Saturday, August 13, 2011

Let the Trip Begin....

I feel a bit guilty~Wednesday was Brittany's 19th birthday, and I am sitting in Ontario, Canada, outside on our balcony, overlooking Niagara Falls. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRITTANY, and we WILL celebrate when we get back home!

Our day started out very early. We enjoyed a breakfast buffet and met our new 'bus family' for the next three days. With our bus driver, C.J., there are only 17 of us, so we are a rather small family. Two of our new family members, John and Christine, whom we sat with at breakfast,  are from Australia, so it has been fun chatting and hanging out with them. I guess you could say that they are 'our parents' on this trip. They are our 'next door neighbors' as well for the next two nights.

 We hadn't been with our new family very long when we came around the gift shop after breakfast, only to hear, "Did you see my mom?" Well, who IS this lady and I CERTAINLY do not know your mother! We didn't even know their names (and still don't) but I could pick them out in a crowd! Found out they are part of our 'family' so I SHOULD remember them, right? Right? Helllloooooo....

Our 'grandparents' are a sweet couple, Tom and Nancy, whom we found out LOVE to visit the casino. He uses a cane but didn't let the 10 minute walk keep him in a hotel! We caught them coming in at 11:45 p.m. You ask why WE were up at 11:45 pm...hhmmmmmmmm.....They are our other neighbors. Guess that means  that Nicole and I must be on our best behavior because our 'parents' are on one side and our 'grandparents' are on the other! Then, there is Eric and Lauren, the father/daughter that everyone just ASSUMED were married! She could be my 'sister'....OK, I lied....she could be my daughter. She is celebrating her 30th birthday with her dad a little early. she is a teacher and this was her parents' gift to her. What a great place to celebrate your birthday! I usually get a card....this year was quite special, though. I received my birthday gifts a little early so that I could enjoy them on the bus. Scott, Nicole, Nate, Ashley, and Brittany got me a NOOK. It didn't have to have a passport, but since it did cross the border into Canada, does that make it a CaNOOK? Get it? Canuck? (Vancouver Canucks)

We thought for sure the bus was going to be full. It reminds me of a scary movie where each time the bus stops for a meal or rest stop, we seem to lose people. They just disappear.....I sit alone in row 6 and row 1 is empty because it's behind the bus driver and full of candy and bottled water. We look behind us, and the restroom seems so far away.

Our lunch stop was to McDonald's, and, thank goodness, we were full from breakfast and we could easily pass up the fast food. This stop happened to be in Bath, New York. How ironic that as soon as the bus pulled into the parking lot, what is the first thing we see? Amish! We left home to get away. Maybe we have a 'secret Amish family' stowed away in the luggage compartment of the bus. We have tons of room under there since there are only 17 suitcases! Then, as we were sitting out on our little balcony later that night, a huge Amish family walked across the sidewalk below us. I think they are staying in our hotel.

Customs was easy but according to the bus driver, it is not always that way. Being that I never leave the US, I expected much worse. As I sit here now looking at the line of people waiting to cross the border, I am so glad we arrived early.

We were able to go to the IMAX theatre to see 'Legends and Daredevils' immediately upon our arrival rather than before heading home on Friday. I'm not so sure this was a good idea as we are going on a 3-hour guided tour on Thursday and will be directly above the falls on the Whirlpool Aero Car. After hearing some of the history of the crazy people who went down the falls in barrels, (63-year old female school teacher who took her cat along for the ride), many people on boats (some survived and others perished), and then, there was Mr. Fitzgerald, who went down in his plunge-o-sphere, it is possible to survive. How? I don't know!

On Wednesday, we got to experience Niagara Falls at its finest...from the Skylon

We enjoyed dinner from the Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room in the tower. De-lic-ious....then, there was the girl seated next to me at dinner who informed us that she would be wearing a dress the next day. Just out of the blue....I believe her exact words were, "You are going to witness something you have not seen in a long time....tomorrow I am going to wear a dress." First of all, she was with our group but I didn't know her. Well, frankly, I NEVER saw her in a dress and WHO CARES? I wear underwear but I don't tell everyone I see!

Our driver, C.J. took us after dark to see the Falls lit up. That was pretty cool!

After a very long day, I am finally ready to go to sleep after midnight. This is WAY past my bedtime. I feel so old when the 'older people' on canes are walking to the casino and I am ready for bed! But, tomorrow is another day....and, as I say...another day, another story!

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