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.

Hubby and I went on a double date with the eldest and her boyfriend

Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada

When I was speaking with middle child late last week, I told her that her dad and I would not be home on Saturday evening because we were going to Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada) with her older sister and her boyfriend. Middle child immediately squealed “you’re going on a double date!” Well I never thought of it that way, but yes I was going on my first double date. Before the date could occur, I arranged for a dog sitter, not a babysitter, but a dog sitter. Ever since our beagle Cocoa had two strokes, he doesn’t like to be left alone for more than a couple of hours, three tops and since I wasn’t sure how long we would be out, I asked my best friend’s daughter if she would mind dog sitting.

You're going out, but I have my hat on?

You're going out, but I have my hat on?

Hubby and I were promptly picked up at 3:45 p.m. Our daughter’s boyfriend had borrowed his father’s jeep for the occasion. Now I have always admired Jeeps, until now. It was a huge step up to get into the back seat and being disabled, I was unable to lift either leg that high without assistance. Once in, it wasn’t too bad, except you are sitting bolt straight up, and there is no seat adjustment, making the hour-long drive highly uncomfortable. Hubby is around 6’2″ and surprisingly there wasn’t a lot of head room left once he was sitting, thankfully there were no bumps in the road, else hubby would have had a sore head. Note to self: will not buy a Jeep in the near future.

As we were driving along, the eldest decided to use an app on her phone giving us step-by-step directions (I can easily drive to Niagara Falls having been there many times, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to get to the restaurant). Hubby and I find the app to be hilarious, as it loudly tells you to turn right or left or take this ramp to highway. The drive was uneventful for the first half, until we saw this one driver. Now we are on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Highway) where vehicles are speeding along at anywhere from 100km to 120km (some even faster), when I notice this man who is supposed to be driving his Ford 150 truck holding the steering wheel, but instead he is texting with his left hand while holding another cell phone with his right hand up to his ear! What on earth is he using to hold the steering wheel? What would have happened if had hit a pot hole? Hubby had his camera out and tried to snap a picture of the driver so we would have proof to show to the police, but sadly there was too much traffic at the time and he was only able to get a picture of the back of the truck. Note: We did not phone 911 at the time because previously when I had seen a distracted driver, the police officer that I spoke to, said not to dial 911, just call the nearest detachment. Well the nearest detachment (Niagara region) only answers non-emergency phone calls Monday to Friday. The next day I called the Niagara region Ontario Provincial Police and left a message. Plus I would like to get clarification on what I should have done.

We soon arrived at the restaurant and were seated beside a window with a spectacular view! As we ate our dinner, the colour illuminations of the falls began. It was beautiful. After finishing our meal, we walked down to the falls for a closer look. It was freezing, especially with the mist falling and the wind wrapping around us. The American side of the falls is completely frozen over, whereas the Canadian side is still flowing. The river beneath the falls is also frozen, showing some massive cracks in the ice. Sadly hubby’s camera was not able to capture the magnificence of the scene. If you haven’t visited Niagara Falls in the winter, now is the time to go. I would love to go again but I would visit earlier in the day so we can photograph the frozen landscape.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls