mandag den 4. juli 2016

Ontario Wine Country and Niagara Falls

This year July 4'th fell on a Monday = 3 day weekend. Yay. We had planned to go camping up north but we tried to book a campsite WAY too late. The only available spots we could find were outside Kalamazoo, and that was not really a place where we were dying to spend  a long weekend. I looked around on Google maps and Niagara Falls are actually not THAT far away. I even found a small family owned camp site (Jordan valley campground), right in the heart of Ontario wine country, where we were lucky enough to get a spot due to a recent cancellation (July 1'st was Canada day, so they were busy on that side of the border as well).
Kristian took Friday off and I left work early so we could leave around 2'ish. That was not a minute too early. We just made it to the campground before they closed at 9PM (the trip included getting Luca picked up from camp, a border crossing, and trying desperately to find an open grocery store in Canada).
Here's the view from crossing ambassador bridge to Canada. Not bad, eh?

Most of the trip the landscape looked exactly like what we came from except the highway being creepily empty.....

But as we got more east it turned into a beautiful hilly landscape with vineyards and fruit orchards, wineries everywhere and fresh cherries and strawberries to be bought by the side of the road. Oh, and Lake Ontario!

Saturday we went to Niagara Falls. The town next to it was not really for us. It seriously looked like a mini version of Vegas. But we found a parking lot upstream that was more quiet and then walked down to the falls. Absolutely breath taking:

It was busy and we had the dog with us, so we skipped the tours and "just" enjoyed the scenery.
Then we had a crowded, overpriced lunch, and decided to leave with a stop at a winery on the way back. And a stop at Walmart. Sigh. Guess who waited outside with the dog and got approached by several weird Walmart shoppers including a lady on a scooter who kept going on and on and on how dogs should live in goat milk yogurt, aloe Vera juice, and raw liver.......
Sunday we wanted to walk one of the trails in the area. There should be a gorgeous Bruce Trail, if one could find the entrance that is. We passed some nice scenery before we spent way to much time walking on the side of the winding country road with a lot of cars.

Eventually Bailey got overheated and refused to take one more step. Lucky for us this happened right next to a beautiful winery, where Luca, Bailey and I got to chill while Kristian and Ulrik went to get the car. We also got some ice wine (which not all wineries have).

On the side of the road we had passed a small flea market with live music, more than decent juicy burgers, and a lot of old junk for sale.
In the afternoon we went out to the lake where two of us went in the (cold) water. We tried our best to convince Bailey to join us. We even made him watch another dog happily fetching sticks in the water. Based on Baileys look he must have thought the other dog was a psychopath. Eventually he started rolling himself in the sand instead. I guess that works for birds, but dogs? Not so much. Guess who is going to have bath as soon as we get home!

We stopped for harbor stroll icecream at Port Dalhousie before we headed back for BBQ, badminton and a pool match that Kristian won! Seriously! (Certain members of the family really do not like loosing?)

Overall we were surprised how nice Ontario wine country was. We almost do not dare to say it, but we liked it better than Napa Valley...... And we deeply appreciate that we are now in a more stable financial situation where we can start seeing more of this side of North America. We plan to get Michigan Upper Peninsula under our belt this summer as well, and we also have Toronto on our radar.

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