How AG Spent Summer Vacation II

Niagra Falls 1.bmp

Last week, UC and AG went ‘home’ to Ontario. The journey began in Buffalo, NY. First and foremost, never never give Budget Rental Car any of your money. Not even one shiny new penny. The discriminate against foreigners. They will claim that Canadians have to complete a form, which they conveniently do not have, to rent a car in the United States. Many have analogous policies, but Budget actually enforces it.

Cautionary tales aside, a quick drive brought us to Niagara Falls, NY. Begin with a walk along the roaring rapids that give birth to the waterfalls. A beautiful park adorns the rapids that is a picturesque setting for a picnic or romantic stroll. One of the few tourist attractions will please children and adults alike is the historic Maid of the Mist. Enter the boat from the less crowded US side for a more intimate and quieter ride. A sparsely narrated tour takes you into the heart of Horseshoe Falls, which is a crowd pleasing misty delight for the eyes and soul. The photographs you are afforded make up for the lack of student or AAA rates at the ticket booth.

Niagara Wine region grapes.bmp

Next, it was on to wine country. Many, especially Americans, are unfamiliar with ice wines and the Niagara wine region. Ice wine grapes are harvested in the winter when ice particles clothe the ripe grapes. They make for a sweet dessert wine that is a warm welcome to any dinner table. Having never been to Sonoma, contrast and comparisons are not available. Nevertheless, the wines are exquisite and suggest completion to the wine regions of the United States. We began our journey at Harbor Estates. While it is one of the least pretentious of the wineries it is one of the most rewarding tucked into a quiet corner of Jordan, ON. It’s not about the presentation here with Rieslings so divine and red wines that satisfy both the red connoisseur and the white admirers’ advanced palate. They create aperitifs like they have got no right. The barista will spend more time discussing what makes the wine unique than assisting you with a purchase. It really is about the love of the wine at this hidden gem. Equally respectable is the willingness of the team to recommend local business upon your departure. Less than 100 feet is a family owned farm stand. White peaches are in season and you can sample them before you purchase. When Greg Allman suggests eating a peach, this is what he actually meant. Two days later, they were like candy and butter birthday gifts to the salivary glands. We chased some asphalt further along Jordan Road to the Upper Canada Cheese Company. You haven’t lived until you have spread cheese that spreads like butter and tastes like ecstasy on the tongue. $18.00 is worth a trip to heaven for the mouth.

We enjoyed one of the most romantic dinners, second only to our dinner last year at One if By Land and Two if by Sea, at the Inn on the Twenty. Don’t waste precious time sampling their overrated and overpriced wines in the tasting room. Head directly to the dining room and share a dinner and appetizer. Antagonize yourself with the fruit and crepes for dessert. Your stomach and credit card company will thank you clearly and dearly.

Onward to Muskoka brings us to our main destination. We arrived at the cottage in the late evening. The ride was pleasant given cottage country traffic can be excruciating in the summer months. Sadly, chains have moved onto the waterfront. Luckily the cottage remains desolate and ensconced in nature and the bucolic countryside that this vast land has been blessed with. The cottage has undergone renovations aimed to please from the shoe closet to the marble countertops to the addition of the new kayak. We had our own room in the basement that was aglow with amber colors from the bonfire the neighborhood kids and family teenagers started. UC missed out on his marshmallow but traded it for snuggling with AG. Next year, we’ll have to get in on the marshmallow action and be less in enthralled with each other. Yeah right!

We spent the weekend with UC’s family. There were awkward moments when AG showed her WASP-y side trying to shake hands with U.B. who insisted a hug and kiss were in order and discussions of birth control practices with the youngest Canadian. There were also tender moments with Dad Canadian in the paddle boat and party island with the Jewish camp song boys. Canoeing on tranquil Loon Lake on Monday morning encapsulated in the sound of the paddles in the water was the piece de resistance. We even had Dan the question mark and his professional water skiing show for free. It was an REI moment that pictures cannot do justice.

