5 May 2014

Winter, you big jerk!

When I left home, I left with an envelope in my suitcase.

This envelope came from my very best girl friend. On the front it read "For use on 28/4. You can open any date before then but not 'till you leave." I wasn't told what was inside.

I had known about this planned envelope for a while before I left and I gathered some clues which led me to one conclusion. The clues were as follows...

  1. It was a day trip. 
  2. It was taking place on Monday the 28th of April.
  3. I needed to be ready by 8am in flat shoes. 
  4. I was given a plastic poncho.
My conclusion: Niagara Falls.

Was I right? Yes, but it was still terribly exciting when I opened that envelope the evening before. We were booked on a day trip run by King Tours. We would be picked up that morning from my apartment and be taken to the tour bus. The tour would take us to a winery, then on to Niagara on the Lake before finally reaching the Falls. 

Could we be any more spoilt? I think not!

The day got off to an amusing start with me accidentally leaving my iPhone in the fancy taxi that picked us up in the morning (Don't worry, it was handed to the tour company and I picked it up that evening. Darn it, no new iPhone for me!) and we were on our way through the city and then around Lake Ontario

First stop was Diamond Estates Winery where I was most interested in these teeny, tiny pinecones! I've never seen a pinecone so small!

Teeny tiny pinecone at Diamond Estates Winery

Then we headed onto Niagara on the Lake for some lunch. It was a very charming town. Curiosity resulted in a purchase of a red velvet cookie, however I was slightly disappointed. It wasn't bad as such... it just wasn't great either. At least it looked pretty!

Red Velvet Cookie at Niagara on the Lake

The town was full of beautiful flowers though, and these tulips were my absolute favourite. Swooooon.

Tulips at Niagara on the Lake

My favourite part of Niagara on the Lake though? The public toilets. I quickly rushed to them just before our tour departed, expecting nothing special - oh, how I was surprised! These toilets were in their own building. You entered through an automatic sliding glass door into a foyer featuring a drink vending machine. Once I entered the actual 'washroom' as they call it here, I found the entire place practically brand new, all automatic and entirely spotless! Ah-maaaaaaaa-zing! Surely I'm not the only one who appreciates a nice, clean toilet? Right? 

Then on to the Falls we went! Oh my goodness, how they were beautiful. The power of the water was incredible!

Niagara Falls!

We were booked to go on the 'Maid of the Mist' boat (actually it's "The Hornblower" from the Canadian side) however, due to this exceptionally long winter that Canada is having, there was still ice in the water! At the end of April - whaaaat?! Thanks a lot winter - you big jerk! So unfortunately the boat couldn't run, but instead we got to 'Journey behind the Falls' down into tunnels that let us view the power of the water up close. It was amazing!

Ice at Niagara at the end of April - man, it must have been a harsh winter!

There was also a viewing platform at the bottom as part of the 'Journey behind the Falls' experience that allowed us to get a bit closer, and check out the ice!

A few hours were spent admiring the Falls, checking out the normal touristy gift shops, and buying postcards for our loved ones, and candy for ourselves (naturally). 

The bus home was a quiet one as the group was very tired from the day. Snoring was heard from all directions, and I must admit that even I dozed off for a few moments. Ahh, the benefits of not driving!

It was the most incredible day and all I can say is thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to the lovely Tamika for giving me this opportunity! 

Here's one more photo of the Falls, just because they're so beautiful.

Niagara Falls and Rainbow Bridge in the background - the US/Canadian border.

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