Oh, Canada!

WP_20140919_001It probably comes as no surprise that I am the planner in my household. It’s in my nature. It’s just what I do. Possibly to a fault.

Therefore, it was a leap for me to turn over the responsibility of planning our one-year anniversary get-away to my husband.

It wasn’t that I questioned his capability. It was that months of not knowing where we were traveling, what we were going to be doing or what I needed to pack (ALL my favorite list/organization duties!) was driving me wild.

He volunteered to plan our anniversary trip pretty shortly after we returned from our honeymoon. At the time I was already working on planning our big trip to Morocco, Portugal and Spain so it’s possible I didn’t give full consideration to what plans he might put in place.

He’s great at many things, but he’s particularly adept at keeping secrets. He wouldn’t give anything away about where we were headed, and he only gave me an indication of weather so that I could appropriately pack one day ahead of our departure. The only things I knew were that we were driving and that it would be a long weekend.

We headed out early on Friday, and I kept texting my mom landmarks along the way because she and her work friends were also trying to guess where we would end up. I have to admit it was a little exciting!

We headed east, and as we drove into New York, I started to really wonder where we were headed. We passed the exits for Niagara Falls so I had started to think of places in upstate New York when he pulled over into a lot near the Canadian border. He had me pull down my passenger side visor and there was our wedding ceremony program! Only it wasn’t our program–he had reworked our program design into an itinerary for our anniversary weekend. We were headed to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a weekend in wine country, and he had planned the entire stay!

I might have cried. I was touched that he put so much effort into the surprise and that he had taken time to not just book our stay, but arrange for a wine tour, walking tour, dinner plans and more throughout the weekend.

We hadn’t been to region since we got engaged in 2012 and that was in the middle of winter so I was really excited we would get to see everything during harvest with the beautiful fall weather. I was also thrilled we were going to stay in the incredible ‘rooms above the pub’ at the Irish Pub just off the main street again. He had planned an absolutely PERFECT weekend!

We had a wonderful weekend full of relaxation (his favorite), wine (my favorite) and awesome live music in the pub each night before bed (our favorite). I could easily make this an annual trip!

Here are a few highlights:

The Irish Harp pub where we spent our evenings listening to awesome live music before heading right upstairs to our 'room above the pub.'
The Irish Harp pub where we spent our evenings listening to awesome live music before heading right upstairs to our ‘room above the pub.’
Downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake with beautiful fall weather
We spent some time just re-acclimating to downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake and enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
We spent the first night just checking in, exploring the lake-front and enjoying dinner in the pub
We checked into the pub, explored the lake-front and enjoyed dinner in the pub.
Who doesn't like an Irish Coffee nightcap?
Who doesn’t like an Irish Coffee nightcap?
First, but certainly not last, time trying Irish Mist Honey
My husband’s first, but certainly not last, time trying Irish Mist Honey.
We took the Grape Escape wine tour to four local wineries to taste test
On Saturday we had a leisurely stroll and then took the Grape Escape wine tour to four local wineries to taste test.
The second winery used solar panels for its production, and I LOVED the cabernet/blue cheese pairing
The second winery used solar panels for its production, and I LOVED the Cabernet/blue cheese pairing.
This fellow tried to keep our attention--he was successful with us, but not the rest of our group, which was a giant bachelorette party that had clearly already made a few stops...
This fellow tried to keep our attention–he was successful with us, but not the rest of our group, which was a giant bachelorette party that had clearly already made a few stops…
We decided to spend the afternoon casually making our way around to a few of the other wineries to grab some lunch and just enjoy the day.
We decided to spend the afternoon casually making our way around to a few of the other wineries to grab some lunch and just enjoy the day.
I love how each winery has its own personality--some had beautiful areas of outdoor seating.
I love how each winery has its own personality–some had beautiful areas of outdoor seating.
We had an amazing dinner at the Charles Inn
We stopped for drinks at the Angel Inn–the locals spot– and then had an amazing dinner at the Charles Inn.
We ended the evening back at the pub with front-row seats for the band
We ended the evening back at the pub with front-row seats for the band.
We spent Sunday morning taking pictures downtown, grabbing a few pastries and then taking a walking tour of local eateries
We spent Sunday morning taking pictures downtown, grabbing a few pastries and then taking a walking tour of local eateries
Our walking tour began with muffins and jam from Greaves, a local favorite. We also sampled olive oils, cheese, baked goods, fudge and more--I was stuffed!
Our walking tour began with muffins and jam from Greaves, a local favorite. We also sampled olive oils, cheese, baked goods, fudge and more–I was stuffed!
We ended our stay by walking out to an old fort, passing through some golf course greens along the way.
We ended our stay by walking out to an old fort, passing through some golf course greens along the way.
The weather was starting to turn but we squeezed in a few last artsy photos.
The weather was starting to turn but we squeezed in a few last artsy photos.
My purple flowers!
My purple flowers!
We got home late but spent the remainder of our evening remember our wedding a year ago, eating our cake and enjoying some of our newly purchased wine with our beautiful Waterford glasses from our wedding. A perfect first anniversary!
We got home late but spent the remainder of our evening remember our wedding a year ago, eating our cake and enjoying some of our newly purchased wine with our beautiful Waterford glasses from our wedding. A perfect first anniversary!

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