Saturday, June 25, 2016

Day 8 of 30 Days of Mayhem: Niagara Falls

It is so amazing to be the same place for multiple days.  Not having to pack and unpack is such a luxury.  Waking up to the amazing view we have here in Niagara Falls just can not be beat.  

We had a slower day again today.  We didn't go down to breakfast until 9:00 or after.  Our big outing of the day was to do the boat tour of the falls.  Since we are on the Canadian side it is called the Hornblower.  It is operated by the same company as the American side Maid of the Mist and used to also be called Maid of the Mist.  At some point the name got changed on this side.  The only differences I could see were:  Ponchos in CA are red, US blue, which side of the river you leave from, cost - it is slightly cheaper from the CA side, crowd - there are more people on the Hornblower boats as there are more people staying on the Canadian side. 

The tour is not very long, 20 minutes or so, but it is definitely worth it.  We got a nice up close view of the American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls.  And the temperature, wind, and mist/precipitation changes were surprising and somewhat mind boggling.  From viewing the falls we knew it would be wet, but it does not prepare you for the experience.  Several times we remarked to each other about what would ever make anyone think getting in a barrel and going over the falls was a good idea?  Charlotte said she would do it for $1 million.  We told her it wouldn't be worth it if she didn't survive.  Having been to a bourbon distillery earlier this week Rehm decided if he was going to do it, which he thought it was a terrible idea, he would use a bourbon barrel.  I agreed that was a good idea as the fumes from the barrel might at least dull your senses or have you completely oblivious to your impending demise.

American Falls
Close up of outcropping on the American Falls.  You can see this spot in the picture above this one about 3/4 of the way to the right.
Bridal Veil Falls.  Why this fall has a different name from the American falls right next to it is beyond me.  I thought it was all the call the American falls until someone who would know pointed it out as the Bridal Veil Falls.  

Side view of Horseshoe Falls

Family in the mist.  Michael's face is covered by a water drop on the camera lens.  Sorry Honey, I did my best.
Heading back to port, the bridge crosses between the two countries
Close up of the base of the American Falls
Another Close up of the base of the American falls.  It seems rockier than the Horseshoe falls, but maybe you can just see the rocks more.  

After the Hornblower we were planning to take the bus back to the hotel for lunch.  We saw the stop for the place we were planning to come back later in the day to have a poutine snack and decided to change the plan and stop for poutine instead. The credit card machine was not working at the place we stopped.  Michael came to the table to let us know he was going to get cash and would be back, Charlotte asked why we didn't just go to KFC and get poutine as they had a sign out front saying they had it too.  We assured her that the place we were would have better poutine than the fast food place.  

Michael and Rehm consulting the bus route map

None of the kids had experienced poutine before.  They are now all fans.  Rehm has decided that his restaurant will serve poutine.  I am not sure at what point in his career path he plans to own a restaurant, I don't remember if it is pre or post president.  All of them were lamenting the fact that it was not available in Austin.  We informed them it was available in Austin at which point they wanted to know why we had not introduced them to this dish earlier.

We came back to the hotel.  I took a nap.  The kids and Michael worked out and swam.  Rehm helped cook dinner - Cincinnati chili and salad.  

We watched the fireworks from our window.  We discussed going down to the falls to watch the fireworks.  The hotel recommend watching from your room if you had a view and going down if you did not.  I'm glad we did not go down as the fireworks did not last that long.  They were beautiful and I'm glad we saw them, but I'm also glad we didn't have to spend all the time riding the bus down to the falls and back.  It would have made it take way longer than watching from our room.

Actually from the night before but taken after I posted.
Charlotte washed dinner dishes.  Everyone has started packing for tomorrow.  I have lunch made to eat on the road - pasta salad.  Tomorrow will mostly be a travel day with a brief stop probably in Springfield, MA.  Our destination tomorrow is Gales Ferry, CT where we will get to spend a couple of days with Michael's cousin Beth and her family.  I am so excited to see them as I have not gotten to spend time with them since we had a family reunion in 2009? I think.  


Video of the falls from Day 7.  I didn't post it yesterday due to technical issues.  But it is ready now.  Yay!

