Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bao celebrated his birthday with a horse-drawn carriage ride around Niagara on the Lake, an afternoon tour of the local wineries and a doggie cupcake. Having downed the latter in two gulps (I can’t seem to teach him how to let flavours linger upon his tongue) he curled up and fell asleep on his back. So of course he snored all night, just like a husband.
Niagara on the Lake was founded by British loyalists who were unhappy with the outcome of what was eventually known as the American Revolution. During the War of 1812, the Americans invaded three times, on one occasion capturing the town and fort and holding them for seven months, after which they torched the place. The fort survived, and we plan to visit it this morning, if it stops raining.
The old town is beautifully preserved, with nearly a third of its buildings historically designated and identified by little oval plaques that tell you when they were built. However, conservation doesn’t come cheap. A quite ordinary, clapboard cracker-box of a place will set you back $700,000 and the waterfront B&B across the road has a price tag of $2.2 million. This strikes me as moderately extraordinary.
As you’d expect, antique dealers abound. And art galleries.
I’ve been assured that original works of art are duty free. We’ll see.
Yesterday’s big surprise was the wine. It’s very, very good. There are 17 vineyards in the immediate area, the most amazing of which is Sunnybrook, where they make wine out of fruit. By fruit, I don’t mean grapes. I mean fruit – including strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, and apples. The only fruit wines I’d ever tasted before yesterday were dessert wines, highly fortified tipples that give me a splitting headache if I take more than a sip or two. These are different. They’re just like ordinary table wine, meant to compliment meat, fish, cheese and pasta. Cranberry will be good with duckling, and the apple will go perfectly with pork. But the piece de resistance was Chocolate Embrace, blueberries infused with Belgian chocolate. I’m going to be very popular when I get home, at least, until we've emptied the bottle.
I’ve been assured that American visitors to Canada are allowed to import two bottles of wine per person per day they’ve spent in Canada. We’ll see.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

You'll be okay with original art. You may have to show it. They have a list of "recognized" artists. Do you believe it? Sometimes it's just easier to have it shipped in which case you'll have to give your social security number for customs.

Wine - we've brought that back too. I don't remember the two per person per day but I'm sure the people selling it know. Have fun - have a Canadian wine tasting when you get home.

1:30 PM

Blogger skynanny said...

Belated birthday wishes to Bao!
We do have natural untended beauty in Ontario,Canada but it is up here in the North away from the big cities and tourist places. The stately pines and roadside flowers & bushes, mixed in with many sparkling lakes are an array of vibrant colour and beauty this time of year. If you ever come back to Canada, please try to visit the North! Skynanny- a passing travel aquaintance in Stratford!

4:55 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home