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Rhode Island, United States

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sails, tent poles and vineyards: Adventures in Ontario

Hey guys! 

Sorry I haven’t gotten the chance to blog since last Monday, I’ve been super busy and I lost service on the blackberry as soon as I crossed the border so I figured I’d do a full recap and do my wine-tasting reviews separate =)
I had an
amazing week- we went lots of places, did lots of fun stuff and even though everything didn’t go as planned I had a great time overall.

Get ready for a monster recap…

Note: Not ALL of my food/adventures are pictured! It was long enough already!! here are the hilights...

Monday- My dad and I woke up earlier than the crack of dawn to head to Sarnia. It was dark almost 5 hours into the ride, but other than that it went smoothly and we got there in record time. Food-wise, I already had my chance to McDonalds-rant about my breakfast, but the rest of the day was much healthier- we snacked on some fruit we brought and some TJ’s salt and pepper rice crips before stopping for lunch right at the border. We grabbed chicken sandwiches on toasted wheat with iced tea and then set out for the last bit of the ride into Canada. 

When we got to Nick’s house I said goodbye to my dad so I could spend a little quality time with the boy before dinner. My dad met us again in a few hours back at Nick’s house where his dad made a delicious grilled teriyaki steak dinner with potatoes and fresh Ontario corn.  
For dessert Nick and I went for a walk through the park and made our way to get some real-fruit frozen yogurt- I got mango pineapple, and it hit the spot! I was pretty tired after a long day of driving, so we called it an early night. 

Tuesday morning we grabbed some fruit and muffins and set out early to bring Nick’s mom to work and spend the day in Port Dover. Our first stop after dropping his mom off was the Pickard's peanuts where we got some fun treats to snack on throughout the week...peanut brittle, dried pineapple, beer nuts, and fuzzy peaches… mmm!

After the peanut factory, we headed down to Port Dover for a relaxing afternoon in the sun. We went for a very sweaty run (only got 20-minutes in due to the heat!) then retreated to the beach for a 30-minute jaunt in the ocean and some sun bathing. We topped off our fun afternoon with some friendly competition- an exciting game of mini golf! Nick beat me…but only by 3 points!
We did some window shopping in my new favorite shop,
  which happens to be the place Nick bought me the crystal necklace he gave me for my birthday…The Circle Game. How did he know that was one of my favorite songs growing up? Crazy!

After picking his mom up, we ate a nice dinner at a beautiful setting overlooking the beach at sunset. His mom and I split a greek salad and we all had fish and chips (I swapped the regular fries for sweet potato fries).

Wednesday- Nick and I were up and on the road again- this time for a run around the park. It was still warm but we made it 25 minutes instead of 20! We spent the day preparing for our camping trip- camping supplies at Canadian tire, food at the grocery store, drinks at the drugstore. It was an errand-filled day, but we split it up with a delicious sushi lunch at the Japanese restaurant in town (name). I got the Maki lunch special which included a small miso soup, salad with my favorite ginger dressing, and 2 sushi rolls- shrimp tempura and California roll. I devoured all but 2 of the maki pieces!

For an early dinner, Nick and I put together my favorite one of his recipes- Jambalaya!

I had a fun experience Wednesday evening- my first time in a sailboat! Well, a boat bigger than a dinghy that is. I headed out with Nick in his friend Kelly’s dad’s 32-foot boat for a race around the lake. It was a lot of fun, and they came in 3rd place! We grabbed one drink at the bar before making our way to the Pinery for the most disastrous camping experience in history!   

Let me start by stressing- disastrous doesn’t always mean awful. I had a great time camping, although not much went as planned. Since the tent is so easy to put up, I had nick on tent duty while I started the fire; figuring I had the hard job. Well less than 10 minutes later we had a blazing fire and the tent was…well, it wasn’t anywhere near up that’s for sure- Nick forgot the tent poles (in Rhode Island, nonetheless) and he had to rig the tent up to two trees to get it to stay. Needless to say, we were a little bit nervous we would wake up in the middle of the night with the tent on top of us. 

While the tent was being put up, I made us some jiffy-POP… when I say pop, I mean POP!... the side popped open in the process and popcorn proceeded to spill all over the fire pit, while burnt pieces of popcorn shot out of the pit everywhere! I was cracking up, it was THE funniest thing that happened all day. When the tent was somewhat rigged we enjoyed our half bag of popcorn and a s’more before heading to bed.

Yes, the tent made it through the night. =)

Ghetto rig: 

Thursday morning we woke up early enough to get a fire going and cook up one of the most unhealthy, but in my opinion, most fun campfire breakfasts there is… California Crackle! Yep, the only semi-valid excuse to eat cheez-its for breakfast. Gross, but delicious I promise. 

Eggs, maple sausage, crumbled cheez-its, and OJ on the side.

We went for a run around the dunes in the morning, then made our way 10 minutes away to Grand Bend for nice day at the beach. Well, our beach day never really happened…

We had a good lunch- I had a lamb burger (!!) with a salad on the side (picked around the ridiculous amount of dressing). 

