California DreamingIt starts in January and radio stations play various versions of the 1960's pop hit by the Mommas and the Poppas 'California Dreaming'. It seems a bit unkind to remind us of the contrast between our Northern winter experience when compared to theirs. Our latitude in the North is around 44 degrees. Toronto has a restaurant named in honour of its latitude - North 44. Toronto is actually 43.7 and Grimsby is 43.2. Compare that to Los Angeles at 34 degrees.
So the image of Santa Barbara's beach at sunset is very appealing for us right now. Next to the palm trees are train tracks which are right along the beach there. What a ride along the coast: the routes have names such as the California Zephyr, Capitol Corridor, Coast Starlight, Pacific Surfliner and Sunset Limited. These are the evocative names that make us in the north have 'California Dreaming' ideas.
In contrast, this weekend kicks off the January Ice Wine Festival in Niagara. We've got cold weather for the ice sculptors to do their magic. The wineries have food and wine pairings. Niagara-on-the-Lake turns its main street, Queen Street, into the Icewine Village. The Twenty Valley Winter Festival does the same in Jordan Village, where it has continuous music, food and wine events throughout the day and evening.