Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Niagara Falls

This is my friend Grace. She turned 25 on Friday. She was having a hard time with that number. I think we all have issues with some number or another. For me it was 23. 25 was actually pretty fun. Anyway, since she needed a distraction, a group of us decided to go to Niagara Falls for the night. There were seven of us total so we got two hotel rooms just a few blocks from the falls. We carpooled down and arrived about an hour and a half before our dinner reservations. I had anticipated the early arrival and packed a selection of cheese and crackers which I served as an appetizer on the slate cheese board that I bought Grace as a present. (I bought the same one for her brother and sister-in-law's wedding last year and she's been coveting it ever since ;))

Grace is a very girly girl so we decided to use her birthday as an opportunity to get dressed up. Our dinner reservations were at the Keg so we all pulled out our fancy dresses and did our hair. We got lots of looks but the "Happy 25th Birthday" balloon that we made Grace carry explained a lot :)
After dinner we changed into more comfortable shoes and then set out on a scavenger hunt that Sharlaine created. (Note the feather boa and blinking crown for Grace ;)) We broke into two teams and had to find 25 things such as: ONE famous person (a picture or a statue), a person with TWO tattoos, THREE people drinking coffee, etc. And of course get a picture of a team member with each person. It was a lot of fun. We only gave ourselves 45 minutes so there was a lot of running involved. My team won but only because we managed to get a group picture with TWENTY people looking at the camera (in Tim Hortons, we just kind of shouted and everyone looked LOL)
Saturday morning we slept in, had our own continental breakfast in the hotel (I brought fruit, one of the other girls brought homemade biscuits, and we had the leftover cheese) and then we headed out to see the falls. Even though Grace was born and raised in Ontario this is the first time she had actually been to the falls (other than crossing the border). She's been lots of other places. England, France, BC and on two cruises but sometimes the things in your own back yard are just as hard to get to.
It was a fabulous day for sightseeing. It was the holiday weekend so it was a little busy but not as bad as it will be later in the summer. It was sunny and warm with a slight breeze so when we did get hit with the spray from the falls it was refreshing more than annoying. The mist at the Canadian Falls was there but it wasn't really all that bad.
The first time I visited Niagara Falls was during my trip to Ontario at Easter in 2000. We drove down on Good Friday and had to be back for an evening church service so we didn't have a lot of time. It was a cold overcast day as well so it wasn't all that enjoyable. Aside from the brief stop I made on the American side of the falls in December 2010 I haven't been back. Maybe it's all in my head but I swear the falls look different from when I was there in 2000. I feel like I can tell that they have receded. It's really interesting to see.
Grace, Sharlaine and I decided to take the Maid of the Mist. Again, I did ride it twelve years ago but this time we were able to go SO much closer! Right up to the base of the Canadian Falls. It was awesome!!! Well worth the money it costs.
These are the American Falls as seen from the Maid of the Mist.
I didn't actually realize the bird was there until I uploaded this picture. I like it. There are tons of birds all around the falls and they are interesting to watch too.
After the boat ride the three of us joined up with the rest of the group and we visited a few of the shops in Niagara. The Hershey and Coke stores were favourites. This picture was taken in a hotel lobby by a friendly guy with an accent. That's me at the bottom, Susannah, Sharlaine, Elizabeth, Grace, Rachel and Esther. Just some of my awesome friends in Ontario :) 

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