato sauce. The pasta was so fresh and made in-house, stuffed with the perfect amount of cheese and truffles. I only tried one bite (because I was too busy stuffing my face with my delicious dinner) but Michelle insisted the pasta was delicious!

In fact, this was what she said, word for word: “I’d rate it a 10 out of 10 and I’m Italian!”

We decided to end the night on a sweet note with a shared tiramisu. Again, another creation in-house the tiramisu was Lady Finger’s dipped in espresso, layered with mascarpone cheese and lightly flavoured with a liquer.

All of the noms!

Dinner at Cafe Postino blew our expectations out of the water. As I mentioned, I’m so lucky that I get to try all of these different restaurants.
Michelle’s initial thought was “You wouldn’t expect such great quality food, from a small town restaurant like this!”
The food, the service, the ambiance – everything was just perfect. A great experience overall.
You can learn more about Cafe Postino HERE

Disclaimer: Dinner was complimentary as part of my Press Trip in Lanark County, however – as per usual the view are entirely my own (and Michelle’s ion this case) and I really do want to figure out how to reproduce the Sambucca sauce and/or go back for more!

Lunch at The Mill Street Crepe Company

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After a long day of driving – I couldn’t have been happier to finally reach our destination in Almonte, ON. With traffic, and other barriers – we were a tad later than we had hoped. Ok…more than a tad…but nonetheless, we made it to The Mill Street Crepe Company for a late lunch!

One of the great things about visiting small towns is that everything is within walking distance of each other…so, wine with lunch was a must!

As I mentioned, Almonte is a very small town. The owners of The Mill Street Crepe Company actually own the entire building where the restaurant is located – Heritage Court. This was such a quaint shopping area, with a yoga studio, florist, gift shop and a few other shops. They tried to keep the original architecture, as much as possible and you can still see the area where horses were tied up back in the day!

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Driving for hours, we worked up quite the appetite! After checking out the lunch menu and chatting with the owner – I settled on the Croque Monsieur with a Lyonnaise Salad. The Croque Monsieur was filled to the max with smoked ham, gruyere, roasted tomatoes and apple honey mustard. I couldn’t believe how much filling there was in this crepe! It was made fresh to order and the cheese was ooey, gooey goodness! LOL The Lyonnaise Salad was fresh and crisp made with frisee, bacon, egg and garlic croutons topped with a Dijon vinaigrette – perfect addition to the Croque Monsieur.

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Michelle ordered the Lemon Chicken Crepe with the Mill Street Salad. Again – the crepe was filled to the rim with chicken, thyme, fennel, chevre, tapenade and mushroom. The Mill Street salad was something very different made with in-house pickled onions and beets, chevre, candied walnuts and topped with a herb vinaigrette.

Puppet created by Noreen Young, a puppeteer (Under the Umbrella Tree)

We seriously didn’t expect the portions to be so large – especially since we ordered from the lunch menu! Not only was the food delicious, but the people were even nicer. They couldn’t have been more accommodating, working with our tight schedule. The owner actually stayed and chatted with us, filling us in on all the small town gossip! Kidding – he did, however, help us navigate our way through all the activities on our action-packed 24-hour itinerary. LOL
Almonte is a day-trip that a lot of Ottawa (and surrounding area) citizens make, They drive in and spend the day shopping in the antique markets (which you will hear more about in an upcoming post!), and apparently having lunch at Mill Street Crepe Company because the restaurant was quite busy when we showed up!
One thing I noticed, and loved, was that on the menu – for each crepe there was a wine pairing suggestion based on ingredients. I went with the suggested pairing and had a glass of Pinot Noir with my Croque Monsieur and it was a perfect match!

You can learn more about Mill Street Crepe Company HERE

Heading to Almonte Ontario

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Every now and then I get to do some pretty fun stuff…ok, more often than not I get to do some pretty fun stuff! LOL And sometimes I get to drag my friends along for the fun! That’s what happened last month when I went on another mini road trip.

Thanks to my awesome friends at Chevrolet Canada – I had access to the Chevrolet Trax again for my second trip to the Ottawa Valley. The last time I went to the Ottawa Valley I visited Perth and took the Chevrolet Trax. I got stuck in some absolutely terrible weather on the way back, so this time I was hoping for clear sailing.

Thankfully – that’s what we got!

 

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For this trip I was heading to Almonte, ON for a fun-filled 24 hours and I dragged brought my girlfriend, Michelle along. Michelle and I go WAY back…like, back to grade 3 back. It’s always fun times when you get to spend quality time with your best friends.

It was all jokes the entire 24 hours we were away!