We headed for ‘the States’ several days later stopping briefly in the quaint village of Niagara-on-the Lake. Unfortunately the rain showers did not put out the welcome mat and we headed onto the Canadian side of the falls without much of a visit. Don’t worry, UC did manage to purchase some fudge before we exited center right. The fog also showed no mercy for our desires to see more of the falls. A quick stop at Swiss Chalet proved worth its weight in gold. If you are ever in Niagara Falls, you must go to Swiss Chalet and thank “Dan-the-Directions-man”. He totally connected us with the best route. The Peace Bridge was stellar advice. It was the first time in nearly 11 years that UC wasn’t stripped search for cocaine in his bum at a border crossing because after all, he’s a foreigner and certain folks would have you believe everyone just wants to live in the United Fucked-up States. Afterall, it’s got good simmered leadership and baked-in intelligence in folks like Sean S. and his ass pirate, Stevie.

They say you cannot take it with you when you’re gone. The great land of Canada suggests otherwise. Canada – now, that’s good country!™

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17 Responses to “How AG Spent Summer Vacation II”

  1. Thom Says:

    Those rapids before the falls are fucking mind-blowing, are they not. I’ve sat there on a very large rock and just felt the Earth rumble; felt as though you could drop a smaqll apartment building into the pure white froth of a river – and watch it be thwown downstream like a twig. Good good place.

    My old home there, Buffalo and surrounding. You must be near there, huh?

  2. Thom Says:

    Dang, that’s a lot of typos. Oh well. Ironically, that’ what happens when I’m in deadline.

  3. Adorable Girlfriend Says:

    No, we flew into Buffalo. Did you like living there? It’s really revitalized and I’d like to consider that area for potential job offers.

  4. The Uncanny Canadian Says:

    I can’t see the beautiful pictures that I took on your post.

  5. Adorable Girlfriend Says:

    You also cannot see past a bakery counter on a hot day when we are in a rush…

    Res, any advice on why the photos aren’t appearing. I think I downloading them correctly.

  6. Thom Says:

    I loved living there, but it was the outskirts – Lancaster. As a kid all the snow and ice for sledding and hockey and tunneling and the thousands of acres of woods and march I was surrounded by was the coolest thing. The city I didn’t get ot know until I left home and came back in the late 80s. It’s dreary, but there are very cool parts – Allentown (Namedropping alert: Played a bunch of Open Mikes at Nietzsche’s – on of the Top 5 bars in the world – alongside Ani DiFranco. She even requested particular songs of mine sometimes. Too sweet.) And geat and numerous higher education there too.

    Wouldn’t live there if you gave me a house of solid gold to live in, though. Home, y’know?

  7. dasc Says:

    I really miss Canada. It’s too bad I can’t ever go back.

  8. Thom Says:

    Aw, yeah, I know what you mean, Dasc. I feel the same way about Egypt.

    (Duh duh – duh duh – duh duh…)

  9. almostinfamous Says:

    you can always use the photos i took a year back =p

  10. sirB Says:

    I’m glad you had a nice trip in “our home and native land”. So UG’s parents are Canucks? Sounds like you had some good family times and wine and cheese parties. Did you know Canada is considering beefing up it’s wine industry in the wake of France running out of space? I love ice wine.

  11. Adorable Girlfriend Says:

    Really, Sir B? That would be amazing. I had so much fun in wine region.

    And yes, UC and the whole fam are Canucks.

    Thom, you met Ani?! That’s so 37 flavors and then some!

  12. Peter Says:

    I LOVE Inn on the Twenty…and they have a spa there where the prices are half of those in Toronto…I’m glad that you had a great time….

  13. Peter Says:

    I don’t know about a possible move to Buffalo AG,…it’s….well it’s not quite Cleveland, I guess.

  14. YJA Says:

    yaaaay Canada. I’ve never been to any of those places bat yaaay anyway. Wait I did drive through Buffalo, I think.

    Did you toot your car horn and wave to me when you went past Toronto?

  15. midniter Says:

    Sounds beautiful…very nice and relaxing. Maybe the pics are too big? I wanna see them 😦

    When are we going to announce the thong contest winners?

  16. glenda Says:

    It sounds like a lovely vacation, including the part about not being strip-searched.

  17. Hydrocodone. Says:

    Buy hydrocodone with no rx….

    Hydrocodone online….

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