Seven Dwarfs Travel

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Niagara Trip - Day 5 - Niagara Falls

Today was our day to really be tourists.  We started the day with a ride on the Maid of the Mist which took us right up to the bottom of the falls.  They gave us some rain ponchos (Zoe did not like hers at all) and we needed them!  It was amazing how wet it was just from the mist coming up from the falls.  The boys loved it and refused to put their hoods on.  Ella had a big smile too, but she did let me put her hood on.  The experience was just as you’d expect it to be – loud and wet!  The falls don’t look as huge in person as they do in pictures and TV, but they are still impressive and quite beautiful.

After that we walked up Clifton Hill.  We started with the Crystal Caverns Mirror Maze.  We love mirror mazes and this one did not disappoint.  We went through it several times.  It was a little too easy, but it was still lots of fun.  Poor Ella started chasing after Jacob and ran face first into one of the mirrors.  Max even cried for her.  After the mirror maze we went next door to the upside down house.  That was very disappointed.  Even the kids thought it was stupid.  It only had a few rooms and no really good photo opportunities and it was super expensive for what it was.  I think it was like $8/per person and we were only in there for 5 minutes.  After that we headed over to the IMAX theater to see a film about Niagara Falls.  It was a good movie, but it could have provided a bit more history.  Next we went to My Cousin Vinny’s for lunch, which was good.  

The amount of walking we did around town today was amazing and the kids never really complained.  The movie had some good points but was really outdated, especially for an IMAX film.  It was a nice cool break though. We were starving after the movie, yet had to walk quite a ways to find a restaurant.  It ended up being good, but not fast.  Sometimes I think it's just our area of the country that expects relatively quick service.  Every where else we travel is really laid back.   At least we were close to the hotel now.

After lunch, we hopped in the RV and drove to Niagara on the Lake. It’s a really interesting area, which is mostly just wineries – it’s amazing how many grapes are growing there. It also has a really nice downtown with a lot of small, boutique shops. Kyrie did some shopping while the kids and I chilled out in the RV for an hour.

Niagara on the Lake is pretty far away from Niagara Falls (at least in an RV with 3 kids asking "Are we there yet?"  But it's a pretty drive. I've never seen so many vineyards in my life.  I would have like to stop and buy local fruit at the stands but we had neither ime nor the need to eat much fruit before crossing the boder.  The town was actually the most crowded area I've seen so far. There are nice shops, restaurants, and lots of outside patios to enjoy wine of course.  It would be a nice place for a couple to enjoy an afternoon.  Marc dropped me off at the far end of the main street and I had about 1 hour to make it to the other end of town where they parked.  I browsed interesting stores on just one side of the street to ensure I stayed within my time limit.  I couldn't buy much anyway since I would have to carry it all...so no wine even though it was interesting to see bottles from so many local wineries.  I bought a pair of sunglasses, a Christmas ornament, and two boxes of maple sandwich cookies--one for us, one as a gift for those hard working employees who make these trips possible.

I made it back with time to spare.  On the way back, we stopped at the Inniskillin Winery which is famous for its ice wine.  Marc and I tasted a couple of table wines and selected a bottle to bring home.
After that we went to the Oh Canada, Eh?! dinner show.  Before the show I learned a couple of interesting facts like that Canada eats more Kraft Macaroni and Cheese than any other country and that Montreal has more churches than houses.  But the show went downhill after we entered the theater.  The show had some comedy, but not nearly enough.  It was mostly just them singing songs from Canadian artists, but many of the songs were very obscure and most of them I had no idea who sung them anyway.  The food was good, but it was a 3 hour show and it felt like forever.  The funny parts were good – I just wish there were more of them!

The show (and dinner) was too slow moving.  The kids did amazingly well, but we had had enough once dinner was finally over and left early.  The food was just okay and the kids didn/t really enjoy it.  One observant server/performer noticed the kids weren't eating much and brought them some macaroni and cheese which really made Jacob and Ella happy.

The view from our hotel room is the best part of this portion of our trip. We have an awsome view of both the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.  I found it disturbing though tat they light the falls at night.  It would be one thing if it were just white light, but instead they use all sorts of neon colors that rotate.  It detracts from the great natural beauty in my opinion.  It got me thinking about what must have surrounded the falls hundreds of years ago.  I imagine forest.  Wouldn't it be amazing to walk through the forest and happen upon a sight like that?!  It's too bad that it's completely developed and commercial now.  It's still beautiful and I apprecieted the view from my room.

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