We have seen so many cool things today, I hardly know where to begin, so I want to apologize ahead of time for the very long post and extra pics.
So we checked out of our little condo near Barrie and we headed for Toronto. We still had a couple of things on our CitiPass so we decided to do one of them. The Casa Loma was practically on our way to Niagara and my sweetie definitely had a castle on his list.
We loved the castle!! My favorite part was actually the Girl Guide display... the lady who owned the castle was the Girl Guide Commissioner for all of Canada. She held receptions in her quarters where she would give out the Silverfish, the highest adult pin for Girl Guides.
That was all a happy surprise though. We had no idea when we went there. We walked the tunnels so we could see the antique cars and we climbed all the way up 2 flights of a scary spiral staircase so we could be on top of the turret.
After the castle, we got back on the road and my sweetie surprised me with a stop at one of the little parks I had wanted to do yesterday. We walked right up to Lake Ontario! It is so beautiful; just extending for miles and miles until it melts into the gray blue sky.
Then we climbed back in the car and drove along the QE Highway toward Niagara Falls. The most amazing part of this highway happens when Lake Ontario is surrounding both sides. Now one side is the bay and it is possible to see buildings, but the other side is the endless cobalt sea. We drove about a third of the way around Lake Ontario and got to see it from the other side, and it was still just as beautiful. Honestly, I love the Great Lakes. I'm not sure why I feel so drawn to them. I don't even feel that way about the Great Salt Lake and I've lived near it for most of my life.
But I digress...
We drove into Niagara about 5:30. The GPS messed up and drove us on a wild goose chase, but it turned out to be just perfect because we got to see nearly all of the Christmas lights that had just been turned on for the Winter Festival. It's a lot like the lights we drive through in Spanish Fork only the path is longer and Niagara Falls in raging in the background.
My sweetie splurged on a Fallsview room at the Hilton with his membership points and honestly, it is amazing! We can see the Canadian Falls and the United States Falls. We have a huge pane window in our room on the 43rd floor and from here we can see nearly everything.
At 8:00 pm they even shot off fireworks over the falls. I didn't take any pics because I was video calling with the kids and letting them watch what was going on outside. I love that my sweetie and I have had this opportunity to go tripping together, but there are sure a lot of things I would love to share with my kids and this blog is the best way to keep the memories forever.
When we finally got off the phone with the kids, we walked down the Casino tunnel and found food at a place called Famous. You know I haven't been that impressed with Canadian food in general and once again I was disappointed, but this time I spoke up.
Our server's name was Eric and he went out of his way to make sure we didn't leave his restaurant unhappy. He told me to Yelp about the bad salads and when my sweetie complained about his mashed potatoes being dry, he brought him a whole plate of new ones that were definitely much better. When he asked about my meal, I told him that peas were not sauteed in the US. He wanted to fix it and I said my sweetie's mixed veggies looked better and he brought me a whole plate of freshly steamed broccoli, zucchini, peppers, carrots, and cauliflower, all drenched in just the right amount of butter.
I was in heaven! It was the best thing I have eaten since I left the US over a week ago!! Not only that, Eric packed us a huge piece of carrot cake to eat back in our room and he didn't charge us a thing for any of the changes. I don't know if we just got the most amazing server on the planet or if Famous treats all their customers this way, but I highly recommend them and will definitely go there again if given the opportunity.
Back in our room, we swam in the jacuzzi tub and then watched the lights bounce playfully off the water of the Niagara. OK, my sweetie watched the Falls while I shared all of this with you. Tomorrow we drive to Detroit and then climb on another plane and fly home. In a week or two this will all seem like a dream. But my heart will be forever changed toward our Northern neighbors. I will wear my Canada hoodie proudly and maybe even a little reverently. Oh Canada, for a few short days we called you home... thank you for letting us be part of you. That part we will never forget.