Saturday, October 3, 2015

Catching up on the rest of the trip!

Well, it's been two weeks since my return from my fabulously restful busy vacation! At the end we were doing so many things and the internet was spotty that I decided to unplug from the digital crack. I have to admit that I enjoyed it more, I actually long for the days of pre-cellular phone/camera. I do enjoy documenting things, but at times it becomes obsessive.  Anyway I did manage to take photos, but haven't had a spare moment to post until now.
We started out checking out the Floral clock. I had to wait for a group of tourists to take a group shot, which I actually helped orchestrate. Yup always got to bed in the heart of the action! I was standing behind the photographer/tourist looking at the group and waving and getting them to say "cheese" so they'd smile, then I got the photographer to go sit with the group and I took pics of them.  Then they had me sit with them. After that I finally got my picture!

So let me explain the 'selfie obsession' when I am wandering its usually solo and I like getting a pic with something interesting, but usually moto man is off taking his pictures. I used to turn the camera around & try and snap pics, but the iphone makes it simpler. In most of our family pics I'm not in them because I'm the picture snapper, I usually mess up the self timer business. Anyway back to sightseeing.
 Scooterpie Jr wanted to go to the Ripley's Odditorium in downtown Niagara Falls. We spent the better part of two hours wandering through this strange collection of eclectic stuff. We actually quite enjoyed it and found it interesting.
I tried to bug out my eyes, of course you knew I'd have to be goofy! Moto man just shakes his head and shuffles off.

We took a picture in a giant chair which belonged to an extremely tall gentleman.  His shoes were massive. We saw a great deal of weird stuff, there were shrunken heads. Incredible art done on the head of pins and in the eyes of sewing needles. Two headed animals, have to admit some of the stuff weirded me out, but its fascinating to see what Mr. Ripley collected. 
Found this cool little motorcycle made from scrap. 
Of course I had to take a pic with this chap. There truly are weird, wild, and whacky things in this Odditorium. After the museum we wandered around a bit more & had a snack. I was on a quest for coffee that wasn't Tim Horton's, I finally found a Starbucks and had a double shot Americano, which was twice the price of the Starbucks at home (tourist inflation at its finest).
This was our landmark in Niagara Falls, the Skylon Tower, as long as it was in sight we weren't lost, (which hapoened a couple of times because someone wouldn't ask for directions). Thank goodness for google maps! 
At the end of the day we drove by the falls, they light them up, but due to the parks police ever hovering we couldn't stop to take a decent photo. So it was a drive by phone out the window, fuzzy shot, at least I managed not to drop the phone. After that it was time for bed.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahoy Matey! Into the mist we go! Niagara Falls Adventure Part 3

When you live in a tourist destination and were to ask the locals "Do you do tourist type activities?" Most would reply "No". I know this, as I live in a tourist town and most of us stay away during high season for the most part. On our first day of being Niagara Falls tourists we did a lot of activities, everything I have posted in parts 1-2-3 were all done on Monday.  It was a busy day indeed! 
We decided to do a cruise at the base of the Falls, most would commonly recognise the name 'Maid Of the Mist', but on the Canadian side it is called Hornblower Cruises.  We paid our $20 CDN and sailed off into the mist.  We donned the signature plastic raincoats, have to say if you think you are going to stay dry its a fantasy. 
I look like a little sunburned smurf in this oh so attractive designer garbage bag.  Here I was actually dry! In another 2 minutes I was soaked, a tip for those who are contemplating doing this make sure your camera and other digital devices are in waterproof cases, for the girls waterproof mascara is the way to roll, there were a few ladies who when they got off the cruise they looked like Alice Cooper at the end with mascara running down their faces.  

Have to admit this was the best part of the tourist experience, it is not every day that you are able to get this close to one of the most magnificent water falls in the world and experience the raw power of nature.   I was pretty excited and I was very glad I did this and would do it again!
American side of falls  and Bridal Veil falls -simply stunning!

Niagara Falls consists of three falls, there are two on the American side, Bridal Veil falls and the American falls. Then we come to the biggest portion of the Falls which is on the Canadian side, it was named the Horseshoe Falls in 1721.

Photocredit to:

Horseshoe Falls isn't one of the tallest or biggest waterfalls in the world, but due to the amount of water that runs over it, approximately 168,000 cubic m of water with the equivalent of 750,000 gallons per second falling 52 metres (170ft) into the basin that makes it one of the most powerful waterfallsin the world and it is a key component of hydroelectric power generation in Ontario.  The Horsehoe Falls are located between Table Rock and Goat Island. The length of the Niagara River is 58km. 

Here is a shot of the American Falls and to the extreme right Bridal Veil falls. At this point you could hear the roar from the Horseshoe Falls and we hadn't hit the mist yet. 
Rainbows were dancing off the water and it made it even more enchanting. Weare heading towards Horseshoe falls, the water was starting to get a little choppier and we were getting wetter. But it was very charming and there was a feeling of romance with it. The legend of the falls is that a young first nation's maiden was sacrificed & was sent over the falls in a canoe. They say if you listen to the water you will be mesmirized, pulled in and plummet over the falls. 

