Mum coaxed me down from Toronto with a reservation at Featherstone Winery on Sunday. It was a beautiful day: warm, sunny, with a near constant breeze to enjoy. We sat on the porch, enjoying the weather and the calming sound of the wind chimes by our table. After a simple lunch of bread and cheese, we went for a walk in the vineyards in search of the famous sheep that trim the vines. Much to our delight, we found four grazing in the grass. You see sheep so rarely in Niagara that it always gives one a thrill to see one. With our curiosities satisfied, we walked back to the car.
While in thesis writing mode, my mum coaxed me out of Toronto with the promise of steak from Lake Land Meats for dinner. She surprised me at the St. Catharines bus station with a picnic basket in tow and drove to Charles Daley Park. I have many memories of there from when I a child, eating watermelon, building sand castles for my trolls, and going on adventures through the tall grasses and trees bordering the water. Settling ourselves under a tree, we watched swimmers run into the waves of Lake Ontario and couples walk their dogs along the beach. We stayed in the shade however, munching on cold chicken, beets, radishes, and shared a delicious herb croissant.
After lunch, we drove to Dillon’s Distillers to check out the small batch distillery, which uses locally sourced ingredients from the region. We had a tasting of their spirits and could fully appreciate their unique floral aroma. We then finished our visit with a rhubarb cocktail outside in the sun where Mum read a magazine as I documented Dillon’s pacakging design on Instagram. Dillon’s Distillers is indeed a new stop along the Niagara Wine Route that I encourage friends to make. Not only did I love their products, but I was also head-over-heels with their branding! It was current, unified, and beautifully orchestrated across each product, the store interior, shopping bags, and website. I was impressed.
On our way back into town, we stopped in Whispering Pines which has become my favourite Niagara fruit stand (if you can call it that) as it always has visual delights to photograph. There were baby ducklings, beets, and berries to amuse myself with as my mother picked out her vegetables. Unfortunately, the baby ducks playing in a puddle made by a tractor wheel didn’t stay as still as fresh beets in a basin of water to have their picture taken.
After doing some shopping for our upcoming backcountry camping trip in Charleston Lake, we returned home for dinner. Mum made steak on the BBQ with strawberry ice cream and local rhubarb for dessert. We then watched an episode of Inspector Lewis on the television to end a lovely day together.
It was well worth the trek to Niagara!
Mother Nature likes to tease us with warm spells, buds showing on the trees, and shoots of green poking out from under the dry dead leaves left over from the past autumn. However, a trip to the spring exhibit at the greenhouse at Niagara Parks reminds us that spring really isn’t that far off. We just may have a few more snows before she arrives.
I went home for two days for a much needed break from the hustle-bustle of the city and the stresses of work & school. Mum and I decided to go to the greenhouse in Niagara Falls as we like to each year. It is always a joy to enter, especially when its cold and snowy outside. We soon forgot about the grey skies outdoors once we were surrounded by the warmth and colour of the greenhouse.