Joined July 2017 Message
  • Day13

    Quebec City

    August 5, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    We all had good nights sleep beds were comfy, though noise of us docking woke Sam and I at about6. We went for the buffet breakfast which again was goo with lots of choice, including omelettes freshly made which is Eds breakfast of choice at moment. Coffee was decent too.

    Left the ship about 9am with no plans other than doing a bus tour to see the City. Along the waterfront was the Museum of Civilisation. It had a London exhibition on which Ed fancied so we said we would come back to it this afternoon on way back to boat.

    We walked through the streets of the Old Twon, which was just like being in a French town. Old Montreal was more like Paris, Quebec more like a smaller mediaeval town. Got a magnet and T shirt in shop then went for coffee on way up hill towards bus pick up.

    Service was bit slow but shop had about 20 peopl;e dressed in old French outfits for the mediaeval pageant on later that day. Like Montreal, French first language here and quite odd hearing it. Everyone speaks English secodn though signs are all in Grench as opposed to bilingual signs we had seen further west.

    There was a bus in the square at the top but we had to buy tickets in the info place before baording. This meant we got the next one with room to sit upstairs.Was very hot in sun and bus only had earphone audio no line guide.

    Tour was couple of hours which was biut too long, lots of the newer parts we saw whilst architectuarrly nice needed the live commentary anecdotes to bring them to life. The Battledfields Park or plains of Abrahams was most interesting commentary, telling story of Frecnh v British battles and sieges in the site. Also area where concerts are held, McCartney, Elton John, etc were mentioned.

    We got back to the main square and went to an Italian Ed had seen from the bus. Was good food and not too busy. Then waked down to the Museum from before and went in. The London exhibition was cool, with lots of displays of designers, artists etc from London as well as musicinas and ocial scenes (migrants, punkc, mods etc). Giant aerial photos looking north south east and west were interesting to llok at. Must have been from about 2012 as could see our offices, but just the concrete shell with floor 33 on it. A balck cab and phone boxed featured. A city model had a poor imitation of our office on it. Was interesting to see London being portrayed as cool andthat people in Quebec would be so interested.

    We left with a magnt from the shop and went back to the boat. Sam and Tash had spa treatments, Ed and I explored thr ship, played some table tennis and ate in the buffet. Met the girls and went to the comedy show - Bengt Washburton. From Utah, a mormon with Swedish name. Some funny observational humopuir about toddlers, mormons and all sorts. Ed didnt quite appreciate some of it jokes, rest of us thought it was very funny.
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  • Day12

    Boarding the Cruise Ship

    August 4, 2018 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    We packed up our stuff grabbed coffee from the shop downstairs (too late for croissants), then got the concierge to fetch our bags and sort us out a larger car that would fit everythuing in. The driver was an old French Caribbean guy with a great drawling accent and laid back style of driving! Got us via a couple of wrong turns to the cruise terminal.
    We had to show our boarding passes to gaim access with the cab to the drop oiff area, which meant I had to go into the boot to grab them from a bag, fortunately near the top. Dropped off and a lady helped us staple our luggage tags onto all the bags that were then whicked away to rreappear later in our rooms. I just remembered in time that we would need the passports and we proceeded to check in. No queue and we were through in five minutes, security checks (Sam failed as ever) then we had photo taken and could go straight onto the ship, were on at about 11am.

    We tried to get into the room, which should be possible but the key cards didnt work so were were advised to go up to level 7 and get them configured. We did and joined a short queue of people, which grew longer as we waited. One chap behind us had already queued once and his second set of keys didnt work eaither and when we got to the front it was apparent the problem was ship wide. An announcement was made over the speakers saying there was a problem and while they tried to fix it we should enjoy rest of ship and go up and have some lunch in the buffet, so we did. Food was decent woith pots of different choices.