There was a lot of squealing about being wet from many a passenger. I was standing by a young couple and I have to say watching young love blossom was very touching, oh the days to be young and giddy with love. It was very sweet, the young man kept saying to me "I promised my girl I'd bring her here." All this was happening as moto man was wandering around taking pictures. 
Here we are about to head into the mist and at this point all hopes of staying somewhat dry are dashed. The mist also make it extremely difficult to take good pictures and I actually gave up, as did my iphone, it shut itself down, luckily it restarted!
You can't tell from my expression, but I was truly enjoying the adventure, I was just having an issue trying to work around a windswepted poncho to snap a pic. I looked like a drowned rat.
The roar was deafening! Ear plugs would be a handy thing to have, at this point the water was very turbulent, but it was nothing you couldn't deal with.
Coming back out of the falls.

Looking back down the gorge there is an observation platform and there is a story behind this, apparently it was supoosed to be the new bridge, connecting the US and Canada and part of the plan was for it to be a joint effort between the US and Canadian governments, but something happened and the bridge was not completed.  In any event I caught one of the many rainbows. 
The cruise was drawing to a soggy close, but every face you looked upon was beaming with joy.
Heading back to calmer waters.  
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise through the mist and I would recommend doing this activity, it was amazing seeing the falls from above and from the Ferris Wheel, but it is completely different when you are so close, the magnitude of it is overwhelming.than It was thrilling to see just how powerful the falls are.  A few things i would recommend, wear good walking footwear, don't carry a big bulky handbag, make sure your electronics are protected from the water, most importantly enjoy one of Canada's most magnificent wonders!

This was an awesome day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Niagara Falls here I come to revel in your kitschy glory - Part 2

We did a lot of stuff Monday! So much so that if I had a fitbit I would have probably blown it up with all the walking we did. There are some pretty interesting things to see and do, it all depends on the type of experience you want, so we did a little of this and a little of that.
It really is like a giant carnival, complete with food vendors, tourist stores and lots of noise. My sister-in-law tells me that in the summer you can't move down here for the ever present thick crowds.  So there is something to be said for September holiday! Scooterpie clan trudged along looking and deciding what we wanted to see.  It was a wee bit overwhelming.

We walked by Movieland and bumped into Jack.

Wandered by the HD store which sold trinkets & HD clothing.
Haven't really seen too many motorcycles on the road here.  
Wandered into the Eainforest Cafe, pretty cool decor. Loved the Giant frog!
You feel like you are in a rainforest. It was pretty cool!
'Rescue The Rainforest' fountain.

It was pretty spectacular.
And of course i had to snap a pic with the giant frog - this is for you ToadMama. 
Scooterpie Jr wanted to go to the upside down house where you walk on the ceilings. It was a great ad for Ikea! 
I almost bought that comforter awhile back!
The loo
Kids room

After we finished our home tour we were feeling a little parched, all this walking around was thirsty work. We settled in for a cold drink & tried to cool off and then we were going on more adventures. We decided to go on the Canadian Version of the Maid of The Mist, which is called Hornblower cruises.  I will post that in a day or so.  Yup we did all this on Monday, there are no half measures with clan Scooterpie!

Being a tourista in Niagara Falls - Kitsch glorious kitsch - Part One Monday

Sometimes you just have the yen to explore, and that's exactly what we've been doing a lot of. I love finding kitsch and I have finally found my kitsch nirvana - Niagara Falls! 

We started out at a giant floral clock, where I was being my usual goofy self and standing behind a photographer who was taking a picture of foreign tourists and I yelled out "Say cheese!" None of them spoke English, but the all yelled "CHEESE!" They all laughed and then I took a group pic of them with their photographer.  My actual motive was to get them away from the clock so I could take a pic - it worked!

After that we tootled over to the Park to hike down to the Niagara Gorge rapids.  So here we are at the top.  I have to say I wasn't quite prepared for the hike! It was beautiful!  Here we are at the top, its a long way down! 
It was a fairly rugged trail with lots of rocks and slippery patches because of the 3 days of heavy rain. I must say though it was worth it! 
The current is very swift here and you don't want to fall in or you will be swept downstream to the hydroelectric plant and likely not survive, I will leave out the grisly details of past falls into the water my sister-in-law was telling me about.

There are some wicked rapids on the Niagara river.
After the hike we headed out to downtown Niagara Falls. WOW! Its like a mini Las Vegas. We decided to go for it and have fun!  Adventure number two of the day.
I spotted the Skywheel and I just had to go on it! I knew the veiws would be spectacular and they were. My hub wasn't too happy about it though, its not his cup of tea, but he did it anyway.
The view of Niagara Falls was amazing! In the distance you can see the Skylon Tower.
The US side of the Falls.
The ride was very smooth and air conditioned.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing everything, it was worth the $11.00. 
Sorry if the pics are grainy, but I am using the trusty old iphone, just didnt feel like packing a camera along.
Bridge to the US. 
There is a Jurassic themed mini golf in the park by the ferris wheel. Its kind of surreal to see dinos below you.
It was a very cool ride.  After we got off we went exploring the Falls. If ever there was a place for tourists this is a Canadian treasure trove of kitsch. 
So here I am hamming it up and holding the dinos hand, yup am that kind of tourist. This will have to do it for now as I have spotty internet and we are going sight seeing again in a couple of hours,