Thursday, November 03, 2011

Photoblog: My trip to Niagara Falls

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Personal: It’s All About Me

Okay, okay, I get it. You may now stop this infernal, life-rending campaign to get me to reveal what happened on my trip to Niagara Falls. I cave, I cave – here are photos from my recent little vacation. (Oh, don’t pretend like no-one anywhere has asked or commented about my absence. You know you did. In your minds.)

So, anyway. My uncle/godfather scored a couple of free tickets to a hotel/casino resort at Niagara Falls, as he does almost every month as some sort of “frequent client”-type bonus (or so I gather, anyway), and he decided to bring me along this time. Looks like years of being a good nephew has finally paid off. *cackles mischievously*

So, in the interest of retaining chronological accuracy, here I am last Tuesday at noon sharp, standing next to what was to be my carriage for the next five hours:

Me standing next to train
… I have no idea why I look smug. I must smile weird. Also, derp.
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Actually, five hours stuck in cramped seating loses its edge when you’ve got Subway sandwiches, a giant water bottle and a couple of (typically magnificent) Studio Ghibli movies to watch on a notebook. Sweetness. The WiFi service was quite decent there, too. (Which was sadly not to last, but more on that later.) The only real issue was with the climate control, which I swear was controlled by gremlins the whole ride long, alternating between sweat-inducing and freezing my ass onto the seat. Oh well.

Anyway, we arrived at Toronto at about five (English everywhere! I’d forgotten how that felt like) and spent a few minutes in the first/business class lounge (perks of having a well-connected uncle, eh?) boarding our second train, which was to take us directly to Niagara Falls. This one was lots more comfortable (and to think I was impressed with the first train having electrical outlets; this one had leg room!), and the two hours speeding to our destination went by in no time.

My godfather and I on the second train
I just wish I could remember what the bloody train was called. Stupid memory.
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The only issue was that the gremlins had then abandoned the A/C and instead started screwing around with the WiFi, as trying to get it to work on this train was maddening to the point of creating a new Hitler. I decided to abandon the whole Internet thing for the rest of the trip, lest I start throwing WiFi nodes in extermination camps. (And anyone who claims this constitutes some sort of Godwin is next in line for the EMP chambers.)

We eventually got off with an hour’s walk left through Niagara Falls City to get to our hotel (Fallsview Resort, which I identify in the purpose of offering it kudos), and upon checking in, we immediately headed down to the Grand Buffet, which I’d heard enough about to incur a rather pressing longing all day long (which a steady diet of increasingly stale sandwiches and chips did nothing to alleviate).

Oh, and here’s a random photo we snapped on the way. My godfather was rather taken with this Halloween-themed pumpkin patch and had me sit in front of it, obviously putting my evidently horrifying appearance to context-appropriate use:

We finally made it to the buffet, which can probably be summarized by this one picture (hint: the food matched the decor):

(Now, it turns out that cameras aren’t actually allowed anywhere in the casino or the buffet … but you won’t tell anyone, right? *winks*)

Afterwards, we headed down the casino – after all, my godfather’s love of the game was the whole reason we received the free tickets in the first place, so he figured it would look rather odd if he didn’t actually play during his stay – and we both lost a sum total of $60 ($20 of it being mine – not bad, out of a $300 budget, really). Oh, and gambling is still a major-league bore to me. I’m about as likely to become a gaming addict as I am to become an Animagus.

(… I’d like to be an Animagus.)

An uneventful evening later (save for the part where I naturally got lost on the casino floor, as I had so astutely predicted earlier on), we retired to the room for the night. Night had fallen before we’d even arrived, so the falls were mostly hidden, even despite our insanely good view of the area (15th floor FTW), but I reckon this nighttime shot is still worth a posting:

Nighttime view of the falls and surroundings from hotel room
Glare ahoy!
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Of course, a few hours and a few million lumens later, and the view changes somewhat:

Niagara Falls and thick mist
Nope, nothing’s burning – except your JEALOUSY (admit it)
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Quick note: That’s not smoke. T’is mist. Turns out millions of tons of water hurtling hundreds of feet every second into a giant basin will do that.

So, anyway. We unfortunately had to leave fairly early in the day to catch our bus-then-train back home, so here’s one last photo of this odd couple:

My godfather and me waiting for our train back home
I … have no idea what sort of face I’m making, there.
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Even though we left at noon, we still only got back to Montréal at nine in the evening, all in one continuous train ride (which, with the absence of movies to watch – and continuing lack of non-hair-greying WiFi connection – seemed considerably longer this time around).

All in all, quite a fun trip, if only for the variety it offered in getting me out of the house for once (and for a destination that isn’t the corner store or some equivalent). Take me again next month, unckie?



Now, s’cuse me, got some blogging stuff to do, once I remember how.