Tag Archives: Tourist

A visit to Niagara Falls

I haven’t been to Niagara Falls in years, one of the main reasons was the crowds (something I am not a big fan of being disabled, easily bumped by others, and knocked down). So when my friend Suzanne was visiting me, and had travelled fourteen hours by plane, I figured I would just have to suck it up and deal with my crowd issues. We arrived in Niagara Falls before lunch, giving us plenty of time to walk from the parking lot located at the end of the falls, to the Skylon Tower where we were to have lunch.

The last time I was in the Skylon Tower was on my honeymoon ~ some twenty-eight years ago, it was night, and you really couldn’t see much. This time, we had a beautiful sunny day, so when we were seated in the restaurant, and luckily enough to have a window seat with a direct view of the falls, the scene was spectacular. Well in the restaurant, staff does not bother you as you snap picture after picture.

View of the Canadian and American Falls

Canadian and American Falls

View of the Niagara River from the Skylon Tower

View of the Niagara River from the Skylon Tower

View of the American Falls

View of the American Falls.

After lunch we took the elevator up to the observation deck, where you are outside, protected by a grill, that is large enough for your camera to fit through, enabling you to snap even more dramatic images.

Matt and I on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower

Matt and I on the observation deck of the Skylon Tower

After lunch we spent time walking and exploring the area, buying souvenirs, and of course taking more pictures.

An image of store staff wearing a t-shirt saying "200 years of Peace & Friendship, Canada & the USA"

I loved this t-shirt and the comment made by the staff member “Foreshadowing”

Image of Suzanne and I

Suzanne and I on one of the walking trails in Niagara

Tree lined garden

One of the many gardens surrounding Niagara Falls

Another garden by the falls

Another garden by the falls

I highly recommend you visit Niagara Falls at least once in your lifetime, you certainly will not be disappointed.

Trying something new

On the advice of my friend Suzanne, I’m tried something new today.  What did I do different? First I took my rarely used bicycle out of the shed, secured my helmet, and rode off to the local mall. Well I actually had to turn around at the corner and go back home, the back tire was deflated. Unlock gate, unlock house, route in jar of numerous keys for shed key, find key ring with numerous keys – forcing me to try one of many again to unlock shed, find tire pump, pump like mad woman so nozzle can fall off tire thingamajig numerous times, finally re-inflate tire, return pump to shed, lock shed, return keys to house, lock house, lock gate, ride off into sunset to mall.

Finally on my way, I debate riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal) vs the road. Decide on the road, only to almost get taken out by driver who obviously hates bike riders. After my near death experience I arrived at the mall. I go to the Bulk Barn to buy some steel-cut oats (one has to stay regular healthy), and dog treats. Eventually I grab a coffee and breakfast so I can sit down and write. In truth, I went to the mall for the sole intention of writing. It seems sitting at my computer lately just draws blanks.

These past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity at our house with Suzanne visiting. I have played the tourist with her, as we toured the RGB (Royal Botanical Gardens), The Hamilton Farmer’s Market, Cootes Paradise, Lindsay Ontario, Aylmer Ontario, Port Dover Ontario, and Niagara Falls Ontario. On bad chronic pain days for me, Suzanne went out on her own walking – and boy can that woman walk, 14 kilometres one day alone! (Note: Suzanne came over quite aware, that there would be days, she would have to go it alone while I rested). Middle child graciously did fill in for me a number of times, taking Suzanne to the mall, and for a walk at Albion Falls.

The visit to Aylmer and Port Dover (where our grandmother used to live) was on the invitation of my sister, who was interested in checking out some handmade Mennonite dining room tables. Afterwards, she thought it would be nice to have lunch on the beach in Port Dover. So on a very raining Saturday, my sister drove into town to pick us up. With umbrella’s on hand (I borrowed my husband one and only, supposedly favourite umbrella, which was later turned inside out, and left broken by an extremely strong wind gust, that amazingly left me unscathed (did he ask me that – Nooo!)) Anyways, the furniture was gorgeous, though nothing was purchased, except of course slippers by me, that middle child keeps trying to steal (payback for hubby’s umbrella?)

It seemed the rain was not going to let up, nevertheless it did not put a damper on our lunch, the scene reminded my Wales-born friend of home.

Picture of the rain hitting the restaurant window.

Before you ask, I have no idea why the restaurant decided to plant palm trees on the beach.

Off to the big city for dinner and a tea tweetup

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a Tea Tweetup hosted by the Yummy Mummy Club and Metropolitan Tea at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. It was a wonderful and fun event, where I was able to meet other bloggers I have chatted with online.

Before attending, I met my sister for dinner (I had talked her into attending the Tea Tweetup with me). The restaurant she chose was Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill. We shared an appetizer of Beef Carpaccio (wild & tame mushrooms, arugula, capers, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano & truffle oil). I wasn’t that thrilled with the beef until I squirted some lemon on it, what a difference, it was delicious! For my main, I chose the beer battered Atlantic haddock, Yukon Gold fries & creamy coleslaw, while my sister had the oven roasted free-range chicken breast with truffle potato gnocchi, sautéed mushrooms and roasted garlic jus. Both of our meals were absolutely wonderful. Then I went to the lady’s room! Ugh! The condition of the lady’s room was well, quite untidy. Now I did e-mail the restaurant with my concerns and they nicely said they would pass the information on to their staff.

After dinner we walked the few steps over to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Oh my goodness, when you enter the Hotel you are taken aback by its absolute beauty! This is the 5-star hotel my husband dreams of going to, but currently is not in our budget. I started snapping pictures with my camera phone, but apparently I was looking to much like a tourist and my sister politely asked me to stop.  Anyways, we go up to the 19th floor to join the Yummy Mummy Club Tea Tweetup. Before the discussion of tea starts, we are each given the opportunity to choose a couple of tea’s that we would like to try. We are all given name tags, with both our real and twitter names. We sit at the lovely table, with delicate tea cups, martini glasses full of strawberries, boysenberries and other fruits, there are scones, and other delicious treats. Oh and I can’t forget the honey! The Fairmont has bee hives and a garden on the rooftop of the hotel, and their honey is to die for! Once the informative tea lesson was over, we mingle for the last hour, drink more tea and snack. All around it was a lovely evening hosted by the Yummy Mummy Club and Fairmont Royal York.

I was able to bring home a few samples, but not having a teacup on hand, I had to choose from the following two mugs. You can see which mug I chose by the tea bag:

YMCtea