 

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So…I woke up bright and early (ugh) and picked Michelle up and then we were on our way! When heading east from Toronto there is one stop you always have to make – and that’s the Big Apple. No…not THAT Big AppleTHIS Big Apple! LOL

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The Big Apple Ontario
Even if the water is frozen…LOL
The Big Apple Ontario
When you see a wishing fountain – you have to make a wish!

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Just like when I visited Perth, another stop along the way was in Tweed. This time – the lake was frozen and I tested my luck by standing on the ice in my TOMS boots!

Thankfully – I didn’t break the ice. LOL

 

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Almonte
, a small, scenic town sitting on the Canadian Mississippi River, is about 30-45 minutes outside of Ottawa. As I have mentioned, many times – I love going on these 24 hour road trips and discovering different small towns right here in our own backyard! The 24 hours we spent in Almonte (and surrounding area) was filled with a lot of activities! Delicious dinner…an amazing hotel that served one of the best breakfasts I have ever had…antique shopping…chocolate workshop tour and so much more!

I’m going to share our experiences over the next week here on the blog-a-roo!

Wanderlust Wishlist – Birthday Edition

*sigh*

I have written a few Wanderlust Wishlists here on the blog-a-roo, and one place that constantly remains at the top of said lists is Italy. For as long as I can remember – this has been the one place I constantly dream of visiting.
Italian is, by far, my favourite cuisine. The meats and cheeses, the pizza, the wine and the pasta! The more garlic the better – I say!

Oh…the pasta….all of the pasta! #FeedJJAllOfTheCarbs

I have never had a chance to visit Europe. I’ve travelled across (most of) Canada and the United States, and have visited the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Mexico – but never Europe. I’m not sure what’s held me back. The Caribbean trips I’ve been on have been all-inclusive so maybe the thought of planning a budget and going overseas has been daunting?

Either way – it’s time for this to change!

I have been going through some major changes in my life, both personally and professionally, and 2015 is definitely going to be a year of growth. I’m planning on breaking even more out of my comfort zone. I slowly started to in 2014, and will continue to do so in 2015. For example, I want to try a new restaurant every month. There are still so many restaurants I have yet to try here in the city, and even cuisines in general! I still haven’t tried Indian food! Another goal is to travel more this year. As often as possible, in fact.

I want to push myself, and my boundaries this year.

I am a huge fan of travelling solo and am starting to think that is exactly what I should do for my birthday. My birthday is at the end of October (October 25th, to be exact), and I’m beginning to brainstorm some plans to finally visit Italy! I’m hoping to go over for about a week and explore the different regions – most specifically, Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is the name of a district that encompasses five glorious towns, where small houses are surrounded by lush nature. Visitors to this district will be fascinated by the beauty of these five small villages, namely: Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.”

Seriously – how beautiful does it look there? It’s stunning! Anywhere with pink houses and buildings is a place that I should be…obvs!
The five small villages that combine Cinque Terre are rich in history. Monterosso al Mare was actually founded in AD 643! With hiking trails through vineyards and olive groves and coastal paths linking villages – Cinque Terre is a sight to be seen and I’m hoping to see it come October!
Disclaimer: All photos credited to http://www.italia.it/

TBT – The Beginning Of My Endless Love For Road Trips

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Back in 2010, I packed up my life into my tiny car and headed on the road. I had never really been on a road trip prior. I’d driven to Niagara Falls…but never really much further. So to not only head out on the road – but pack my life into a car and move somewhere new – was nerve wracking.

To say the least…

 

One of the major draws for my road trip to Las Vegas was that not only would I get to see and experience so many places I had never been…but at the end of it – I knew I had a fully furnished condo in sunny Las Vegas waiting for me!

Not too shabby, right?

 

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The Trip to Vegas – Nightly Stops:

Night One: Sarnia, ON
Night Two: Des Moines, IA
Night Three: Brighton, CO
Night 4: Richfield, UT
Though crossing the border wasn’t that easy, as I mentioned in my previous post…once we got through – it was such an incredible experience. Even though we had to make all new hotel reservations…
Driving through farm lands in Iowa to struggling to get up the Rocky Mountains because my car was so packed and altitude was not my friend – the whole experience was one for the books! Or…in this case…my blog. LOL
Once we got into the States, we thought it would be clear sailing. Then, next thing you know – too many hours had passed and there wasn’t a hotel in sight. Being as stubborn as I was am – I kept pushing myself to go a little bit further. Eventually, after more than 9.5 hours of driving…a hotel was in sight in Des Moines, IA. Hallelujah!

