Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vacation to the north, part 2

Sunday, 8/8:
Up bright and early to ride the Maid of the Mist, the boat that takes you right up to both falls. You wear these cheap blue ponchos (which Don saved and brought home) so you don't get soaked. They do help, but still, you get wet. It's quite fun, though at its closest and most turbulent, all you can see is a wall of wild white wetness. First, a picture of the Maid of the Mist from land:

Next, land from the Maid of the Mist. Our hotel is the Dixie cup-shaped building in the left clump of buildings (you can click on all the pics to enlarge).

Next, my favorite picture, of people on the boat taking pictures.

The rest of the day was spent walking around the cheesy part of town, which is most of it, with its wax museums (we visited the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum) and carnival-like attractions (we did not visit Dracula's Castle). There are also some lovely park areas along the Niagara Parkway, where we saw a statue of famous engineer Nikola Tesla:

Lunch was at Elements back at Table Rock--so-so food but we were seated at the window overlooking the falls, so it was memorable. Dinner was at a hotel restaurant called Coco's Steakhouse: so-so food, a terrible Singapore Sling, and a hundred dollar tab.

Monday, 8/9:
Breakfast at an IHOP; good but way too expensive. We strolled around the town part of Niagara Falls again, saw an IMAX movie about the falls, and stopped at an Orange Julius--I love Orange Julius, but I don't think there are any left in Columbus, so it was fun. We then took a half-hour drive to Niagara On the Lake, a cute little resort town where the Shaw Festival was in full swing. Quaint shops and little cafes. Had a delicious coconut macaroon at the Irish Tea Room.

That afternoon, we took a two-hour train trip to Toronto. It took a while but it was so civilized--plenty of leg room, no seat belts, a food car, fairly large bathrooms, and no standing in long security lines with your shoes off. Got into town after 8 so we checked in at the Fairmont Royal York, a elegant hotel right across the street from the train station, smack in the middle of downtown, and took a quick nighttime walk around the area. The CN Tower at night was quite a sight, though I didn't feel the need to go up that high. Days 4-7 coming up.

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