Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Niagara Falls - And now for the falls

I have been terribly slow in our vacation blog entries. It has almost been a month since our visit to Niagara Falls--time has really flown by! The final entry has to be the falls! We visited the falls each day we were there--we could not get enough of them. There has to be something in the water that just makes one feel at ease. The crashing of the water almost sounds like waves crashing on oceanside beach. People from all over the world come to visit these magical falls. We felt like singing (well, more me than Aaron), "Its a Small World!" On our first night, we ate at the Canyon Creek restaurant, which was located inside the Fallsview Casino--it overlooked most of the falls and the food was excellent. Of course, just being able to enjoy a quiet, tasty meal with just the two of us was a very big treat. The restaurant is a Canadian chain restaurant--which I thought was pretty darn nice for such a term. We also went to see the Niagara Falls Legends and Daredevils IMAX film during our stay which shared a few stories about the different folklore and tales of a few people who braved going over the falls. After the film, you enter a Daredevil Gallery which displays several of the different contraptions people used to go over the falls (a few survived and a few do not). It would be interesting to actually to hear the tale from someone who actually did survive. It would definitely be one heck of a ride! To think something so beautiful can be so dangerous! Aaron and I agreed that our next visit would include the kids--as they would have so much fun seeing the falls and participating in all of the activities in the area. We missed the region almost immediately after we left. Luckily, it is only a short six hour drive from Columbus. Thank you Niagara Falls, Ontario for such a relaxing and fun visit!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Niagara Falls - Random Stops

When Aaron and I go on mini vacations together, we pack in as much sightseeing as possible. We do not like to sit around (which we probably should do, but we never do). I guess we do as much as possible because we have to take in as much as possible, since it would be nearly impossible to do so if we had the kids with us. The Niagara region has so much to offer and is so rich in history. On this visit, we really got to enjoy more of the area and see what it has to offer. One of the spots that we unexpectedly visited (but had been recommended by Kevin at the Kilpatrick Manor) was Brock's Monument. It is a monument (and the tomb) of Major General SIr Isaac Brock, who bravely battled and was killed in the line of duty in the War of 1812. The tomb is massive and quite impressive, along with the view from it. We also made a pit stop to Niagara on the Lake during our stay. We ate at the Old Angel Inn, the oldest tavern in North America. Aaron enjoyed the customary Fish and Chips--which also included a serving of peas and carrots. I enjoyed a more modern Roast Beef Au Jus sandwich. After we ate at the Old Angel Inn, we took a walk down to Lake Ontario and look at all of their quaint shops. We also could not resist a visit to one of their bakeries to sample of their goods. We made a quick visit to Port Dalhausie on Saturday to get a few pictures of Lake Ontario. Those crazy Canadians were wearing bikinis and swin trunks on the beach and it was barely 70 degrees outside. The beach wasn't as quaint and adorable as I would have hoped, but we got a few nice pictures. And of course, we could not resist two visits to the Fallsview Casino-we actually came out ahead the first night we were there and Aaron got lucky by winning $120.00 bucks! The second night was a big dud--we both lost. C'est la vie!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Niagara - The Wineries

Our visit to the Niagara region was spent mostly visiting the vast array of wineries in the region. The wineries are all unique--some are fancier than others, but all have terrific wines. The regions red wines are more tame than those in California and France, which is fine with me, as I have just recently learned to enjoy a few wines of the red variety. We purchased a bottle of wine at each winery that we visited. On our previous trip, we only visited three wineries. On this visit, we visited seven in total. On our first full day in the region, we visited three wineries near Niagara On The Lake, Inniskillen, Hillebrand and Konzelmann. Of the three, our favorite on this day was Konzelmann, as the guy providing samples was so funny and generous with the wine samples. On the second day, we visited four in the Beamsville/Vineland/Jordan area, Flat Rock, Featherstone, Fielding Estates and Vineland Estates. We had a nice light lunch on the veranda of Featherstone, which was not very impressive on the outside, but the porch was cute and inviting. We toured the winery at Vineland Estates and found the tour to be extremely educational. It is amazing to how complex the process is to create the different wines. The winner for best winery of that day was Vineland Estates, it not only for how beautiful the building and the grounds were. The one thing that we were disappointed by was how the vines looked so sad at this time of the year--the leaves are just beginning to grow. On our last visit, all of the vines were so lush and had tons of grapes on them. Of course, it was September then and it was almost time for their official harvest of the season. Having so many options with the wineries in this area was terrific and just another reason why it would be fun to live in the area (or maybe retire--of course their winters are pretty brutal--which is a definite drawback!).