Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog is Back :My First Vacation!

I have travelled the world helping to promote the Disney film “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog”, receiving a Nobel Peace Prize and meeting the Pope and all sorts of politicos. I think Dylan the Westie and I have peed and pooped all over the world. But at times it is a blur and it is always very tiring and sometimes stressful. But I have never been on vacation! Well Bob and Fay decided during this silly COVID mess to take Dylan the Westie and I on a real vacation. No paparazzi, no television shows or hours long photo shoots. And we are going to Niagara-on-the-Lake to a fancy inn called the Oban Inn and Spa.

It is about 90 minutes away from Toronto on some busy highways but I love a good car ride especially when I have something to look forward to! Off the highway we had to stop at a drawbridge and watch a huge ship pass through the Welland Canal. A massive ship! Then the bridge lowers and we cross it. I am not at Niagara-on-the-Lake but am so excited already to see that ship! As we pass through some town called St Catherine’s I think it is called, the scenery gets very nice and I feel like I am in the country.

I hear Bob reciting the name of the wineries we pass. Humans like to drink wine and Bob writes about wine as a hobby and he says this and that winery make good or mediocre wine. There are so many wineries here!

We arrive at the Oban Inn and Spa which is a small but really comfy and they have a couple of dog friendly rooms which have a nice backyard and Dylan the Westie and I go for a badly needed pee there when we arrive. It is so peaceful and quiet here and after checking in we go for a walk along the waterfront and meet a Westie called Tucker. It is December and it is cold but Dylan the Westie and I have coats that Fay has given us with fancy collars and leashes so we are prancing and bobbing around like kings oblivious to the cold. Dylan the Westie even has a Gucchi sweater! Fay loves her fashion!

Dylan the Westie at The Oban Inn and Spa: Photo Fotini Stephen

We are tired from the trip and our waterfront walk so Bob and Fay decide they will eat in our room and Bob goes to pick up a pizza at some bistro called Bistro Six One and some wine as after all we are in wine country. Bob is tired from the stressful drive so he sits outside and has a cold local beer from Oast called “Farmbrew” while we go outside and sniff and run about. The pizza smells so good! And after our kibble Dylan the Westie and I have a small piece of pizza and is it ever grand!!!! Bob has a glass of Malivoire Farmstead Gamay and Fay a glass of Malivoire Lady Bug Rosé. They really like it and say we are having a special dinner tomorrow night with Martin Malivoire and his wife Moira Saganski. Bob knows Moira from when he was a lawyer and helped her set up something called mutual funds. It has been at least a decade since they have met but Moira liked Bob’s book about me and they reconnected on something called Bookface? So Bob and Moira decided to arrange a dinner. You humans are strange forgetting and remembering about each other!

We have a very good sleep but Dylan the Westie barked to go pee at 4 in the morning. He had taken his monthly anti-parasitical medication before we left which makes him tired and very thirsty and what water comes in must go out. I am sleepy but go out with Dylan the Westie to keep him company and since I am out in the backyard have a pee myself!

In the morning Bob figures out the coffee machine and makes some coffee for Fay and grabs a tea and pastry a few minutes from the Oban and we are off to Niagara Falls! I have seen the Falls on a BBC documentary but seeing them up close is terrifying and exhilarating! The roar. The mist. The power. I will not forget this wonder ever! Then we go to the Botanical Gardens for short walk and stop at various scenic lookouts and see the power of the river.

Bob and Dylan the Westie at an Historic Fort at Niagara-on-the-Lake: Photo Fotini Stephen

We come home and Bob tells us there is going to be a short reception at the Oban restaurant with local dignitaries wanting to meet me, Bob, Fay and Dylan the Westie. Bob had insisted all the wines being served are Malivoire wines because as he said, “They make damn good wine!” Fay loves the Moira Chardonnay and Bob says the Analog red is amazing. Thank goodness there are some children there and we get lots of pets. And Bob slips us a bit of delicious crab cakes. Who is the chef at this place? He knows his food for sure.

We have an hour before dinner with Moira and Martin so Bob and Fay catch up with their phones and e-mail. You humans spend too much time looking at your phones! I have seen it all over the world. More than a dozen times I have seen couples at restaurants not talking to each other and instead looking at their phones? Bob and Fay never do that.

The restaurant has been closed to the public just for our special dinner so Martin and Moira arrive and Dylan the Westie and I are allowed to stay at the restaurant. Bob is right about Moira when he says she is friendly, easy going and a very nice person. They have a dog and Bob apologizes for not saying to Moira and Martin that they could have brought their dog Penny a super cute girl dog called Penny. She is a mini golden doodle.

Bob meets Martin Malivoire for the first time. Martin is a “special effects” guy having done special effects for over 300 films including one of my favourites “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Bob and Martin talk a lot about wine. And Martin aside from being a winemaker is a pilot and flies a helicopter to create a downdraft to scare away robins so they will not eat his grapes. Boy I sure hope I can go on a helicopter ride with Martin one day.

The food comes and there are crab cakes, shrimp and scallops, chicken with mushroom and truffle risotto and confit of duck. Moira gives us a small piece of duck. We dogs LOVE MEAT! And boy it is really fantastic!

Disney will soon be releasing an animated sequel to “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog” and Marvel Entertainment is thinking of creating a live action film about me which will involve special effects. Bob would like to get Martin involved in that project which is a couple of years away. Moira has suggested perhaps a Reggie’s Rosé might be in the cards with all proceeds going to Reggie’s Dog’s Foundation. She has also suggested there be a Dylan the Westie White Wine and even a PPG (Penny’s Pinot Gris). Man we are going places us dogs!

We are finished the dinner and dessert are you kidding! I like Martin and Moira. They have had and are having great success in their life but are down to earth people unlike so many Hollywood types and politicians I have met. I feel so comfortable with them like I do with Jill and Joe Biden and Mr. Gordon Lightfoot.

We say good-bye and I truly hope we can all meet again and meet their dog Penny. I wonder does she drink wine instead of water being a Beamsville dog!

After dinner Bob and Fay watch the CBC news and more unrelenting COVID crap.

It has been a long day but you know I feel like I am on my first real vacation! Good food, interesting people and a nice quiet sleep without planes flying overhead. After the duck confit and crab cakes I am so sleepy and doze off missing most of the news.

If you want to see the Malivoire website go ahead. Malivoire is available in some states in the United States  https://malivoire.com/

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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