Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wine Tour

It is early September 2008 and we are having dinner in the Keg Restaurant high above Niagara Falls in the Embassy Suites Hotel. Through the 15' tall plate glass windows beside us, we have a breathtaking view of the Niagara River plunging over the limestone cliffs into the gorge beneath, sending massive clouds of mist into the sky.

It has rained all afternoon forcing us to cut our wine tour short, but we did get to Henry of Pelham, Inniskillin and Jackson Triggs estates and had discovered a new wine previously unknown to us.

We compensated for the curtailment of our tour by spending part of the afternoon at Niagara-On-The-Lake (that's it in my little photo remix above) where Linda was unleashed amid the trendy boutiques in a whirl of ecstatic shopping.

Now to compensate for the trouble it had caused us, the storm had caste the arc of a huge rainbow into the sky outside the restaurant window.

Unfortunately for me, I was having an embarrassing personal problem. The lady behind Linda had shrugged off her little cocktail jacket to reveal a backless dress. Linda was talking to me but my eyeballs were glued to curve of the woman's back.

"I'm sorry," I said to Linda, "I missed that. My eyeballs have become glued to the back of the woman behind you."

Linda turned for a quick peek.

"Oh my God," she mouthed silently.

I struggled to free my eyeballs from the woman's soft flesh but they were stuck tight.

"You remember the story the Minister at Keith's Church told us?" Linda asked.

"Which story?"

"Where he went to the party and the woman rolled her eyes at him?"

"....and he picked them up and rolled them right back to her?"

"That's the one." said Linda meaningfully.

I tugged manfully and managed to free my right eye, which detached with a muffled pop and flew across the restaurant table back into its socket.

"And the other one, buster," Linda encouraged.

I wrenched my head back and the recalcitrant eye ball finally came free with a squishy plop and snapped back to its socket with a force that made my head spin.

"Much better," said Linda.

As if she could sense the warmth of my gaze detaching, the woman gave a little shiver and put her jacket back on.

Behind me, Louis Armstrong was singing about what a Wonderful World this was with a fidelity that almost made me wonder if, at the price we were paying for the meal, the restaurant had actually resurrected Louis for one last gig. I had to fight the urge to look over my shoulder, expecting to find Louis right behind me, a big grin on his face, a large white handkerchief in one hand.

"The sound system here is amazing," I told Linda. "It almost sounds as if Louis Armstrong is playing live right behind us."

"He is," said Linda.

I looked. He wasn't.

"Serves you right," said Linda.

It was a great day.