Oh, Canada!!

Did I mention trauma?  The day started out well, no rain and we were able to get on the road by 10:20 am.  We even got to eat breakfast at a Cracker Barrel, my favorite restaurant!!  After entering New York, we stopped at the I-90 Travel Center – Angola for gas and a bathroom break.  On a side note, I have to say that the travel centers on the toll roads in New York are some of the nicest places to stop…they are like a tourist destination of their own, with souvenirs, nice food area, clean bathrooms, nice people to help you with destination questions, one place we stopped at even had some fresh fruit to buy.

Now to the trauma…I mean minor delay!  We reached the Canadian Border…we decided to take the Peace Bridge into Canada because we had taken the Rainbow Bridge over the last time we were here.  Unfortunately, the road was under construction, a problem we have encountered our whole trip!  So, we waited patiently as the traffic moved slowly to cross the bridge.  You now have to pay a toll charge to cross the bridge into Canada, it cost us $6.00.  I do not know if this charge is just one way or only this bridge because we did not have to pay anything when we went back to the U.S. on the Rainbow Bridge a few days later.  Next, we went through the Canadian customs booth.  After giving our passports and drivers license to the woman in the booth, she started asking us questions.  First, she asked, “Do you have any guns with you?”  Jeff said, “No.” She then asked, “Do you own any guns?”  Jeff said, “Yes.” Her next question was, “But you don’t have any guns with you?”  Jeff said, “No.”  To this response she asked, “Why don’t you?”  And Jeff told her, “Because I knew I was coming to Canada.”  With a doubtful look, she then asked, “How many days are you staying?”  He replied, “Two days.”  Her response was, “You came all this way for just two days?”  I leaned over and said, “We are going to my Niece’s graduation in Vermont.”  The Customs Clerk returned our passports and licenses and told us to pull over by the columns to be searched.  After we pulled over, the Customs Agents, three of them, had Jeff open everything up and put out the slides on our camper for them to search the camper and the truck.  They had us sit on the concrete supports while they searched.  Now, Jeff and I are not quite in agreement of why we were searched.  He thinks it was because we own guns and they did not believe we would not travel with them and I just expected them to search us because we were pulling a fifth-wheel camper that is big enough to bring a lot of contraband over, whatever is considered contraband in Canada.  I am sure we will never know, but a clerk at our campground says she gets searched almost every time she comes into Canada and she has a small car and goes back and forth into the U.S. a lot.

I do not think I mentioned that we were going to Niagara Falls.  We visited Niagara the summer of 2009 and had a short trip into Canada without passports, but only stayed a few hours in Canada.  This time as we were searching for places to stay near Niagara and I noticed the prices on the Canadian side had a C in front of their prices.  At first they seemed to cost more than the U.S. campgrounds until I realized I needed to convert the Canadian money into U.S. currency to compare the costs.  It turned out that the Canadian KOA was cheaper that the U.S. KOA campgrounds in the area, so we decided to stay a few days in Canada.  The view of the Falls is prettier from that side any way, so it worked out all the way around.  We pulled into the campground and got set up.  We bought “WeGo” passes for the local bus and immediately boarded the bus and went over to see Niagara Falls!

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A view is the Horseshoe Falls.                                     and this view is of the American Falls.

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In the following pictures you can see the colored lights that are shining on the Falls as night fell.  I do not know how long the spotlights are on the Falls…they may be on all night.

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This is a view of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.

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So, we survived the delays, enjoyed a nice supper at Ruby Tuesday and even bought some souvenirs!  Oh, by the way, when you purchase items in Canada and pay with American money, the vendors converted the prices and gave the change back based on the exchange rate.  I thought that was super convenient and very great from a tourist standpoint.  I do not think every store in Canada does this, but maybe they do at border locations.  That would be a nice thing to find out, so let me know if you travel in Canada and see if that convenience is all over.

The next day, after Jeff made breakfast (Yummy), we drove around the Downtown area and saw some beautiful street signs:

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Even a road sign over the road going to the campground:

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Then we drove down “Falls Drive” and looked at the River.

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There are some beautiful buildings also:

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The Whirlpool was our next stop…there is a Whirlpool Aero Car you can ride over the Whirlpool, but it was raining when we were there and “NO WAY!!” was I going on it but if you like that kind of thing, it is available (lol):

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My last adventure before we packed up the next day and returned to the U.S. was riding “Maid of the Mist”.  I wanted to the last time, but chickened out. (I know that is hard to believe, but the truth hurts sometimes! lol)  Any way, Jeff said he did not want to get wet, so he drove me down there and dropped me off.

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It was an AMAZING experience and I would encourage everyone to try this, and it was really strange, but I did not get that wet…just a little on my jeans, but those thin raincoats work well!  I did stay outside the whole trip, but there is an indoor area for those who do not like getting wet.  I stayed close to the outside of the cabin, so maybe that protected me, I do not know.  Afterwards, I caught the bus back to the campground.

Leaving Canada the next day, we drove over to Goat Island before heading on to Vermont.

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Onward to Vermont!!

 

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