A couple weeks ago Jen and I made a run for the border, Canadian style. Lisbeth was getting married in Niagara on the Lake in Ontario, not far from Buffalo, so it also gave us a good excuse to visit Johnny; we crashed with him both Friday upon arrival and Saturday after the wedding, so it worked out perfectly.
It was a whirlwind trip, but we had a great time and it was well worth the 5+ hour trek. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to visit our neighbors to the north?
After a quick post-work stop at the mechanic to assure us the WRX was OK for a road trip – the check engine light had come on and we’d just had a pricey repair of a fuel leak – we headed west and were Buffalo-bound. The trip went pretty smoothly and only took about 5 hours or so.
We arrived in Buffalo by 11pm and met up with Johnny and a few friends at Gabriel’s Gate (a fine name for an establishment if I do so say myself), where we had some late-night snacks and drinks before calling it a night.
Saturday morning Johnny fired up the skillet and made us some most delicious apple pancakes and other goodies to fuel our ride across the border. Being a most gracious host, he even busted out the French press to satisfy our caffeine cravings.
That Saturday was a picture-perfect day: Blue skies and warm sun – unusual for Western New York in November. We hopped in the car and headed north for the border. On the way, we saw an old building that was on fire and leaving a hell of a mess in the sky. It must’ve just happened when we drove past since there didn’t seem to be anyone attempting to stop it and a minute later we saw a fire truck with sirens blazing heading the other way.
We hit the Peace Bridge at the border and didn’t have to wait long at all (though we always manage to pick the wrong lane at the border, as we watched a number of cars go through in the lane next to us as we waited patiently in our lane). Either Canadians are a really trustworthy people or Jen and I don’t come off as being too suspicious (unlike a certain friend of ours whose name rhymes with “you” – who once went through a Canadian border crossing in the truck lane ) since even though I had our passports in my hand, the border agent didn’t even ask to see them.
Once in Canada, we hit the church for the wedding ceremony – which started a bit late due to some issues with a certain drawbridge at the border some of the guests ran into. The afternoon sun shining through the stained glass made for a brilliant backdrop to the service.
After the ceremony, it was time to get our party on, so we joined a caravan of cars heading for the beautiful Queens Landing hotel, site of the reception in Niagara on the Lake, a quaint town not unlike Saratoga Springs, except that it’s on a giant lake.
We enjoyed some delicious appetizers and meal during the cocktail hour and reception itself, and were seated with our friend Kat’s doppelgänger (though we neglected to get a picture of her to prove it). It’s always fun to hang out with Heather and Saahil, as we got a chance to do before and during the reception. We even got to chat with the bride herself a bit, which is always a treat at a big wedding. And, of course, we danced to some tunes before heading back to the good ol’ US of A.
Back in the States, we met up with Johnny and his friend Dave for some more late night drinks and eats. At Johnny’s place later that night he introduced us to the joy of the drunk Ewoks on the Today Show and we laughed our asses off the rest of the night.
Sunday we went out for a tasty brunch at a cozy warehouse-style coffee shop in downtown East Aurora – a really cool little town with a great main street. We wandered around a huge five and dime for a bit before jumping back in the Scoob and beginning the long journey home to Saratoga.