Happy Labour Day and Happy Birthday Bro!

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(The famous Timmys)

Today is Labour Day – a holiday here in Canada, almost everyone’s off work and all the shops are closed. We will be resting mainly because we’ve already had a packed weekend. On Friday we left Barrie about 8.30am to drive to Sault St. Marie (pronounced Sue-Saint-Maree) for the weekend. It was billed to be an eight-hour drive and it fulfilled its billing. You may remember Doris and our trip to Toronto? Well, Doris’ husband Grahame was the driver this time. Only the just arrived Irish thought driving for eight hours was very odd, to everyone else this is what you do. Afraid we might miss something we tagged along anyway. We were glad we did.

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(Pit stop coming up)

The weekend will probably span a few posts because quite a lot happened, not least of which was the preparation for travel. Coolers with water for hydration and chocolate for energy, electronic devices for boredom and connection and first stop Timmy’s for breakfast, ensured smooth running of a finely tuned vehicle – Grahame. Well… to be honest we all benefitted.

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(That’s just selfish… Grahame)

This is probably a good time to tell you about Timmy’s, a nickname for Canada’s favourite coffee shop – Tim Hortons. Tim was a successful hockey player who started the business in the 1960’s selling coffee and doughnuts (also spelled donut here in Canada) and when he died his young wife sold up and the new owners grew it to what it is today –  a love affair, an addiction, possibly a religion, and definitely a way of life. Unlike Starbucks, there are no comfy sofas, the main attraction is the price  (low – you can get a coffee for little over a dollar) and it’s Canadian.

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(Spotted at the servers station of an Italian restaurant)

Since we arrived here I’ve spotted traces of Timmy everywhere. Not just the shops – there are 3,326 of them. I’ve seen the empty takeaway cups on shelves in Wal-Mart (the supermarket), Michael’s (art and craft supplies), in the library, on the bus (in someone’s hand.)

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(On the train)

It’s my little brother’s big birthday today, he fell under the spell of Tim Hortons when he visited in July so I hope the pictures bring back happy memories. By the way, Timmys trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange… just saying….

Have a great Labour Day wherever you are and have a great birthday Lar, Mairead.