Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Great White North, Day Two

Day two was my most favorite day of the whole trip.

We were on the move from the moment our feet hit the ground. When we were driving into Niagara, the Man had seen a giant ferris wheel and commented about taking a ride on it. So as we walked to breakfast, what was right next door? 

The giant ferris wheel.

At eight thirty in the morning, there is not a line for the giant ferris wheel. As a matter of fact, the ferris wheel people didn't really look all that awake now that I think of it. Had I thought of that at the time, I might not have gotten on that ride.

The older I get, the more leery I am of carnival rides. I have too many questions. Who inspects these things? How often are they inspected? Daily? How many repairs are done on them? Who puts them together? And is every screw tightened as tight as it can be? What happens if there are some loose ones? Does a seat pod go flying off into the air? Just how many people have died on these things anyway?

As you can tell, I don't ride the carnival rides very often.
We got some gorgeous views from way up top. I am glad I was very, very brave and rode the ferris wheel. Until the Man and J started rocking the seat pod. A lot.

K and I might have screamed. And given them stern warnings. And threatened them with bodily harm if they didn't STOP IT RIGHT NOW.
Once we were back on terra firma, we walked down to the bottom of the falls and took a ride on the Maid of the Mist.
We looked like Smurfs.

Wet Smurfs.

~~~~~~~~~~

After our ride, we climbed back up and walked along the falls, stopping for photos every five feet or so. Honest to Pete, the view just kept getting prettier and prettier. 

And wet.

The mist from the falls rises pretty high from the river. We got wet walking above the falls. And so did the five billion other people that were out walking that morning. And the kids that were running loose with no parental control got wet too. As well as the travelers from every country under the sun. We all got wet.
We knew we had to get out of Niagara and away from the honky-tonk, Vegas-strip feel. Sissy's husband has a colleague that knows the area so we got a few suggestions from him on where to explore. 

He sent us to Niagara on the Lake. And guess what was on the way to Niagara on the Lake?

A winery. Inniskillin Winery. Home of ice wine.

Aces.
I love touring wineries.

I love listening to the tour guides talk about how special their wines are. I love hearing why they are the best wines in the world. I love the wood all around you, in old barns and the casks and the tables and the wooden floors. I love the yeasty, grape-y smell permeating the air. I love the dank cool of the cellars. The golden glow from the low-light.

And I love the tasting. Yummy, yummy wine.
Inniskillin is oh-so-pretty. They give a wonderful tour, about an hour long, and let you sample plenty of wines.

We tried three during the tasting, including the ice wine.

And then a couple more after that, when we inquired about some of their other wines. They were accommodating and gracious and very friendly.

We came home with a couple bottles, including a bottle of the ice wine. If you've never tasted ice wine, try it when you get the chance.

It's very sweet, thick and almost syrup like. Definitely a dessert wine.
Thankfully the winery sold chocolate lollipops so my nieces got to go home with a souvenir too.

Winery tours are not the most exciting thing to do when you're a little kid.
From the winery, we headed north to Niagara on the Lake.

We walked around the very charming little village, poking in and out of cute, quaint shops. Oohing and aahing over the tasty looking pastries and candies in the shop windows. Someone bought one of the caramel apples in the photo above. 

I didn't get a taste of it though. It disappeared rather quickly.

We walked down to the lake, Lake Ontario, and sat on the shore for a while. Skipping stones, finding sea glass, collecting small pieces of driftwood while the sun glistened off the tiny waves skittering across the lake. Blue skies and white puffy clouds drifting by.

Simply lovely.
We finally got hungry and found an Irish pub to eat at. The Irish Harp Pub. If you're in the area, check it out. One of our favorite places during the whole trip.

Guinnesses all around and a big platter of Irish nachos. Doesn't get much better than that. 

Another good day.

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