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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged Niagara Falls

Monday, July 30, 2012

Toronto and Niagara Falls, Canada - 2011

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 30/07/2012 12:30:32

I had organised a hire car in Toronto and planned to drive to Quebec City before we flew to New York. So Canadians drive on the other side of the road. This leads to some amusing consequences - such as Chelsea and I instinctively walking to the wrong side of the car whenever we returned (I started getting into the back seat of taxis after I once opened a taxi's driver-side door assuming I was about to enter the passenger seat). It also leads to some terrifying consequences for Chels as it took me some time to get used to driving on the other side of the road. I think I figured it out after the first day, I could tell because Chelsea finally stopped making "we're about to hit something and die" noises.

Speed limits seem to be a suggestion around Canada - the traffic was routinely going 20 km/s over and the fast lane would often have people whooshing past us at 40 km/s over the limit. I suspect it is the absence of fixed speed cameras, which suited me fine because it was safer to go with the traffic speed than hold everyone up (which got us to our destinations quicker).

Our first mini-road trip was to drive from Toronto to Niagara Falls, after a quick stop at Swiss Chalet (note to self: delicious food, eat there again and often). I had been to the falls before but still enjoyed the sights (especially being under the horseshoe falls looking up), and Chelsea loved it.

On our way back we went through Clifton Hill Street - what a tacky place full of Gold Coast-style "entertainments". We went through the Wax Museum which was incredibly lame - a semi-melted candle would have more chance of looking like the celebrities they provided. We left the museum via a scary section - with various dolls popping out from corners and making noise. Chelsea was getting a little scared by these attempts, but when we turned one corner she got really freaked out and screamed. Turned out she was just screaming at some guy talking on his mobile phone and standing with his girlfriend - the museum should have paid him to stay there for the rest of the day.

The Falls
Even after having seen it before - the falls are pretty spectacular

The main attraction in Toronto (for me, anyway) was the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it lived up to expectations. There were some pretty cool exhibits, funky retro-style jerseys and some heavy-duty silver wear. By touching the Stanley Cup I doomed myself to never be part of a team that wins it - but I looked at the odds and took my chance. There was an international section that had an Australian jersey on display - just happened to be of Lliam Webster whom I used to train with (i.e. he joined two or three roller hockey training sessions that I attended - and completely smoked everyone).

Stanley Cup Engraving Tools
The tools used to engrage the Stanley Cup

Stanley Cup
Standing next to the cup



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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Travel Log - Day 7 (Wet Wet Wet)

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 23/04/2006 23:45:00

We decided that the Niagara Falls part of our holiday was going to be the romantic / honeymooney part, so we kicked off Day 7 with breakfast in bed - delivered by a Canadian! While I organised our delightful breakfasts - Bell asked the hotel dude for the closest hockey store to the hotel. It just so happened that there was a store just up the road that was having their huge, yearly sale. Unfortunately, their yearly sale had already been going for over two months, and there was very little left. Bell picked up a pair of skates, and I got some cool hockey gloves that are apparently quite hard to get (from a small company).

Nice View
Somewhat romantic, this is the view of the waterfall we had from our bed

It was pissing down all day, and the taxis weren't as heavily populated so we ended up walking around a lot. That wouldn't have been too bad at all (I had a good jacket with a hood, beanie, scarf etc) if it wasn't for the hole in my shoe. I had been waiting until Pittsburgh to buy a new pair of shoes - turns out my gamble didn't pay off.

One thing that surprised me about Niagara Falls was how much it resembled an amusement park. On the small strip near our hotel there were about 10 huge statues of various characters (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Hulk, etc) and quite a few questionable museums (Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, Guinness Records Museums etc). I was going to post a few photos of these stores - until I realised that all the photos we took in Niagara Falls were of a waterfall (you can visit their website however).

After lunch we decided to get up close to the waterfalls, and get a little wetter. Excuse me for the copious amount of water photos that follows this paragraph:

American Falls
The American Falls and the Bridal Falls (also visible from America)

More falls
Another view of the American and Bridal Falls (the Bridal Falls is the tiny block of water on the far right - it really doesn't deserve it's own name!)

Horseshoe Falls
One half of the Horseshoe Falls

More Horseshoe Falls
The other half - all the mist in the middle made it appear to be raining where we were standing

Close View
I thought this looked kinda cool - this was when we were right up close to the falls

Edge
The closest we got to the edge

Coke Machine
I don't think anyone else understood my interest in themed Coke machines

Wall of Water
You could go down to behind the fall - see a wall of water!

Erosion
I thought this was pretty cool - if this trend continues I can only assume that the whole of America will be eroded away one day (lucky we visited when we did!)

Below
Shot from below / beside the falls

Special
Special!


This is the 8th in the Honeymoon Travel Log series
Day 0 - Travel Log - Day 0 (Flights)Day 1 - Travel Log - Day 1 (New York, New York)Day 2 - Travel Log - Day 2 (Thanksgiving)Day 3 - Travel Log - Day 3 (I can't believe it got colder)Day 4 - Travel Log - Day 4 (What is the deal with "New" York anyway?)Day 5 - Travel Log - Day 5 (J-Dix on the six)Day 6 - Travel Log - Day 6 (Niagara Falls, eh?)Day 7 - Travel Log - Day 7 (Wet Wet Wet)Day 8 - Travel Log - Day 8 (New York, New York ... again)Day 9 - Travel Log - Day 9 (Best NHL Game Ever!)Day 10 - Travel Log - Day 10 (Pittsburgh at last!)Day 11 - Travel Log - Day 11 (Best NHL Game Ever - Mach II)Day 12 - Travel Log - Day 12 (Mr. Dixon goes to Washington)Day 13 - Travel Log - Day 13 (Mr. Dixon ... stays in Washington)Day 14 - Travel Log - Day 14 (Washington Zoo-lander)Day 15 - Travel Log - Day 15 (A Day at the Musuems)Day 16 - Travel Log - Day 16 (Worst NHL Game Ever)Day 17 - Travel Log - Day 17 (A kid in a candy-filled toy store)Day 18 - Travel Log - Day 18 (The only game that really matters)Day 19 - Travel Log - Day 19 (Fare thee well America)
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Travel Log - Day 6 (Niagara Falls, eh?)