Then we did some shopping around before the sky turned BLACK and we decided it was about tq-ime to head back to the car! Good thing, the sky opened up and it was one of the most intense rainstorms I’ve ever seen! So we packed up the very wet campsite and went back to Nick’s.

Not long after, it was sunny again. =( But our stuff was wet, so we decided leaving was a good decision and we opted for Taco Night at Nick’s with his friends instead. We even had a ‘campfire’- in the fire pit on his patio! We made monkey bread…

And I had one more s’more… can’t get enough!

A few too many rye & gingers were consumed and I woke up with a bit of a headache on Friday. We made it out for a nice bike ride anyway, stopping at Albert’s for bridge fries and chicken for lunch (yum!) and we laid out on the beach for a while. 
Around dinner time we went to Nick’s friend Kelly’s for a bbq- grilled chicken sandwiches, corn, pasta salad, way too many beers and chips… and we chilled out in the hot tub for a few hours. So relaxing! 

Saturday was a lazy day, we slept in, walked over to Kelly’s to get Nick’s car (we got a ride home after all those Keith’s :P) and made delicious nachos for lunch with leftover Taco night stuff. After lunch Nick needed to head out for a regatta and some bartending work, so I spent the afternoon with Nick’s mom. We went shopping downtown and had lots of fun! I got a couple nice things- a new bracelet, a new lunchbox, and Nick’s mom bought me yummy spicy pasta sauce from Salvatores which I can’t wait to use!! After a long day of shopping, Nick’s dad made a delicious dinner of barbequed chicken with his homemade bbq sauce, corn, roasted potatoes and some Ontario white wine!

Nick was done a couple hours later, so he took me out for a drink… we shared the Irish flight- I snagged the Guinness (yum!) and the Kilkenny, he grabbed the harp and the Smitwick's. After drinks it was back home for us, we had another early morning on Sunday!

Sunday morning we woke up just in time for breakfast before making the 3 hour drive to Niagra. We arrived around noontime just in time to meet our Crush On Niagra wine tour guide, Paul, right outside the hotel! He was great- very informative and we had a great Sniff n’ swirl wine tour- but I won’t go into too much detail now…that’s for the review post! Didn’t drink too much the first day, but we sure were hungry when we got back! We checked into the hotel where we dropped our stuff in our room with the huge bed (and Jacuzzi!!) and made our way down the street for an Italian dinner. I got the pasta primavera, and Nick got spaghetti and meatballs. Both were very good, but I mostly ate the vegetables and just picked at the pasta- I had a fluffy piece of Italian bread as well! 
The rest of the night was spent wandering Niagra. 

We played at the Ripleys museum... 

And found Candy Mountain!!! 
We left with our kidneys ;)
Plus this loot... 
Fun times!

Monday morning we went for a  gorgeous half-hour walk along the falls...

and then made our way to brunch. Not healthy by any means, but my favorite breakfast is Eggs Benedict- and it was vacation! So I got Eggs Benedict, which I ate all of, and it came with homefries (had one bite and decided it wasn’t worth it) and a fruit cup (ate it all of course!). We needed something big to hold us because this was breakfast AND lunch- our tour was just after 12! 
Again, I won’t go into too much detail about the wine tours just yet, but let me tell you we had SO much fun on the second day! Our tour guide, Richard, was hilarious, and we drank some truly wonderful wines. 

We DID get pretty tipsy by the end of the 4 wineries… so it was dinner time again when we got back to the hotel! This time we had Mexican… we started off with this yummy Mexican bruschetta-type appetizer (don’t remember what it was called!) and for dinner I ordered the chicken burrito, which I ate almost all of (yes, it was huge!) it came with rice and beans, which I had a bite of each.

Mexican is never complete without Margaritas!!

Later that evening we went up the Skylon tower for a beautiful view of the falls at night. Too bad I didn’t get the best pictures!

Tuesday morning it was time to head home, but we stopped at Tim Horton’s for iced coffees and bagels (mine was the good!) and went for a refreshing run along the water. We grabbed lunch before we left- a fabulous Indian buffet!! $8 for all this deliciousness? Awesome!

We just laid around in the afternoon when we got back to Nick’s, and then made dinner- my famous burgers with caramelized onions, corn, roasted potatoes and Shiraz we got on our tour. Perfecto!

Dessert was a shared cup of Oh Henry ice cream…best way to end the week!

And yesterday we headed home. Just the usual travel-type food- muffins on the road, coffee, orange pieces, dill popcorn and subway sandwiches for lunch… no pictures, just traveling. I did spend the trip typing up blogs and getting all of my BFL stuff in order… but more on that later =)

I’m glad to be back!

**Wednesdays dinner and this morning's breakfast is to come later!!**




Lele said...

I am going to need to make some california crackle. That sounds ridiculous. And awesome.

Janetha @ meals + moves said...

wow what a fun post! so much to take in, and that wasn't even ALL you did, so i bet you had just an amazing time. ok let's see if i can remember what i wanted to say.. oh the sushi=love.. and that cheezit thing, i think, looks REALLY tasty. haha, love the buddah photo, i hope you got some good luck! eggs benedict is my favorite thing to order when eating breakfast out. ok this is LONG i will stop there, LOVED the recap!