Friday, July 13, 2012

On to Ohio. But first ...

We woke up on our last morning in Niagara. I sure will miss having Marilyn Monroe look down on me as I sleep.

Something unsettling about that print.

We left the hotel and decided we needed a good breakfast before we move on to the next winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Our "Food and Wine" teacher, Jane, gave us two free tasting passes to another vineyard that they own and to a wine shop. We stopped at a little family restaurant and ate a hearty breakast (three egg omelet, toast, potatoes and bacon.)

By the way, in Ontario they don't call those potatoes "Tater Tots" but instead "Breakfast Potatoes."

As we left the restaurant, I realized that we had left all our wines and beers in the fridge in our hotel room. So we drove back and retrieved them. (Another delay!) Eventually we arrived in downtown N.O.T.L. right in the middle of a Cherry Festival, so parking was an issue. We found the wine shop and sampled three wines from different vineyards (including one from Wayne Gretzky.) They were nice, but none really buyable. From there we stopped at a small grocery store, and picked up the makings of a picnic lunch (some feta-stuffed jalapenos in olive oil, a veggie platter, a package of dates, some cream cheese, rice crackers and some nice prosciutto) with the plan that we will eat on the road between Ontario and Ohio. Such a good plan! (Foreshadowing maybe?)

We also decided to hit some antique shops. One was small and nice, and Tammy found a piece of milkglass that she bought. But we struck the mother lode. It was at a mini-mall of sorts, allowing many antiques dealers of all sorts to display their merchandise in one location. We covered it front to back and were happy to reduce their inventory of milkglass by quite a bit.

But now it was almost 5pm. We a still had about a 2.5 hour drive so we packed everything up and headed for the border.

And waited.

In line.

With cars.

Approximately half the cars on the continent.

We started at the end of the line at 5:17pm. We cleared US Customs and Border Patrol at 6:19pm. I didn't know that you are not allowed to bring food into the US. When the Border Patrol agent asked me if I was bringing any foods, plants or animals, I kind of stammered, "Uh, we bought a some veggies and cheese for a lunch while we drive." But he was also talking to another agent at the same time and when he turned back to us, he handed us our passports and said, "Have a nice day, drive carefully."

There is no risk to the food supply of the US. We "disposed" of all the picnic foods. (Tasty!)

Onward to Ohio! We called the innkeepers while en route to let them know we wouldn't be checking in until about 8:30pm. When we arrived, the class reunion was in full swing! It's good we arrived when we did, because one couple was trying to take our reservation.

Buccia Vineyard and B&B

We checked with the innkeepers, Fred and Joanna, and quickly settled into our spacious room (with a hot tub, sliding glass door to out private patio, and a comfortable bed.) Fred told us that as soon as we were ready, we could have a tasting of the vineyard's wines. So, we thought, "Sure, we could taste a couple wines."

He makes 12 wines. All good, some incredible. We enjoyed generous samples of each, along with lessons on wine growing, and why he makes the styles that he does. (Probably his best wine is one that is very unusual, Agawam, in that less than 600 acres of this grape is still grown.) We decided to take a bottle of Agawam to our room and unwind. (I was already pretty unwound by that time!)  Fred made sure that we were aware that he and Joanna live in their home next door and when the class reunion ended, they would return to their home for the night. If we need them, they have an intercom system. But if we only need more wine, we could help ourselves. He knows his inventory and we would just settle when we check out.

A comfortable room and a self-serve wine bar? Just add a Maine Lobster roll and I am set for life!

By the time we emptied that bottle, I was ready to relax in preparation for the next day. We had found a number of local wineries and antiques shops, and we were ready to take the town by storm!

(I went to bed hoping that Agawam would not cause lingering hangovers.)

No comments:

Post a Comment