Yesterday was a really fun day, but this morning after I was paying for it a little as usual. We and a couple of close friends took a planned roadtrip down Queen Elizabeth Way to the Niagara region for a winery, cidery and brewhouse tour.
We got an early start leaving our house around 10 am for the 2 plus hour drive. We made additional plans to do our own self guided winery visit. We did a couple of tastings and decided to make a few purchases (2 dry Pinot Grigio and a spectacular Cabernet Franc) for home.
Then, as chance would have it, there was a brewery just down the road, which naturally called for an impromptu detour. I'm a craft beer guy. We sampled a couple of IPAs, a porter and an IPA sour. The IPA sour also became a take home selection as a growler fill.
We finally made our way to check into our home away from home for the night. We enjoyed one more libation and a quick round of euchre before departing to catch a shuttle to our official tour bus.
We and 44 others filled a coach driven by an entertaining fella named Joe. First stop, another winery to taste a red and a white blend. We weren't particularly fond of either, but were able to pay for a few samples of other offerings. We snapped several quick pics around the equipment and an old time cart before hopping back on the bus to head to stop numero deux.
At a newly constructed and impressive cidery, we tried several varieties of apple, plum, pear and strawberry cider culminating in an extra sour number called Mother Pucker, which also made its way into a slushie. Anybody counting yet?
Last tour stop, a brewhouse for two small samples, a pint o' draft and a quick bite to eat, but not too much because we had dinner reservations. We thanked Joe for a very entertaining trip and tipped him well for his exceptional service.
Yet the night was young. Dinner was nine floors in a hotel next to Niagara Falls. We were thrilled to be led to what was probably the best window seat in the 500+ person restaurant. The night view was breathtaking as the falls were lit up in a myriad of bright colours. Our steak and seafood meals accompanied by two shared bottles of wine were also out of this world.
Post dinner we decided to wander around a casino on the ground floor, mostly to people watch. There was maybe one bar visit. My wife and our friend decided to shake hands with a couple of one-armed bandits. The end result was a 20 dollar loss by my wife and an 83 cent windfall for our friend, who announced it to everyone she encountered on the way out. Some high-fived her and others rolled their eyes at her antics.
Back at the hotel we finished our euchre match, while slowly sipping on our last adult beverages of the not so suddenly longish day. Eight or so hours later the ride home was not welcomed. Though we still had lots of laughs over great, albeit foggy, memories made.