Summer Wrap-Up

Summer, you went by way too fast.

My first summer in Niagara has been full. The B&B was open for business as of June 1st, and we were on the go from the beginning. In my previous careers, summer has always been a slower time. In the B&B world, summer is super-busy. The lazy days and nights of summer are not really part of my world any more.

And that’s okay. I love the B&B business, and I have met some fantastic people. There have been wonderful conversations, lots of laughter, and memories made. And though free time may have been a bit scarce, I tried to make the most of it.

This is a wrap-up of our summer adventures for 2014.

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We went up to Brock’s monument one glorious summer afternoon. I haven’t been up there in years. It was a scorcher of a day, and the views were incredible.

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It was peaceful that day. We enjoyed the park, the views, and of course Ken had an ice cream.

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There were also several visits to Ravine Vineyard. We kicked off the summer with dinner in the restaurant. I always, always, have their Charcuterie platter. So should you.

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A platter of beauty. The meats are smoked and cured in house. Absolute, utter deliciousness. The main course was too. And of course, we can’t forget the wine.

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What I really love about Ravine is that you get great food and wine in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. It is quickly becoming one of our favourite places down here.

Continuing with the foodie theme, there is The SupperMarket. This is held every Wednesday evening during the summer. Food, wine, beer, and entertainment – a fabulous mid-week treat. Sadly, I only was able to attend once this summer, which is such a shame. On my bucket list for next summer is more Supper Market attendance!

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And you can never go wrong with this as your backdrop.

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Another highlight was an afternoon spent in Jordan Village.

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After browsing the shops, we headed out into the surrounding area. I wanted to get to a few more wineries – no surprise there.

The first one we came upon was Featherstone.

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Such gorgeous views at this winery. I am obsessed with the beauty of vineyards.

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But the sheep were my favourite.

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Some of the vineyards down here rely on sheep, instead of pesticides. A good thing, as it is a chemical-free way to ensure the quality of the grapes. And they are so darn cute.

After Featherstone, we went to a winery I had been wanting to get to for some time. Megalomaniac.

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Their new facility is stunning. And the views? Not bad either.

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But the best part, of course, is the wine.

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Oh my. Such incredible wines. Ken looked at me with fear in his eyes. He could see our bank account dwindling in front of him. I wondered if they would accept glass-washing as payment for lots of bottles of wine.

Alas, they preferred cash. So I treated myself a little.

But we both got a treat a few days later.

Ken really loves jazz music. So he was thrilled to discover that a new event, The Niagara Jazz Festival, was starting this year. I was thrilled because we were attending the launch party, held at my beloved Stratus. Win-win if you ask me.

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Before I talk a bit about the music, I must repeat myself. Isn’t Stratus gorgeous? So classy.

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So I was graciously given a glass of Stratus White, and we headed out to enjoy the party.

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Great music overlooking the vineyards on a beautiful summer night.

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As darkness began to fall, we waited for the Brownman Electryc Trio to come onstage. But first we were treated to Frank’s Bus Brass Band.

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These kids are good. They also brought back a lot of memories for me. I went to a high school for the performing arts, back in the 80’s. And to bring joy to my eighties-loving heart, Frank’s Bus does the funkiest version of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”. You can listen to it here. Brought me back to my high school days….minus my big hair. I could just see my friends from the ESA music department doing something like this back in the day.

My pictures didn’t turn out that well of the Brownman Electryc Trio, but these guys are incredible and extremely talented. If they are playing near you, you must go see them.

We are planning on attending as much of the Niagara Jazz Festival as we can next year. This will be an event to watch. Good wine and good music makes for a fantastic weekend.

We had some really great days out this summer in Niagara.