Day 15: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Jul 26, 2011
|Last night’s sleep-over in Sam’s Club was uneventful – and cool. We had a nice breeze and after the store closed, it was quiet. This morning my phone alarm went off; so I got up and turned on the coffee pot, thinking it was 7:30 which is what I thought the alarm was set for. Now I know for sure that I’m not a functioning person before coffee…. It was 6:30am! But it did give us an early start which was good since we had to cross the border.
Two border guards searched the truck and the camper. They opened every cabinet! We were the only RV at the building so I guess they had plenty of time on their hands. I took several photos of them, but they were deleted – you can’t take any photos of government buildings or people!
Finding the parking lot for RV’s at the Falls was a frustrating affair. However, once we found it, we really lucked out. Ralph asked about handicapped parking (my knees are acting up STILL!), and the nice man at the booth told us to take as many spots as we needed to accommodate the RV. It was only a short walk to the People Mover station.
The People Mover is the system they use here to move the 11 million visitors per year that come here. The busses run a continuous loop around the Niagara Parkway – you can catch one every 11 minutes! We took tons of photos from the walk along the Falls on our way to Maid of the Mist. The mist off the Falls is so heavy that you think it’s raining! And locals carry umbrellas.
You would not believe how many people were lined up for the boat!! It took about 30 minutes to make our way down to the boat. Ralph and I talked with a man and his daughter – there was a Navy connection so the conversation kept going! Father and daughter had been to a concert in NY (she’s a big Beatles fan) and after the Falls were going to another concert in Pittsburg!
Everyone is issued a blue rain poncho which you can keep as a souvenir. Ralph went on the top deck but I stayed on the lower level. I still saw the Falls up close and personal. They are truly amazing and awesome, a term I don’t use for many things.
After the boat ride we came back to the camper where we found that there was a wonderful breeze coming off the water. So our lunch was very comfortable. We decided to rest here and go back to the Falls later this afternoon. We want to ride the Sky Wheel, climate controlled gondolas that take you 175 feet above Niagara Falls!
We have reservations at the KOA near here. Hopefully they’ll have WiFi so I can post. Be sure to check out our Picasa site for all the photos of the Falls!
Trivia answers for previous questions:
1. St. Lawrence River: Like all Catholic European explorers, when Jacques Cartier arrived at the estuary of this river, it happened that it was the feast of St. Lawrence on that day, so he named it The Gulf of St. Lawrence. Then, up until the early 17th century, the French called the river upstream to Montreal, "Riviere du Canada" and after Montreal, they called it Ottawa River.
2. The bridges are painted green –BY HAND! Because the seaway is 98% pure, they don’t want the paint, etc. to foul the water. The bridges are painted GREEN every 7 years; by the time they finish, it’s time to start again!