Last week was a very busy week for us. It was the second week of Stacey & Amy’s visit and we crammed a lot in. Following on from the last post when they spent three nights in Toronto, they had brilliant weather and had a great time. They did shopping, went up the CN Tower and took a boat trip along the waterfront. We picked them up on Sunday afternoon and we travelled back home.
On Monday we didn’t do much other than catching up on things, doing washing and just hanging out. It was Victoria Day here so not much open anyway. On Tuesday we set off in the morning for a trip to the USA. We crossed the border at Thousand Islands and although Chris and I have our visa waivers the girls had to get theirs. It wasn’t very busy there and so we were through in about 20 mins and into the USA.
We stopped off at Syracuse and visited the Carousel Centre where we all spent a few hours shopping. Stacey found Abercrombie & Finch and was very happy. We left the centre late afternoon and traveled to Buffalo where we had booked hotel rooms for two nights. The girls had wanted to go to Canada’s Wonderland last week, but due to the bad weather at the beginning of the week couldn’t, so we suggested Darian Lakes instead. We planned to go the following day, however upon arrival at the hotel discovered it was only open at the weekends. We decided to go out for dinner and decide what to do after.
We went to a great restaurant a short walk from the hotel, had a fabulous meal which was very cheap considering the huge plates of food we got! We then all went back to our room at the hotel to discuss what to do the next day. We had always thought that the American side of Niagara Falls was inferior to Canada and so had never been, but decided as we were so close it would be silly not to.
So the next morning we met for breakfast and then travelled to Niagara Falls for the day. We purchased a Discovery Pass at the information centre for $33 each and off we went.
First we went on the Maid of the Mist boat ride. We had done this before, but it really is the best way to experience the falls so it had to be done. Also it was included in the ticket price. This is me and the girls in our best outfits!
After the Maid of the Mist we went to the Cave of the Winds walk. We weren’t sure what to expect from this but it was brilliant. Once again you are given rain coats (yellow this time) and you have to wear the footwear provided. They give you a plastic bag to put your own shoes in to keep them dry. You then walk along a walkway underneath the falls. This is also a nesting colony for gulls and so there are thousands of gulls in the cliffside. We saw lots of chicks in their nests which were really cute.
The walkway takes you right under the falls and you do get very very wet, but it is awesome. This is Stacey & Amy getting wet.
We then wandered around the area as there is some beautiful parkland and of course stunning scenery. You can stand on the edge in between the American Falls and the Bridal Falls and literally be part of the waterfall. We felt that this side of the falls was in fact much better than the Canadian side as you get to be a real part of the whole thing.
We also went to the Niagara Aquarium, which to be honest was pretty poor and not really worth the effort, but again it was included in the ticket price. All in all we had a brilliant day in Niagara Falls, NY and I would recommend anyone in the area to visit and not miss out on what the American side has to offer.
We ate again at the same restaurant that night and after a terrible night at the hotel (Do not stay at the Comfort Inn University it is terrible) we then went across the border at Rainbow Bridge and back into Canada.
We then spent the day in Niagara Falls again, but this time in Ontario. When we got there it was very misty and the falls were almost invisible so we decided to go to the Butterfly Conservatory first to let the mist clear. There are thousands of free flying butterflies here and we always love to visit. It was the girls first time here and they loved it too. This is Stacey with one of the butterflies.
When we came out of the Butterflies we drove down to the falls and parked in the car park then wandered over to the falls. Took lots of photo of the Canadian Falls as well as the American/Bridal Falls from Canada. Then we walked down to Clifton Hill.
The girls wanted to go to Ripley’s believe it or Not, so we all went. It was very interesting with lots of interesting facts. Our ticket also included the wax museum and the movie theatre, so we did those too. The wax museum was hilarious. Every wax figure had a name tag on, and believe me they were needed. I have never seen so many bad models in my life. Having been to Taussauds in London many times, this place is just a laugh and needs to be viewed that way. The 4D movie experience was pretty good though.
This is Chris auditioning for Star Trek. Yes that really is Spock and Captain Kirk – honestly!
After wandering round town we went to Bird Kingdom and spend an hour admiring the many birds here. It had changed from the last time we went and there was another room with some parrots and lizards etc. Worth a visit if you like birds.
After this we went to Planet Hollywood for dinner. The girls loved their lasagna but Chris and I were very disappointed in our meals which cost twice as much as the restaurant in Buffalo but nowhere as good.
When we left the restaurant it had been raining so we walked back to the car (approx. 2km). During the walk it started to rain again and by the time we got to it we were all totally soaked. After this it was a drive back to home via Toronto which turned out to be a doddle, traffic-wise. We sailed through and got home in about 3.5 hours.
Friday we went into Belleville so the girls could spend the last of their money and then went home where they cooked us lasagna which was vey nice.
Saturday was the last day and as their flight was not until midnight, we were able to spend the day together before setting off at about 6pm for the airport. Once again traffic was great and we arrived at the airport at 8:20. The girls checked in their luggage to get rid of it then we all sat in the restaurant and had drinks before they had to leave. This was the worst bit – the goodbyes. Lots of hugs and tears and we finally had to say goodbye at around 10pm. The drive home was very sad and quiet.
Sunday the house seemed deserted and we already missed them being around. We hope that they can come back soon, although work commitments for them means it will not be until next year unless we win the lottery before then.
Phoned my aunt and uncle on Monday morning and told them all about the visit. They were very happy for us all but also jealous that they were not here. Once again we are all awaiting that lottery win!
Final photo of Chris & the girls.