Is It 10am Yet???

This is a question I rarely ask myself but have learned when you travel with a child is a very valid question.  Day 2 of our escape started when I rolled out of bed at 8am.  Before I knew it we were at the free breakfast buffet and planning our day.  One little problem, it seems that nothing in Niagara Falls opens before 10am (at least on a Friday before high season).  Even the hotel pool did not open until 10am.  But the 8 year old was ready to go NOW!!

I suggested we get in the car and head to the floral clock.  Really, it’s one of my favorite things at the Falls.  I recall many a picture in front of the clock as a child and I try to get there each visit, usually dragging my travel mates along.  Bonus about the clock – if it’s light you can see it.  And, when you get there around 9am you get to see the nice park people water the clock and you get it all to yourself!  Drawback, it really only takes about 10 minutes to see.

Now, it’s 9:15 and we still have 45 minutes to kill.  Off to Niagara-on-the-Lake, not the most kid friendly destination but we did find a cafe serving breakfast and said 8 year old was still hungry.  Also, there was a playground for the kid and for me (aka yarn store).  We finally made it to the magical hour and headed to the butterfly gardens.

I admit the butterfly kind of creeps me out and this place was swarmed with them.  The Cleveland Botanical Garden pales in comparison with this place – they are everywhere!!  Great place to try out the new camera and I probably took way too many pictures of them.  The gardens are also amazing and huge and so many tulips, which begs the question what exactly does Canada do with their deer???  There are way too many tulips up there…

Next up was the White Water Walk which involves an elevator ride down to river level and a nice wooden pathway in which you can observe the Class 6 rapids up close.  Reminded me of my white water rafting days and can see why people don’t raft Class 6 rapids.  But it was really beautiful.


At this point I feel compelled to mention it’s only 1:00.  This is more than I usually do in a day and it’s only half over…  Luckily next up was lunch and a rest period, and for once I indulged in the hot tub as the 8 year old is apparently part fish and spent most of the rest period swimming in the pool.

For our evening activities we caught a 4D movie about the creation of Falls.  Oddly I got wetter at that movie than any of the actual Falls attractions.  Grabbed some dinner (and sweatshirts, it got mighty chilly) and then were ready for the light show followed by fireworks.  The fireworks were okay but only lasted about 6 minutes and it was cold, and wet.  But it was great to try out the fireworks setting on the new camera and it got some great shots.  Everyone was totally exhausted and headed in for bed.  It was all good until it took us 2 hours to cross back into the good ole USA this morning but at least we left early and had no plan.  I am now enjoying the peace and quiet of my home (and maybe some Stanley Cup playoffs), something I always do after spending consecutive days with the wee ones!


Practice Run

July is rapidly approaching and with that my 3 week pilgrimage to a number of holy sites in Italy and France.  I decided it was a perfect time for a practice run vacation.  I can try out all my new stuff and break it in and make sure everything works before head over the pond.

The perfect opportunity came via my friends and their 8 year old who decided a long weekend in Niagara Falls would be fun.  If you are reading this and know me you know I LOVE the Falls and it’s been about 10 years since I was last up here.  Above referenced 8 year old loves water so what better place to come, the entire ride up here she would periodically double check that we would get wet when we got here.

We checked in and I loaded up my new travel bag and camera, attached my water bottle and donned the sun hat (in which I look more like I’m headed out on safari) and off we went.  First stop – Maid of the Mist.  The Falls is the capital of tourist traps and I love every one of them.  We could not have ordered better weather and the boat ride was awesome as usual.  And, yes, we got wet!Image

Next we headed to Journey Behind the Falls.  Nothing like getting up close to all that falling water.  I kept thinking about that crazy guy that tightrope walked over the Falls.  They have info about him all around the place.  We grabbed some delicious dinner overlooking the Falls and then called it a night.  I hung back and grabbed some Tim Horton’s (seriously, they have these everywhere but Cleveland???) and then came back to collapse in the hotel.  Full day of activities tomorrow.

The camera took great pictures.  The bag seems to work out well.  I will need to come up with a plan because with that many pockets in a bag something will disappear if I don’t keep things straight.  And I made it through the whole day with no sunburn so I’ll call it a success so far.