Monday, July 16, 2012

A Niagara Falls Photojournal

It's not at all unusual for us to see Niagara Falls, because it's right on our travel route to and from visiting family in Ontario, and we've seen it plenty of times.  Still, it never fails to impress and amaze me.  Most times we just drive through and get just a quick look at the falls.  This last trip we spent some extra time in the town (Canadian side), but not really for the falls themselves.  The way it worked out, Independence Day was our travel day! We planned our drive so that we arrived in Niagara Falls, Ontario in the late afternoon, which gave us time to walk around a bit and have dinner before the fireworks to celebrate the birthday of the USA! 

We finally found parking at a reasonable price, and set off to find a place to eat dinner.  There is an abundance of eateries and restaurants in Niagara Falls, but as with any tourist destination, they are busy most of the time and the prices are high.  We weren't particularly hungry when we arrived, so we contented ourselves with walking around and looking at the posted menus.  We didn't even walk down to the falls level, because that would have meant having to walk back up the steep incline, and it was a hot day!  So these were the only daytime views of the falls - taken from the lower observation deck of the Skylon Tower.  

We finally settled on an Italian restaurant in one of the food courts, and ordered pizzas. By the time we were finished eating, we realized that we needed to get ourselves down to Falls Avenue if we wanted any hope of getting a decent spot to see the fireworks.  Which, after all, was the point of our being there that day!  I tried to get a couple of pictures of the patriotic themed lights on the casino hotel on the US side.  As usual, they didn't turn out great, because I have a fairly basic camera, but you can get the idea.

This is the Skylon Tower, on the Canadian side.

At last it was time for the fireworks show!  We had a decent spot to view, but as always, it was insanely crowded.
Although I did get a few acceptable pictures of the fireworks, I also had a lot of pictures that didn't turn out.  When I was viewing them later on the computer, I thought this failed shot was interesting.  Doesn't it look like a UFO? LOL

While we were waiting for the fireworks to start, I got out my cellphone and browsed Facebook a little, and several of my Maryland friends mentioned that the moon was red that night.  I was bummed because we couldn't even SEE the moon for the light cloud cover at that point.  But later on in the evening, we did see it.  It wasn't easy to get a picture but I tried.

We then continued on our journey to my hubby's family's home.  But the next morning, we headed right back to Niagara Falls to take advantage of the passes my SIL had given us to the waterpark in one of the hotels.  We spent the entire afternoon there and had a wonderful time.  I didn't take the camera with me into the waterpark - I am sure I would have dropped it in the wave pool.  LOL  Afterwards we walked around town again for a little while, once again searching for a restaurant that appealed to all of us but wouldn't break the bank.  This was our view out the open side of the eatery:

There's an old-fashioned soda fountain shoppe where we've stopped in the past, but it was closed already when we went by.

We stopped at a fudge shop on the walk back to our vehicle, and as we walked through the Clifton Hill area, I was struck by how much like Vegas it seemed.  What do you think?

I don't even know how many wax museums there are in Niagara Falls, but it's a lot.  And I've never been inside any of them.  It's never interested me, but awhile ago I read a novel of the life of Madame Tussaud, so maybe sometime I would like to see one after all, now that I know the history and background.  Anyway, one of the museums has a few teaser displays out front to entice people to come in.  Right now their featured display includes a scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The waterpark we visited is actually inside one of the casino hotels, and the lobbies and food courts of these places are pretty interesting.  This fountain sculpture thing is in the center of the main lobby.

A couple final views of the falls at night:

I added a color filter to the last one, because I liked the ghostly light across the Horseshoe Falls.  

On the way home a few days later, we went through Niagara Falls again, but didn't stop.  Except in traffic on the bridge over the gorge, and I took this picture of the two flags.


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