One Barrel and a Big River Please!

Posted by Bruce on May 27, 2012
Restaurants, Winery & Vinyards

Off to the falls Baby!  After the last few weeks of friendship drama I thought a getaway would clear my head.  I packed my bags and headed out with all the necessities in order to have a wonderfully relaxing four day excursion.  I booked my ticket with Via and reserved my space at the Hilton.

I ended up on the 36th floor over looking the Falls.  Stunning!  Unlike the Sheraton in Hamilton there was no gift basket but meh, what’s a boy to do but one hot tub to really get this trip off in the right direction! I had the week planned out but was willing to be open enough for any unexpected changes.

I lucked out and on my arrival, Sunday night, I was greeted to a dynamite firework display. OK, OK in my world they were meant for me! I felt like a kid again! I wanted to stand right there for ever. Then of course the music stops and the lights go out and it’s mayhem on the thicket of the Falls as thousands of on lookers try to get to the eateries before everyone else does.

John picked “Applebees” That’s about all I have to say about that. Neither an apple or a bee “Discuss” (A Mike Myers reference).  The service was good. The food sucked!

The next day we spent the day at the Butterfly Conservatory. If you have not been, you have to check it out, big time! It’s like walking through an “Alice in Wonderland” reality with over 3000 species of butterfly, fluttering free and landing at will! We must have spent a couple of hours at least just taking in this spectacle.

Of course the trip would not have been complete without “Alice” at our side. As you know “Alice” had underwent hip replacement surgery back in February. I wrote about that experience here on my blog during that week. Since She has never has never been to Niagara Falls or on a train, what better way to really get the most of such an experience. As she worked that cane and enjoyed time in the wheelchair, it was like seeing the Falls with a whole new set of eyes.

Butterfly Conservatory

5 kisses out of 5

Later that evening, I decided to take a solo stroll down by the Falls. As I made my way, I was really surprised at the memories that came rushing back. I have visited the Falls on several occasions with many different friends and relatives. John, Aunt Sue,Uncle Lynn,Wanda, Marcie, Mom and dad and each one of those trips came back to delight my memories. I was in aw as I thought how amazing the great Falls remain constant yet my image has changed much. Made me think of that great song by “Joni Mitchell” “Circle Game”. Ever hear it? You have to! I’ll supply the link below!

As I went back to my hotel room, the rooms were darkened as my roomies slept. I pulled the couch directly in front of the window, laid down to drift off to sleep, mesmerized once again by the view.

“Wake up kids we are off to Niagara on the Lake” My good friend and nephew met us 11 am sharp at the front door of the Hilton.  “Ron” had planned out a day of adventure at a couple or wineries and a hot spot for lunch.  The first winery was “Ravine” a very cute spot with a very interesting history.  The reisling we tried was fabulous and of course we needed a few bottles.

Ravine Vineyard

5 kisses out of 5

We had to be on our way as we had reservation for 12 sharp at the Old Winery restaurant. Of course we were late! I don’t have to be on time, I’m on holidays! We ordered 3 different pizzas that were excellent and a round of cocktails. We needed a little break from the wine after our first tasting. Hiccup!

Old Winery Restaurant

5 kisses out of 5

After lunch it was off to Peller Estates where the real fun began! Our super sweet friend Alan planned a private tasting for us. He was off doing business in the states and we were so surprised that he had made these special arrangements. We made our way to the private lounge “let the tastings begin!” “Again!” Just as that tasting was winding down we were thrilled to fined out Ron had booked a wine pairing, mmmm with chocolate!!! We were so thrilled at this winery that I had mentioned this winery in a past blog. This time we became members!

Peller Estates

6 kisses out of 5

This place just rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Period!

Do I dare tell you about “Hillebrand” Or as I like to call it “Hellabrand!” It was my first time to this Vinyard. Amazing!!!! We had a private tasting in “The Loft” and our host was “Very Nice” We tasted until our hearts were content and then we became members there to!


5 kisses out of 5

Well, that was about the end of that wonderful day! When we arrived back at the hotel it was crash time. Room service was a must and then off to bed!

The rest of the trip was your typical jaunt around the Falls and it was amazing.  I was really taken by a story at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum about the Hermit of the Falls. Have you ever heard of him? I’m always intrigued about why people end up the way they do. What life events end up making people become so eccentric? Like Howard Hughes, Michael Jackson, Elvis just to name a few. if their lives took a different path would they have met their demise in such a tragic and mysterious way in some cases.

Well that’s about it for me for another week. I hope you enjoyed yet another review of some great little places I have enjoyed along my own little eccentric life. Now back to Toronto, I am having withdrawals! “One barrel and a big river please!”

ps: Applebees!!! 2 kisses out of 5! Our waitress! 5 kisses! It’s not her fault the food stank!



Here is a link for you! You may enjoy!

The Hermit of the Falls

Circle Game-Joni Mitchell

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