Port Colborne

It was a perfect day to pack a picnic and head out to a new town. We picked Port Colborne, a fantastic town just along lake Erie, and the historical Welland Canal. Port Colborne is North of St. Catharine’s, where St. Catharine’s in my opinion has very little charm, Port Colborne has charm and history coming out of its wazoo.

There is a fantastic bike/walk trail that runs along the canal, and has the most spectacular scenery. It is nice, flat, and long stretch. We decided to pack our son’s scooter, so that he could scoot and we walk the whole way. It turned out the be a fantastic decision, as it he loved combining scooting with walking, then sitting and watching the ships come in.

“The Welland Canal is important because of its ability to move ships full of cargo up and down the Niagara Escarpment and therefore contribute to the economic growth and development of Canada and the United States. Approximately 40,000,000 metric tonnes of cargo is carried through the Welland Canal annually by over 3,000 ocean and lake vessels. What makes the Welland Canal fascinating is how it moves these ships up and down the escarpment. The canal utilizes its most abundant resource – water, combined with the Earth’s gravity to lift and lower ships in a watertight chamber called a lock. It is an example of brilliant, yet simple innovative engineering.” Welland Canal. 

The Canal trail is easy to find, as it is along the actual canal. It is relatively flat, and paved wich makes it stroller friendly for families.

What to pack:

Sunscreen, plenty of it. On a summer day, with the breeze, it can be easy to forget how quickly one can burn.

Walking shoes

Money for ice cream

Bathing suits and picnic for the end, where there is a great splash park, park, and picnic area. It includes a chip stand, washroom and ice cream stand. What is not to love about that!

Watching ships come in along the canal

Walking over the lift bridge, looking up and seeing the house perched on top.

 

These 2, enjoying the walk/scoot. By the end, the little man was so tired, Daddy pulled him along on his scooter.

The trail is pretty well-marked, you can’t exactly miss it.

 

The architecture is absolutely fantastic.

 

 

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Barb’s Country Kitchen

We drove over an hour to Orangeville to enjoy an incredible hike. We brought our usual snacks with us, no big deal. After 10km, we got back to the car, and our 7 year old states matter of factly “i’m hungry.” well, we had to admit, so were we.

We had no signal on our phones, and the GPS couldn’t find a signal. My husband has said “you know, I was on tripadvisor, and there is supposed to be a diner that is pretty awesome around here.” Well, he had me at diner. I love big breakfasts, you just can’t ruin one.

Our signals finally worked after driving a km, and we were off, heading down a highway. There it was Barb’s Country Kitchen. When going in, it reminded me of hanging out in my grandmother’s kitchen back in B.C. We were greeted like we were long lost relatives, seated pretty quickly and handed the most incredible menu of not your normal food selection.

We went for the strawberry waffles and the cannoli filled french toast, our son had a kids platter with a pancake.

Now, I love cannoli, I can tell you a crazy story about being in Italy in a small town and eating them on a street corner, hoovering it up like I was a dog sucking up food that I wasn’t supposed to. So, I have high expectations.

Just take a pause and look at this…

The Cannoli filled french toast is like nothing I have ever eaten. It was simply perfection, and enough that I had my fill of food for the rest of the day!

The waffle, was like being in a time warp in my Grandmother’s kitchen. The waffle was absolutely perfect, the strawberry jam was warm and heavenly, and reminded me of the many hours spent in my Grandmother’s kitchen making jam and preserves in the Okanogan.

This was just about the most charming, homey, and ridiculously good meal (outside of grandma’s kitchen), you can possibly eat. Even if you are far away, it is worth the drive, you won’t be disappointed!

Dip Kid