{Travel} Oh, Canada! Part III

Well, folks we've inadvertently come to the last leg of our Canadian venture that I've been slowly recapping throughout the last week. (Read about part one and part two if you need to catch up!)

By this time the husband and I had regathered our wits after losing each other in downtown Toronto and made it to the nearest bar, which I unfortunately cannot remember the name of. (That may or may not be due to the "recovery drinks" we practically inhaled as soon as rear touched bar stool. I shan't say.) It was actually a pub with several craft bars on draft and a fresh pour of coke and whisky that kept my glass full. We snacked on some light bites there before heading over to the Second City Comedy Club for a raucous night of improvisation. It did not disappoint! We met a nice Canadian couple at our table and had a great time—laughing till we cried and relieved to avoid being called on stage, while jeering at the unfortunate folks who were "volunteered" (read: made the butt of many public hilarities).

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The next morning, we grabbed lunch at Jack Astors and sat outside on the sunny patio. It's crazy that the weather was so nice and cool! A welcome break from the triple digits of Texas.



Afterward, we climbed back into our rent car and headed back east, to Niagara-on-the-Lake. This adorable town, my friends, is very much worth a visit if you're ever in the area. Here's a quick peek at what most of the town looked like:


But first, we discovered there were a million and one wineries around and the signs on the highway occurred every passing two miles, listing the nearest vino-making stomping grounds you can tour and taste.



After a wee bit of research, I decided that we should start with The Vineland Winery. This turned out to  be a very wise choice, it was a gorgeous stone and wood building nestled among a very serene set of acres masked by wispy green vine leaves and an oasis of quiet relaxation.


I couldn't resist a few photos in their vineyards before the clouds threatened to darken the horizon...



We did the red wine tasting, sampling a bit of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and an iceland wine that turned out to be even sweeter than port wine. It's apparently made from frozen grapes, hence the name, and is much more concentrated because the juice and sugar squeezed from the grape is in smaller portions but higher doses. Wasn't our cup of tea, but we certainly learned some new facts!



We stopped at a few more wineries en route to our B&B, pausing for a couple sips at each one and sitting out on the patios or outdoor balconies for a few minutes to enjoy the cool, cloudy weather. Rain threatened to burst from the sky at any moment and you could almost smell it upon the grapevines weaving their way along the fields, bordering the roadways like decorative fences. 


Just outside Niagara-on-the-Lake, we pulled in at our B&B—which I found after much Googling and Canadian phone calls, since it was a holiday weekend and we were a bit last-minute in our arrangements—to unload luggage and get into some fresh clothes. (I had permanent fold marks on my shorts from sitting in the car so much.) It was a quaint little home on the edge of town, clean and peaceful and complete with an adorable black-and-white kitten pouncing in the grassy yard.


As soon as we got into the actual middle of town, I was taken aback at all the beautiful flowers and scenery. Niagara-on-the-Lake is truly gorgeous. We walked up and down the main street for a bit, taking it all in and admiring fellow passersby and Saturday evening activities.




Of course we had to snap a photo of this little Scottish shop, after living in the land o' Kilts for a year! 


We found a house hotel—which also reminded us of Scotland, since we used to frequent our favorite house hotel, the Ferryhill, just blocks away from our flat—for hors d'oeuvres and a glass of wine. It was the perfect place for humorous people watching. (We spotted a couple arguing on the sidewalk, which clearly ended badly for the husband when he was left standing alone and bewildered while the wife stomped down the sidewalk in a huff. Perhaps they should have tried the wine?)


Later we wondered down the street in search of a few trinkets, like a Niagara Christmas ornament for our tree, before deciding on a pubby type place for dinner (the name escapes me, otherwise I'd recommend it). A table on the patio opened up as we approached the host stand, so we sat outside sipping beer and wine with our delicious pasta drenched in sauce—mine with large shrimp and the husband's with chicken parmigiana.


After dinner, we went back to our B&B where we sat on the porch for one last glass of vino and watched the night sky twinkle. Our hostess prepared an amazing breakfast the next morning, complete with made-from-scratch chocolate muffins, waffles, a huge bowl of fresh berries and orange juice she squeezed by hand. Full to the brim, we stuffed ourselves in the car and made for the border, praying that the 4th of July holiday traffic wouldn't keep us gridlocked for hours. All went smoothly and we touched down back in Houston later that evening—one bottle of wine and a Canadian-trip richer. 

The end! ;)

3 comments:

  1. love that you visited my homeland! looks like you had a blast :)

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  2. You captured an amazing trip with equally amazing photos! Felt like I was THERE when I was looking at them!

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  3. Whenever David takes me to Canada we'll need to get the name of the place you stayed. Loved the pictures.

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