September 7, 2009

Road Trip: To Toronto and Niagara Falls

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Back in the car, off to Toronto and through the most stressful driving I've ever experienced. And I wasn't the one driving. I think there are nail marks in my headrest.

We survived and the first thing I wanted to do was shop. Shop we did. There's this little shop you may not have heard of, a little Swedish place. Yeah, IKEA! I was never in an Ikea before and it was like I had come home. If you got something to be organized, they got something for you to put it in. I can't believe how big it is! I got lost. My husband had to call me on the cell phone and ask me where I was. Ridiculous. I drooled over the bookshelves. I wanted them all.

Anyway...there is more to Toronto than Ikea. We had a look around at the CN Tower and downtown. I'm strangely without photos. My niece took tons. I'll have to bum some from her.

We left Toronto for a couple of days for Niagara Falls. The Falls are amazing. Definitely were on my bucket list. Surprisingly, of the 15 people who've gone over The Falls in a barrel only 5 have died. The first survivor was a 63 year old woman. All I could think of was my Mom who is that age. The thought makes me giggle. I wish I had The Day the Falls Stood Still to read, but I didn't. As if the Falls aren't enough, they are illuminated nightly and a couple of times a week there is a huge fireworks display. I was very impressed.

Can I just say that Niagara Falls is a combination of beautiful and cheesy? There is a whole street devoted to sideshow-esque type entertainment. Not really my thing. What was my thing was the Botanical Gardens. The Butterfly Conservatory is gorgeous and the grounds so peaceful. It was a nice respite from all the craziness. I was jealous of the students' vegetable garden. There were tomatoes the size of pumpkins! Of course, it is the heart of wine country, how can things not grow to gigantic proportions there?

Just before we were to head back to Toronto we took a walk around Niagara Falls. Suddenly the sky turned black and it poured buckets. We hopped into a Starbucks before the sky lit up and waited out most of it. We figured all was calm as we headed into Vaughan just outside Toronto. It turns out we just missed disaster. A tornado destroyed a neighbourhood and killed one person. Scary. I kept the newspaper from that day to remember my one and only tornado encounter.

Next week I'll tell you about my amusement park experiences.


  1. I was in Niagra three years ago and loved it. Can't wait to see your next feature.

    Happy you survived the trip :)

  2. Oooh, you were in Vaughn the day of the crazy tornado!! I saw videos of that - scary stuff! Happy you missed it.

    Hmm.... Niagara Falls is only an hour and a bit away from me, and yet I've only been there once. Maybe should remedy that.

    Other than Ikea and the CN Tower, what did you see in T.O.?

  3. I agree, Niagara Falls are beautiful. I spent part of my honeymoon there and I really want to go back and show it to the rest of my family this time.

  4. I visited Toronto and the Falls several years ago (okay, more than several) for a band trip in high school. I thought Toronto was a fabulous city, and the Falls were gorgeous. Most pics just don't do it justice. I can't wait to hear your amusement park story!

  5. My husband was in Niagara Falls on business earlier this year and he said the same thing as you - the falls are gorgeous but the area is over commercialized.

  6. As many times as I've been to Ontario, I've not yet been to the Falls. The CN Tower, yes, but not the Falls (and I've never been to an Ikea). They're on my list, though.

  7. Hey, good to hear liked Toronto. And yeah, IKEA sure is a great store - too bad I could spend hours there just looking around. Can't believe you have never been there before.

    Regards, Julie.

  8. I'm glad you had such a good time in my neck of the woods. Yes Niagara is an amazing combo of cheesy and side show, but fun. I kind of live near it and I've only been to Ikea twice ( but boy do I have some fantastic book shelves with library lighting!)

  9. Yikes on the tornado! I think I'd prefer not to know that one was happening until after the fact.

    My mom and I are actually driving 3 hours to visit an IKEA next Saturday. She's got a list...and is on a mission!

  10. I love Niagra Falls! We didn't really even check out the cheesey stuff. Did you visit Niagra on the Lake? Lovely little town.

  11. Glad you enjoyed your trip! I haven't been to Niagara Falls myself, but hubby still talks about how cool it was when he went about five years ago.

    Isn't IKEA great? We just got one in MN a few years back, and I like taking a trip there every so often. I actually did buy one of their bookcases recently. It's so nice and tall, although it almost didn't fit in our car... oops!

  12. You didn't choose IKEA over the Maid of the Mist boat ride did you? It's one of Niagara's most popular attractions.

  13. You've never seen an IKEA before?!?! I guess we probably have more of them in the UK, but still, they're a universally loved chain round here.


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