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Last weekend we went on a 4 day road trip to Niagara falls and Toronto. Basically AK had been asking for a while to go see the falls, but I wasn’t so keen since we have been there too many times and it is such a long drive (~8 hrs), but he was persistent.

We started around 7.45 am with the car crammed with bicycles, roller blades, tons of food, snacks and drinks.  After filling up for $3.89/gallon, we hit the road. We bought a portable DVD player in preparation for the trip, but even then I was actually dreading the ~450 mile drive. But the kids did amazingly well. The first stop was around noon for a second tank fillup. Since we had snacked so much through out, no one was ready for lunch. The service areas on Interstate 90 in New York are AWESOME! The rest rooms were clean (I have a phobia of public restrooms. My kids are troopers too and can go upto 6 hrs without needing to go, so I’ve been lucky!), fast food selection was decent,  good picnic benches to eat any home brought food and best of all, they had free Wi-fi access. I remember taking my parents on the same trip ~ 7 yrs ago and my dad was so impressed with these rest areas. Around 2 pm, we were approaching Buffalo and road signs indicated about 30-45 minutes wait at the border crossings. So, we made a quick lunch stop, and another Walmart stop in Niagara Falls for some essentials we forgot, and we were at Rainbow bridge @ 3.30 pm. Took us ~45 min to get through the border post. This was our first visit to the Canadian side here. The great planner that I am, I didn’t take either the address or the phone number of the hotel we were staying. After holding for Expedia on the phone for several minutes and struggling to get the required info over poor cell signals, we were finally checked into the hotel by 4.45 pm! The kids had watched only one movie (cars) and had done so good for the rest of the drive – no whines or fights. I was pretty thrilled.

Rainbow

We set out in the evening to see the falls lit at night. When we arrived there around 6.30, we were treated to beautiful views of a rainbow (the picture does not do it justice). The spray from the falls were drenching us and SK was cold. We walked around a bit. I didn’t like the Clifton Hill area at all. It was too touristy, almost like Las Vegas – too visually distracting and loud. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked my visits to Vegas, but this is too artificial, especially in a place where the main attraction is a wonder of nature! We soon realized it would be past 8.30 for sunset and the lights to come on. Everyone was tired, so we decided to skip it and went back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Horseshoe falls

The next morning we went back for the boat ride into the falls. We were early, so thankfully there were no long lines and we walked right through. We also found good spots on the boat. But when you get closer to the falls, you get so drenched, it is almost impossible to keep the eyes open, so I don’t remember seeing the falls up close from any of my boat rides. The kids enjoyed it. AK was even paying attention to the commentary on-board and excitedly told me the height and volume of water flowing. We were all done by 10 am. We had some coffee, croissants and bagels (second round of breakfast!) at the ubiquitous Tim Hortons and started our drive to Toronto.

 

 

 

 

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