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Taste the Season is our favorite of the wine events in Niagara on the Lake. We spent the day there, visiting wineries, had lunch at the Garrison House and dinner at Ravine. It was an awesome day!

We got there just after 12pm and stopped at Trius first followed by Stratus and Jackson Triggs.  Our group really enjoyed the mini pot pie served at Trius with their 2014 Cab Sauv. We also purchased 2 bottles of the wine they served at JT – Cab Franc/Cab Sauv blend – which they served with a yummy beef barley soup.

We had lunch at the Garrison House (a restaurant that has been featured on HGTV’s You Gotta Eat Here) and everyone enjoyed their meal – very very good. I had the charcuterie platter – delicious. Highly recommended: Great place, friendly service, great food and local wines.

After lunch we tackled several more wineries: Strewn, Konzelmann, Rancourt, Pondview, Coyote’s Run, Chateau des Charmes and Ravine. We crossed over to Ravine’s restaurant for dinner. We probably ate too much and drank too much but had a great time catching up with friends and visiting some of our favourite wineries that we hadn’t been to in a while, all in beautiful Niagara on the Lake. What’s not to like? 🙂

 

 

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After a cool and rainy week, we wanted to enjoy the sun and headed out to Mounstberg this morning, hoping to see the last of the fall colours. We’ve visited Mountsberg before and saw the birds of prey (very cool) but never hiked the trails. Today we chose to do the blue Lookout  trail, which was listed as 5.6km. The weather was sun and clouds and the occasional gust of wind but for the most part, it was nice and an above seasonal 15C degrees.

We saw no one else on the trail for the first hour, hour and a half. It was great! There were a lot of birds chirping and we got to see a few. Heard some ducks and geese in the nearby reservoir as well. We saw another snake – he looked more shocked to see us than we were to see him. We came across a couple of people on horseback near the end of our hike as well. Very quiet on the trail today.

Path to the trail:

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Bunch of bird house condos in “Swallowville”. 🙂

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The reservoir:

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Mushrooms were everywhere:

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Dark sky in the distance – made for a cool picture:

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Into the woods we go….

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Berries!

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Gorgeous:

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Yellow leaves still hanging onto their branches before winter:

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This shot turned out great – bulrushes:

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Feeling small:

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Another friend! 🙂

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It was supposed to be a gloomy and cool day today with a risk of showers but we decided to brave the winds and possibly wet weather anyway and headed down to Hamilton to hike a short section of the Bruce Trail that connected Sherman Falls to Tiffany Falls.

We decided to park on a small stretch of Lions Club Road that fit about maybe 5 cars and after a couple of U-turns and false starts, we found the entrance to the trail – which was right under our noses if we had started in the right direction to begin with. 🙂  Good times.

We don’t come down to the Hamilton area to hike very often and enjoyed what the area had to offer. They’re known for their waterfalls so we ticked two off of the list with today’s outing.

We started at Sherman Falls. There were 6 of us in our group: 4 adults and 2 children. Although the Bruce Trail is typically more rugged than the trails found in conservation areas, no one had any trouble today. There were a couple of rocky areas with a few steep steps here and there but very manageable for the most part.

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The leaves haven’t fully started changing color here yet…but there were some red and yellow stragglers on the ground  The water was a bit low (typical for this time of year vs in the springtime) but it was still nice to see the small rapids and “babbling brook” sounds of the water trickling by. We only encountered a couple of other people at Sherman Falls and passed a few small groups along the trail to Tiffany Falls.

We saw some cool things along the way – like these HUGE mushrooms:

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And this gnarly tree:

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Side trail to the falls!

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One of us being brave:

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Closer…

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Closer…

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He made it back to the trail safe and sound. 🙂

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Tiffany Falls:

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We hiked about 6 km total and got to enjoy a real fall day outside in nature. Great way to start the autumn season!

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Today we headed south towards Lake Ontario instead of our northern Niagara Escarpment adventures of the past couple of weeks.

We drove along Lakeshore and parked on Brant Street in Burlington, then walked out to the lake where there’s a great promenade and path on the Waterfront Trail. We walked from there all the way to Burlington Beach. All along the beach people enjoyed the sun and water, with paddle boats and inflatable tubes of all kinds. Along the path there were lots of walkers, joggers and cyclists. It’s a great area to enjoy the outdoors.

Most of the pics below are of the downtown waterfront area and promenade. There were lots of geese there too. 🙂

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Baked goods for breakfast are OK, right, because they have eggs in them? 🙂

This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa “Foolproof” cookbook and can be found here.

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Today, I redeemed 50,000 points for $100 off my purchases. It was a great day!

  • Value of products: $153.53
  • Paid out of pocket: $24.75
  • Savings of:  84% of $128.78

I picked up some Knorr Sidekicks which were on sale for $0.99 each (it’s what I like to eat when Chris is away). I also stocked up on some staples that I needed but always like to get free like shampoo, hair color and concealer. I also picked up a few Easter items, you know, while I was there. Ok, Ok, the chocolate bunnies called out to me…I’m weak that way. 🙂

Very satisfying shopping day!

I love Shoppers Drug Mart.

 

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(Updated Mar 3rd: I got 21 out of 24 right (red ones below are wrong)! Pretty good! :))

After much movie-watching and reading up on what the critics are saying (they even have Vegas odds on these categories…), here are my picks for tonight’s show:

  • Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
  • Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Best Documentary Short: The Lady in No. 6: Music Saved my Life
  • Best Director: Afonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
  • Best Animated Short Film: Get a Horse!
  • Best Foreign Film: Italy – “The Great Beauty”
  • Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
  • Best Makeup: Dallas Buyers Club
  • Best Short Film (Live Action): The Voorman Problem
  • Best costume Design: The Great Gatsby
  • Best Original Score: Gravity
  • Best Documentary: 20 Feet From Stardom
  • Best Film Editing: Gravity
  • Best Visual Effects: Gravity
  • Best Cinematography: Gravity
  • Best Sound Editing: Gravity
  • Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
  • Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
  • Best Original Song: Let It Go (from “Frozen”)

I have a soft spot for American Hustle and the cast but after watching Dallas Buyers Club, I think the votes for the men will go that way. For the women – Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence did a remarkable job in American Hustle but Cate was amazing in Blue Jasmine and supporting actress usually goes to a newcomer so I’ve chosen Lupita there.

I was able to watch several of the nominees in the various categories: Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Captain Phillips, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, Star trek Into Darkness  and Frozen.  I still want to see 12 Years a Slave and August: Osage County.

We’ll see what happens. 🙂 Good luck in your Oscar pool!

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