Category Archives: Culinary Experiences

Luxury "Glamping" Eco-Safari at Clayoquot

Nowhere else on earth has the meeting of land and sea created the magnificent beauty of Canada’s Pacific Coast.   The substantial rain forests and amazing marine environment are the back drop for a premier eco-safari destination, offering soft adventure and soft beds.  Clayoquot is the ultimate destination for intimate couples retreats, or adventurous and educational family vacations.

Situated at the mouth of the Bedwell River, where it spills into a nine-mile-long fjord, an enclave of 20 great white canvas guest tents, massage and treatment tents, dining tents, lounge tents and a massive timber cookhouse peek out from the dense bush. This safari-style resort offers a discreet paradox of individual pampering and untamed wilderness.  Specializing in remote experiences, guest may choose to learn to surf on a pristine, secluded beach or have a First Nations guide escort them on a day hike to the “Wildside” Interpretive trail and tour the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Village.  Whether you prefer whale watching or viewing black bears fishing for salmon, wildlife abounds just outside the perimiter of camp. 

 

The resort is open mid-May through the end of September for 3, 4 or 7 night all inclusive stays with airfare from Vancouver to the Resort, deluxe accommodation, all meals, snacks and beverages (including alcohol), massage treatments and guided activities including fishing.  Contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours for rates and ask us about the great discounts for children.

Taste of the Pacific Northwest Cruises: Sept 13-Oct 18

This 8 day epicurean cruise on the Columbia River will feature the rich history and delicious flavors unique to this region. When it comes to the art of wine, Washington State knows its “terroir”—the combination of soil, climate, and geography that makes wine distinct.

You will be welcomed aboard in Portland, Oregon with a taste of Willamette Valley’s signature flavors: a Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris. To get a feel for the culture and industry of this area, we will visit the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center with a focus on Native foods and the agricultural history of the Columbia River Basin. A jet boat tour to the Hanford Reach National Monument will evoke memories of WWII and the Cold War era.

You will be treated to tours and wine tastings at two of Washington State’s AVA’s (American Viticulture Areas, also known as appellations) while exploring four of the Columbia Valley’s finest wineries: Coyote Canyon, Terra Blanca, Three Rivers, and Beresan. The Fruit Company, where orchards have been handpicked for 65 years, will take you by tractor into the field for fresh picked fruit. Before returning to Portland, we’ll visit the Seafood Consumer Center in Astoria. While we are here, those of you who enjoy the culinary arts will help our chef prepare lunch, fusing the freshest seafood with the unique local flavors of Oregon’s fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, creating a delicious, enjoyable meal for all of us. Join us and see for yourself why Washington State is ranked among the top wine regions of the world. Its vineyards largely focus on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah; however they also produce a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

American River Cruising-Part 4

The Northwest Passage Cruise

Summer departures:  May 15 – September 11

Mighty Columbia River

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is characterized by long, warm days with clear blue skies and gentle breezes.  Nowhere is more beautiful this time of year  than the Columbia River Gorge.  This “Summer Celebration” cruise will celebrate the  traditions of the past, the fantastic wineries of the present while exploring the indigenous culture and history of the Columbia River Basin.   Beginning with your visit to the Bonneville Dam Visitors center, you will transit 8 locks and dams on your way to the northwest “seaport” of Clarkston, Washington.  An exhilirating jet-boat ride up the famous Hells Canyon, on the Snake River, reveals elk, bighorn sheep and 7,000 year old petroglyphs.    An underground tour at Pendleton explores tunnels built in the late 1800′s by Chinese immigrants for illicit purposes and a visit to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute immerses you in a living cultural village of Native America.  In Walla Walla, you will be treated to tasting and touring of two unique Columbia River wineries. 

Join a special sailing, June 19th, with the Chairman of the cruise line and his family.  Guests will be treated to exclusive amenities at the chairman’s reception, an exciting Raptor exhibition, guest speakers on the Lewis & Clark expedition and the chairman’s farewell dinner.  Come enjoy a cruise on the Columbia River at a time of year when the temperatures are pleasant, the wildlife abundant and the scenery dramatic.

Tasting & Touring Washington Wineries

Washington State is a premium wine producing region with over 498 distinct wineries. Located in the northwest corner of the United States, it has excellent geography, soil, and weather conditions conducive for producing consistent grapes year after year. Even though it is considered a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation’s second largest wine producer. Washington State is also proud to be ranked among the world’s top wine regions. Washington wines are now available in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

With over 30,000 acres planted, there are over ten regions that are perfect for growing premium vinifera wine grapes which produce consistent quality, resulting in strong vintages year after year. Washington vineyards largely focus on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah; however they also produce a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

TMI Tours & Cruises has several luxurious cruise and vacation packages available for wine aficionados. From luxury cruises to fancy teepees with amazing views of vineyards and rivers, we can arrange private tastings and tours of Washington’s leading wineries. Email us or feel free to call us at 1-800-975-7775 to explore the many options available for exploring and experiencing wine country in Washington.

