A Thanksgiving Tradition
As we approach Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and with the pandemic still with us, I am reminded of something that happened a few years ago and how I met my wife’s extended family. She still jokes that this was my litmus test to see if she was going to keep me around.
There is the usual tradition – turkey dinner, stuffing, and the works – that I love. But, one I was introduced to that blew my mind in a great way was their annual family winery tour. My wife, who organized it all, would pick (after some consultation with key family members) a location – either Niagara-on-the-Lake or Prince Edward County – and then a few wineries to visit. We would also stop at another winery or restaurant for lunch to break up the day. And she and her family did this for years before I arrived on the scene. My first time was in 2016 and I had so much fun.
It was a nice and relaxing way to meet the family. There were some nervous experiences – I met family at the Oshawa GO station before my now-wife arrived, so small talk was focused on her. We were chaparoned and chauffeured by an Aunt and Uncle. They were lovely and probably took it easy on me considering we had a two-hour car ride ahead of us. I will never forget the generosity of my wife’s family that day, and ever since.
In 2016, the tour was in Prince Edward County. If my memory is correct, we ended up visiting three wineries: Casa-Dea Estates, Karlo Estates and Rosehill Run. It was a fun day. Thankfully the weather agreed and made it enjoyable, and my now-wife decided that I passed the test and kept me around!
Why I bring this up is because it is a wonderful Thanksgiving memory. I have since enjoyed many Thanksgiving dinners at my in-laws, and we have done winery tours with family and branched off to do some with friends…but nothing beats the first one. In a weird way, even though we wouldn’t be engaged for another two years, I felt even more a part of the family after this event. It also helped that a few of them, including me, had a few sips in their system to make the conversation flow easier. It was my initiation and I could not have asked for a better opportunity to get to know a great family.