    We spent the afternoon exploring the ship, playing table tennis. At 4pm (delayed from 3) we had our muster drill practice - was obvious many had no listened to insturctions and gne straight to lifeboats rather than waiting for announcemnets. We wathced the ship sail away an hour late at 5pm and went to our rooms then to the dining room where we were booked in for dinner at 530pm. Shared a tablke with a couple from Utah who were very nice and we chatted with them. Food was decent and we had a nice bottle o Chablis. Finished just before 7pm and went to do the quiz in the bar at 7. Paired up with a couple from Texas annd did OK, about 12 out of 19.

    We then went bck to room and picked up Ed who had not fancied quiz and came nack for a srink and to await the show taster at 930. There was a jewelry raffle that was basically an excuse for a marketing sell of the wares. We didnt win. Went into theatre for the show which was quick half hour of the different entertainsers on board and was good.

    Then headed to bed for Quebec City tomorrow
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  • Day11

    Rapids JetBoat and Pedalo incident

    August 3, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Had booked last night to do the White water Jet Boat at the 9.15am slit. Had seen Michael Portillo do it on his train journeys program and all the reviews on trip advisor were 5 stars, but everyone stressed you got very wet an should go in your swimming costume, so we did put ours on and headed off, via some breakfast from the coffee shop in the lower level of the hotel.
    We got to the Clockhouse Pier which was the one just behind the Labyrinth and Zipline that we had done the day before. Were greeted by the owner Jack, a real character in his 60s at least. Asked us we were from and then sang God |Save the Queen and Long way to Tipperary before saying this ride was more intense than the battle of Britain and the blitz!
    We checked in then sat on benches watching videos of the ride – made the kids a bit nervous! Also showed a video of their sister boat which did the rapids at Niagara which we had looked at when we were there. One for another trip. We were joined by 50 or 60 kids from a summer camp who were doing the ride too. Their camp counsellors were all put at the front of the boat.
    Jack gave a speech about safety and the trip in general which was very funny. Then we got our gear. Replaced shoes with wet suits boots so shoes dodnt get wet. Stripped down to swimming costumes and put on life jackets, then windbreakers capes over the top, which is was stressed were not waterprrof, just to keep off the wind on the drive back. All valuables locked way for us and we loaded up.
    We were on the blue boat, most of the camop were on the green with a few on ours plus all non camp people. We were in the back row, which was supposed to be slightly less wet, so made the kids less nervous.
    We were off, slowly to start with till out of harbour then opened up. We had a guide at the front who was mad and hilarious, Got us all warmed up and ready to go. Sam took glasses off and stired them as the rapids came into sight. Guide retreated to back of baot with loud ahiler and we were off. Two main areas, Hawaii 5-0 which we tended to approach side on with waves coming over the side and the Roller Coaster which we went straight into.
    Our guide shoited out what was happening through his loud hailer and his repated phrase of “You gotta shake it before you bake it” as we hit waves fitted the moment perfectly. He also did renditions of the White Stripes “dum dum de der der dum”.
    We got absolutely soaked. The waves came right over the top of the baot either sideways or from the front. The force knocked you sideways a biot and took your breath away. The water wasn’t cold so wasn’t unpleasant. Before we had left one of the staff had warned us that at the back we would have water in the bot up to our knees but nbot to panic as this was normal. He was right the boat did fill up, and we would have worried without the warning!
    When the waves came over the top we could see them for a second or so before they arrived and as we bobbed sideways you could see the impending imoact coming.