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The next night, I remember we stayed in a random, remote town in the mountains ont he outskirts of Brighton, Colorado. After driving all day, more than originally planned because of our “border delay” – all we wanted to do was get some food and sleep.
This small town had literally one road. The one pizza place was attached to the hotel. When we asked some people there questions about the town we were told that the majority of residents were recently released inmates from a prison not too far.

Umm….ok?!?

So we took every single thing out of our car, brought it all up to our room, bolted the door shut and tried to catch some zzz’s! Tried being the operative word!

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Once we hit Utah the next day, I knew we were close. We started seeing more and more desert landscape and left the scary mountain town far, far behind us!
Finding a small, mom and pop pizza and pasta shop was heaven at the end of that day! They had arcade games and ooeey, gooey pizza and pasta. I may have kicked butt at a game or two…but who’s counting? LOL

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We had hoped to take a little more time for this adventure, however the border delays put a wrench in those plans as we had to hurry to get to Las Vegas to pick up our condo keys. So, that meant 10+ hours of driving per day…not including stops and whatnot! So, needless to say – I was quite excited to finally get to Las Vegas! LOL
It was surreal driving into Las Vegas…knowing this would be my new home for an undetermined amount of time.
Being able to drive through all of these states, seeing different landmarks and just taking the entire beauty of everything in was something I wouldn’t change for the world.

This is how my love for road trips was born.

Getting behind the wheel and just exploring. Finding small, random towns and talking to the locals. Getting off the beaten path and being able to create your own. I love it!
I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to experience quite a few road trips…most of which I’ve already shared with you!

I have some more planned for 2015, and I’m looking forward to exploring even more!

 

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#NiagaraChilled – Two Weekends Left To Enjoy Winter Wine Fun!

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Last week I posted about visiting iYellow Wine Club and learning about Icewine and the #NiagaraChilled events planned every weekend throughout the month of January.
This past weekend I saw a lot of tweets from people down in Niagara enjoying the first weekend of #NiagaraChilled. In case you saw them, and are currently suffering from a case of FOMO – fear not! There are still two weekends left to enjoy the festivities! Below are some details of different events from the #NiagaraChilled website!

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SPARKLE AND ICE
This popular celebration in Niagara-on-the-Lake shines the spotlight on area Icewinemakers, pairing their VQA wines with Icewine inspired tastings from the Signature Kitchen Chefs. Enjoy live Salsa music in the beautiful setting of the Grand Hall in the Courthouse and make it an evening to remember with an official toast served outdoors in the Icewine Village at 10:30 pm.

 

Friday January 16, 8 pm – 11 pm
ICEWINE DINNER WITH JAMIE KENNEDY AT WINDOWS BY JAMIE KENNEDY
Niagara’s “liquid gold” is on full display in every aspect of this evening. Icewine’s decadent, silky texture brought the attention of the international wine world to Niagara, and the recognition and praise continues to pour in. Niagara is spoiled with riches and we’re rejoicing at Windows.

 

Friday January 16

 

FLASH AND PANACHE COCKTAIL COMPETITION
Shaken, stirred, muddled or mixed; if you’re a fan of creative cocktails, don’t miss the Flash and Panache Icewine Cocktail Competition. In a nod to the versatility of Icewine, this annual outdoor party in the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Village has Niagara’s top mixologists shaking things up in an attempt to make the most beloved Icewine cocktail. You’ll have the opportunity to sample the Icewine cocktails and creative food pairings served up by local restaurants.

 

Saturday January 17, 9 pm – 11 pm
Admission is free.

 

NIAGARA ICEWINE FESTIVAL DISCOVERY PASS EXPERIENCE
Tour the Niagara wine route and enjoy eight award-winning wines paired perfectly with culinary offerings throughout the three weekends of the Niagara Icewine Festival.

 

Friday January 16
Saturday January 17
Sunday January 18
Discovery Passes are $40, or $30 for a Driver’s Discovery Pass.

 

NIAGARA ICEWINE FESTIVAL – NIAGARA FALLS
Celebrate the magic of winter and Icewine in Niagara Falls. Enjoy a fabulous weekend of VQA wines, gourmet cuisine and live entertainment both inside and outside! This spectacular event will take place both indoors & outdoors at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, steps away from the magnificent Niagara Falls. Enjoy our outdoor winter wonderland featuring fire pits, Icewine marshmallows, amazing ice sculptures and signature Icewine bars. Step inside the glass doors to sip, sample and savour seasonal vintages and delicious culinary creations. Over 15 of Niagara’s best wineries will highlight award-winning Icewines and sparkling wines that will pair perfectly with the savoury dishes created by 12 of Niagara’s best restaurants and culinary masters. Enjoy live entertainment during the event including Friday night’s headliner, Jonesy. Saturday features Sandy Vine & the Midnights and the Madhatters. Sunday the headliner is Flatbroke.

