Dave and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in June, and since we couldn’t get away on our actual anniversary we decided to book a short trip to Niagara in July instead! My mom graciously came to Toronto to stay with Mason so we could get away solo (for the first time since Mason was born!) and have a worry-free night away.
Our trip was made even easier when Ford offered to lend us a new vehicle for our trip! This allowed us to leave our car (with Mason’s carseat) at home with my mom in case she wanted to go anywhere. Not just that, but the Ford Fusion that we were loaned was a beautiful, top-of-the-line-with-all-the-trimmings specimen! The very first thing I noticed getting into the car was that there was A/C IN THE SEATS (what I shall now refer to as “butt A/C”). I am probably hung up on this feature a little more than necessary, but come on… you know that feeling in the summer when you’re sitting in a car with leather seats wearing shorts or a dress, and your legs are either slipping around on the seat because you’re soooo sweaty, or sticking because you’re half sweaty/half cool from the normal A/C?? Well this car solves that problem completely. You’ve sold me, Ford!!!!
Anyway – our first stop along the way was at Mcdonald’s because we were starving, and who doesn’t love a Big Mac? This is where we decided to do our first Random Act of Kindness for #FordDoSomeGood. Once we pulled up to the window to pay for our food, we asked to pay for the person behind us as well, asking the girl to simply tell the driver to pay it forward! I love this – I hope that it went on for a little while after us… But we will never know!!
Once we got to Niagara, we checked into our hotel: The Sheraton on the Falls. The lovely lady at the front desk, once we told her we were away for our first time sans bebe and celebrating our anniversary, gave us a complimentary upgrade to a Fallsview room alongside of a bottle of wine! So sweet, and definitely made our experience at the hotel that much better! The view we had from our room was spectacular – especially later that evening when we were able to watch the fireworks over the falls from our room!
The day we arrived, we took an Uber into Niagara-on-the-Lake to visit a few different wineries. We started at Trius Winery where we decided to opt for a tasting in The Loft which boasted tastings of their vintage wines which you could not try in the regular tasting area. I would definitely recommend this if you want a different experience, as it was a private room upstairs which gave a more “refined” experience – not to mention the wines we tasted were absolutely delicious, and the employee serving us really knew his stuff!
Next, we walked over to Lakeview Wine Co. where we had registered for a Wine Mixology class – something neither of us have ever done before, and is something totally different than what you normally get in a wine tour. This was probably one of the highlights for us because it was such a fun hour! If you ever go and he’s around, ask for Jude – he made some great drinks and was also good company! He made us 3 different cocktails using wine, and then we got to choose the ingredients for the final cocktail and taste our creation. A really fun (inexpensive) experience that I would highly recommend.
Our last stop was Wayne Gretzky Estates which is somewhere we have both wanted to visit for a while. The facilities are beautiful, and it is both a distillery and a winery on the same property. Here we did a full tour of both, and also stayed for dinner following the tour. Although the menu on the Whisky Bar Patio wasn’t extensive, it had a lot of really delicious-sounding options, and we really enjoyed our meals.
The next day, we woke up at our own pace (which, as a parent you know is something to cherish!!) and headed straight to the outdoor rooftop pool at the Sheraton. We got there at the right time, too, because there was barely anyone there yet and I could snap a few photos before it got too busy! We sunbathed, swam, ate chips for breakfast, and mostly just enjoyed the time together. Once it got too hot (and also was getting close to check-out) we headed back to pack up our stuff and get real food somewhere before heading back home. We walked down the strip to find a place that was recommended to us for really good pizza – Antica. Although the service was a little slow, the food was delicious and I would definitely go back.
On our walk back to the car to head home, we noticed a man on the street who looked like he could use something to eat. He was holding a sign that said he was homeless and hungry, and we really felt compelled to buy him something. I think it’s important to note here, that living in Toronto we see this all the time. There are people begging for money or food on almost every corner downtown, and I think it can be really easy to become desensitized to people and their needs. I can admit that I definitely do. Or it can be easy to pass judgement on someone, even though we don’t know their story. Not that we can give money to every single homeless person we see, but I know for me it is important to do so from time to time – genuinely and sincerely – to remind them that someone cares about them; that they have worth too. So we asked this man what he would like to eat, and he asked for a burger. So we waited in the world’s LONGEST Wendy’s lineup to get this man a burger, fries, and a cold bottle of water in the hopes that he would feel even just a little bit of kindness that day.
We came home feeling refreshed, connected, and excited to see Mason! So all in all, I would say the trip was a complete success. Big thanks to Ford Canada for both the vehicle, and the opportunity to be part of a great initiative which reminded me, again, that it is so easy and important show kindness to people – even in the smallest of ways. I hope it has inspired you to do some good, too.