Tag Archives: Niagara Falls

A Favourite Place – The Gallery

I’m so glad Tara gave us ‘A Favourite Place’ as our theme for this weeks Gallery post rather than ‘My favourite place’ which would imply I would have to make an impossible decision. How could I possibly choose between my home town, a small east coast town that I loved from the time I was small and always vowed I would move to or the quaint Cornish fishing villages I visited as a child, my grandparents lounge full of happy childhood memories or the beautiful remote campgrounds we have discovered since we moved to Canada?  I couldn’t.

So I chose a spot here in Canada that we have visited many times and I will revisit many more times, it is stunning in every season and I could stand and look upon it for hours.  It’s also a fantastic place to people spot so when you have done marvelling at the view you can turn around and watch the people who visit from all four corners of the world and wonder at their stories and what brought them here.   Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the spectacular, breathtaking, beautiful Niagara Falls

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Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery
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My Favourite Things to do in Niagara

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the Niagara region over the last few years and after a recent comment on my blog I realised many visitors don’t know how much there is to do in this little corner of Ontario. Here are some of the things my family and I have thoroughly enjoyed doing.

Niagara Falls

The waterfalls themselves are spectacular.  One fifth of the world’s supply of fresh water comes over Niagara Falls, how mind blowing is that statistic?  Stand by it for a few minutes and you understand it completely as over 2 million litres per second charges passed you.  To view the falls themselves is free of charge and it’s amazing to see in almost any weather, clear blue days often give brilliant rainbows in the spray and during the winter the river and area around the falls freezes, giving a breath-taking wintery scene.

Jet Boat

Strictly a fair weather activity the Whirlpool Jet Boat tour leaves from Niagara-On-The-Lake and travels up the Niagara River to the point where the river makes a 90 degree turn resulting in the whirlpools.  It is a truly thrilling ride.  You will get wet and most likely you will scream! I know I did! 😀

The Jet boat on a gentle ride up the river

The Jet boat in the rapids, Me, hubbie and sons getting soaked on the back row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helicopter

Unrivaled views of the area are gained by a Helicopter tour over the falls.  This is quite an expensive attraction but the experience is truly memorable.

Taking Off!

The Horseshoe Falls from above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vineyard Tour

There are approximately 180 vineyards in and around the Niagara Region, many of them make award winning wines.  Chateaux des Charmes was my favourite and probably because it is a family run business like my business was.  Situated in a beautiful part of the Niagara peninsula they produce on average 900,000 bottles of delicious wine per year.  Their tours take visitors through the vineyards all the way to the bottling room with a few tastings afterwards.  Inexpensive and includes a money off coupon to spend in the store.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fort George

A destination for the history buff where you can learn all about he 1812 war, the involvement of the British, Americans and Canadians and it’s effects on the Canada we know and love today.  An interesting, educational and inexpensive attraction

Musket Demonstration

British Canon pointing at the Americans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Town of Niagara On the Lake

Originally burnt down at the end of the 1812 war and rebuilt in the regency style Niagara-On-The Lake is one of the few old towns in Canada.  Formerly the Nations Capital, the town it is now one of the main tourist attractions of the country. Free of charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maid of the Mist

North America’s oldest tourist attraction first opened in 1846, The Maid of the Mist takes its passengers right into the basin of the Horseshoe Falls as thousands of litres of water drop from over 50 metres above you.  A mid price attraction but worth the cost, bare in mind you will need the ponchos they provide because you will get wet.  The Maid of the Mist runs in the summer months when the river is free of ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whirlpool Aero Car

Originally opened in 1916 the whirlpool aero car travels across the Niagara Gorge and back.  It gives an aerial view of the whirlpools that you experience in the Jet Boat Tour. Inexpensive but only lasts about 20 minutes.

Niagara Parkway

The Niagara Parkway is a pretty drive along the Niagara River, I like to take it from the Falls to Niagara-On-The-Lake.  It follows the course of the river and passes the Whirlpool Rapids and the Brock Monument (another must see for history buffs). Free of charge.

Marine Land

The Marine Land theme park has a couple of rides but the main attractions, as the name suggests, are the Dolphins, Killer Whales and Beluga Whales. The admission cost is inline with other theme parks.

 

Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill is the part of the town of Niagara Falls that is often deemed as tacky.  Amusement arcades and flashing lights give it a mini Las Vegas feel, having said that I spent a great night in the Boston Pizza which also houses an arcade and bowling alley that kept the kids amused while the ‘grown ups’ enjoyed the food and sampled the local beverages ;-).  Next to the Boston Pizza is the Niagara sky wheel that is an inexpensive ride that gives fabulous aerial views of both the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls.

View from the Sky Wheel in April

  

The Expat Emotional Roller-coaster

In my 39 years I have never experienced the emotional range as intensely as I have in the last 2 years since our departure from England.  Every feeling from sadness to happiness, dread to anticipation and everything in between crops up on a regular basis.

I remember walking the kids to school with my best friend about a week before we left England and saying to her how I was “done with the last times” and how I wanted to look forward to the “first times”.  Seeing people and doing things for the last time prior to leaving England exhausted me emotionally like I had never experienced.  Watching my granddad walk down my driveway for the last time, the last meal with my sister and my girlfriends, the final day with my parents were obviously terribly sad occasions but at the same time I was looking forward to seeing my new home for the first time and beginning our new life. I was both excited about our arrival in Canada and very upset at our departure from England.

Niagara Falls, Canada

Tower Bridge, London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expat life brings with it a ride on an emotional roller-coaster and the bizarre thing is that often contrasting emotions come at the same time.  An example of this was the intense excitement I felt a fortnight ago as I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew but before they even arrived I was already dreading them leaving.  The happy times we had together were all too soon followed by a tearful goodbye and now the house which just a short week ago was noisy, excited and crammed full is now quiet, calm and feels too roomy.  I really love where I live but miss my old home, I’m enjoying all the new experiences we have but I crave the familiar too.

 

Niagara Falls 2013

London Eye 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I have discovered in the last 20 months of being an expat is that expat life is a series of ‘trade offs’, you exchange regular brief visits with longer times together that are far fewer and further between but on the whole much more memorable. I suppose the phrase ‘quality time’ comes into play here.  Learning to cope with the twists and turns, highs and lows is all part of the journey.  I hope that as time passes I become more adept at riding the emotional roller-coaster, accepting the downsides of expat life is the price we have to pay for this lifestyle we have chosen.

 

“Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it’s one day further from the last time you saw each other, it’s one day closer to the next time you will” – Anonymous