 

Friday January 23, 6 pm – 11 pm
Saturday January 24, 2 pm – 11 pm
Sunday January 25, 12 pm – 5 pm
ICEBREAKERS’ COMEDY FESTIVAL
This hilarious event will leave you laughing with great memories of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Held in local bars and eateries, this Comedy Festival will feature quality performers accompanied with an unmatchable offering of Niagara-on-the-Lake VQA wines, local craft beers and culinary offerings from Signature Kitchens.

 

Thursday January 22, 9 pm at Niagara Oast House Brewers
Friday January 23, 8 pm & 10:30 pm at Corks Winebar & Eatery
Saturday January 24,  8 pm at The Royal Cambridge at the Prince of Wales

 

A TREASURE HUNT FOR LIQUID GOLD – WINE & CHEESE SEMINAR AT MEGALOMANIAC
Icewine is certainly a local treasure and it presents fabulous cheese pairing potential. Join Megalomaniac to explore the joy of rich, carefully crafted Icewine, perfectly paired with Ontario cheese. This is an opportunity to experience the unique potential of sweet wines served with savoury, artisanal cheese.

 

Saturday January 24, 2 pm
Tickets are $20 (+HST). Seating is limited to 26.

Photo Credit: NiagaraChilled.com

Feeling lucky? Win your way to wine country!

Experience the very best of Niagara wine country with this perk-filled prize package that includes:
  • A night of luxurious accommodation in Niagara-on-the-Lake complete with roses, wine and chocolate
  • A one-hour couples massage at one of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s world-class spas
  • Dinner for two at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine
  • Lunch at Trius Winery Restaurant
  • One night of luxurious accommodation in the heart of Twenty Valley wine country
  • Dinner for two at Vineland Estates Restaurant
  • A Twenty Valley wine tour featuring four winery visits, artisan charcuterie, exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences and a multicourse winery luncheon

Enter HERE

 

Visit Niagara #NiagaraChilled Niagara Chilled
Don’t forget – iYellow Wine Club is also hosting a #NiagaraChilled icewine tour themselves, on January 24th. After boarding the iYellow fun-bus, you’ll visit Rosewood EstatesPillitteri Estates and Inniskillin. With all your drinks, snacks, transportation and tastings included – it’ll be a fun day!
I’ll be there too! So come along for some fun!

Learn more about the iYellow Wine Club 2015 Icewine Tour HERE

TBT – The Bumpy Road to Las Vegas

I’m going to be sharing some “throwback Thursday” stories on le blog-a-roo, and I thought I’d start with the story of when I moved to Las Vegas!

Here is part one…

Years ago, in 2010, before AwesomeJennJenn.com was born – I packed up my car and headed out on the road. My ex, Sean, and I had been living and working in Toronto forever and we both decided it was time for a change. We worked our butts off, saved-saved – saved and eventually it was time to hit the road!

Viva Las Vegas!

We stored a few things with family here in Toronto, but for the most part – we sold, gave away and donated the majority of our belongings. We filled up my car, an incredibly tiny Pontiac Wave and headed south to Las Vegas!
With no set plan for what was to happen after our stint in Las Vegas, it’s no surprise that we were originally denied entrance to the States. LOL I’m a very detailed person, I like to have plans laid out and routes/itineraries easily available if needed. So, I had a detailed binder for our drive down. Each stop we were going to make, hotel confirmations, specific sites or attractions that may have been visited…but because we were not sure what the plan was after Las Vegas, US Border Patrol thought we were attempting to become illegal immigrants. LOL With reason, I suppose. I mean, we did have a car filled to the max with all of our possessions, and a dog sitting in her crate…so, I get it. But still, it was unpleasant…to say the least!
What wasn’t fun was sitting in the building as they took every single item out of the car and searched for God knows what. Obviously, they didn’t find anything and after 7 hours of this we were sent on our way. No, no – not through the border. We were sent back and told to come back the next day and bring proof that we would be returning to Canada.

Umm…ok??

How does one do this? I had absolutely no idea. Stuck in Sarnia,  ON – we had no idea what we were going to do. Thankfully a family member drove down and brought us anything and everything he thought would help. Bank statements, leases, random stuff LOL. This was all being stored with him, thankfully!
So, the next day we piled back into the car and headed back to the border crossing. That day, we had the nicest border patrol officers who happily welcomed us into the States with open arms….go figure!

Then it was clear sailing…sort of…

Blurry pic from the desert, circa 2010