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Published: October 17th 2012
When Canada has a long weekend you know you are going to make the most of it and get out of town. Dan and I had agreed to use the long weekend to head south and take in the magic of Niagara, visit her family in Burlington and eat some ribs while we were there.
Now I love the cheese and it doesn't get much better than Niagara Falls. This place has it all - tacky souvenirs, themed restauraunts, dinosaur and glow in the dark mini golf, 4D film experiences, karaoke and a really, really, really big couple of waterfalls.
Before you can feast your eyes on the natural wondors you have to wander down Clifton Hill and marvel at the man made ones! Tourist tat and tack as far as the eyes can see, it's lush and seperated by merely a park from one of the world's true wonders, Niagara Falls. Niagara is actually made up of 3 seperate falls, the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Canadian or Horseshoe Falls. Canadians tell you they have the best falls and I'd have to say I agree with them, the Horseshoe Falls are magnificent from every angle.
To make the most of this watery wonderland we purchased the Niagara Adventure pass from an American couple who had been stood up by their friends for a nicely discounted price. First stop - Maid in the Mist. The Maid is the Mist is the most fun you can have getting wet. The boats depart (currently) from the Canadian side and pass the American and Bridal Veil Falls to enter into the swirling 'mist' of the Horseshoe. The term Mist is a compete misnomer as you stand there and have the equivalent of buckets of water thrown at your head - wear the raincoat provided or come out of the experience soaked from head to toe as even with the raincoat on we were significantly damp by the end of the trip. This is serious fun.
Not content with one soaking we had to add another couple to it - Journey under the Falls and Niagara's Fury, a 4D film experience! Both involve significant amounts of water. Journey under the falls takes you ... yep, under the falls and to a viewing platform at the bottom of Horseshoe falls - more raincoats required. Niagara's Fury is a film
about the forming of the falls then a room where you are 'taken' over the falls - once again soaked by the end! We seemed to spend our day either wet or laughing or drying out!
We timed the day perfectly as we ignored the 'allocated' entrances and just went when we wanted and so managed to enjoy the experiences and golden hour as the sun sunk below the horizon. Back to Clifton Hill for dinner, a ride on the Niagara Wheel and then to top the night off Karaoke at the Beer Garden on the main street. Even if you don't want to belt a tune (Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams are made of This ... for the record) the people watching is excellent as it attracts locals and tourists alike.
Day 2 was a visit to the White Water Walk which enables you to get down to the water level below the falls then off to the Butterfly Conservatory which was magical! I love getting close to nature and there is something beautiful about having a butterfly on your finger so spent a loooooong time stalking them.
We left Niagara Falls behind for a late lunch at
Niagara-on-the-Lake before heading to Burlington for Canada's largest Ribfest - a few hours of eating ribs and drinking beer with thousands of like minded carnivores - what's not to love. Staying at Dan's folks place enabled us to have a relaxed sunday including time at a local park feeding the chipmunks and chickadees. These cheeky little creatures will eat right out of your hand and it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Trip to the mall before a family dinner then back to Toronto. Perfect weekend and still a day to enjoy!
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