Let's be serious for a moment. To insinuate that this is a blog post would be an insult to bloggers everywhere. You wouldn't want to offend 3/4 of the western world's population, would you?
Didn't think so.
This is a quick summary of my weekend roadie to two very different places: a) Niagara Falls and b) Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Our primary reason for this little getaway was to enjoy a wine tour in the Niagara Region with our dear TBay-turned-Toronto friends, Tinks and Bone. It's been booked since the spring from Lincoln "Limo" and Cab Company.
The name of the company would imply that the tour involved a limo or, at minimum, a luxury 'Lincoln' cab.
"I'm not one for showy things, but sitting in a limo feels pretty awesome," said Bone in the car en route.
We all agreed. The limo was something we looked forward to very much.
At 2:30 pm, a gaudy white bus picked us up from a theatre parking lot.
As it turns out, "Lincoln" is a just township in the Niagara Region, and 'limo' is merely a type of car in their fleet.
The driver wore a light pink and green hawaiian shirt over his pot-bellied build and sported a thin blonde moustache. He was in his fifties. And he was pissed.
"Everyone be mean to this couple that we have to sit here and wait for," he instructed the passengers on the bus. We all stared back, like ignorant, un-blinking cattle. "They're making us late," he continued, in a low matter-of-fact tone. "I told him, I said we can't pick you up from the casino unless you book it I told him. Oh there he is..." He wheezed. "No one talk to these guys."
We peer out the window to see a cab pull into the parking lot. A man in a white collared shirt wearing lots of gold chains gets out. He is accompanied by his girlfriend - a foul-mouthed Latino wearing short shorts and a hot pink bar shirt.
"Watch, I'm going to slam this guys head in the doors," the driver grumbles to us.
And we're off, to beautiful, lush, elegant wine country.
The blonde-moustached lunatic in the driver's seat takes every bend on two wheels. Tinks, Bone, Musician Boyfriend and I later joke that he planned to kill the whole bus all along.
"I'm going to drive this bus off a cliff," we impersonate him, using the same intonation as his previous threat with the head and the doors. "I'm just going to kill us all."
It was only half-funny.
We made sure to swallow every drop of wine & buy as many extra tastings as time allowed. And we also made sure to befriend the late-comers, Gold Chains and Short Shorts. Any enemy of the bus driver was a friend of ours.
"Red wine all tastes the same," I overhear Gold Chains complain to Short Shorts at the end of the tour.
"Oh I knowwww," she agrees. They roll their eyes at each other and conclude that rose is their favourite.
Fortunately the four of us had an incredible time, despite every effort of the tour company to ensure otherwise. We made friends with the winery staff, asked lots of genuine questions and savored every cab franc they had to offer. (Yes, I call it a cab franc now.) We made a pact to open a winery together in forty years.
As per my to-do list, I learned 3 no-fail wine murmurings to impress at my next reception or event. They are a secret. Maybe, if you're lucky, you'll hear them one day. Maybe not.
Regardless, here is a list of bittersweet, end-of-summer trip highlights:
|MB practicing for my 5th retirement plan.|
|Tasting at Reif Estates.|
|Math Camp Haunting.|
|Ferris Wheel Ride in Niagara Falls. |
AKA Vegas for families. AKA too
many wax museums. AKA too many children.
(But the wheel was redeeming. And a testament to
our dependence on and faith in engineers and steel. And math.)
|Butterfly at the Conservatory in Niagara|
on-the-Lake. Where, after observing
that most butterflies actually sport the same pattern
under their wings, I came to the profound
realization that underneath, we are all the same. Like butterflies.