Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vacation Recap: Niagara Falls, Canada

So I am back in the USA, and let me tell you, my bank account is very happy about that. And like the good blogger that I sort of am, I am going to give you the full recap, along with my recommendations if you were to do the same trip. 

We began our 6+ hour journey on Friday morning and made sure to bring along LOTS of snacks for the car ride. Because what else is there to do in a car for that long? I am happy to say that the girls in the car only asked to stop and pee ONCE during the entire car ride there. Sorry there is not really any pictures I can show you from the car ride.. because it was a car ride. So yeah.

Once we crossed the border and checked in to our hotel we all oohh-ed and ahh-ed about the view we had of both the American and Canadian Falls. Our room was really nice and we played around with the screen that opened and closed between the bathroom and bedrooms. Because we can be 5 year-old's sometimes. 


After all that, it was time to convert our money and get a drink! What I am about to say is probably offensive, but Canadian money is WEIRD. First off, it seriously looks and feels like Monopoly money. Secondly, they don't do pennies/1 cent. So you get screwed over when getting change back. And since this was our first experience in spending money, we quickly learned that everything is literally double the cost in and around Niagara Falls. NO LIE. And they tried to put a "tourist tax" on everything. But I had done my research and promptly told them to take this off of our bill since legally they cannot charge us this tax. Ashleigh - 1, Niagara Falls- 0.



We then ventured around outside, and eventually came back to the room to start showers and getting ready for dinner. The first dinner of the trip was at a Brazilian steakhouse called Brasa. If anyone has every been to Fogo de Chao it's exactly like that. And it was AMAZING. I am a bad blogger and didn't take any food pictures because I was too busy enjoying every meaty bite. So I apologize, but guys, you have to go there if you are ever in that area. But bring lots of money because it's pricy (like everything else).

After dinner we went to the Myst Lounge. This little place was very modern and to be honest, the drinks were a little watered down. But we had fun just sitting there, having a few drinks, and planning out our next day's adventures. Oh, and I got Tony to take a selfie with me, which is a pretty big feat for me.



Saturday morning we got up bright and early (like 9 am haha) to begin our adventures around the actual Falls. We started out by just walking down to the tourist area and taking some pictures. Then we started making our way to the Hornblower for the actual boat tour.

We had so much fun on the boat! Lots of pictures were taken, and we all completely rocked the red ponchos we were given. And once again, Tony was up for some selfies :) To my surprise, we hardly got wet. Just a little misted as we got close to the Horseshoe Falls.


After the boat tour, we got our tickets for Journey Behind the Falls, which is basically a tour that takes you down about 125 feet and through a tunnel to where you are basically on the same level as the Falls. Once again, another great photo opportunity. 




We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around and going into different shops. It didn't feel like we walked a ton, but by the end of the night when I checked my FitBit, we had taken over 20,000 steps! Too bad that probably didn't even come close to canceling out the food and drink we had Saturday night. But again, it was all delicious. Oh, and Saturday night we also went to the Casino that was attached to our hotel for about 10 minutes. I lost 5 dollars and we were done. So no, I didn't hit it big and can now quit my job. Better luck next time.

Sunday we ventured down to Clifton Hill - a tourist area that has mini golf, lots of shops, a big ferris wheel and other little attractions. But since we are Americans and it was the beginning of football season, we found a huge sports bar and watched our team (lose) and ate pizza and drank beer. Tony and James tried to win a football throwing competition, but they were both terrible and we didn't get $50 off of our bill. But Carly did win a Bills jersey. But none of us are Bills fans and if there is someone out there who wants to buy a C.J. Spiller jersey hit me up and I'll direct you to the right person.

To console myself after watching the Ravens lose, I bought 4 big pieces of fudge that surprisingly made it home not completely eaten. Sunday night we all kind of just took it easy and had a yummy Italian meal, followed by ordering room service for dessert and watching the fireworks from our room. It really was a good end to a jam-packed trip. 

This was $12. But, it was delicious.

My trip takeaways:

-Niagara Falls is EXTREMELY expensive. And there are taxes/fees on everything. Like a parking tax. And an environment tax. 

-You really don't need to stay at a hotel with a view of the Falls. Don't get me wrong, it was really nice, but it would have been a lot cheaper to stay about 2 blocks away from the Falls.

-Two nights would have been fine. We really could have done everything we wanted to do in a day and a half. Again, another way to save money.

We probably won't be going back, because honestly, once you see the Falls you really don't need to go back. MAYBE one day with kids, but not unless we have more money. Did I mention how expensive everything was?

All in all, fun trip!

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