    All too soon our 30 minutes in the Lachine rapids (means the China rapids as early settklers thought they led to China). 15 minute trip back to base, under the contruction work for the new Champagne bridge (4bn cost) where we had to slow down to protect the workers.
    Speeding back dried my hair nicely though with a big quiff. We got off and chatted with the driver abnout NZ jet boats and how this was madder. He said someone from there had gone over to be a Shotover driver and when he said he was from Montreal they were impressed. Also another comioc conversation with Jack who taled about the Queen Mother and the clock being a memorial to Canadian first world war deaths.
    We dried off and headed back to the hotel to drop off towels etc via Ben and Jerrys shop where we had a Jimmy Fallon TV Dough – great flavour.. Everyone thought is was brilliant and we would definitely do it again, sitting nearer the front next time.
    We shilled in hotel for a bit then went back to the harbourfront square. Ed had seen an Italian there and we had a nice lunch of pasta, lasagne and Sam had a pizza with this layer of sliced potatoes on it, really tasty.
    Then headed to the big wheel amnd waited about 10 minutes to get on. The pods were air conditioned thankfully and we got some good views across Montreal. Went around 3 times in our 20 minute ride, stopping a couple of times to let carriages unload, 6 at a time were done.
    Had time for half an hoiur on pedallos before Tash and I had segqay tour. The lake was 3 feet deep so no like jackets needed even though Ed under 12 should have had one. Man just said say he is 12.
    Tash and I went all around the pond which was big – various bridges ahd to hit centre arch or wouldn’t fit through. Ed and Sam covered less ground and we bumped them as we headed back to shore. They disembarked first as Tash and I waited and somehow we saw Sam disappear into the water. She went right under but could stand oin the bottom. First thought was what about the bag with her phone etc, but she had luckily given that to Ed who had already got off. Second thought I said to Tash was can I take a picture – took a few while the attendant and a man sitting on a bench hlped Sam out. We pushed their pedallo back to shore then got off ourselves. Sam was little shook up but we all thought it was very funny. She was wet but didn’t look that odd as the balck dress didn’t show it. Her and Ed went back to the hotel while Tash and I headed tot eh Segway tour.
    We did it with another family from Canada, mum dad and 12 year old son. The dad was a bit chaky oin it. Tsh with her hoverboard was excellent and I soon got back into it with the Centre Parcs experience. We did the ususal getting on and off, turning then navigating some poles then sudden stops and finally over a speed bump, which we later understood was because there was one on the route.
    Once all had some onfidecne were off through the crowds on tour of the old docks. Our guide gave us info on each area sas we stopped 6 or 7 times on the hour tour (was more like hiour and 15 minutes). At one point we went up a small grassy hill one by one at the clock tower and the other dad fell off. It was tricky maintaining speed as you went up to b fair. Going down much easier.
    The tour was good though as Tash sadi all you really want ti do is race around in the Segway.
    We started at 4 and ddint finish untl 545 so decent time. Went back to hotel to get ready for dinner in Portus 360, revolving Portugese restauatnt in an office block 500m away from our hotel.
    The food was good. We ignored the menu and the waiter showed us the fresh produce they had that day which we all sahred. Snow crab claws first then giant shrimp and lobster (the lobster moved as Ed said while we were being shown it). Then a whole fish expertly deboned and finally a huge T bine steak that was full of flaovour. Food wasn’t cheap but was excellent with great Portugese wine too. Restaiurant revolved m,ores lowly than others we have ben in taking about 2 hours to get arund and we were there for just over 1 circuit. No desserts as full of food.
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  • Day10

    Montreal Old Port

    August 2, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Breakfast in hotel, usual buffet. Quite freaky that yiou think yoiumare in Paris somewhere until you see the cars and Canadian flags (which Tash ahs established tehre are always at least two in your field of visison!).

    Tqsh and I got car back from valet and navigated sucessfully to the Esso garage and then on to the Avis. Most Montreal streets are one way so it is easier tog et around. Smooth check out from Avis, remains to be seen what charge we get for the toll road in Toronto. Took an Uber back to the hotel and met with the others who had been quizzing the concierge on what to do.

    The recommendation was to head to the Old Port, with lots of fun things to do for kids. Was about 15 minute walk and we had been given vouchers for discounted Zipline ride. It didn't open until 11, so mwe wanited in queuue for few minytes. Tash had sore eye so didnt want to do it. Ed and I went ahead. Got camera holder for my hand to video using my phone, but then didnt turn it on properly! It was decently fast ride acorss water of old port. I bumped my bottom on steps at start as man pushed me offf and spun round as was going down so my feet hit the branches of a small tree on way into landing zone. Ed enjoyed it too. At end they did green screen shot with Zipe wite name and tower in background which we got.

    Next up was Labyrinth, an indoor maze where you had to fidn 4 objects and get your card stampeld. Average time to cpokplete was 4t5 minuest to an hour. It was fin though sometimes frustrating. Ed wanted to give up and cheat a few tomes but we persevered. Some interesting parts including a jail section where some of the bard were elastic so you coudl squeeze through. We completed in 1 hour and 1 minute so pretty average. Was good fun. Had slushy from cafe after then ehaded fro some food.

    There was a Poutien (chips and gravy) festiveal going on, with various trucks selling different combos. We had popcorn chicken tough not Sam as cheese was incolved in most of them. Then Tash wanted to do the Sipline, Ed didnt so I did it again. Same story as last time though didnt hit the tree! Tash had a delay as just before launch the chap had to retuck her haor to stop it getting caught.

    There was a Dreamwoks animation exhibition in the Science Centre so we walked acorss to that. Was interesting and some good interactive bits. Made some odd looking king fu pandas and Madagascar creatures. Saw film on big curved screen from How to Train your dragon.

    Strangely no merch shop - missing a trick there. Went to cafe; Had Orange Sorbet diet coke, not sure will have it again, wasnt great. Ed had fanta and somehow managed to drop half the bottle over himslef and the floor, to everyones amusement apaart from him!

    Tash wanted to hire a quadricycle (four person bike like the ones they often have at UK seaside), so we did half houir, French family in front of us took forever to sort themselves out - service wasnt the quikest mind. Tash steered (steering wheel) with me also up front and Ed and Tash sat in second row. Evertone had pedals and no brakes to stop you pedalled backwards.

    Tash wasnt the most confident steerer, guess we should have known based on her rowing tales. We looped round the port a couple of times and Ed had a go at steering in a quieter area. Was good fun and not as hard on the thighs as I had imagined. Half an hour was long enough though I think. Was nearly 5 and we were tired after packed day so headed abck to hotel. KIds had room service as they didnt want to go out, Sam and I headed round corner to five guys!

    Booked jet bot on St Lawrence river for tomorrow morning.
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  • Day9

    Ottawa Amphibus then Montreal

    August 1, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    got packed and out about 930 and went across to the MArket again to haev breakfast. Cafe doing bagels, with Ed having pesto pasta salad! Got my magnet in small shop in market, then we headed towards parliament to take a look and find a bus tour to show us the main sites. Crossed the Rideau canal whch had an impressive series of 5 or 6 locks leading down to the Ottwaw river.

    Opted for the Amphibus, essentially like the London Duck tour, lasting about an hour. Left in 40 minutes or so so we had chance to wander around parliament hill and take some pictires. Three main buildings, centre one had big clock that chimed 11 then played the Canadain national anthem, then carried on for more tunes!

    Back to bus stop and got on, Was covered over, kids thought it was maybe going underwater! Commentary was live but done in English then French which made it a bit stilted compared to one language and but rushed as everythng needed to be pointed out twice very quickly.

    Saw lots of Governement buildings, Bank oif Vanada, Research cntre, cours of justice. Crossed bridge into Quebec, place called Gatineau and entered water. Smooth transition and we saw back of Natural History museum that was designed with all curves and no right angles as monsteres hide in right anglkes according to ancient native beliefs. Did a loop on Ottawa river.

    Saw many Embassies and High Commissions (220 or so in Ottawa in total), HC is rmbassy of commonwealth country. Got off an had lunch in McD then kids both wanted to go back shopping so spent another couple of hours in the centre before picking up car and heading 2 hours to Montreal. Left about 4 and arrived about 6pm.

    Found hotel quite easily, though lots of roiadwaorks being done around Montreal. Checked in - valet parked and left luggage with concierge to bring up. Concierge recommended and booked an Italian caled Quattro about 10 minutes away for us and we headed there.

    Was quite nice though not excellent, but busy as old town was due to Italian entry in the firewrok competiition going off at 10pm, We decided to miss it as were tireed and had seen fireworks in Niagara, so back to hotel. Took some pics of Notre Dame cathedral lit uo at night on way back.
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  • Day8

    Gananoque and Ottawa

    July 31, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Got up and went for breakfast in Woodlawn, included as part of the package. Was decent. Packed all bags again and got them squeezed into the Malibu. We wwere up on second floor and being an old building there was no lift, so it took a few trips.

    Checkout was smooth, but the guy asked very politely, stressing he didnt care one way or the other, whether there was a problem with service last night as we hadn't left a tip. We had actually reviewed the bill last night and thought tip was on there, so we hastily got some cash together to leave for the waitress.

    On the road about 10am, stopped for petrol just up the road. Service was like UK, fill then go in and pay. I had checked with guy at hotel before we left and he said it was because they didnt trust you in BC!

    Smooth ride for about 150km to Gananoque (pronounced Gan An Ok Kway, not Gan An Oak like the dat nav did). Had 130pm 1 hout Thousand Island cruise booked. Had quick bite in the diner then joined queue for the boat.

    Was scorching day and seats on top of boat were hot to sit on. Once boat got going breeze kept things cooler. Had nice trip through very pleasant scenario. Every isalnd however small had some kind of shelter on it and many had big houses with boat huts etc, Summer homes for people as not accessible in froen winter. Some were bery expensive homes, though the biggest were over on the US side of the St Lawrence river and we didnt go there.

    Hour tour was ling enough we thought, We laughed at the gulls hitching a lift on the radio masts of the boat. Got off and giot magnet and t shorts for me and Ed 0 another play on HArry Potter for me.

    Back in car and off to Ottwaw, another hour and half or so. Traffic light until we got right into centre. Couple of wrong turnings but we found the Novotel. No concierge but we did our own luggage trolley. Tash and I parked car in garage around corner. Drove down wrong side of street for little way as we thought it was one way street, intil car came toewards us. Was OK as looked like we were coming from hotel.

    Got map from reception and headed to Byward MArket area to eat. Got in pizzeria with happy hour until 5, so half prcie pizzas. Tasty. Tash wanted to shop in big mall across street from our hotel - she had already looked up it had a Brandy MElville- the shop with only one size.

    Ed and Sam were tired so went back to hotel. Tash tried on lots in Brandy while I hung around outside changing rooms!. Also visited couple of other shops and went to EB games hop and got basebalk game for Ed.

    Back to room and another good nights sleep.
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  • Day7

    Cobourg

    July 30, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Breakfast from Starbucks while we packed up.
    Ghunness world records - lots of facts but bit underwhelming. Pics of largest navel fluff colection caight my eye. Quite few Brist with crazy reoords, makes you feel proud!! Ed had go on old Super MArio game, I r=tried to do Rubiks cube, record 2 seconds. Ed did cup stacking, again record for 12 cups was less than 2 seconds. Had go on punchbag, Tash beat Ed - he cl;aimed was scared of hurting hand. Ed also kicked an American football on similar style game 0 hurt his foot!
    Got car, drove to Woodlawn Inn Cobourg. Quite traditional colonial style place. Walked to town had lunch then walked to hsops, all bought shoes! Ed saw trainers exactly like his in sale. Ladoes got Norkenstocks
    Went to beach, nice sandy, quite busy for MOnday. Sat on bnnch, chatted to old chap who wanted to move back to Ottwaw, better facilities, Gave Tash some friendly advice 0 take a walk if upset, smile. Quite sads seemed hus kids never f=really kept in touch. He went off and we headed back to Inn. Teenager on route passed us and said he lobed our accents.

    Had dinner booked, used Whirlpool bath in our room before this. Food was noce, bit slow coming but gave us chnace to feel hungry. Seemed like bill had gratuity added so we didnt put any on, more on this tomorrow. When we forst came down waitress was little dismissive, but Sam had notived the owner go to her and tell her to treat us as guests in better way and stop what she was doiung to serve is!

    Cobourg nice place and Woodlawn too,
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  • Day6

    Zipline and Niagara PAss

    July 29, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Booked for Mistrider Zipline at 9am. Had breakfast from Starbucks downstairs then headed off. Were noit ealry so had to wait, then more people joined the queue while we had walked around the cotrner and gone to the loo. Think we got on the Zipwire about 930. 4 lines so all three of us went at sanme time. Hadnt looked that fast from ground but wasnt too bad when on it. Jad to hold arms out, presumbaly to slow down so not too fast at landing. I shot off and went much faster than the others- extra weight helping.

    Was decent ride but more about the view than the thrill. Landing was quite gentle and we went ot look at pictuires and video. Only working on line 1 and 2 where Tash and Ed were, so we go the opne of them. I was in it aorund the edges.

    Sam had bought the Niagara Pass while we were riding. 4 attractions to do, Hornblower Boat Ride, Behind the Falls, Niagaras Fury and White Water Walk.

    First we did boat ride, booked for 1045 but just went straight on about an hour earlier. We walked down a ramp to get to the lifts then down more ramps to hit the quayside. Were given ponchos (red) at the ticket check point. We were towarfds the back of the boat queue, must be 500 or more per boat. Some folks were waiting back trying to get on the next boat and pick there spot but were told they had to get on. We were at the back, but walked to the front of the boat and whilst not on the barrier had a good spot.

    Boat sailed first part Bridal Veil Falls on American side and when the wind blew our way we got wet wioth spray. Then on to Horesheo Falls and right into the middle of the sprau. Again when the wind blew was very wet, thank gooness for the poncjos. Took photots with Tahs phone in her waterporrf case. Boatf heasded back via Bridal Veil ahaion, wjole trip was probably 20 minutes. They sync the boats from American and Candian side so that only one is in the Falls area at a time.

    Got off and had a drink down in the river level area. Bought our green screen poictures on the way out sd they were fun, then caught bus to Table Tock area. TRrued to get into Beneath the Falls, but our time slot was 12pm and was only 1130, so we went to look at falls and had a hot dog from s stall for lunch 0 ful works of pickle, sauekraut, mustrard, ketchiup just like in the movies.

    Then back to Beneath the Falls. Got in and queued for lift, another pincho (yellow). Went tot eh tuinnels first and easily got into first. Power of water few feet away was imense. Queued for a while for what tunred out ot be another very similar view of water in frint of you, not really any different to fiersy one with no queue. Then wen t back to outside area alongside bottom of falls. Again power imense. Answreedd Tash question of how thick is the water - not very! Took molre pics then went back up. Tash and I lost Ed and Sam while we were loloking at a derelict tunnel. We started a queue of people who folowed us into the area to see the tunnel - just shows people join a line just to see what is tehre.

    Back up to surface and more grene screen pics, discount for second pourchase this time.

    Went straight out and into the Niagaras Fury film show. All of us had hoped we could sit down for a bit but it was standing too. Got blue ponchos for this. First part was film with young cartoon beaver going back inm time to see how dalls were made for a scjool detention essay. Was fun film. Coulkdnt see why needed ponshos. Then went into secodn room when film finished and this had handrails an water visible through grid floor beneath us. 360 degree film played around us and wind bloiew, snow came, water poured, arfin came. Was well done, thundwr esopeciualy scary!

    Came out and headed for bus up to Wild Watwer rapids. Ed wanted Minute Maid Froizen lemonade and had seen some on sale inside so he and I went to get some. Got back to find bus loading up and ran to make sure got on it. Told vant eat omn bus due to allergies, but it was too frozen for the spoon anyway. Got to the rapida and queued for a bit for loift down. The walk was along a raised baordwaljk alongisde the river. River floweed really fast here - class 6 rapids, pretty much impossoble to avigate. Could see why, very fast and very hioghwaves and lots of bouilders and rocks under water. Power was impressive ahaoin, wouldnt weant to be in water. 15 minute or so walk to the end platform then we came back. Tash and I were slower thsn Ed and Sam taking more poics so they went ahead and we met them at the lifts again. Was really cool to see the water flowing this fast this clkose up.

    From here we were all tieed so went bcl to hotel to rest limbs and relax for couple oif hours before heading to Skylon restaurant upthe bif tower in Niagara. Like Toronto it rotates/ Food was decent, Ed had kids spaghetti resy of us steaks for main, soup and shrimp starters. Bottle of wine and some mocktails for kids in specila skylon shapoed glasses. Picture at tabke was taken which was good one as we had falls behind us when she took it so we biought it.

    After meak went ot observation deck two floors ip and jad a look. Tash was adamant it was easy to see Toronot and CN Tower, my eyes not up to it, but Sam and Ed didnt think it was easy either!

    Went down and looked at the green screen oics we had had done on way in. The scsry look in a barrel going over thre fals was brilliant so we bought it and the firwowrk non scary on etoo. Then wlked bacl to hotel via the waterfront. Sam mamanedhed to fall over on the grass area e croissed and a man cam e to offer help. She was ok but shaen, good job it was oin grass not concrete.

    Ed and Sma went ahead again and Tash and I took more pics. Back at room about 9 an wiated to watch giereworks again.

    Sam and Ed going to Stabucks at 8 for breakfasy. Ed wnats to go to Guiness World records on Clifton Street whioch we had walked up to tower. It describes itself a s a street of fun in NIagara and was crazy. Every building was a haunted house, Ripleys, Guiness or similar, 4f cinema etc and all biombarded you with noise. Like somthing from a horro film. Also up there was a dinosaur cray gold, huge, wuth an erupting volcano in the middle. Also a go kart tracj tjat had a bif upward spiral like a car park and a roller costwer like downward bumpoy bit. Different scale!
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  • Day5

    Niagara and Oh Canada Eh

    July 28, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Up and got packed quite early as was due to picl up car at 9am. Walked there with Ed, it was in one of the underground levels of a block - Torornot has lots of these and cvan walk a long way without going above ground. Was a little hard to find but seemed to be a smooth process picking up car. Got elevatro down to garage and got =keys. Car was a Malibu so not an SUV, but we had a look at the boot and it seemed like it should be okm to fit all the bags so we drove off. Ed navigated us back to hotel. PArking valet had warend us only get ten minutes brofre they charge uis , but Sam and Tash had the concierge bringing the baags down and with his advice we got them all squeexed into the boot.

    Off we went. Outside Roronto signs wanred oif delays on rhe Queen Elizanth Way and Waze took us on a detour. This was on the 407 toll road. Unlike last year in Vancouver cant poay to;; omlimer afterwards, have to wait fro bill, so we will get the adin charge from Avis, but still better than waiting in queue.

    Took about 1 hour 49 to the Sheraton on the Falls in NIagara, was quite easy to find. Room not reeady yet but we did most of check in, left bags and valet parked the car then offthe explore. We headed towarfds the river and took lots of pictiresof the American Falls, and slowly walked alomng towards the Horsehsope Falls, lots of pics on the way. Had sandwich in Tim GHortons, never sur why this is so popular, cakes are quite good I guess.

    Got text abotu 130 to ay one room was ready so we went up tpo there. Got Wego bus passsed from hotel and headed off again intending to try the White Water Walk. Got bus the wrong way to Rapidswiev ar park, so went back to Table Rock, the main visitor centra and took some pics fo the Horeshoe Falls from varios spots enxt to the fast flowinmg water above the falls. Beru impressive. even Tash was impressed, notmally only shopping gets here exicted.

    Got bus back to hotel and freshedned up ahead of the Oh Canad Eh dinner/theatre show that night. Got an Uber about 15 minutes to the venue, a wooden building fuirther away from the falls. Waited inside and doors opened and qe were shown to our tabel, number 1 right at front. Shared with two other couples from London Ontario and New York state.

    Set up was like the diner show we did at Disney, with the perfromers also serving and taking drinks orders etc. Sald bread and pean and ham soup for starters. Very good. Even Ed ate teh soip, was bit like liquidised mushy peas.

    Show started and was a funny variety show, with lots of singing of songs by Candian artists or written by someone Canadain. All performers were good and sang well. About 45 minutes in the amin course came. Chicken, beef haddock potatoes and vehetables all from differnet parts of Canada. Was simple but tasty and we all had clean plates. Show started again with more of same and then dessert which was chicaiate and maple cake, again good, woth coffe and tea if wanted.

    Towards thge end we hgad to pay for drinks. I got confused with the card amchine and ebded up tipping an amouint equal to my pin number. A little more than we had planned to give but not much!

    Show ended and we maanged to get an Uber quicjly and took us back to hotel for about 930. Falls were illuminated and looked great with colou=rs chaging. Foreworks every night at 10pm which we watched. Lasted about 10 minuytes and were very goof, all rockets into the air over ther falls.
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  • Day4

    Aquqrium, Rasta Pasta and Theatre

    July 27, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Friday morning we went to the aquarium. No queues getting in but it was busy inside, lots of smal kids on camop excursions etc. There were lots of campls happening on the harbourt front, with kids brouight in on school buses eaxh day.

    Aquarium was well done and though crowded you could always get to the displays bty waiting a few seconds for people to oce on. The moving walkway through the shark tank was the longest we have seen and some impressive saw fish, sharks and rays in there. Ray bay also had some very big rays. You could touch some crabs and some small sharks in tanks.

    In the grioft shop Ed got a large dhark called Sgeridan and Tash was very excited with her POuffer Fish!. Once out Ed and I popped to Blur Jays shop next door and got a baseball, then we wnet back into the CN Tower to the gift shop so I could get a ftidge magnet. We still has two unused tickets for the CN Tower that Tash and I got as part of ourt Edgewalk, Noit sure when the expoire, maybe we can use them some time in the distant furture!

    After this we braved the streetcar (trams) to get to Kensignton market. We had jerk meatball pasta and jerk chicken panini from Rasta Pasta. The owner was aJamaican character and came out to cokplain about the shopkeeper couple of doors down who was painting somehting oin his shopefront and the smell was blowing down to us suitting outside Ratsa Pasta eating and also affecting the folkjs in the hot kitvhen. He was very jovial and funny.

    We then walked twen minutes or so to Graffiti Alley. The market was like the LOndon version in termsop f the type of unusual out there clothes shops, but was in streets rather thn undercover, some shops just seemed to be peoples front gardens and front rooms.

    Taco Bell stop fro drinks and loo (the mab struggkled with my accent) then the Alleyt, which was very impressive, The graffitti was peoper art work rather than just tages etc. Not sure how they decide who paints what and when it gets painted over.

    From here abnother streetcar back to Union Station to go see the original Banksy in Church Street. I got coins from a bank in chnage to be able to pay the gare (no notes accepted and my cards not here on these macjine3s). Turned out the machines werent working so we got a free ride. Ed and Sam got off and went back to hotel as they were tired. Tash and I stayed on. At Union Station tehre were barriers but we spkke to a man and said we couldnt buy a ticket and when we said we just wanted to leave the station he waved us through and gave us diorectiosn.

    The Banksy was easy to find and preserved behond a glass frame. Quite small (sixe of our TV). We walked back to the hotel about 10 m,imutyes and relaxed before theatre.

    The hoitel restauarmat wasnt open at 530 so we chatted to the concierge and decided just to head to the Eaton Mall food court and get somehting quick. We got a quick cab up there and Sam decided to have a KFC burger, the rest of us had a Subway meal deal. Then there was time for Tash to hit the shops again, Victorias Secret this time., Ed and I did the disney shop and he got a littyle duddly of the guy from Big Hero 6.

    Then across to the theatre which was grand inside, despitre the small dorrwy to the street. We were up front row of the circle, decent seats. Gort givena small prgramme on way in, unlike London. Show was good - Wicked - Sam and I saw it in London maybe 17 ot 18 uears ago so couldnbt really remember it. KIds enjoued it though Ed was pretty tired. Half time ice creams werre same as UK, though only 1 chaop for whole of balcony.

    When it finished we grabbed an Uber easily outside theatre and got bacl to hotel.
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