Today (now yesterday) started bright and early, and a crisp 57 degrees. It may have been colder, but it was pre-coffee and I was a little too chilly to remember!
We started the day in Port Huron and a visit to the Fort Gratiot (Grash-ut) Lighthouse. It is the second oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, and the oldest lighthouse in Michigan. It was a beautiful day, blue sky as far as the eye could see, and the water calm and blue. Port Huron is a quaint little town, and close to the water it feels like time stopped and the world grew around it.
From there we crossed the Blue Water Bridge into Ontario, Canada. Border crossing was smooth, other than I couldn’t seem to say “Atlanta, Georgia” when asked where I lived! Atlanta, Alabama is what came out of my mouth, and when I asked again I said Smyrna, Georgia. Well, at least it’s a neighboring town if it isn’t the exact place I live? I was able to say where Mom lived without missing a beat. They let us in, thankfully.
The drive through western Ontario is beautiful, and at times reminded me of Norway – green, lush and farm houses set off in the distance. Mom likened it to areas of the midwest. Canadian drivers were polite and mostly patient. They actually use the left lane only for passing! It was an interesting drive for me as I tried to convert KPH to MPH. (I did eventually figure out how to change the settings in Mom’s car to metric, but not until later in the day!)
Our second stop was Niagara Falls. I have mixed feelings about it, to be honest. The Falls themself are stunning and awe-inspiring. I had hoped viewing them from the Canadian side would be less “touristy” and unspoiled. If the Canadian side is less than the US side, I don’t want to imagine what that is like. The walk down Cliff Hill was like being at the Jersey Shore boardwalk (sorry, New Jersey!) or a carnival. Every store front had speakers blaring constant midway noise. We did take some time to enjoy the gardens before we walked up the hill to the car.
We drove through Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Paul’s and St. Catharine’s on our way to Inneskilin Winery. (Well, you can’t really be surprised that Mom and I would end up at a winery!) A beautiful setting, and their white wines were wonderful. We didn’t try any reds (surprising, I know.)
As we headed to Burlington, ON to meet family friends for dinner, we passed the Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery. If I’d known that would be on our route, I would have made time for a stop! But now I have a reason to return with my other half – the true hockey and wine lover!
A wonderful dinner on the Burlington waterfront catching up and getting great tips on things to see and do the next day, and we headed into Toronto for the night. It was dark when we arrived, but what we had seen peaked our interest, and we headed to bed so we could get up and explore!