Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back from Niagara

Hi Everyone!  We're back from Niagara!  We had a great time but we sure didn't aniticipate how busy it would be or how EXPENSIVE it would be!!!  Just a little blurb on that before I share the fun stuff about our trip.  Andy and I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit since we've been married, we've been to Disney World with Isaiah, Bermuda, the mountains, all places that are tourists locations so we have always anticipated that food, drinks, etc would be more expensive than at home at a normal restaraunt.  When we were deciding where to go this time we looked into Carribean cruises and all inclusives.  Truthfully, they would have been cheaper than the upfront costs we expected going to Niagara however, (here's where I am hoping someone from Tourism Canada is reading - LOL) we decided with the economy the way it is we wanted to support our own country and invest back by spending our money here in Canada rather than internationally.  We invest a significant amount of money in the US market every year through Paper Pretties.
We were completely SHOCKED by the outrageous prices in Niagara - Disney World was NOTHING compared to how they gauged us.  1 cocktail was 14.99 at most restaraunts.  Andy and I love to eat at the keg - normally here in Saskatchewan when we go on a date we'll have appies, an entree, a glass of wine each and share a desert - it usually costs about 80.00.  We ate exactly the same thing in Niagara at the keg and the bill was 123.00.  At starbucks in the Calgary airport I bought a piece of Banana bread for 2.09 - that same piece of banana bread in Niagara at starbucks was 5.99 - sheesh!  Very dissappointing since we could have gone on a cruise which is all inclusive but decided to spend our money in Canada.
Despite that, we had a FABULOUS time!  We laughed alot - I cried some - more on that later! and we saw a ton of things and had some new experiences that we just loved!
It was a very long trip for us on the way there.  Our flight left at 5:30 am from S'toon airport which is a 2 hour drive for us and since all of you who fly know that you have to be there an hour early, we had to leave home at 2:00 am.  YIKES!  When we arrived in Toronto we had another 2 hour drive to Niagara so we finally arrived at about 4:30 pm on Wed.  We were pretty tired so we checked into our hotel and went straight to the keg - we hadn't eaten at all that day yet.  We had a delish meal and then went for a walk around the grounds and surrounding area of our hotel.  Our first stop of course were the falls.
DSC_0175 These are the American Falls - the Bridal Veil falls.  Most people say that the Canadian falls are prettier.  Andy and I both agreed that we wouldn't say they were prettier, just more spectacular.  Here are the Canadian Falls:

Falls Andy and I both thought that when we saw the falls we would be humbled by the awesomenss of God's creations and we were!
Me&a Here we are taking our tourist pic - LOL!
From there we walked about a block to a monastery.  We are not Catholic but thought that it would be neat to see nevertheless.  The architecture and history in this place are absolutely amazing.  Here are just a few of my favorite pics from the monastery:Mon4
There were these amazing gardens surrounding all of these buildings and it was so peaceful there.  We saw a few of these little guys running around and there were several people sitting on park benches reading their bibles.
There was a delightful little chapel surrounded by a very pretty cemetary:
Monistary 1 Many of the people that are buried there died during the war of 1812.
You could easily see that the trees had been growing for hundreds of years they were enormous -
All of the areas we visited were arayed with tons of beautiful flowers:
Flowers 2
Pink pinflower
Finally we found our way back to our room to enjoy this view:
 Ffr2 Ffr4
Ffr5 This shot was especially neat because Andy said it looks like God's thumb print - like he just reached down and made a dent in the earth to create this spectacular wonder.
We were really lucky to be offered an upgraded room on the 41st floor when we arrived for only 20.00 so we took it and were able to watch the fireworks and have an amazing view!
Falls at night
Well, that was day 1 for you.  We took over 1000 pics while were there - the new camera definitely passed the test.  I decided to break the trip up for you as I really want to share alot of the amazing things we saw but didn't want to overwhelm you - LOL!
I'll be back tomorrow with our Day 2 adventures - not nearly as many pics I promise! Pin It

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