It was my sister's 50th, so we drove up for a mom's side of the family celebration. First we went to Sarnia to visit my Aunt, who I likely haven't seen for about 20 years or so. A made a turkey dinner magically appear, which was quite awesome.
We then went to Niagara falls. We rented a house, which was kind of awesome and quite inexpensive compared to hotel rooms. Only major problem was the items that furnished the house were very cheap and often broken (including the bunk) and the stairs were poorly constructed and A sprained her ankle minutes after we arrived.
We started our first full day hiking down to the whirlpool, which was gorgeous, but with mud and one person who had recently had back surgery, A with her ankle injured from the day before, me with my bad knees (the first part of it was a huge stair case) and my mom who has various back issues as well, it wasn't the most pain free activity in the world. ( picture )
We then split up. Last time we were there we'd seen the butterflies, so we sent the kids and a few adults off to do that, while we did a tour of vineyards. Because of timing, we only did tastings and not some tours, but I was thrilled to taste a huge variety of icewines, which the niagara region is very good for. I ended up buying a very costly one that was quite special and a less expensive one that is quite delicious. ( the wines )
We had one kid with us and one of the wineries had some grape juice for him to taste. We also stopped for some ice cream and had yummy pistachio and I got talked into some herbal tea.
We returned home and had dinner, then went to the casino where I won a whole $1.60! I played this cool, slightly 3d, slot machine with kitties and when I won, the kitties would roar! It was silly. Considering, though, how much I would spend at the arcade the next day, it was fun even if I had lost the initial $5. My mom tripled her $5.
The next day it was raining a lot. We went to under the falls, which when we had been before was frozen over. This time you couldn't see much, because of the grey day, but the power of the water was something that could be felt.
We then went to the cheezy part of town and visited the arcade. There they had a carnival game my mom had wanted me to try in CP, so I tried it there to see if I was any good, since there wasn't even an attendant to watch. I didn't do very well, but it was a lot of fun. I did gather a small audience, but no clue what they thought. ( picture )
We then went to a black light mini putt which was a lot of fun and very surreal. Some of the rooms was like walking into WoW. ( Celsia finds a mining node )
I did a little shopping around after that and then headed back. We didn't pack that much in, but it was a lot of fun. I would have liked to eat out one more time than I did, but we were all trying to save money by cooking meals in the rented house.
Driving back I was stopped to get my finger prints at the border. I had to wait a long time and they were playing fox news in the waiting room. They also allowed no cell phone use (for fear of being recorded, it seemed from the signs) but it meant I couldn't use that for entertainment either. They had these weird elevators too, with glass doors, I guess so they could see who was in them, or something.
It was a good trip and I'm glad people could cover for me at taiko so I could do the whole thing.
Now, when to enjoy my icewine...