On the weekend we journeyed to the Niagara region. No, no waterfall for us. We've done that before and whilst the falls themselves are quite amazing, the town surrounding them is just a huge tacky tourist trap. No thanks.
The region has a lot more to offer. Lots of wineries which we'll tackle another time, sans Poppet, but also some beautiful botanical gardens and the quaint village of Niagara-On-The-Lake.
Let's start with the botanical gardens. They are huge and varied and very lovely, with some fall colours starting to pop out already. But the main feature is the butterfly house, which is packed to the brim with stunning butterflies.
It's particularly nice to visit in the middle of winter, when you can strip off all those bulky outer layers and bask in the humidity of the greenhouse.
Poppet was very excited to be going on an outing, instead of to a furniture/toaster/vacuum/cellphone/health-care-card place. But her initial reaction was one of panic. I don't think she expected so many butterflies so quickly. As soon as you walk through the door you are surrounded and if you stand still a butterfly will land on you in no time.
One boy had a butterfly sitting on his nose quite happily for half an hour! I didn't take a photo of him, they appeared to be Mennonites and I thought it might not be appreciated if I took happy snaps of their kids...
We talked Poppet through her fears and she eventually relaxed and really enjoyed herself. Even giggling when a butterfly landed in her hair.
About fifteen minutes away is Niagara-On-The-Lake. It's a very pretty little town, lots of picket fences and weatherboards and shingles. But also LOTS of tourists, mostly from the States. Typically the enormous variety of American tourist, scoffing waffles and ice cream and over-filling their bar stools.
We did indulge in some ice cream, and were grateful to have chosen the 'small' servings as they were the size of my hand! It is still wasp season in Ontario, so it's a little tricky eating ice cream outdoors, those little buggers will follow you across the street and around the corner. Locals don't take any notice, but we have wasp 'issues' and had a bit of a freak out.
The chocolate shop where we bought our ice cream from also featured these crazy candy apples for Halloween. Who could possibly eat all that???!!!
It was a great day out, even with the parking fine we managed to cop - oops. But it was only $25, compared to one I've had back home for over $150! Perfectly acceptable.
A crazy drive home on the highway and some salad for dinner. Day trips is one of the reasons we wanted to move back to Toronto. There's so many we can do, all within an hour or so's drive.
But we'll have to wait a bit for the next one (to view the Fall colours) as we are moving house next weekend. Bring it on!