American River Cruising-Part 3

Taste of the Pacific Northwest

Fall departures: September 13-October 18

This 8 day epicurean cruise on the Columbia River will feature the rich history and delicious flavors unique to this region.  When it comes to the art of wine, Washington State knows its “terroir”-the combination of soil, climate and geography that makes wine distinct.  You will be welcomed aboard in Portland with a taste of Willamette Valley’s signature flavors: a Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris.  To get a feel for the culture and industry of this area, we will visit the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center with a focus on Native foods and the agricultural history of the Columbia River Basin.  A jet boat tour to the Hanford Reach National Monument will evoke memories of WWII and the Cold War era. 

You will be treated to tours and tastings at two of Washington States AVA’s while exploring four of the Columbia Valley’s finest wineries: Coyote Canyon, Terra Blanca, Three Rivers and Beresan. The Fruit Company, where orchards have been hand picked for 65 years, will take you by tractor into the field for fresh picked fruit.   Before returning to Portland,  we’ll visit  the Seafood Consumer Center at Astoria, where you will help our Chef prepare lunch, fusing the freshest seafood with the unique local flavors of Oregon’s fresh fruits, vegetables and cheeses.    Join us and see for yourself why Washington State is ranked among the top wine regions of the world.

Western Culinary Vacation

campfire cooking

campfire cooking

Can you imagine how amazing fresh caught trout tastes when cooked over an outdoor wood fire?

It is even better when you catch and prepare it yourself!

TMI Tours offers unique culinary experiences in northern Idaho and western Montana where you can do just that.  Our local chefs can show you everything from a real ranch bar-b-que to old fashioned Dutch oven cooking.  Sip on fine northwest wines and enjoy the freshest local ingredients:  huckleberries, morel mushrooms, cut-throat trout, real ranch beef, succulent elk steak.  Learn how our local Native American population gather and use wild herbs, berries and roots while sampling some great Native American recipes.  Our vacation cabins, nestled in the forest, surround a real working ranch so there are plenty of morning and afternoon activities.  Choose from fishing, trail rides, hiking,floating the river or whitewater rafting, kayaking and hayrides.  This is a great vacation idea for family reunions, corporate retreats or couples weekends.   With Glacier National Park just minutes away, be sure to save some time to visit and observe our abundant wildlife in their mountain habitat.  The Going-to-the-Sun Road always holds a thrill around every bend!

Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours in Coeur d’Alene for further information and reservations.

Learn Canning and Quilting on Vacation!

I know that it sounds bizzare but we are finding more and more women who are wanting to learn the basics that our grandmothers knew!  Here in Coeur d’Alene we have a new fast growing entity that has even opened up a shop in our downtown Coeur d’Alene mall that showcases these tried and true practices.  Mary Jane’s Farm is quite the phenomenon.  If you want to have some fun jump in for a class in a beautiful ranch kitchen.  You will enjoy canning huckleberries, jams, beans and so much more.  A learning vacation encompassing cooking here in Idaho can be fun.

In addition, we you can join in on a real quilting bee where a number of local ladies continue to work on a quilt together.  You will learn the various techniques along with enjoying North Idaho and Coeur d’Alene’s colorful personality.   A double bonus would be visiting Idaho in early September when the canners and quilters compete at the North Idaho Fair.  If you want to see the real Western US, come at that time.  Contact Rhonda Sand or Linda Bruno at TMI Tours & Cruises for a unique localized visit.

Ranch-style Culinary retreat

 

 

 

Whether you are a small group looking for something outside the box, or perhaps a family reunion or just some couples needing a weekend get away,  TMI Tours can offer you a very unique retreat tailored to your needs.   Your mornings will be filled with fishing, horseback riding, hayrides, kayaking or floating the river.  In the afternoon,  join our host chefs for lessons on preparing your catch of the day, Native American or Cowboy Campfire cooking as well as wild game preparation.  Enjoy 5 star meals with local wines served in a Mongolian Yurt.  The evenings will be spent around the campfire being entertained with local legend and history and maybe a ghost story or two.  Your accomodations for the night will be cozy and warm in handcrafted cabins surrounded by lush forest and whispering streams.   Extend your stay to include nearby Glacier National Park or into town for some local shopping.  Maximum group size is 14 and advance reservations are highly recommended during peak season. 

Bed and Breakfast Farmstays

We are so fortunate in North Idaho to be surrounded by many beautiful farms and ranches.  Farmstays are a popular way to become part of the family, to experience life on a working farm while enjoying the amenities of a vacation.  In Coeur d’Alene, we have the advantage of being located near a very unique organic farm that will accommodate you in a luxurious wall-tent for the night and cook an organic, farm fresh breakfast for you in the morning.   During your stay you can learn all about organic farming, pick fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, gather farm-fresh free range eggs or visit the gentle farm animals that share this heavenly place.  This is a very popular destination during the summer and reservations are a must.  You can choose to stay for as many nights as you like and partake of the farm activities or just relax in a hammock in the cool, fresh gardens.  Call or email us at  TMI Tours & Cruises and let us arrange an itinerary that is suited to your taste.