|The view from our VRBO patio in Leamington, Ontario|
|Fresh perch tacos and an order of handcut fries at Birdie's Perch|
|This handsome dude, the runner :)|
|Again, the fries... I can't help myself (double decker "bustraunt" in back)|
|Hamming it up at the "point" - which is under the tide - at Point Pelee|
|Cold beers on the beach...|
|Grilling kabobs and asparagus at sunset|
|Oh, the sand in your feet!|
|Returning to the D and this stellar view, from across the river|
Returning home from our weekend in Point Pelee, Ontario, was a little bit like finishing an indulgent novel. Savoring those last few pages... maybe even backtracking to read a paragraph or two under the premise that you must fully understand exactly what the character is communicating, when in reality, you're just slowly drawing out the inevitable last chapter.
Somehow, the weekend arrived in the perfect moment, stealing us away from reality just long enough to lessen the sting of its undeniable return. Only an hour and a half away from "home," the destination isn't nearly as glamorous as most of our travels, but there's a beauty to the mishmash of cattails, stony sand beaches and lapping water that's nearly healing.
Rather than plan a day trip, which is entirely doable, we decided to book a small cottage through VRBO so that we could achieve maximum laziness, of course. (There aren't many hotels to choose from, so renting was the easiest option.) Our tiny rental was a humble thing, but it sat right on the Lake Erie coast and offered amazing views from it's sunroom and back patio, where we grilled and guzzled Pelee Island wines.
On Saturday, we began our day late, after a sleepy morning that included lounging on the back porch and reading magazines while I slowly caffeinated - and my boyfriend went running. (Isn't that always the story?) It was such a long morning, in fact, that by the time we left, we figured it'd be easiest to grab lunch at our favorite Leamington spot, Birdie's Perch, a double-decker bus turned fresh fish taco restaurant, where the line is long, the fries are aplenty and the wait is completely worthwhile.
From there, we headed into Point Pelee National Park, a beautiful little reserve that stretches far enough into Lake Erie that it comes to a pin-prick point amid swirling lake waters - the southernmost part of Canada. From an airplane, which is how my boyfriend discovered it, the land mass looks almost man made.
There are bicycle and canoe rentals, so we paddled out into the marshes before hiking a bit and then settling into the sand with a beach blanket, a few beers and frozen grapes. The sun was blazing and shockingly, we were so warm that we were able to pull out our incredibly optimistically packed swimsuits and fry like onions on the bay. Not the smartest duo, having forgotten our sunscreen, but certainly zealous in our quest to seize the day.
This went on for a while, hence the sunburn, before we packed up to grill dinner and watch the sunset from the cottage. For some reason, we also dug out a DVD of the movie Twister (he'd never seen it!) and spent the dark part of our evening entirely enthralled in Helen Hunt's performance.
Sunday morning saw us slowly packing up, squeezing in just a few more minutes on the patio, and then heading out - reluctantly - for a quick breakfast on the patio of Lakeside Bakery and Deli, a cozy and convenient option on the way out of town. Proper A.M. fuel was necessary because our plan was to hit a few wineries on the easy trek home. There are several along the Lake Erie coastline, which I really had no clue existed, and am happy to report are wonderful and quaint and delicious.
We started at the Kingsville Pelee Island winery base, where we tasted a few varietals and then promptly filled our arms with bottles of Cabernet Franc Rose, Organic Cabernet Franc and Secco sparkling wine. From there, we made pit stops at Viewpointe Winery for it's dramatic cliff patio (and sangria special), and Sprucewood Shores Estate for its live music and beach. The locals also mentioned Cooper's Hawk and Oxley Estate as nice options.
So, with wine tasting complete and a half-nap on a blanket by the Sprucewood Shores beach under our belt, we finished the trip home slightly slower than our trip out, content with two full stomachs and the pleasant sting of sunburns.
ALSO: See photos from our last trip to Point Pelee here.