20190708 Day Twelve
Toronto To Niagara and Back Again
We lit out for Niagara Falls. There was a slight routing error. Google tried to send us to a Tim Hortons inside a Ford manufacturing plant. Luckily, there were four other Tim Hortons within a block. We got breakfast. One of us made healthy choices.
We parked by Horseshoe Falls. You can see the United States from there! You can watch Maiden in Mists tour boats dance near the eddy line and then let the bow dip into the down stream current and shoot away. We got to see a lot of tourists. We watched a lot of people standing in line to buy tickets to get their family the “Whole Falls Experience”. We got a Niagara pin in the gift shop and went back to the truck.
We followed the Niagara River north towards Niagara on the Lake. We got cherries from a roadside stand. We stopped by Queens Royal Park where the river opens into Lake Ontario. There was a breeze. The sun was out. Sail boats doing boat sailing things.
We abandoned perfection and went into town. I jumped out of the truck and told the family to keep it close. I went in the first grocery store. It was one of those spice and seasoning tourist places. I went down the street and found Niagara Home Bakery. They purvey scones, Cornish Pastry, and Scottish Pies. I got about two of each of the savories from a affable Scottish lady. I called for a pick up.
Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment and the boys had found a real grocery store a block further down. They got nice cheeses and nice crackers and sodas and Hawkins Cheezies. We had heard about Hawkin’s Cheesies last week when Marc Maron was talking with a Canadian comedian. It took ten days to find them. They have real crunch and real cheese. Merryweather and I agreed we liked them more than Cheetos. We like Cheetos a lot.
We packed our food back to Queens Royal Park and had a picnic. It was sublime. The sun was out. There was a nice breeze. People were having a nice time. The boys sniffed at my assortment of Cornish and Scottish Savory pasteries. I tried to demonstrate a sense of adventure. A culinary experience. I kept saying things like “this tastes like meatloaf”, “this Jamaican one is spicy”, “try this”. They retreated to another bench and ate things that tasted good instead. Mrs. Jon Bruce and I ate nice cheese and crackers. I also ate my body weight in cherries.
We headed back towards Toronto via wine country. We stopped at a winery. The Team Canada wine is very nice. They also sell a ice wine which is very sweet. We bought some Team Canada wine.
We stopped at the Wayne Gretzky winery and distillery and event space. It is super nice. There is also a Gretzky beer. The beer is great. The regular whiskey tastes has a strong smokey finish like a bad divorce. The aged version is like drinking the regular version out of a dirty ashtray because you stopped washing dishes after the wife and kids left. The third one is finished in sugary ice wine barrels… I was driving. The Great One beer is great.
Driving through the fertile crescent of Canadian culture was an allergy treat. Everything is in bloom. We drove by a lavender farm.
I have looked at several hat shops. Many Canada gift shops have nice quality things to sell. Tilley Hats, Red Canoe clothes, Herschel Supply Co, Hudson Bay. Made in Canada things. It’s nice to see quality options in the vicinity or replacing the 5 for $20 t-shirts.
Tilley is the Canada based maker of those wide brimmed hats I wear.I asked out loud if there was an actual Tilley Store. Mrs. Jon Bruce searched it up. The flagship store is in Toronto! Lo and behold it is already on my saved places to visit on Google Maps too! With drive time traffic, a visit added little more than an hour to our trip. Yes please!
The Tilley Store. Flagship, more like mothership for canoeists, birders, photographers mostly dad’s who are into canoes, birds, and cameras. At Yellowstone last year, Merryweather observed a tour bus of photography dad’s in long sleeve Columbia shirts with Tilley Hats and cameras. He said, “Look dad, your people”.
Tilley Hats have a lifetime guarantee. I like mine quite a bit. I have one that I used for almost 15 years. I got my first one from Galyans in Indianapolis. I wore it to coach Charbonneau’s pee wee soccer. It travelled from the Atlantic, Pacific, the Gulf and the Canadian Boundary Waters. It still has a marshmallow stain from Alex Huffine’s birthday party. My hat lost structural integrity in the Florida Keys. I bought another with better ventilation and a backup cotton one.
I didn’t really need anything. But they have nice travel shirts that might not turn me blue like my EX ex officio shirt. Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment thought I looked very handsome in the light blue shirt. I had seen the cotton hats in many colors. At the flagship store they had ALL the colors in ALL the sizes. I got a red one. My momma says red is my color. Mrs. Jon Bruce asked my to try on a Yellow Tilley Hat. I did. I did and yes I do like the man in the yellow hat. I reminded her that I already have a yellow hat that makes me look like the man in the yellow hat, but Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment is a very curious monkey.
We went to Greek Town for dinner. We got invited back to the kitchen to see the specials. Dinner was excellent. I demonstrated the effect of ice on ouzo for Merryweather.
With a transitional sentence that mentions the truck was filled up like we were at dinner, we headed back to the apartment. We got packed for checkout tomorrow. Charbonneau and I got out the map and brainstormed the next steps of the journey. loaded bags by the door. reloaded stuff, threw away reciepts. Lock and Loaded for the next step.
20190708 DayTwelve_Toronto To Niagara and Back Again