Places to Go (Vacation) - Road trip to Canada, Part 3 -Niagara Falls (the Canadian Side) & Our Arrival in Toronto

(I love that you can see the CROWDS! reflected in T's sunglasses).

It feels somehow unamerican to say that I didn't enjoy Niagara Falls (even though we visited the Canadian side) and I didn't exactly hate it (how can you hate a waterfall?) but the whole experience overwhelmed me. I expected crowds, I really did, but I didn't expect CROWDS!! - despite the fact that a 1.5 km walk exists next to the falls, almost every spot was occupied. We had to wait behind people just to see the overlook. Plus, huge, skinny hotels fill the skyline, looming behind you - ready to attack (or fall) at any moment. Canada tries to make their side pretty - lots of gardens and green space, but still everywhere you look a tourist attraction beckons - Clifton Hill, Bird Kindgom, casinos, kids' games, etc. Or unbeckons. Or makes you want to run and hide from it all. Sort of like Disneyworld without Disney.

Anyways, I was determined that our family would persevere. We would get through this and experience the falls, really experience them. Originally I had hoped on a Maid of the Mist cruise, but we parked far away and the thought of battling miles worth of crowds wore us down. So we settled for the Journey Behind the Falls (okay, I also fell for the nonexistent line). Turns out there was a line, a long line. They just snake it out of eyesight. Tricky.

Oh well, we all really enjoyed the yellow ponchos (seriously, once the kids got a free poncho, they smiled like it was Xmas) and the view really did impress (maybe not worth $40, but why dwell on details). As soon as our tour ended in yet another gift shop, we were over it all. So we ran back to the minivan and headed for Toronto. Glad to have checked one more thing off the never ending bucket list that exists in my head.


So we bought the green screen picture, I'm sort of addicted to them lately as I'm never in any other family photos.


Upon arrival in Toronto, I sat in the wonderful air-conditioned luxury of our hotel room (the Marriot Residence Inn), watching the Olympics and enjoying the peace, but after the kids started running laps around the room Dan convinced me to journey outside for awhile. We found a wonderful square where the kids jumped, ran, and chased pigeons for over an hour. Happiness.


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