April 23, 2007

Overnight trip to Niagara Falls

20 April 2007: Checked in at Howard Johnson Close to the Falls/Casino. We were assigned 2nd floor room. No elevator. Bedside lamps weren't working. Room had cobwebs. Upon entering, there was a fortune cookie plastic on the floor (no fortune cookie). Ick. Zack kept sneezing. We freshened up and headed to the American Falls.

The town of Niagara Falls was pretty rundown - a complete surprise since they've got such a nice tourist attraction going for them. They had the Seneca Niagara casino, but that was that. Disappointing really. Somehow, our hotel room reflected the town - run-down and desperately in need of updates. Anyway, we went to the Falls.

First stop: Visitor Center. No go. It was closed when we got there. Then we crossed American Rapids Bridge to get to Goat Island. Perhaps dinner at Top of the Falls. Cave of the Wind? Tomorrow would be better.

Second stop: Terrapin Point. Here's where we saw Horseshoe Falls quite close. We planned to stroll from Terrapin Point to Luna Island, but it was closed. Here's a shot of Bridal Veil Falls:

And dinner at Top of the Falls? Never happened. They won't open until May 4. Great. We crossed the pedestrian bridge to the Great Lakes Garden and Prospect Point instead. We kept taking pictures like you won't believe. The American Falls was amazing. Here's Zack looking on:

However, I think the sight would be more spectacular from the Canada side. The Observation Tower and Maid of the Mist were still closed. Then it was back to the parking lot. We drove the entire loop in Goat Island. Thought of stopping and checking out the Three Sisters Islands, but since it was already dark, we decided against it. Perhaps tomorrow.

The search for dinner led us to Punjabi Dhaba Indian Restaurant.

We went back to the park after dinner for the Falls Illumination. What can I say? I saw something I wanted to see - Niagara Falls at night. We took lots of pictures every time the color of the light would change.

While I was busy taking pictures, two guys (younger than us) approached my husband and Zack. I overheard one of them asking him, "enjoying the falls? where are you from?" I, of course, thought they were just friendly locals. When I stepped up, they walked away. After we had our fill of falls evening pictures, it was time to go back to the hotel. We watched a bit of tv, then promptly fell asleep. I must admit, despite my misgivings about the place, never have I slept soundly for a full 9 hours. Only goes to show you, "don't judge a book by its cover."

21 April 2007: I woke up at 8:30a.m. with a hungry tummy. I didn't want to wake up my husband because he drove all the way. He deserved to sleep. I started packing up our stuff, groomed Zack for a bit. When he woke up, he found the Keanu Reeves-Sandra Bullock movie "The Lake House" playing on tv. We watched it till the end, showered and checked out. It was back at the park again. We ate lunch in the snack bar by the Cave of the Winds area. Ordered two kids' meal with hotdog, fries and soda. Then he went for the Gorge Trip ($3) - the least that could be done since Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds were still closed. Zack and I continued strolling around the park. After that, I went to the gift shop below the Top of the Falls Restaurant. It started out as a nice sunny day. When the temperature turned to 70 degrees, I had this terrible headache. We were supposed to go back to Three Sisters Island, but we decided not to. My headache was just bad. So with that, we left Niagara Falls and back to Connecticut.

THE PARK: There was a smattering of people, not a lot really. We had the entire park to yourself. People would pop up every now and then, but still enough to enjoy the park as if you own it. We didn't even pay the $8 parking fee. We'd stop and sit on the benches. The next day, more people, bigger crowd plus the parking fee. Bleah.