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Our lunch hour stop and tour of Niagara on the Lake was very pleasant. Would have been more so if it weren't for all the tourists ;-^
— Florence T Lyon (@FloTLyon) September 14, 2013
After our busy half-day on Niagara on the Lake, some of us looked forward to an afternoon nap in our large hotel beds (our own beds). We were unsuccessful due to other noisy guests, other people's children running and shouting on the same floor.
I enjoyed a relaxing soak in the tub in my personal room and planned to get some beauty rest. Considering the circumstances, I did the best with what I had.
After a few hours, the group gathered in the hotel lobby, all in time for the bus trip for dinner at Niagara Falls. The drive there was not very long. As we entered the tourist area, things picked up with signs and attractions.
Our driver skillfully navigated the busy streets. There were tourists everywhere. Go figure! We drove down a side road to turn around and make an easier approach to the tourist centre parking lot.
To my left, I caught sight of a lovely, calm looking estate above us, on the hill. It was the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre. Its serenity appealed to me in contrast to what we came through and were about to dive into. I had no time to take photographs but its presence was ingrained in my short term memory.
We disembarked the bus and I escorted my 89 year-old friend along with a helpful gentleman who sped things up by pushing her on her walker as she sat with her feet slightly raised. Woo hoo! We ladies then gracefully weaved our way through the crowd to an elevator in order to meet our group on the second floor.
Our large restaurant table had a great view of the falls. Our servers were polite, energetic and very accommodating. Those of us who chose the Prime Rib menu item were intrigued at our server's statement that it would only be cooked to Chef's medium.
As we chatted and waited for dinner, I took photographs through the windows.
Niagara Falls is a marvelous sight of geology, the power of water and natural formations.
So many tourists!
I was impressed and entertained by my dining companions' travel stories about places far and wide. They provided me with encouragement, future inspiration and curiosity. Palm trees in Ireland? What?
When dinner arrived, the Chef's medium prime rib turned out to be rare. I did my best to chew and swallow while listening to my dinner companions. The Shiraz I ordered with my meal did not help with enjoyment and digestion. My head was throbbing.
Then came a dessert of Tiramisu, berries and chocolate sauce. It was divine although I had visions of the gluttonous restaurant scene from Monty Python's Meaning of Life. I became tired of sitting and eating. I just wanted to go for a 30 minute walk. I did my cautious best regardless.
After we finished dinner, I suggested to my older friend that we get a head start back to the bus. A few gentlemen obliged with accompanying her while I skipped off to take some night time photos of the falls.
The tourist attractions were lit up. I caught a shot of the Fallsview Casino and the Skylon Tower. The Seneca Casino was flashing its electric colours like a whore in an attempt to lure gamblers across the river. I did not feel compelled to take a photograph. Casinos and their like do not appeal to me.
We felt the chill of the night air as we waited for our bus to pull up. Many of us were ready for the comfort of our hotel beds.
The ride back was colourful and over-stimulating. At least I was in the safety of the tour bus. I thought about all the electrical power that goes into these lights, machines and attractions. Could it be better used elsewhere?
I am happy that I got to see the falls in their majesty and splendor. It's one of those things to check off a list and be contented to say "Yes, I was there." In the back of my mind, I was still thinking of that peaceful looking place on the hill.
I am glad you read this far. Stay tuned for Day 3's travel log, more wine tour notes and photographs.