The sun is setting, silhouetting trees and shades and golden hues of color. Glimmering leaves dazzle, shimmer in the breeze or float peacefully past rocks or broken branches. The sound of water dashes hard. It pummels and penetrates the lower banks, creating a second home.
The church bell chimes, the town hall tower shines, the square defers. Muted colors, softly enclose in preparation of a bolder season of celebration, ahead. Christmas and the holidays are drawing near, and chopped evergreens subtly await, still slumbering, hidden in back alleys or along building’s edges.
Shopkeepers anticipate the cold bite of winter, while shoppers shiver and pull their coats a little bit closer.
We open a door and warm air rushes out, greeting us with genial arms of invitation. Though the hour has not yet come, we are welcomed with tea, cheer, and a cozy fire. Through sprawling windows we see the long, wide drop of inspiration.
A sip and a nudge. A view, and a bite. With you by the fire, the world once again, right.
Find beauty ’round the corner, just beyond the bend, Or in the eyes of loved ones near or far,
Past, present, in the future, For always in the end,
We n’er leave ourselves behind, Create your joy, your love, your friends.
Niagara on the Lake is History come alive. But sometimes it’s just plain fun history. Like Alice In Wonderland kind of fun. Mad Hatter Tea Party kind of crazy.
This is a two-parter blog post. First the tea party, because we just couldn’t resist. Our next blog post on Niagara on the Lake, will be “History alive”. But isn’t that kind of the same thing? So we shall just begin at the beginning.
It all starts with the Shaw Festival and their play, Alice in Wonderland. Here is the link including dates and showtimes. This really is something you wouldn’t care to miss. Surely you’d better hurry and not be late…for a very important date! http://www.shawfest.com/playbill/alice-in-wonderland/
Secondly, all in strictly proper timing, we’re sure, Beau Chapeau has the most felicitous of window dressings. You will be missing out if you don’t drop by for a look-see. And while looking you may just want to stop inside and find the very hat you’ve been looking for, from a by-gone era or not. https://beauchapeau.com/ (3 slide-show below. Click arrows if you’re still late)…
See how that crazy Mad Hatter worked on his tea-potion to blend the old and new? What a guy! Gotta tip your hat to him. 😉
Lastly, nothing like a sample of the real deal. A real tea party, done up in Mad Hatter style. An homage to the Shaw and the Carroll, Alice and the Queen.
Let’s stroll down the Avenue to meet the Prince: Prince of Wales that is, the dreamy little Hotel hosting this gem of a party in their very own Tea Room.
Step back into yesteryear and enter the upside down world of the Hatter. The Queen will be sure to greet you. The Queen of Hearts, that is.
She will beguile you with her charms and entice you with the aroma of sugar and spice and everything nice.
For your pleasure, another quick slide-show, below, 4 photos.
…before settling on a Cabernet Sauvignon, Ice Wine. Rich and full, but not overpowering on the sweet side. Special.
This Chick and her Rooster will be saving it for a special occasion…
And like a very fine wine, this very fine view topped off our visit.
After such royal treatment, we went back to our hotel. Unfortunately the Rooster had to fly the coop, but the 2chicks and a brother lazed around the lobby and the library at Queen’s landing, for a bit of whimsy and wisdom:
Some statues just look smart.
The plant and pot are delightful…dare we say, just ducky?
All kidding aside, elegant beauty is around every corner. We spent forever exploring…
Learning something? Fabulous. In a charming setting? Glorious. Two siblings getting along? Priceless.
Three strong naked guys supporting a bowl, yet still looking good? Definitely classic, if not a little amusing.
Clue? Sir George in the library with the candlesticks…
For those in the know, this is Sir George Bernard Shaw. This renowned author and playwright is honored by the well-known Shaw Festival, permanently located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. http://www.shawfest.com/about-the-shaw/george-bernard-shaws-bio/ Many folks come just for the Festival, so be sure to take in a play during your stay.
It’s surprising just how much one can learn from actual books in libraries, statues, wooden ducks (or geese), wine-tasting, visiting wineries, historical plays or just fun plays (Alice in Wonderland is currently running). It’s also surprising how accommodating a Son/Brother can be… 😉
Now that you’ve partaken in our NOTL adventure, perhaps you’ll be as informed and knowledgeable as THIS Chick…
So, it’s “Oktober” and you know what that means…yes…Oktoberfest!
There are many Oktoberfest celebrations world wide this time of year, but none other have the roar of the mighty Niagara as a back drop.
This autumn has been an unusually warm one, with temperatures regularly above average. The leaves have begun their subtle turn from green to gold and auburn and orange, and this past weekend was spectacular. The sky was bright blue, with barely a cloud to be found.
And down by the Falls, on Old Falls Street, there was a lot going on. Our version of Oktoberfest included the quintessential lederhosen and dirndl ensembles, biergartens, and “Oom-Pah-Pah” bands.
There were were several types of German themed foods, including bratwurst, schnitzel, pretzels, and a variety of beer available in the large tent. Long tables filled to capacity with families and friends ate, drank, and listened the alphorns, while watching colorful dancers.
There were activities for children in the Kidtoberfest Zone which included a petting zoo, bounce house, art tables, and a balloon twister. And for the grownup “kids”, it was the perfect day to toss around the Frisbee in the Kan Jam tournament.
Because we know they have great food and a shady place to sit, we decided to eat at Legends Bar & Grill on First Street. Their menu includes wood fired pizzas, hamburgers, salads and wings, to name a few. http://legendsbarnf.com/ We’ve always found the food to be good here.
Mayor Paul Dyster and his friends were there to enjoy the fun.
The summer schedule of Old Falls Street is jam packed with activities, with a smattering of seasonal festivities as well. The calendar of activities is available on their website, http://fallsstreet.com/.