Ice Hockey

World Cup of Hockey; Day 16

Short but sweet, that’s all this blog will hopefully read like.

Ice Hockey was over. The BlueJays had migrated to Boston for their final series of the season and Toronto FC didn’t play until tomorrow. What did we do today then? Well we hired out a car for two days and began the weekend with a day at Niagara Falls. 

Rain had drifted away from Ontario on Friday, and so it meant an overcast but pleasant day in Niagara. Seven o’clock wake up, fetch the car at eight and begin the hour or two trip on the Queen Express Way. After getting to Canada I wanted to make sure we visited most places we had before and one of these was Wendy’s. A very McDonald esque company who served up one delicious breakfast those eight long years ago. So when we entered Grimsby, yes that’s Grimsby, Ontario and not the homeland of one Bradley Milne and the might Mariners. Still, it was a lovely stop of on route there and it just so happened there was a Wendy’s at the service station too. 

Bad news met us however, Wendy’s had now started to serve their dinner time menu, as upsetting as this was I then settled for Tim Hortons. A delicious cappucino accompanied by a whole meal breakfast bagel. Whole meal because they had ran out of plain bagels, bacon because they had no sausage, so a disaster breakfast you could say.

Like most American vehicles, it as an automatic and was fitted with the heavenly cruise control. A feature my Dad is very fond of and this eveidently showed about three quarters into the journey. As a driver of over two years back in England I understand how difficult it can be, but when you change most things all together it must be confusing for sure. However whilst my dad proceeded to mess with the cruise control, I, as always, was paying close attention to the road (drivers instinct) So when the central reservation barrier got closer and closer, but the car seemed to be staying dead straight, I voiced my concern to my dad with a simple ‘Dad’ hoping he would look up. Well he didn’t! By now my Mum will be sat threading over this and to be honest I will find it hilarious when she sends him a message asking what he was doing (but Samantha believe me. Its fine!!) So when I got no response, I grabbed the wheel, jolted us off the route of the barrier and yelled ‘DAD!’ This time he reacted but brushed it off like it was nothing, so reacted like and man would. A funny but bizarre experience to tell the truth. Kids, don’t mess with cruise control.

Well we arrived in Niagara safe and sound and my Dad began to make a new friend. I kept reminding him about my near death experience whilst he went to talk about parking prices with his new buddy. An experience to say the least. That all sorted we headed towards the Falls, but first it was a trip down memory lane as we walked down to the hotel we stopped in our previous time here. A nice moment as memories came flooding back and it all felt so real. The same T.G.I Friday we ate in eight years ago, the hotel car park ad swimming pool, the same shop, the Guinness Book of records attraction where my brother had his photo took.

All the flashbacks out the way, it was time to see the Falls. Last time round they were frozen, only little streams of water were visible, and snow up to our necks covering the paths. So today was completely different and very eye-opening. The amount of people who visit the falls exemplify just why it sits as one of the natural wonders of the world. From the mist off the falls to the crashing of the water at the bottom.

Necessary pictures taken, it was time for a little gift shopping. I say that but for me we still spent too much money. Family first, friends second. All accounted for, back to the car we went. Driving back it was amazing to see the soaring Golden Eagles and the fluttering of Canada Flags at the side of the expressway. It also occured to us both the sheer difference in what Canada and England class as ‘lakes’. Lake Ontario that forms part of the Great Lakes, feeding the Falls, is of massive proportion. So big that it looks like its very own sea. Some difference compared to Lake Windermere of the Peak district.

When we finally arrived back at around six o’clock, parking was a mess but sorted out, so it was Subway time as we aimed to finish off the remaining beer and tuck into our food whilst watching the BlueJays. Food eaten, BlueJays on SportsNet, I sit here typing this whilst Dean lays on his bed snoring and all.

Another sight seeing trip in the car tomorrow will see us take in the spectacular Casa Loma and of course, Toronto Zoo.


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