Monthly Archives: June 2011

Forgot the Maid of the Mist

In my last post, I forgot to include some photos and brief summary of our experience on the Maid of the Mist.  Basically you put on a  garbage bag blue raincoat, crowd onto a boat and they take you as close as they can to the Falls without getting sued:

Here is a shot when we just entered the boat:

Getting closer:

And now we’re as close as possible to the Falls and everyone is getting heavily sprayed:

Naturally I don’t have a lot of photos of the Falls close up, because it would wreck my camera, but it’s like being in a storm. It’s fun though and worth the ticket price. On our journey we went to several museums that talked about people who went over the Falls, either intentionally or not, and those that survived are REALLY, REALLY lucky! Not just because of the size of the drop, but because of how rough the water is and it’s pretty rocky in some areas.

Anyways, there you have it: Maid of the Mist!

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Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake

On June 7, we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary and decided to ring in the occasion by eating at the insanely overpriced Skylon Tower:

We went all the way up to the revolving restaurant, sat down and ate food that was pretty mediocre. It was disappointing. The restaurant tries to advertise itself as very classy, but it was mainly just a racket. And really, what gourmet place serves iceburg lettuce with Kraft dressing?  But, the main reason you go is for the view and that’s why they can ding ya:

There was also some girl going around with a camera trying to take photos of people and charge them an arm and a leg for their picture in an album. I had my own camera with me and asked the waitress to take our picture, so at least we didn’t get ripped off paying for photos.  But despite the cost, it was a romantic meal.  Hubby and I have been together for about seven years altogether! The time went by really fast! The next day, we relocated to our B&B in Niagara on the Lake. We toured around the shopping downtown area in the sweltering heat:

There were some neat shops, including an old style pharmacy, but I didn’t really buy too much. One thing that pissed me off though was this couple and their dog. There was a guy and a girl walking this poor little furball who was panting up a storm in the 38 C degree weather! They would stop every few feet and she would check out the stores while her boyfriend and her canine would wait outside in the sun.  Seriously, I felt like going up to them and asking if they had sawdust for brains! When it’s unbearably hot or cold outside, that is not the time to make your dog stand outside for hours while you try on clothes or look at postcards!

Idiots!

It grinds my gears that people are that selfish and stupid! Afterwards I thought that I should’ve said something to them, I mean the poor thing didn’t even have any water! But I really didn’t want to get into a fight with someone  on my vacation.

Anyways, we hightailed back to the B&B to collapse on our bed and watched “Fletch Lives” I love 80s Chevy Chase and his glorious chin!  Around dinner, Travis and Dave got into Niagara Falls so we met them for dinner. And actually, despite moving to a B&B in Niagara on the Lake, the remainder of our time in the area was mostly spent in Niagara Falls hanging with Travis and Dave . Travis is my best friend and I never see him, so I wanted to make the most of our time together. After dinner, we went on the giant ferris wheel. It was so beautiful at night, here is the view from the top:

After the ferris wheel, we went into the much hyped “Nightmares: Fear Factory“:

I love haunted houses and I had heard that this one was particularly scary, so we went in. It is pitch black, humid as hell and you follow some weak red lights, all the while someone would jump out at you or touch your hair. It was pretty good actually. But if you go, don’t “chicken out”, like so many others, it’s not that bad!  They take your photo in there and ours turned out pretty hilarious. (And no I am not posting it on here!)  Dave is in front, a bit immune to the peril since he is deaf, Travis and I are clutching at each other and screaming and Hubby is at the back looking bored. Priceless! In fact, I recommend going to Nightmares just for seeing your photo afterwards!

Over the next two days, we went to a few different places, like Ripley’s Believe it or Not. There was all sorts of stuff in there and I thought I would post this photo for Jen:

They had the usual display of strange people and new cultures that Ripley discovered.  I took photos but they would probably make this post even longer so I’ll skip posting them. We also went to the cheaper (as in not as good) Wax Museum. Michael Jackson music was on constant rotation outside and they had his “Thriller” look inside:

The wax museum also had the actors from Oceans Eleven and a casino wheel next to it. Dave thought it would be fun to spin the wheel, which unfortunately caused a ear piercing alarm to go off. Oops!

Our other activities included two 3-D rides and glow in the dark golf. And we also went to the Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory:

Butterfly Conservatory inside:

and here are two images of some of the butterflies you can see:

and lastly:

If I had to recommend one “must-see” place in the Niagara region, it would be the Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory, they were both so beautiful! Hubby was quite attractive to the butterflies and he carefully passed one on to me.*  I observed it and took photos and then the little guy still hung on!  I had to have an employee go underneath the butterfly and gently detach the butterfly from my fingers! LOL

A nice end to a nice trip!

*FYI-If a butterfly lands or crawls on you, do NOT touch their very delicate wings. You can very easily damage them.

First Days in Niagara Falls

After arriving at our delux anniversary suite, we walked around the area to check it out. Here are some photos of the touristy and tacky area, that is on the way to the falls:

Dino Golf!

Hershey Store!

and finally the falls themselves!:

The next day, we checked out a bird sanctuary-Bird Kingdom. As mentioned, I am a little nervous around larger birds, but I will jump at the chance to look at and pet animals, bird fear be damned. Bird Kingdom also had reptiles, bats and amphibians at this place and I recommend visiting it if you’re in the area:

Here is an iguana that was just sitting there on the steps hanging out.

