The drive towards Niagara was an extremely uneventful one, which is a pleasant surprise considering we were driving the 400-401-427-QEW route. This pathway is notorious for becoming a hinderance to many drivers as an accident at any one point can stop traffic dead for miles around. The gods of traffic safety were smiling upon us though so we enjoyed the drive, basking in the sun as it spread it's warmth into the car and into our hearts. It was a Friday and we had no office journeys to make. No meetings to prepare for. No clients needing our support. We were on vacation.
I realized about half way there that I had left my map to the resort on my desk at home, so began picturing it in my head, thinking we would have a few twists and turns to locate it in the vineyard laden countryside. To our surprise however, White Oaks resort is located immediately off of the QEW. Initially I remember thinking that it was too close to the highway, though fortunately this fact did not hinder us at all during the weekend. Now, we were quite early when we located our major destination...with about four hours to spare before check-in, so I used a pleasant time killing technique that I have developed over the many years that I have been driving. I got us lost.
Now this is not a bad thing. I am a fairly good navigator, so enjoy just driving off into some unknown road to see where it leads. Yes, I know this is the premise of the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and many of its cinemagraphic doppelgangers but so far I have not had anybody try to hack me apart just for being there. Plus, driving alongside the Welland Canal and through all kinds of vineyards is just a glorious experience. You can just feel the health in the land with all the greenery around you. The need exists to just get out of your car, walk into a field and feel the warm, rich loam supporting the years crops, but I think you'd get shot by a farmer for trespassing. "Signs, Man! Everywhere are signs...."
After a few dozen twists and turns, and two different crossings over the canal, we found ourselves in Niagara-On-The-Lake. Deciding we had time to look around before heading back to the resort, we went to park our car. And looked. And drove around. And looked. Then whined a little bit. And drove around some more. Finally, I located a spot at the far end of the Prince of Wales Hotel parking lot that allowed Metered Parking so we paid up and went for a walk.
The sights and sounds and smells of the town were an overload of the senses. Every sidewalk was crowded with people either shopping, looking for a place to eat or just lost in a daze. That kind of thing happens in large crowds. Not wanted to be part of the vaccous experience, we kept moving, browsing in a few stores and selecting some things we planned to buy. I chose to hold off actually making any purchases that day though as I knew we were coming back the next day so empty handed we strolled back to our car and headed off to the resort to check in.
Whereby it looks somewhat industrial on the outside, the resort is beautiful on the inside. There was a constant piping of light jazz music throughout the resort, and from time to time a live pianist would perform on our floor to add that extra little but of chemistry. Our room was lovely, and Melanie was delighted by the goosedown duvet on the King Sized bed. Soon enough I had to drag her away from it as we had reservations at the restaurant.
Liv (with an accent over the i that my keyboard cannot emulate) is a uniquely designed 4 Star Restaurant in the resort, and the spread they provided to us was also unique. Where Melanie went somewhat conventional and had a Sea-Food platter for an Appetizer and Beef Tenderloin for dinner, I was more courageous and had the Roast Quail with Goat-Cheese and Apple for Appetizer and Ostridge for dinner. My first time having both kinds of birds on my fork, and I can't say I regret the experience one bit. One absolutely lethal desert later and we almost needed to be rolled out of the joint.
The idea of going anywhere afterwards was laughable. We were so full from dinner that all we wanted to do was go back to our room. Which we did. The next day would provide us with enough adventure.
To be continued..... (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww)