Henry & I set out on another mini-trip adventure that saw us on a variety of modes of transport. Including riding on mommy's shoulders. A lot.
Streetcar to GO Station. GO train to GO bus. GO bus to Niagara Falls. Walked across falls. Picked up in car. The return journey in reverse, but add a taxi and a city bus.
|Hey another streetcar!|
When the GO bus dropped us off at Niagara Falls, it was a 20 minute walk to the Rainbow Bridge. It was 32 degrees C and there were no taxis. So with my 40lb hiking pack and a 40 lb Henry, I weighed up the merits of travelling light as I glistened down the streets of Niagara Falls.
|Luncheon in the fabulously shady park.|
We had our picnic in a park by the falls, and then observed the marvel up closer.
|Henry crawled into this observation window and sat there for about 15 min.|
Then it was time to cross over to the States. We walked across the Rainbow Bridge, pausing at the international border line, and playing the game "now I'm in Canada, now I'm in the United States, now Canada, now US..."
|You are now entering...|
My brother picked us up at The Twist of the Mist, a giant ice cream cone-shaped shop. We then reunited the cousins and went outside to play before dinner. Somehow, Aunt Elisabeth ended up with a bucket for a hat.
|Nobody does crazy like Aunt Elisabeth.|
The two boys bonded over Lighting McQueen and airplanes.
In the morning, all of the kiddies ended up in my bed and I read them stories until breakfast. After breakfast, it was imperative to burn some energy, but the weather was not quite cooperating. So after mild protest to being outside in slight drizzle, I tried to divert the children's attention by having them create a grasshopper house. What is a grasshopper house you might ask? I've no clue. But it ended up looking like this:
We then high-tailed it to the picnic shelter and played "school" for as long as it was possible. Then we ran inside and watched the first part of Mary Poppins. I have not been able to stop singing the soundtrack since. Ask me about my thesis proposal on on Mr. Banks sometime...
After lunch Henry & I headed back to Niagara Falls. We stopped by the gawd-awful Hershey factory, which was totally underwhelming even for Henry. Then we checked into our hotel. Days Inn, Centre street. The lacklustre room failed to impress Henry as well. But then we high-tailed down Clifton Hill and saw all of the grotesque sights.
|Ripley's Believe It Or Not!|
|Ferris Wheel! "No, I don't want to go on it!"|
|Bowling elevates the soul.|
The Midway was a big hit however, with endless video games and vehicles to ride. $10 worth of tokens actually went pretty far.
|The Midway: Car|
|The Midway: Motorcycle|
|The Midway: Jetski|
Then it was dinner in the Rainforest Cafe, where the hostess is called a "tour guide." The restaurant is decked out with animals and trees and it thunders and rains every 15 minutes. It was horribly over-priced but mesmerized Henry well enough. I wasn't too sure why he was standing on his chair instead of eating dessert and when I asked him what he was saying he said "no mommy, I'm talking to the gorillas!" That was worth it.
The next morning we had the overpriced IHOP experience and then as per Henry's request, we rode a city bus. The city buses are clean, modern and not crowded. However, on the blue-line you cannot buy a single fare and we were forced to by a $7 day pass. Henry loved it so much. It was the the best ride in town.
|Checking for the bus.|
We rode the bus to the Skylon tower, which offered us chilly but impressive views.
|Skylon tower view of the falls.|
|Skylon tower view of the Rainbow Bridge.|
We then got back on the bus and rode it the full loop around the city. Henry said he wanted to ride the bus all day...but near the end he was ready to get off! So we picked up the pack and took a taxi to the bus station. We then sauntered down the oddly refurbished and abandoned Queen Street, where empty buildings co-exist with comic shops, banks, government offices, dentists, a coffee shop and a Parisian bistro.
|Entering Queen Street.|
We settled down on the outdoor patio and ate honey walnut Camembert, baguette, salad and a ham & cheese with apple compote crepe. How badly did I want a glass of wine...
Then we wandered back towards the bus stop for the last leg of light travel.
|Selfie with 80lbs on my back|
Near the bus station is an awesome little park where Henry spent about 30 minutes being spun around on this twisty stool.
I know that this will likely be the last time I travel with him on my shoulders. Despite the weight and workout, the feeling of freedom and mobility was exhilarating. Having flexibility and spontaneity are hallmarks of the kinds of adventures I hope to have with Henry again in the future. I'll just have to figure out how to do it without crippling myself in the process!