Friday, July 20, 2001

Day 12:  Niagara-on-the-Lake to Montreal


We were up at 07:30.


Once again we had breakfast in the room, Cheerios and sweet grapes delivered by the hotel staff.l

While Sheryl studied from 08:30 to 10:00, I took a walkabout.  I walked down to Fort George and took a walking tour through the fort, taking several photos.  I then walked down to the pier and got my last river view.


At 10:00 we packed up to leave the motel.  We had decided to do some wine tours.  First we went along the Niagara Parkway to the Rief wineries, where we got our free sample.  Then we drove to the Iniskillen Winery and took the self-guided tour.  In theie wine shop, afterward, we tried ice wine for the first time and bought some wine to take home.  We went on to a third place, where the people were not very friendly.  Finally,  we ended up at the Hillebrant winery.


At Hillebrant, we discovered that we could take a guided tour at 13:30, so we waited around for that to begin.  The tour began with a lesson on wine tasting.  Then they took us out to the grapes and explained about the varieties and how they were raised.  Finally, we were brought down into the cellar.  All in all, it was a very nice tour.  While I appreciated the self-guided tour at Iniskellen, there is something special about being in a group and having a live tour guide.


It was already mid-afternoon by the time the tour was done, so we decided to have lunch at the winery's restaurant, though it was quite pricey.  I had pork tenderloin and Sheryl had quail.  Each were very good, but the portions were very small.


Leaving the winery quite late, Sheryl indulged me as I drove back over to the Brock Monument so that I could have the thrill of climbed up the stairs.  I enjoyed it very much,  although the narrow stairway made one somewhat claustrophobic.  At the top was only room for one person, and one could only see out of tiny portholes.  I took some photos, but the late afternoon light was not good.


We started for home at 18:00.  I stopped in at Ste. Catherines for gas and coffee to go.  Then we headed through Toronto via the QEW, the 427, and the 401, and got caught in the tail end of rush hour.  As I was driving back, I was reviewing the ride in my mind, counting off the landmark towns and counting back the days.


We stopped for supper in Belleville at the Swiss Chalet, where we each had chicken and salad.  Our stop was brief, only about 30 minutes, and we finished it off with yet another Tim Horton's visit:  Coffee for me and iced coffee for Sheryl.


At around midnight I had to stop at Morrisburg.  I was too tired to continue.  I drove to the back of the parking lot in the roadside stop area and took a 45 minute snooze.  Sheryl was already sleeping.


Setting out again at 0:45, after gassing up, we finally got home at 02:00.  It felt good to be back.