It all began Friday, when I drove to Ford’s headquarters in Oakville to pick up an Expedition SUV. I went straight from the office, had a nice, solitary dinner, picked up the vehicle, and returned home.
Saturday, I got up bright and early (by my standards), packed six people into the gargantuan SUV, and drove to the Niagara Region for a wine tour. One of my friends is visiting from New Brunswick, and none of my friends had ever gone on a wine tour before. We left at 8am, stopped for breakfast along the way, and got to our first winery around 10:20am. Over the course of the next eight hours, we visited a total of 11 wineries and one brewery, stopping for lunch midway through the day. Actually, we visited a 12 winery, but they were closed for the season (darn). I don’t remember every winery that we visited, but our group purchased wine at all but two places, so it’s easy enough to reconstruct the path we took.
Speaking of paths, I tend to leave things fairly open-ended when I plan trips. I like to know where we’re starting, where we’re ending, and maybe a few points in-between. That way I can leave some flexibility in the plan, but still have a sense of when we should be where. So I only knew that we were going to visit three of the locations when we left in the morning…the rest made themselves known as we drove along.
I’m quite pleased with how things went, because the wineries were all locations that I either remembered liking in the past, or didn’t think I’d been to before. As a group, we found something to like about almost every winery (only one failed to impress). I wouldn’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I wouldn’t have felt very good if there were more duds on the tour.
One of the things I love about wine tours is the architecture…each winery has a distinct style, and to me that’s a big part of the experience. That’s probably why I prefer touring to buying wine at the licquor store. We visited a lot of smaller wineries that are charming and friendly, and a few larger ones that are grand, impressive spectacles. I like both, but enjoy the smaller, more personable places given the choice.
Jeff will be glad to know that his favourite winery, Joseph’s, was a big hit. We bought quite a lot of wine there. It was our last stop before the brewery, and a very good end to the tour.
Then it was back to Waterloo to hang out for the rest of the evening. It was a great time with great people.
Got up this morning, checked to see if the new Daylight Savings had kicked in properly on my various time pieces, and then drove the Expedition back to Oakville. It was an excellent vehicle to have on Saturday, because it comfortably fit all seven adults…which is something that few vehicles can claim. That meant that we could all go together, rather than taking two cars, which increased the social aspect and–more importantly–meant that I was the only driver. Obviously I was very careful about how much wine-tasting I did, and I didn’t have to worry about someone else getting behind the wheel. My friends aren’t stupid enough to drive drunk, but it was one less thing to think about.
After I dropped off the Expedition, I had lunch with a friend, then came home. All told, somewhere around 800km in a two-day period. I’ve driven more than that, but man, was I tired when I got home. I had originally planned to go to the office, but there was no way I could have concentrated on my work. Also, I realized that this was my only decent day to take the snow tires off of my car. So I did that (the task was simplified greatly by my neighbour, who lent me a proper jack to use instead of my car’s emergency jack), then spent some time with him shovelling ice off of the driveway and chatting.
After that, I spent my evening working on an article while a Tim Allen movie called “Joe Somebody” played in the background. It wasn’t a bad movie…I enjoyed it. And yes, it blocked my productivity. Ah well.
I have more to say about the movie and how I relate to it, but that’s enough for right now. Check back tomorrow…but no promises, cuz I’ve got a busy week ahead of me.
Yeah, I know. What else is new.