travel

Niagara Falls

At the last minute we decided to take a two day getaway to Niagara Falls with the kids over Spring Break. Luckily my dad agreed to stay at our house to take care of the dogs. We already had passports for the kids from the trip to Mexico that we were supposed to take last year that never happened. Ken and I have had our passports for awhile now…we went to Riviera Maya 5 years ago. We left about 7:30AM and arrived in Niagara Falls by 1:30PM. We crossed into Canada from Detroit and the drive went pretty easily.

Going through tunnel to get to Canada
Tunnel to Canda from the U.S.

We had lunch before we reached Niagara Falls and we also stopped for a quick look at Lake Ontario.

Lake Ontario
Lake Onatrio

We were standing there taking a few quick photos and all of a sudden Ken seen a sign that read:

Yikes!
Lake Ontario...oops, better get outta here!

Next thing you know we see a guy dressed in camouflage walking with a red flag. As we quickly got the heck out of there, we heard gun shots. That was crazy!

We checked into our hotel, which was on the Canadian side of the falls, the Marriott Niagara Falls Hotel Fallsview & Spa. Then we quickly left so we could go on the Maid of the Mist boat ride which is the only way you can get super close to the Falls. We got so lucky because the excursion actually just opened for the season that day! We didn’t even know this when we planned our trip. You get pretty wet, but the view was amazing and the rainbows were spectacular. It ended up being a good distance to walk, at least 2 miles if not 3, from our hotel. Good thing I have been exercising because we were going as fast as we could to assure we got on the boat before it closed for the day. Karli was scared at first, but was fine once we got out there on the water. She kept asking all these questions based on the movie Titanic. Oh my! I guess we won’t be going on a cruise anytime soon.

Maid of the Mist Photos
Maid of the Mist Photos
Maid of the Mist Photos
Maid of the Mist Photos

After the Maid of the Mist, we explored Clifton Hill which is a street filled with activities, stores, and restaurants. We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, stopped at a few stores, and Ken, Andrew, and Chase went through a Haunted House. We walked and explored and honestly there wasn’t much that appealed to us. It was nice and clean and all, but everything was sort of like things that we really didn’t care to do, but considered doing just because it was there. Like a mirror maze or a large ferris wheel, even a laser tag joint. We talked the kids out of most of the activities thankfully. We had a even longer walk back to our hotel at that point, about 4 miles, and we stopped at a Starbucks for a snack and hot chocolate. We rested up a bit and then about 10:30PM Ken and I left for the casino which was just a couple minutes from our hotel. It was a nice place, sort of dead, and we didn’t win big unfortunately.

Hard Rock Cafe, Niagara Falls

It was so cute when we left for the casino (it was dark out) we were crossing a bridge off to the side of our hotel (you can see the bridge in the bottom of the photo below, as well as the casino) and the kids wanted us to wave to them as we were walking. Andrew used the flashlight on his iPhone, flickering the light off and on, so were we able to see which window was ours so we could wave to the kids. I told Ken that it’s moments like that, that make all the craziness of our lives worth every minute. I don’t know, it was just a sweet moment.

View from our hotel room
View from our hotel

The next day we had breakfast at our hotel and loaded up to drive around to see if there was anything else we should do before we leave. Unfortunately other than the things we already seen on Clifton Hill, there isn’t much else to explore. Not that we wanted there to be either. The trip was about getting away and seeing Niagara Falls as a family…knowing that it is something that we will only do once in our lives. Maybe someday our kids will visit there with their own families.

We decided to take cross back into the U.S. right there in Niagara Falls and drive home a different way. It probably wasn’t the best choice because traffic is much busier and the highways aren’t as nice. I tell ya, Canadian roads are the best kept roads I’ve ever seen. We did stop in Buffalo to eat at the Anchor Bar – the home of the Original Buffalo Chicken Wing. Yum! It was nice to get home earlier than we had planned. A couple of the doggies were getting sick while we were gone. I guess they missed us.

After the Maid of the Mist, just a little wet!
Maid of the Mist - Just a little wet afterward

Overall it ended up being a really nice getaway and it felt nice getting away from computers, phones, and such for a couple of days. Now it’s back to the grind- kids back in school and back to work for us too.

There are many many more photos…check out the entire set here.

Chase & Karli at the Hershey store Maid of the Mist Photos Maid of the Mist Photos Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort View from Fallsview Ave. Maid of the Mist Photos Maid of the Mist Photos Maid of the Mist Photos Anchor Bar, Buffalo NY

How did you spend your Spring Break?

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