Monday, October 16, 2006

Toronto and Niagara - Sunday

The final day of our weekend-trip north of the border. We got up a little earlier today and decided to goto Tim Hortons for breakfast. The hotel breakfast was excellent, but also about $15, so Timmies is a bit cheaper and just as nice. Hey, I'm still Dutch... First action point of the day was to look after the needs of Might Mouse (my car). He was a bit thirsty and a bit dirty. That was easily fixed and we went on our way to Timmies.

We ened-up at the Tim Hortons on the QEW and Winston Churchill Blvd (pretty much driving right by Joel and Carolyns place...) and after some good bagels, coffee and some cookies and timbits for the road we took off towards Niagara.

The drive was an easy hour and after the two skyways (Burlington and St. Catherines) we headed for Niagara-on-the-Lake. After about 5 kilometer we stopped at a vineyard that was still open, called Chateau des Charmes. Beautiful grounds and an impressive old-looking new builing in Chateau-style (...) presented itself.

Inside we tried to get onto the tour, but they were already in the middle of it and since my French is not good enough to play translator we opted for the wine-tasting (at 11am !!) and I ended-up buying a nice Cabernet. So if anybody is interested, just drop by so we can share a glass (but don't wait too long...)

From the Chateau we headed for Queenston and the Niagara Parkway. We made numerous stops along the way; at a scenic lookout overlooking the (lower) Niagara river, at the flower clock and at the Whirlpool Rapids. Sorry Dad, but I think I just made the shot you were hoping to make last year...

Once in Niagara Falls we drove along the river seeing the Falls and looked for a good spot to park. The parking at the river turned out to be $12 dollars so alternative arrangements were thought up. I remembered where I stayed with Mom and Dad two blocks after that Days Inn hotel there was the Hockey Arena with free parking. Only 1 mile away and that just saved us $12.

We had the distinct pleasure of walking through Clifton HIll, which is absolute madness. Weird contraptions that somehow have absolutely nothing to do with the Falls, but hey, it brings in more people so... We walked to the river and took some photos. We decided not to walk all the way to the Horseshoe Falls and after using the zoom on the camera we turned around heading back towards the car.

On Clifton Hill walking back one of the most unbelievable things happened. We ran into the same Dutch couple we met on Saturday on top of the CN Tower!!! What are the changes of that? Especially since it wasn't exactly a slow day on either of the two days... We just said hello and continued on.

Back at the car we grabbed some timbits and cookies and headed back onto the Parkway towards Buffalo. After about 10 minutes we started to see the snow appearing and more and more and bigger and bigger branches that snapped during the snowstorm of Thrusday. All along the Parkway residents were cleaning up their yards and driveways. That must have been one pretty nasty storm... Especially since in Niagara Falls there wasn't any evidence of even the smallest branch or snow flake.

One reason we drove down to Buffalo was because the Rainbow (border) bridge in Niagara Falls was completely full and traffic wasn't moving so I opted for The Peace Bridge. Turned out to be a good decision since the bridge was clear and we only waited for maybe 10 mintues before it was our turn. Another easy crossing later we were back in the States and on our way to Cleveland.

Like in Niagara Falls, on the main highways there wasn't a single sign of the storm anymore. Later we found out that I-90 re-openeed late on Friday so they have had two days to clear everything out.

A good 2.5 hrs later we had completed the Lake Erie Circle Tour and were back in Cleveland. Tired, but fulfilled by a good trip I dropped Kaushal off at this car and went home where the task of putting up the pictures was awaiting.

Since that was the biggest time consumer (typing these three posts was a little quicker) I opted to get that out of the way first. I really like that now, since I'm now gonna do absolutely nothing but getting some food and watching some shows on TV.

Relaxation time...

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