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 13/04/2006 19:52:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 29/09/2007 15:55:10


Still haven't got Blogger working through our router - so I'm blogging this one through a Citrix client

After spending 5 enjoyable and enlightening days in New York, day 6 saw our first change of location. So far we had given some thanks, gone "down the park" and hung out with the K-Man. Out plan was to then spend a few days near Niagara Falls to fulfil the relaxing and romatic quota of the honeymoon.

The stopover in Niagara Falls was not even going to be about Canada at all - we had originally planned to visit the American side of the Falls, but was advised that the Canadian side was much nicer. I'm hoping to one day do Canada properly (watch a hockey game and check out the hockey hall of fame in Toronto, ski Whistler and ride a skidoo), so we kept this first visit to Nigara Falls.

We thought it might be a little cheaper to catch a train up, instead of flying - and it was. It was also a 9 hour trip, without the crapy movies that flying provides. Still, we kept ourselves entertained by looking out the window and pointing at pretty cool landscapes. The outskirts of New York State are quite nice to look at - and we also saw our first evidence of snow (no falls though).

Travelling to the Canadian side of the Falls also meant that we got an extra stamp on our passports, which sounded pretty cool. It also meant that we had to go through another "border check", which always made me extremely nervous. It's wierd, I know I'm not carrying weapons of mass destruction (only a weapon of mass seduction ... in my PANTS - ha, ha, ha - hilarious), I'm was pretty sure my passport / travel docs were in order - but I still got shit scared. Probably similar to the feeling of worry I have every time I swipe my credit card, just waiting for it to come back with "rejected" (even though it never has).

So after "bribing" the mounties (see afore mentioned pant-weapon) we were taken to our hotel, Sheraton on the Falls (as opposed to Sheraton Fallsview Hotel). When we were checking in, the guy on the counter said that we didn't have a view of the Falls, and we could upgrade to one for "this much" - and typed a figure into his calculator before showing it to me. When I told him we were on our honeymoon he suggested that we get a corner room and again let the calculator negotiate the price with me. Even with the upgrades, each night was cheaper in Niagara Falls than either of our New York hotels so I took the upgrade. Smart move!

The room was huge! Some hotels we stayed in had trouble fitting on all of our bags (as well as fitting in my trouser munitions - ok, last joke) - but this room had girth (*cough*)! The main part of the room was pretty damn big (heaps of room around a king-sized bed) and then there was a seperate couch area with fireplace, small sink / coffee area, large bathroom with jaccuzzi and a balcony.

Nice room
Our room complete with fake fireplace (I guess the fireplace was real - but the fire was illusional)

Sink
The sink and coffee machine we never used

Jacuzzi
The bathroom with double jacuzzi and television (not pictured). The shower was also pretty cool, with a normal shower head as well as two horizontal jets

The Conservatory
I called this part of our room "The Conservatory", and hid the candle stick and lead pipe I brought with us

After checking out the internal features of the room - I checked out the balcony. It was raining, so it wasn't incredibly cozy - but the view was pretty cool. Being close to Christmas, the surrounding park areas had lots of fairy lights covering the trees. The pictures we took don't really do them justice - it was very pretty.

Pretty Lights
Pretty lights, the yellow ones in the middle are hanging off a relvolving restaurant

More Pretty Lights
More pretty lights, and you can just see Wendy's in the right

The Falls
Not very clear - but you can just make out the Falls at night

Colours
Again, not very clear in this photo, but they shine coloured lights on the Falls during the evening. Very tacky - but looks ok I guess

We then ordered some room service for the next morning, watched a bit of television (there was some politcal crap going on that all news stations were covering - that I had no chance of understanding) and went to bed. The noise from the Falls was definately noticable, but kinda like white noise that didn't bother us.

Great times - really romantic room.


This is the 7th in the Honeymoon Travel Log series
Day 0 - Travel Log - Day 0 (Flights)Day 1 - Travel Log - Day 1 (New York, New York)Day 2 - Travel Log - Day 2 (Thanksgiving)Day 3 - Travel Log - Day 3 (I can't believe it got colder)Day 4 - Travel Log - Day 4 (What is the deal with "New" York anyway?)Day 5 - Travel Log - Day 5 (J-Dix on the six)Day 6 - Travel Log - Day 6 (Niagara Falls, eh?)Day 7 - Travel Log - Day 7 (Wet Wet Wet)Day 8 - Travel Log - Day 8 (New York, New York ... again)Day 9 - Travel Log - Day 9 (Best NHL Game Ever!)Day 10 - Travel Log - Day 10 (Pittsburgh at last!)Day 11 - Travel Log - Day 11 (Best NHL Game Ever - Mach II)Day 12 - Travel Log - Day 12 (Mr. Dixon goes to Washington)Day 13 - Travel Log - Day 13 (Mr. Dixon ... stays in Washington)Day 14 - Travel Log - Day 14 (Washington Zoo-lander)Day 15 - Travel Log - Day 15 (A Day at the Musuems)Day 16 - Travel Log - Day 16 (Worst NHL Game Ever)Day 17 - Travel Log - Day 17 (A kid in a candy-filled toy store)Day 18 - Travel Log - Day 18 (The only game that really matters)Day 19 - Travel Log - Day 19 (Fare thee well America)
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