That's a wrap for Canada,

Friday, June 24, 2016

Day 7 of 30 Days of Mayhem: Niagara Falls

Y'all this place is stunning.  I could sit and stare at the Falls for hours, Days, maybe weeks.  I honestly don't know how long I would have to be here before they would not be a big deal and a monumental distraction.  I know people come here but why don't more people do this?

We definitely had a slow day today and it was amazing!  Michael, Rehm, Eliza Claire and I went down to breakfast while Ruby and Charlotte slept.  It was real breakfast not typical breakfast included breakfast, with made to order omelets and everything.  OK, so it was buffet breakfast and still included but it was leaps and bounds better than the bowl of instant oatmeal I've had the last five days.  And we get real breakfast two more days before moving on.  Oh my, it just occurred to me that in New York we are staying in a house so I will actually have to have a breakfast plan in addition to a lunch and dinner plan.  Can my breakfast plan be New York bagels?  That sounds yummy to me.

I came back up to send down Ruby and Charlotte.  Charlotte was not happy that we had gone down without them.  Granted she was still sleeping when I got upstairs, but once I woke her she was upset.  According to her we should have woken her (which would have made her mad) or all waited until she and Ruby woke up.  Yeah right, not happening.  By the time she got downstairs to Michael she was over it and did not even mention it to him.  Apparently she was only  upset with me, but that is not anything new.

We did laundry today.  Our last hotel did not have guest laundry facilities.  What is up with that?  I thought they all had at least one washer and dryer on the ground floor, but no such luck outside of Cincy.  Speaking of strange amenities.  One state we were in, Tennessee I think, we stopped multiple places that had to toilets but no stalls between them.  That was a new one for us.  It must be a Tennessee thing, we haven't seen that configuration again since.

We all spent quite a bit of time this morning and afternoon just vegging in our room and taking turns staring out the window at the falls.

After lunch, of leftovers and quesadillas, we decided it was time to explore.  Our plan was to just walk around a bit.  But once we started walking, the kids got excited and wanted to do the Skylon Tower today.  There was no reason not to, so we did.  It was great, though I do have to say that the arcade level and the gift shop level felt like they were stuck in the 80's and somewhat not run down, not deserted, but sad and unkempt in someway.  The observation level was worth it though.  We could see Lake Ontario and across the lake we could see Toronto. And then there were the falls.  I thought there wouldn't be that much difference from what we could see from our hotel since we are pretty high up, but I was wrong.  The angel difference is huge and allowed us to see so much more.



We walked down to the park/walkway along the river, closer to the falls to head back to the hotel.

Here is a couple of videos from today.  I would have been doing videos earlier but I could not figure out how to do them on my camera which was surprising and frustrating as I've always had the same brand camera and not problems taking video.  I figured it out today, so now expect more frequent videos of 30 Days of Mayhem as well.


We took the Incline Railway back up to the hotel.  It looks dinky but it takes you up about 170 ft in a minute.  By that point in the day I was happy to not have to climb that much.

When we got back the the hotel, Michael and Rehm went to the grocery store while I took the girls to the pool.

Good thing these are awesome pool pictures, I hit my new camera an knocked it off the table to the ground while sitting at the pool and messed up the LED screen on it.  I am just sick.  It is still usable and still takes awesome pictures, but it has a black spot and half of the the screen now has lines running through it making it hard to frame pictures and review them.  My first thought was I'm glad I did it and not someone else in the family because I would be very upset with them, but it sucks that I have no one to blame but myself, and I do blame myself even though I know it was a simple accident.

 Dinner tonight was box mac and cheese and hot dogs with salad.  I was going to make homemade mac and cheese but Rehm had heard that the Canadian versions was better than the American version and wanted to try it for dinner.  My observation was that it was more orange and tasted different.  The taste was milder and less "cheesy." Rehm's review was, "It's different.  Not better, just different." Not here it is called Kraft Dinner, so it makes no claims of cheesiness.

After dinner the kids entertained us with a show or two. Then they went in the other room and did karaoke using the Roku and the Youtube app.

View at night