It is a day full of rituals that never seem to tire.
We grab a coffee for the drive into Niagara-on-the-Lake because the wonderful bakery we always stop at serves exquisite pies but crap coffee.
She pays for the parking and I pay for the pies (which co-incidentally will likely come to almost the same price!)
When we start to see the signs for the various wineries one of us will say: we must spend a day and do a wine tour.
In eight years we have never done a wine tour.
The shame of it all.
After pie we feel a need to walk a bit and head for our favourite antique place. Going to an antique place right after an auction is never a good plan. Still, there was something a bit ... spiritless this time. The barn seemed smaller and was certainly almost empty, but here was nothing that caused either of us to seek out the other and grab her arm and drag her over to see something wonderful that we would never buy. We will need to replace this part of the tradition, I think.
The weather people had promised lots of rain with some thunder and lightning thrown in for added drama, but when we got on the highway, the car said it was 25C and it was humid enough to require the A/C, it was windy with blue sky and lots of white puffy clouds skating across it.
We decided to save the walk on the waterfront trail until after the play due to the humidity and instead spent a few minutes window shopping (I later had to go back and purchase those earrings I saw in the window even if they were at inflated NOTL prices).
Apparently we missed the massive rainfall and dramatic thunderstorm while sitting comfortably inside the theatre.
Because that seems to be the other ritual: it always rains when we go to NOTL.
When we came out of the theatre, the streets were wet, the grass was glistening. There were deep puddles everywhere. We decided against going for a walk along the water afterall, though I had to make a quick stop to take more photos of the sky.
And found these entertaining guys.
(click on the image for full effect - for some reason it gets very big!)
You can see the transistion to looking like a real Canada Goose.
They are so funny at this awkward stage.
Probably the only teenagers in town that afternoon!
Later, we have dinner at our favourite restaurant that is near a shipwreck. I would have taken photos for you, but as soon as we got off the highway, the skies opened up for a brief but intense downpour. By the time we were seated, it had cleared up again and we ate our meal while watching the gulls soaring over the waves of the lake.
I was waiting for my friend at the bar as we were leaving, watching the television screen with the soccer match repeat and chatting to a fellow once-every-four-years-fan. In the course of our chat, his wife accidentally let slip the final score. Poor thing, she must have apologized 15 times, but really I wasn't bothered. Though when I got home and turned on the tv for the news and caught the last 10 minutes, I admit to feeling a teeny bit of smugness knowing the outcome while listening to the announcer getting all excited and unbelieving about the prospect that Switzerland - Switzerland! - might win this match.