John & Brenda's Excellent Tour travel blog

Brenda makes it to Niagara Falls

A complete rainbow over the Horseshoe Falls

July 21

The weather had nicely cleared up for our Saturday morning and, as Brenda went for her workout (first fitness centre in some time), I went looking for a barber. Yellow Pages found me a shop with lots of character in old downtown Kingston The best part was the price, $8, was the cheapest on our trip. That was the good news...the bad was Brenda's workout experience was less than satisfactory as she found the room dirty and the equipment faulty.

Pleased to be out the door of the Day's Inn, we hit the road for London, Ontario under clear, warm skies. As we entered the 401 traffic jam north of Toronto, Brenda asked me if I had ever been to Niagara Falls. Well, I had but it was in October of 1998 and the experience was pretty dismal in that it was cold, rainy and foggy. We took the cut-off for the QEW west toward Hamilton and the Falls and entered another world of traffic jams where it took us 2 ½ hours to go 120 kms.

We arrived in Niagara Falls and went looking for a hotel, unsuccessfully. However, the sun was perfect for our view above the Falls, as we saw a complete rainbow arch over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. I think Niagara impressed Brenda almost as much as the Grand Canyon and it was worlds better than my first visit.

We completed a 65 km circle through Fort Erie and Welland looking for a hotel before we settled on a very nice Holiday Inn Express in St. Catherines, for a measly $169. While it was way outside our informal budget, our experience with Holiday Inn Express has been nothing but excellent as they appear to have gone through a system-wide upgrade program with new décor and, best of all, fabulous new bedding. Brenda has been doing research on-line for their supplier to add to our (her) renovation plans.

Tired from our long drive, we chose to eat at the on site restaurant where we were again surprised and delighted at the quality of the meal. Our server, Ashley, was very personable and, as the restaurant was virtually empty, spent some time taking to us about our trip and her life. Waitressing was her night job and she was working as a landscaper during the day to support her university education. She is planning to move to Vancouver prior to the Olympics to take her post-graduate education. She knows no one there and we offered to hook her up with Katie on Facebook to get some information and help.

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