Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wow. Oh. Wow.

I am a bit behind. We had so much fun on our getaway that I didn't even feel like spending much time on the computer in the evenings. And in the car, that just wasn't possible. We got home to our whirlwind life Monday night then I had a workshop all day yesterday. Thus the posting delays...

So, where was I? Oh yes, August 2. My birthday.

After spending the night in Perrysburg, Ohio, we continued our road trip through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. That was definitely my first time in Pennsylvania and New York and possibly even Ohio. Once we reached Buffalo, we drove over the Peace Bridge and made our way into Canada.

 I was a little nervous crossing the border. I had heard stories of the border patrol turning people away, not having the right documentation, etc. And waiting in the line made me more nervous as we saw cars getting moved to the side.  However, it wasn't that bad. We showed our passports, answered a few questions, and had to explain the car (a rental); apparently some people take cars to Canada to sell for parts.  Finally we were given the all clear (very disappointed to not get a stamp in my passport though!) to enter.

We drove along the Niagara River to Niagara.  Here is a shot of the river from my car window.
You can't tell from the picture but the water was beautiful.  It was this green/blue color, very tranquil.

We really enjoyed taking this "scenic" route to Niagara. We had a chance to see some houses along the way, especially since I made the hubby drive UNDER the speed limit. :)

When we finally arrived in Niagara, we had to drive right by the Falls on our way to our bed and breakfast. This was my first glance at them (from the car)...
That would be the American Falls.  I have always thought of Niagara as one waterfall. There are actually three.  The American, Bridal Veil (which is actually just to the right of the American), and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Here is a picture of our room at the bed and breakfast.  When we were searching for rooms to stay, I had a bit of a sticker shock over the hotel costs there.  So we started looking at bed and breakfasts.  A little cheaper and a little more off the beaten bath which we loved.  And most included FREE parking and of course, breakfast.  Honestly, I would have a hard time staying in some of the hotels in Niagara, especially the ones on Clifton Hill.  It was a HIGH tourist area and just too much for us...kind of like a Branson on steroids.  Very commercial and about as unnatural as the Falls are natural.  We had originally booked one room but due to a reservation mix up, we ended up getting a 2 room suite on the top floor. It was beautiful there with plenty of room other than the bathroom which had LOW ceilings. Even I had to duck. :)
After we settled in, we changed our clothes and made our way to Niagara via foot.  It took about 30 minutes to walk to our restaurant.  The walk there was wonderful, mainly downhill.  However, a few hours later, the walk back was a bit more challenging (especially in the rain while wearing wet sandals).

We went to a restaurant called Skylon Tower. The restaurant floor was a revolving floor.  In one hour, it revolves 360 degrees, so we were able to get a panoramic view of the city. 

Here is the view of the Rainbow Bridge which connects Niagara, Canada to Niagara, New York.  We didn't come in on that bridge because we had seen signs indicating that it was taking quite a while to cross the border there due to the traffic.

Here is a snapshot of the American Falls from the Tower.
As we revolved around, there were little plaques with interesting facts about the Falls on the outside by the windows.  We enjoyed reading those as we dined.
The Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls), as seen from the Tower.
We tried to get a picture of us with the view but it was pretty tight quarters and we just couldn't do it...
So here is me instead. :)
Another view from above the Falls.
This is one of the Maid of the Mist boats heading toward the Falls.  We rode one the next day...
One last glance...
After dinner, we walked on down the hill to the falls.  Here are the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls (the one furthest right).  They are separated by an island.

My handsome fella in front of the Falls...
Doing the "hold out the arms and snap a picture" technique. One young man offered to take our picture.  I naively let him but hubby quickly got the camera back (my new camera) because he was a little uneasy about the situation...
A view of the Canadian Falls
Another view of the American Falls/Bridal Veil Falls from the Canadian Falls

This was one of our favorite views...the Niagara River tumbling over the Horseshoe Falls.  It was just breathtaking.  Wow. Oh. Wow.  We could have stayed in this spot all night long.  (By the way, a lot of people fail to walk down this far and miss such an incredible sight)
Okay, the sweater kind of takes away from the dress but it was a necessity.  The temperatures were cool and the mist from the Falls (felt yards away) was even cooler...
This is not the best picture (I am still learning my camera) but at night, the Falls are lit up with different colors throughout the evening.  Honestly, we preferred just the natural colors (possibly with clear/white spotlights) but either way, the Falls again were just breathtaking.

On Friday and Sunday nights, there are fireworks.  We were fortunate to be there on a Friday night to catch them.  It was raining most of the time, and the fireworks were not in the direction we were expecting.  But it was still fun to watch (even in our cheap little ponchos)...
After that, we made our way in the rain uphill back to our bed and breakfast for the night.

It was a really long day but memorable...a wonderful way to spend a birthday!

More to come,

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