I’m sitting in our 37th floor hotel suite n the brand new Embassy Suites hotel. It’s about 10:30 AM. We’re full from our complimentary breakfast, and Benny’s just getting out of the shower. I’ve opened the window, which overlooks the falls – with an amazing view, I might add – so that I can hear the sound that goes with this natural wonder.
My ring still feels strange, especially when I write.
The train got in to the station a little late, but that was fine. Early check-in didn’t even begin until noon, and we arrived around 11:30. We immediately found a c ab – they know the train schedules well, it seems – and were taken from a fairly run-down part of Niagara to the touristy part. We checked in, refused an upgrade that assured us a much better view of the falls, then got a free upgrade to a higher floor. You should have heard us when we got to our rooms, we sounded like astonished and amazed children. There’s a sitting room, a bathroom with two rooms, a jacuzzi, and a shower built for two, and the bedroom. Oh yeah, and a mini kitchen area.
Of course the prices for the mini-bar, movies, and little gift basket stuffs, are out of this world, even after being translated back into American dollars. For instance, we went to the T.G.I.Friday’s that is attached to the hotel for dinner last night. We dropped eighty dollars (US) for a meal for two, after tip. The food tax was, like, 13 bucks! I’m hoping that the non-hotel restaurants around here are a little less expensive. Benny was all embarassed about being excited to have found a nearby Denny’s. Heh.
When we woke up this morning, after having caught up on sleep, *cough*cough* our window was looking out on massive amounts of fog. Actually, it was clouds. We’re that high up. After raining last night, today looks to be staying cloudy. You won’t hear any complaints from me, that’s for damn sure. The cement so far below us is covered in a thin sheen of water, and there is a tower of fog and mist and steam rising from the bottom of the falls to the clouds that surround us.
We gave the checks from our cards to my father-in-law along with my National City member card, so that he could deposit the money for us to use. We haven’t gotten around to that yet, so we’re using the cash in our pockets – not an insubstantial amount – until we confirm the deposit. There’s only dial-up access from the room and only one high-speed port downstairs in a “business center.” That’s been the only disappointment at the hotel, but we’re probably better off without easily available internet access.
Before we crashed out, we tested the jacuzzi. Now I really see why people buy hot tubs.
Benny has just reminded me about something cool that happened last night. While I was snoring away, she took her father’s laptop down to the business center to surf a little. She’s still having an insomnia problem, but it’s much lessened. Anyway, she figured out that she couldn’t pull up g-mail, so she checked her LJ, and eventually got a little sad. She immediately came upstairs and woke me up. We showered, and cruised the channels for a movie, and just hung out together in the room. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the ultra-cute has survived being married! We also opened up the rest of the presents from Dad B. and Mary. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. There’s a tower of chocolate. There’s a box of assorted chocolate. There’s bon-bons. Then there’s my favorite, the meat, cheese, and crackers set. We broke into that last night, before we started looking for a movie.
We had also been informed that Abby’s gift was meant to come along on the honeymoon. We opened it at the London station, and it had tons of neat little stuff. Crosswords, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, candies, nail polish for Benny and a couple of cute little toys. OH! And Mary got us this sweet stationery and letter-writing kit.
So we’re thinking about exploring the falls and behind them today. There’s also the casino, the Japanese gift shop, the Denny’s, and the butterfly house. So, we’re off now to begin our excitement. Better not forget the cameras!
So, we went looking for the fabled Winter Magic Pass. We made a stop down to the business center first to check the account balance – no go. It was full.
Hold up. Benny just alerted me to the presence of a Noodle Bar in the casino. With the amount of Japanese tourists here, that means authentic Japanese food! SCORE!
Anyway, we head down the little elevator down the hill between our hotel and the falls, and they let us know that they’ll be closing at 1. No big deal, we think, it’s just misting outside. Wait, hold on, rewind. First, we stop at the little tourism desk in the lobby. The lady there gave us a great pitch on the hotel’s tourism package. We were all ready to go for it, until the price came up. US$71 per person. The paperwork we had on the Winter Magic Pass put it at CAN$21.60 per person. Guess which one we decided on.
Anyway, we took the elevator/metal car/thing down to the park, and they once again warned us that they would be closing at one. Benny, ever-smart, asked about an alternate route. So, we headed in and found where to purchase a Winter Magic Pass. Then, we were informed that there was no transportation to the Butterfly House. Also, it was a CAN$20 cab ride there and the same back. We opted for just doing the Journey Behind the Falls today. So, we go through that, and take a gajillion pictures. The day was overcast, gray, and the rain was slowly intensifying. But, let me tell you, I looked dapper in that translucent yellow raincoat over my trench coat. Boo-ya. The falls are – in any weather – breathtaking. Just being near such a powerful force was humbling and inspired awe.
So, of course, our next stop was the gift shop. We picked up our post cards and some stamps. We looked for a belt, found one, and rejected the CAN$50 price tag. My back was not being a happy camper, and Benny had reminded me that we needed to look for bridal party gifts – which immediately turned browsing into shopping. And, of course, the gift shop had nothing that I was really interested in. So, we went outside and sat down, watching the falls in the rain. Serenity achieved.
We eventually went back inside, trying to decide if we wanted to eat. We checked out the fast food line, which was gargantuan, and decided against it. We then returned to the elevator thing, and discovered that the attendants were true to their word – it was closed. So, we set out on a bit of a hike, just when the rain decided that the ground was the most happenin’ place to be. We finally got around the casino and found the steeply-graded road that would take us back to our hotel. I was Mr. Super McGrumpyPants, let me tell you. Once again, Benny’s wisdom shone brightly, and she suggested that we stop in at the cafeteria that was right there to get a bite to eat and sit down for a few moments. I heartily agreed.
She had sweet and sour chicken balls with egg rolls and plum sauce. Also, a croissant. I had chicken in curry sauce and rice, with a mocha coffee. She also had vegetables and a chocolate milk. We keep waiting for one of the milk boxes to moo at us. So far, no luck. After we finished our meal, we returned outside. The rain had all but disappeared, and I was still armed with my mocha, so we deemed the hill a surmountable challenge. We made it home, and relaxed in the hotel, in the jacuzzi. Dear gods, those are wonderful things.
So, after recovering from our over-mile-long hike, we ventured back down to the business center and discovered that the deposit had been made and was waiting to clear. Excellent. Back upstairs, we rented Bourne Supremacy, and were happy to find an On Demand type of interface. Great movie, but we had an hour or more until they were going to deliver the “romantic breakfast.” So, of course, we went to the arcade. Benny got a bit frustrated because I ended up beating her at nearly every game, especially foozball. She was pretty steamed about that.
We got back to the room to discover that the delivery had been early. Chocolate-covered strawberries and real whipped cream to dip them in. A bottle of champagne with two glasses. Rose petals for the pillows. MORE CHOCOLATE. I swear to the gods, I’m on chocolate overload. We left the champagne and rose petals for later, and headed out to the most familiar spot int he area. Denny’s. Expensive, even for a Denny’s, but we ARE in a tourist town. Will the romance never end?
OH! I forgot! Before we went exploring for Falls tourism goodness, we went directly across the street to the obviously Japanese “OK Gift Shop” to browse. Benny was looking for San Rio stuff, which was promised on the door, but sadly lacking in the shop itself.
The celtic knotwork represents us – tied together in more ways than the universe can count.
She says that I know more about her than anyone ever has, and that needs to be good enough for now.
She says that I trust her more than I have anyone, and maybe that’s good enough for now, too.