We did have some parameters we needed to adhere to. First and foremost, no conventions, no seeing anyone famous! (We do enough of that already). Second, it couldn't be too far away (relatively close driving distance).
So we settled on going to Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls, which is about a two-hour drive south of Toronto. We had all been there before (some of as many times) but it'd been a while for all of us, and as I've often said, Niagara-on-the-Lake is my favourite part of the province.
And, while it's not easy to plan a weekend road trip with five different opinions and tastes, I do think the weekend had a little something for everyone. And it was during this planning process, I would like to point out, when Ali dubbed me ‘Planning Princess’ as opposed to my own self-inflicted nickname of ‘Planning Nazi’.
Saturday May 22, 2010
With Maggie in the car, it was off to Milton to pick up the remaining members of the ‘road trip’ crew, Cindy and Margaret. Margaret (who lives in Paris, Ontario) was driving to Cindy's place so we could all take one car. And after a much-needed stopover at Starbucks (they should offer intravenous drips with the coffee as well as cups, if you ask me!). We had all 5 members and were ready to go.
The drive from Milton to Niagara-on-the-Lake took just under 2 hours and was spent with us mostly laughing and being silly. Joking that we may not know what to do if we weren’t going to be standing in some line waiting to see some celeb and that we might end up at the back of a line, without knowing what was at the end, out of pure habit!
Royal George Theatre. But the first stop wasn’t the theatre but instead was lunch! I had planned for us to have lunch at The Epicurean, which is just across the street from the theatre and had rave reviews about the food. But unfortunately, they didn't take reservations for lunch, and the popularity of the restaurant was evident by the fact that you couldn't get in the door let alone find a seat!
Ali and Cindy at lunch on Saturday May 22, 2010 at the Shaw Cafe & Wine Bar.
Words can NOT express how good this play was! Not only was the Royal George Theatre beautiful and our seats great, it was WONDERFULLY acted and just a pleasure to watch! We all enjoyed it immensely! And I believe the other girls also stated it was the highlight of the weekend.
After the play it was time to do some shopping and sightseeing. Niagara-on-the-Lake has some wonderful and quirky shops along its Heritage District, which happens to be along the same street as the theatre.
One of our shopping stops was at Greaves (www.greavesjams.com), and while I had seen their jams in many stores I've never seen a Greaves only store. Since their jam is one of hubby's favourite, I decided to pick him up some and got six of their smaller jars, all with different flavours for him to try. (*Note* once I got home I told hubby that I had a gift for him and made him close his eyes. I then put the covered bag in his hands. Before he even opened his eyes just from feeling the jars, he said “you got me jam?” This stunned me, since he didn't ask for them and I didn't know there was a jam store, so I hadn't planned on buying them. He just said that he could tell by the feel of the jars what they were.)
I also picked up a box of chocolate covered potato chips at one of the stores (actually I picked up two…). I just had to try them. Turns out they are sinfully good! The combination of slightly salty and slightly sweet really works! [Editor’s note: I remember them and they were delicious!]
After our shopping, we walked around the town a little and made our way to the lakefront, all the while taking pictures. Kind of hard not to since the entire town is so picturesque!
The place was actually hard to find even with a map and directions. It’s in a strip mall, with no real sign out front, but after a few drive-bys, we figured it had to be there since it was the only place around. Once we got out of the car we found the sign.
The interior of the restaurant is decorated… uniquely. It has a black floor, red lights, and dark furniture, so its takes awhile to adjust to it all, and the look Maggie gave me as we walked in was priceless! Like “where have you brought us to?” But let me say, that was one of the BEST meals I have ever had! It was all soooo tasty! And the server kept saying that they made everything there, it was all in house. We all ate until we were stuffed! And enjoyed every bite!
The funny thing was, when you get to entrance to the Casino, there are 2 lines, one for people under 30 (where they have to show ID) and the other for people over 30. We all went in the over 30 line and of course I was the only one that gets pulled aside and asked my age… This is something that is of great amusement to Maggie! The last time something like this happened was when her and I were at the LCBO (liquor store). You have to be 19 to purchase alcohol in Ontario and if you look like you are 25 or younger they ask for ID. Well I was asked and Maggie almost killed herself laughing and then said to the clerk “wait until you find out how old she actually is!”
Perkins, which was included with our hotel stay, we checked out. Then it was off to check out the Falls! So after a short walk and a trolley ride down the hill, we were at the Welcome Centre.
Trolly Ride Down
The Welcome Centre at the Falls:
Then we walked along Niagara Parkway, enjoying the sun and taking pictures. We walked and walked and walked until I thought my feet would fall off! But we finally made it to Clifton Hill.
By this time we were really tired. We had planned on stopping at the Butterfly Conservatory, on our way out of town but that just didn’t happen. Nor did we stop at an Antique Shop along the highway. I wanted to get a picture of the floor of the place. This goes back to the last trip with hubby again, when we did stop in and I fell in love with the floor. It is red cherry wood and light hard pine in strips and just beautiful! Of course years later hubby doesn’t remember it right, so I wanted to take a picture and say ‘see I was right’ after all. $200+ spent for a weekend with the girls was great, $1000 not won at the slot machine was irritating, but being right and rubbing it in hubby’s face would have been PRICELSS! But after all of that the shop was closed! Grrrrr…
We all made it back safe, sound and happy and it was a great weekend!
Report edited by the WONDERFUL Ali!