Archives for posts with tag: friends

flowers
Mazel tov to yet another friend who has joined the league of married folk! The union took place in Kleinburg, which I didn’t know even existed, just 40 minutes outside of the city, at the McMichael Canadian Art Museum (it houses iconic collections such as the Group of Seven).

I love going to weddings of different faiths and seeing the unique traditions and rituals. A few things I learned:

  • it’s common for Jewish weddings to take place on Sundays because Saturday is a holy day of rest
  • the bride and groom are not supposed to see each other the week before the wedding and then during the day of, the groom needs to check that the bride is indeed her (as per a reference to a biblical tale)
  • 18 is considered a lucky number, meaning long life
  • the ceremony takes place under a ‘chuppah’, a canopy, meaning the home they will build together
  • the groom promises to sell the shirt of his back to provide for the wife (I found this part funny…only because it was so bluntly put!)

totem pole - mcmichael canadian art collection
(an intersection of cultures: a totem pole which depicting a frog surfing the web – not pictured!)

flowers, table settings
(note that only the top tier of the cake is real! so genius!)

under the chuppah
(happily ever after!)

HUZZAH!

belleville on the water
(my favourite photo from the weekend – houses along the waterfront)

During my splendid getaway to Niagara-on-the-lake, one of my companions mentioned Picton, Ontario as a place to visit, particularly for their abundance of homemade jam. After a quick Google search, not only did I find places to buy jam, I stumbled upon the Great Canadian Cheese Festival!

great canadian cheese festival
cheese
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local winery field

When it comes to travel, I’ve always been drawn towards far off and exotic places. I’ve lived in Canada nearly all my live and only once flirted with the thought of travelling across Canada and seeing the great wonders of my country (not counting the work trips I had to Edmonton and Vancouver this year!). The trip never panned out and still, the idea still only sometimes lingers in my mind.

That said, I’ve been to Niagara Falls many times, particularly when relatives visit from distant lands, but I’ve never explored Niagara-on-the-lake. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about it and after spending a weekend there, I now know why it’s nicknamed “the loveliest town in Canada”. Tucked away in the southern part of Ontario, in the Niagara region, it is a fantastic weekend getaway from the city.

The weekend called for rain and but we set off anyway, fingers crossed for some sun since our plans included a bike tour around the wineries.

We smartly opted to stay at Globetrotter’s bed and breakfast. We were met with luscious landscaping and an inviting porch, wood interiors with exposed beam, and charming rooms peppered with worldly souvenirs.

globetrotter b&b porch
globetrotters b&b

The hosts, Donna and Fernando, showed incomparable hospitality (and some mean skills in the kitchen!). She is the editor for Dreamscapes, a travel and lifestyle magazine in the Globe and Mail and, he is an equality well traveled hospitality manager at a local hotel. Together, they make the perfect team.

After a quick rest, we walked to the local bike rental store, Zoom then took off to explore the wineries and sample local wine. We visited 5 altogether: Stratus , Caroline Cellars, Pondview Winery, Frogpond Farm Winery, and Mary Nissen

I don’t proclaim to be a wine connoisseur by any means but I definitely enjoyed being able to sample wine and having someone there to explain the nuances in taste to me. I found that I had an affinity towards sweeter wines, and ice wine.

ice wine shots
Ice wine shooters in chocolate – so delicious!

garbage bag poncho
The garbage bag poncho = solution to the rain

sheep
Sheep!

We must have biked for about 4 hours (in the rain) and were completely soaked but it was hilariously fun. A hearty meal at Strewn
was a great way to end an tiring day.

We woke up with sore limbs and butts but trooped to the town to take a peek at the local shops and for the infamous Cow’s ice cream.

brunch
Our fabulous brunch the next morning in the sun room.

sun room brunch
A perfectly cooked egg on smoked beef and a biscuit with hollandaise sauce, made by Fernando!

Kennedy's gelato
Scrumptious treats at Kennedy’s gelato, a new gelato joint owned by the nicest woman!

niagara apothecary
Pretty vintage bottles at the Niagara Apothecary.

After a quick lunch at the Old Winery Restaurant, we said farewell to Niagara-on-the-lake, with a promise to come back soon!

This cat, Miso, is saying: “No! Don’t make me!” Clearly, she doesn’t want to go to work tomorrow either!

What a busy week. I feel like I barely got any rest. A full week of fitness, including my first belly dance lesson which went really well, a belated birthday dinner, and a weekend trip to visit an old friend!

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