Saturday, July 12th, 2008

We didn't end up waking up at the crack of dawn, which was nice since we didn't have any place that we had to go immediately.

Much like in previous trips, we decided to have breakfast at The Flying Saucer.

Every meal I've had at the Flying Saucer has been great, and this one was no exception. I got the cheddar omelet with home fries, and a glass of chocolate milk that had to be the better part of a quart of milk! Everything was great, but there was way too much to finish. I think I only made it through a little over half of my breakfast before I was stuffed!

After breakfast, we drove back over to the Fallsview Casino to park for the day. Of course, since it was a Saturday, the parking was now $10 instead of $5, but that was probably about what we would pay anywhere, so I didn't mind too much. I also managed to drive into the valet only entrance to the garage. Once I got all the way down, Kevin got out and asked the valet person to open the gate so I could turn around, but he wouldn't! So I had to back my (very expensive, brand new) rental car backwards up a curved ramp! I was so scared that I was gonna scrape the side of the car, but luckily I didn't! Whew!

After parking, we headed to the nearby funicular railway and took a quick ride down to the falls area. The ride afforded a great view of the Canadian falls! Once at the bottom, we went straight for the Niagara's Fury building. We bought our tickets for it and for Journey Behind the Falls, then headed off to explore the gift shop before the show.

I don't think you're gonna learn too much from that book, Kev!

Niagara's Fury had an adorable little preshow with some stereotypical Canadian-accented woodland creatures. The actual show was alright, but I was expecting more. There was "snow" but it was just soap foam, and only reached the right side of the room. There were some water effects that very nearly soaked us, and the platform we were standing on moved. Overall it was ok. I can't say it was fantastic, but it's worth doing once for the experience of it. But of the major stuff we did over the course of the day, it was my least favorite.

Niagara Falls, seen from the Niagara's Fury building

Of course, we hit up more gift shops before Journey Behind the Falls

After a few minutes, it was time for our Journey Behind the Falls tour to start. We grabbed our classy yellow ponchos, then headed down a short elevator ride to the corridor behind the Canadian falls.

Blue Steel, showing off the Journey Behind the Falls poncho

Me and Kevin at the Cataract Portal in Journey Behind the Falls

Creepy Kevin stalks the hallways of Journey Behind the Falls

Holy cow! I am *really* close to all that water!

Check it out! I can almost reach out and touch Niagara Falls!!

I really enjoyed Journey Behind the Falls! It got us very close to the falls, and the price was very reasonable I thought. I was really scared that I was going to damage my camera by having it out in the mist, but it ended up being just fine. Kevin, on the other hand, didn't have such luck. His camera didn't seem to have gotten any more wet than mine did, but it totally stopped working on him :-(

Me in front of the Canadian falls

Leaving Journey Behind the Falls, Kevin said that he wanted to find a geocache that was in the area. We wandered around for a while looking for an information plaque, but we couldn't find it. Just when we decided that it was time for lunch and started to walk to Clifton Hill, we spotted the plaque he was looking for.

When he found the plaque, he was supposed to take a photo of himself and his GPS in front of the falls before he could log that cache as found.

Once we arrived at Clifton Hill, we hit a bit of indecision about where to have lunch. Ultimately we decided to eat at the Clifton Hill Family Restaurant, which was pretty much just like a Denny's, only more expensive!

Mmm...I know that when I eat turkey, I like for it to be "real."

I had a burger for lunch, which was the first burger and fries I'd eaten in the recent past. I've been trying to eat a little healthier, so I don't tend to eat greasy stuff like that at home. But when I'm on vacation, all the rules go out the window :-)

After lunch, we went over to Maid of the Mist.

Putting on a happy face, despite the long line

The line for Maid of the Mist wasn't exactly short, but it kept moving, so I don't think it was as bad as I thought it would be. After our tickets were purchased and we were duly outfitted in our blue ponchos, we were escorted to the boat. Kevin and I were the last two people let onto the boat, which at first I thought was bad since all the prime viewing spots would already be gone. But as soon as we boarded, and they closed the ramp behind us, we just stood right there in front of the ramp and had a great view!

Maid of the Mist heads up to the American falls, and whips everyone on the boat around in the process

Kevin is too sexy for his Maid of the Mist poncho

In short, I had an awesome time on Maid of the Mist! This was my fifth trip to Niagara Falls, yet I had never bothered to do this attraction, and I so wish I had done it before! On the way out, the people on the opposite side of the boat from us had the better view of the American falls, but once we were at the Canadian falls, we had the best seat in the house! The boat went directly up to the falls, so the wind would whip you around, and the mist would bear down on you! It was amazing to feel the power of all that water rushing down so close to you! Then, on the way back, we had a great view of the American falls.

Blue Steel, fairly well soaked after our encounter with the Canadian falls!

This attraction does get you very wet, but the ponchos did a fair job of keeping us mostly dry. When we docked, we were the first people off the boat...maybe next time I will try to hang back and stand by the door! I thought being last onto the boat was a bad thing, but really, it worked out well.

The Maid of the Mist, in front of the American falls

On the way out of the Maid of the Mist area, of course we had to hit up the gift shop.

Kevin suggested that I buy this mini life preserver to display in my cubicle at work. Yeah,
I'm sure my coworkers would love to see this peering over the cubicle at them!

I only ended up buying a magnet since none of the other stuff seemed that nice or useful. We also both got Cokes and caramel Aero bars. We found a shady tree in the park across from the falls and sat down to enjoy our snacks. After a bit, we walked back to the car, with the plan to drive up to Niagara-on-the-Lake to have dinner in a favorite pub of Kevin's. We walked back up the hill, and Kevin took a few moments to hunt for a geocache in the rock wall next to us. Never found it, but we did confuse a few people passing by!

Go to the second half of Day 2 - Dinner and Clifton Hill attractions

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