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2011 The Nightingale's Oddessy Our exchange year in Canada.

Niagara Falls in winter, were we mad!

CANADA | Wednesday, 19 January 2011 | Views [402] | Comments [3]

Welcome to another installment. Sit back it's going to be a long one:-)

Yes we have been to Niagara Falls and as it turns out we weren't mad. Niagara Falls in the height of winter is a must see.

We only decided to head down on Thursday so accommodation was booked on one of those last minute websites where you don't know what you are getting except that it's four star and that the room would be on a lower floor with a view of the car park. Well what can you expect for $121 though. Lol

Saturday arrived snowing heavily once again, what is it with Saturday's? Is it just us? After a few miss-starts we arrived mid-morning at the Hilton Double Tree. Check-in wasn't supposed to be until 15:00, but we thought we'd chance our luck and boy were we glad we did, at the desk we were offered an upgrade to the 17th floor with a view of the American falls for an extra $10. Would Sir like that? Are you kidding is the Pope Catholic?

After going up to the room, and after some warm beverages and oohing and aahing over the view we decided to head off to the falls. This is when the kids first realised that, the fluffy white stuff isn't always fun, especially when being driven into your face by a strong wind.

We headed over to the Sheraton two blocks up. One thing I noticed about Niagara Falls is, it seems to be where all the has-been performers turn-up! Does anyone remember the Dukes of Hazard and the two stars? Well it seems they are singers and are performing all their hits??? at the Sheraton.

After enjoying the warmth inside the Sheraton we walked down to the Horseshoe Falls which are on the Canadian side of the border. The temp was in the mid minus teens, but the wind chill must have been a lot lower and it was driving snow, but the view of the falls partially iced over is magnificent and only makes us want to go back in each season. Even with the river being partially iced over the volume of water going over the Falls is astounding. The good thing about being there at this time of the year is the lack of tourists, so you are able to get up to the railings and get photo's. Something you apparently can't do in the height of summer.

After Dad got plenty of photo's and everyone else got frostbite we trudged back to the hotel and then went out to do something we had promised the kids, which was to go to an indoor waterpark??

Clifton Hill in downtown Niagara is the tourist heart right on the border crossing. with plenty of cheesy activities vying for the dollars. One of the attractions is an indoor waterpark, 3 acres built on top of a car park next to the casino. Chelle had brought some bathers, but I hadn't even packed any not expecting to go swimming for a few months yet. Anyway after we got there and picked ourselves off the floor when we found out what entry cost, no kids prices, adults and kids same price, we both decided to get our monies worth, this was when Chelle then realised she'd left her bathers back at the hotel, so she set off to get them and also buy me a pair of boardshorts, no budgie smugglers here. While Chelle was gone I supervised the kids and must haved looked a great sight dressed in four layers of clothes and snow boots while everyone else was in bathers.

I guess there aren't too many places where you can wear swimmers inside and watch the snow fall outside, there was even an outdoor pool that some hardy souls were playing water polo in. The water park itself was much like a smaller version of Wet & Wild on the Gold coast, with wave pool, water slides and a small kids playground. Both Ryan and Tash went on all the slides and dragged Mum and Dad along. Lesson for the unwary at 43 when your 10 year old tells you "you'll love this slide Dad, it's awesome", don't believe them, said slide consisted of a gradual slope that tipped over into a near vertical drop, it was a lot of fun, but the back doesn't appreciate it.

After about 3 hours of fun it was then time for dinner and on the advice of our next door neighbour we went to the Rainforest Cafe, an eco theme restaurant with anima-tronic wildlife mixed in with real ones.

After dinner it was a quick walk back up Clifton Hill to look at the entertainment and lights then back to the hotel, to sit at the windows and marvel at the American Falls all lit up and the lights of Niagara both sides of the border.

Sunday morning after a sleep in and breakfast in the room we headed back down to Clifton Hill as we had promised the kids they each could choose an entertainment option. Ryan went for Captain Jack's Glow in the Dark putt putt and Tash went to an adventure playground that took you're money took you in then spit you out after 5 minutes, so the girls came back and met us at the golf where Tash finished my game off. We had told the kids before heading down to Niagara, not to be disappointed if the water park wasn't open, which it turned out to be, but Adventure Land was Tash's moment of disappointment.

After this we went back to the car and drove up river of the falls for a couple of Km's before heading back to get more photo's. Unfortunately parking was expensive near the Falls and there were cops around booking people illegally parked, so the only photo's we got were drive bys.

Then it was back to Burlington by way of a Factory Outlet, arriving mid afternoon and with a determination to keep going back, especially if we can get the same accommodation.

There you have it our 4th weekend, a busy one, but a very memorable one. This next weekend we have an exchangee's conference so it will be a change of pace and Chelle is also going to be busy with reports and preparing for parent teacher interviews, so for the next couple of weeks it will be stay close to home and safe money for the Spring break and a trip up in to Nova Scotia

All the best.

Ken, Chelle,Ryan and Tash

 

Comments

1

Now that's some excellent blogging!
Sounds like you all had a great time.

  Mark Jan 19, 2011 11:23 PM

2

Ok, jumping ahead to comment before I finish reading. Which two stars of Dukes of Hazzard? Bo and Luke?? or cops or someone else??? sorry, that was most exciting bit so far.....stuff the upgraded room, you are possibly talking Bo and Luke Duke here? or maybe Roscoe?? sorry, back to reading now... : )

  Mel Feb 4, 2011 5:37 PM

3

Me again, finished now, great post, really enjoyable, although probably lots more fun living it...

  Mel Feb 4, 2011 5:39 PM

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