29 September 2006

Farewell falls...hello wine country!

Bad blogger! I know everyone…I missed a day! Give a girl a break; I’m on my honeymoon after all.

Yesterday Daniel and I said farewell to Niagara Falls and drove into the very soggy yet beautiful wine country. We have been awaiting this part of the trip with baited breath for quite a few days now…too bad about the miserable weather. Either way, it’s gorgeous here in NOTL and we’re making the most of it.

Rewind now, back to Wednesday. Daniel and I spent our last day in Niagara Falls strolling through the botanical gardens and the butterfly conservatory. I can safely say that I have now found a new favourite place on earth. The gardens were breathtaking, enough to make any British garden enthusiast applaud. The real highlight for me however, was the butterflies! Imagine yourself, walking around in a large biodome, surrounded by hundreds of rare and beautiful butterflies. Needless to say, it was quite a surreal experience. I was awestruck by some of their vibrant colours and their apparent lack of fear of human contact. Some butterflies were even landing on people, offering some pretty spectacular photo ops. Can’t wait to upload the shots! This was the perfect way to end off our last day in Niagara Falls. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of visiting – it’s worth the trip alone!

Back to honeymoon day 4 now, and Daniel is taking over the blog!

Jenn has hopped in the shower, so I’ll tell you about day 4. After another big buffet breakfast (I can feel my arteries hardening), we checked out of the luxurious Gigantic Hotel, and hit the road. It was rainy and miserable out, but we still decided to see a few wineries on the way to NOTL. We stopped first at Chateau Des Charmes, a beautiful family-run estate winery. Rather than wait three hours for the English tour, we took the French one. It pays to be bilingual! After the tour, we had a very tasty sampling of some of their wines. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, 11am is a fine time for drinking.

From there, we headed out to the Hillebrand winery. Even though it was raining, our tour guide took us through the fields, and we tasted some of the different grapes...right off the vine! We finished off the tour, and again had a generous wine tasting. We even mixed ice wine with sparkling white, which was very good! I had to give most of my wine to Jenn, since I still had some driving to do. Did I mention that they were generous with the tastings? Jenn got the brunt of it, and walked out with wobbly legs.

After that, we headed into the town of NOTL, and checked in to our quaint little B&B. We did a bit of shopping, and had a pretty good dinner in an English pub – The Angel Inn. This was quite a neat experience because the pub is housed in the oldest operating Inn in Ontario, dating back to 1819. With dark timber, an open hearth and resident burly publican, it looks like it came straight out of a movie. The kind of place you would expect a good ‘oul bar brawl to break out. Then it was back to the B&B to relax with a tea on the porch, and to bed early to get ready for the next day!

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