Showing posts from July, 2013

Kayaks in Sonoma and Tasting Time in Marin

I usually make a few trips a year to Northern California to visit family and wine country. This year has been more hectic than usual and I haven’t made it at all, so as soon as I had the chance, I was ready to visit some two of my favorite Marin eateries before heading off to Napa and Sonoma. The weekend actually started with a wine country preview, but not my usual kind. I had my first taste of kayaking on the Russian River in Healdsburg thanks to my friend Tracy. I had lots of fun and wish I could have stayed out there as long as my niece and nephew, both of whom are quite the adventurous athletes. I realized just how beautiful this area of Sonoma was and I had just driven by it all for years on my way to wineries. I vowed to do some more exploration in the future of more than just the grapes along the Russian River. While I did discover something new in Sonoma, I was perfectly happy returning to the old while spending the weekend in Marin. I first visited the

History, Wineries and More in Niagara Falls

The morning started at The Giacomo in Niagara Falls, with their delicious European style breakfast. My friend Lynn and I each had a full plate of eggs, potatoes and a danish in preparation of a full day of walking – and wine tasting. Michelle Blackley of Niagara USA picked us up for our private tour of Old Fort Niagara, which is just across from Toronto, Canada.  It has become an important part of history for the United States, France and Great Britain as all fought for control of the Great Lakes region. Today Old Fort Niagara stands above Lake Ontario much as it had three hundred years ago. It is a NY State Historic Site, as well as a National Historic Landmark, and well worth touring for the glimpse into past history it offers. After touring the fort we were off to the Niagara Wine Trail . While it’s not an area ready to rival New York’s Finger Lakes, I was impressed with the variety offered in this area because of the longer growing season this region offe

Niagara Falls – Not Just for Honeymooners

Niagara Falls is certainly a romantic place, but it’s been a long time since it was known as “the” spot just for honeymoons.  Activities and accommodations now exist for everyone and I found it to be an especially good place for a getaway with my friend Lynn. We arrived early afternoon from Buffalo, only a short half hour away. Our check-in at The Giacomo was quick and we soon learned that this restored U.S. Post Office building had a location was perfectly centered in the middle of everything. Michelle Blackley of Niagara USA met us in front of the building and we took a short walk the Culinary Institute of Niagara, where we were eating at their Savor restaurant. I had the homemade gnocchi and it was quite good, slow cooked in Bolognese sauce with fresh burrata cheese. For dessert, I enjoyed the Apple Caramel Pie. Lynn decided to go for a dessert sampler of small bites so she didn’t have to make up her mind. Before we left the Culinary Institute we stopped in