Out and about plus a family visit.
07.09.2014 - 08.09.2014 26 °C
Monday 8th Sept.
Spent next day just walking around our local area, taking in the sights, homes and general environment. Bought a cabin suitcase on 4 wheels to help travel smarter not harder, as Ralph was carrying his laptop in just a carry bag since arriving in USA. Bought some lovely New Zealamd Organic Kiwi fruit and some strawberries to take to dinner as Dominic (a 3rd cousin of Ralph's) was picking us up to go to dinner with him, his wife Cathy and their 3 children to their home. We met had Dominic and one his son's stay with us in Wellington about 7 yrs ago. He and his family lived in Nelson then for 3 years. We had a lovely evening and Thai dinner with them and it was nice to meet Cathy in person and the other children too. They are made keen Ice Hockey and Soccer kids, ages 13,11,8 and 6. A lovely family and nice to have spent time with friends and family here in Toronto.
NIAGARA FALLS DAY
Tuesday 9th Sept. Out and waiting for pick up at 8.15am as advised. Still waiting 10mins later and had a feeling I should call them. Front desk of Hotel did for me and no, they were waiting for us at some cafe. Oir vocher said Hotel pick up.....So the driver said see you soon then! Pi ked up some other people at various Hotels, recognised a Kiwi accent so asked them....yes they were from Napier. Later I asked if they happened to know Noel and Karen Hawkins in Napier(good friends of ours), yes they did....small world.
Took about an hour and a half to get to the falls. Wow, great to see the water rushing towards 'the point of no return' and over the edge. Canadian side the best side we had been told and would have to agree. They weren't as big as we perhaps expected them to be but spectacular none the less. Our tour included a Buffet lunch on the5th floor of the Sheraton Hotel and overlooked the Canadian and American falls. Avery spectacular view. It was great watching the boats, The Maid of the Mist from the US side andThe Hornblower from the Canadian side, taking loads of blue or red poncho sporting tourists up to the foot of the falls. It was our turn on The Hornblower after lunch and what fun it was. Hannah a young woman from Melbourne and us were getting along great so we shared some photos of the occasion. The whole boat load of us were like little kids caught in a very windy rain storm, laughing our heads off and trying to take pics while getting soaked and trying to keep our ponchos from blowing up over our heads.
It was such fun and the falls looked great from down there ...I think!!
Back on the bus with very wet shoes and socks, to head for a look at a little town called, Niagara on the Lake. This is where the river down stream from the falls, flows into Lake Ontario. A beautiful town with gorgeous preserved/restored buildings, very quaint shops and lots of beautiful planted flowering borders and baskets. And some fantastic bakeries and icecream shops so of course we sampled both.
Next stop was a vinyardthat had ina German family since 1600 and something. We sampled a white and a red....nothing startling we didn't think, nor did the Napier coupleor many of the others. But the area specialised in Ice Wine.....leaving the grapes till December/January to harvest until they have had some snow and been frozen a few time. Draws the sugars out and intesifies the flavour....'a sticky' or dessert style wine results. Very nice, but $43 CAN a small bottle.
Before heading back to Toronto, we stopped at an area called the Whirlpools. Downstream from the falls and where the river goes over some rapids,....lovely and with a cable car sort of cage that went out over the river and sort of swung there for a while. No we didn't go on it.
Got back to Toronto later than expected and Napier couplestarting to get a bit anxious as they were off to a show at 7.30pm - no time for dinner first for them. They were supposed to do the tour the day before, but waited at the given time and didn't get picked up......not a good advert for the company.....glad I phoned or it would have been the same for us. Driver/Tour Giude pretty average, I must do a Trip Advisor review.!!