Well if you didn't join us for this year's Spring Tour you missed a really good time.
We started out at the Beamsville exit to the QEW, and crossed over the highway to drive along the north service road. This road is an interesting, pretty and sedate drive with little traffic so we were all able to stick together as a group. We passed through the town of Port Dalhousie and crossed over the Welland Canal Bridge and turned right onto Niagara Stone Road to arrive at our first stop, the NEOB Lavender Farm.
Melissa, one of the owners, gave us an informative talk on the types of lavender and how they are cared for and grow. Here at the Lavender Farm we were served the most delicious box lunch in their greenhouse amongst the lavender plants, and Melissa also did a lavender sponge toffee demonstration and tasting. There is a really amazing antique shop here as well as a beautiful "lavender" store stocked with anything you could think of made from lavender.
From the farm, we headed out to the Welland Canal Lock & Museum and luckily when we arrived there was a ship locking through, which is quite a sight to see. The Museum folks also showed our group a video on the Canal's construction and we had a special guided tour for the group through the Museum.
Our next stop was Hernder Wineries, which you approach going through an old covered bridge. Our tour guide here was a funny gal, who made the tour of the facility interesting, informative and fun … she had us laughing a lot. We tasted a number of different wine types and a lot of us shopped in their store for wine and other goodies.
We only had one "U" turn during the event, and it was on this leg of the trip from the winery to the hotel. Most of the cars were following me and had to make the "U", but a couple of the cars that had gotten away from the main group, made the correct turn and arrived at the hotel before us!
On Sunday morning we drove from the Hotel to Fonthill, where the Lazy Loon Restaurant, which is a local legend, opened up early for us. We ordered from their regular menu and the food was great, served quickly, and we were out of there in good time
From the restaurant we headed to a little town called Wainfleet, where they have the most amazing restored "village" called the Marshville Heritage site. Bob Shoalts one of the original founders of the site, gave our group a wonderful tour sharing great insights into where the buildings came from, how they acquired them and moved them onto the site, and how they rebuilt and maintain them. They get no financial support from government, but organize one fund raiser a year, the Marshville Heritage Festival, during Labour Day weekend each year. During this event they have all the buildings open, demonstrations of all kinds and a wonderful artisan and craft show. So, if you are looking for a day trip over Labour Day weekend, be sure to consider visiting this site and be prepared to be amazed.
Art Dean, another of the original founders, brought out his beautifully restored 1913 right hand drive McLaughlin for everyone to drool over … thanks Art, we enjoyed every minute! This was our last stop and from here everyone made their way home
I hadn't run a tour in a lot of years, but thoroughly enjoyed running this one and now that I have got some reliable and dependable "help" I have offered to run the 2014 Spring Tour … so stay tuned.
With A Smile,