Iguanas are another creature that I am weary of, but unlike the more ‘sociable with humans’ creatures known as birds, they do not make good pets ! I used to volunteer at a place like this and that was my take away experience from that job-Don’t get an iguana! They whip their tails at you, bite, scratch and pretty much take over your house! We spoke to an employee there and I mentioned my ‘keep the iguanas in the wild’ stance and he agreed, however, he mentioned that the iguana on the steps was quite friendly. A sucker for a chin scratch.  So perhaps it is not that all of them are constantly aggressive, just most of them.  I mentioned that the males tend to be more aggressive than the females and he countered with: “The meanest one here is a female. See her over there?”  He pointed towards a grouchy looking iguana peering at us in a tank, “Yeah I feel bad for this guy, because I have to remove him from the stairs at night and put him in the tank with her and she is REALLY mean!”

Poor guy. That bitchy iguana kinda reminded me of my bitchy coworker. 😉

After leaving this room, we ventured out into the more bird centric areas of the place. One room had little birds tweeting and flying from trees to the windows. They were a variety of dazzling colours:

Another room had a waterfall and larger birds all zooming about, including some cool ones near the ceiling:

We were also divebombed by some crazy red birds! They came flying right at us! It happened so fast, I didn’t get a photo, but I laughed my ass off afterwards. But here are two more, not quite so fast birds:

Hubby pointed at some neat ones up high. There was an American woman who walked around next to us and seemed to really like birds, so I gently touched her arm and pointed towards the same birds.

“Isn’t this place amazing?”, she sighed, “I’m in heaven!”

I don’t know about “heaven”, but the place was pretty neat. Next up, Maid of the Mist, a Haunted Castle, hanging out with Travis and Dave and Niagara on the Lake..

Our Trip-Part 1 Toronto

Last Friday, after tidying up a bit and ensuring the cats had enough food and water , I shoved a bunch of clothes in my carryon bag and drove downtown to pick up Hubby. We dropped off the puppy with his folks and were on our way to Toronto.

While driving in Carleton Place, we spotted something very weird. And funny. There was a car stopped on the side of the highway and a guy stood directly behind his vehicle peeing on the ground! He didn’t go off in the bushes or wait for a service station, nope he just got out his junk and pissed right there on the highway, waving at those passing by who honked their horn at him! Craziness!  The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful. No more peeing rednecks, but I think I reached my quota with that one anyways. (Ew!) While in Toronto, we stayed with my brother and his girlfriend to break up the duration of the driving to Niagara Falls, in their partly boxed up apartment (they’re moving at the end of the month) On Saturday, we had dinner and watched the latest X-Men movie and debated its pros and cons on the way back to their place. 

My verdict? It was good. Infinitely better than the poorly executed and ridiculous Wolverine film and an improvement from X-Men 3, which bugged the hell out of me. 

Sunday consisted of waiting FOREVER for a bus in the humidity (I thought Toronto had better public transit than Ottawa, but apparently not on Sundays) and going to the Kensington Market area.

The area was packed, particularly with hipsters, who were walking, driving or bicycling in all directions. (One d-bag on a bicycle angrily yelled “Hey!” at me when I tried crossing the street and we saw him also yell at other hapless pedestrians. Where was he going that was so important? Nowhere, the idiot was cycling in large circles around the block!) We looked in a few stores, but nothing really grabbed me. Well except for a dress with dragonfly wing designed onto the back, that was nifty and I bought it for our anniversary. I did also manage to snap some more photos of the area:

Not wanting to wait for hours for a bus, then trolley, we took a cab back to my brother’s and crashed on the couch. For dinner we had the best pizza I ever had-Big Slice. Hmm!

We left in the late morning on Monday. My brother and his girlfriend had appointments and I wanted to get a headstart on the rest of our journey. Somehow I got the bright idea that it would be “fun” to hang around Hamilton and have lunch there since it was on the way. When I got there and looked around however, I soon changed my mind. Hamilton isn’t bad, per se, but it’s still recovering from the plant closures in the area and it has this underlying grim feeling. Not as grim as Oshawa/Whitby mind you, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of time there. (No offence to any Hamiltonians out there!)

However, we had some great sushi there at a place called August 8. We were wandering around trying to figure out where to eat and found it tucked away. Fantastic food!

After lunch, we left to continue our journey onto Niagara Falls..

Niagara Falls for the Anniversary..

I am officially now on vacation for a week. Woo! I have been very restless lately. I love Ottawa, but between you and me, I need some space from the city.

Our three year wedding anniversary is coming up-June 7-so I thought why not spend it at one of the cheesiest most touristy places in Canada-Niagara Falls! Wax Works, haunted houses and standing under tons of flowing water while wearing a blue raincoat spells romance to me! Other plans include stopping at my brother’s, his girlfriend’s and their crazy cat’s place in Toronto and watching the latest X-Men movie on the way. As well as hopefully meeting up with Travis and his fiance in Niagara Falls.

Hopefully I will have lots of great stories when I return! Take care kiddies!

Photo: http://www.canadatop.com/article/Niagara+falls+canada