Niagara Falls

On my way home from Toronto, I decided to stop at Niagara Falls for a few hours.  It's been a while since I've been there and it was a great experience.  I would like to see the falls at night and a little more sun would have been nice.  I have come to the conclusion that I enjoy nature best when there are no people around.  And while there weren't that many, there were still a few.  Regardless, I still had a great time and I am glad I stopped.  Here are a few of the photos:

(I ended up parking in some garden lot and this was the few as I approached the falls)

 (Not quite sure what this was used for back in the day, but it looked like fun)

 (The old power building, I believe)

 (The view as I got closer to the falls - that's snow in the foreground)

 (It was a little misty and at one point there was a rainbow)

 (I forget what this building was, but I believe this was also a power building nestled into the valley below the falls)

(Had to get one shot with me and the falls)

(Still a little misty, and overcast)

(The Skylon Tower in the background)

 (A little icy below the falls)

(You always hear how much better the Canadian side is and I think it's solely because of the view.  There weren't many places from the US side where you could get a great view of both falls.)

(A nice young woman took this photo for me after I took one of her and her two friends)

(O' Canada)

 (The falls with a little view of the city in the background)

(The US Falls)

(These next few shots were taken below the falls.  The time I was there, this was the closest you could get.  The Maid of the Mist wasn't running and even on the Journey Behind the Falls, this was the only view...)

(A shot of the Rainbow Bridge)

(Some more mist)

 (The lower observation deck was closed because of the snow and ice)

(This is a shot of the US Falls)

(Here's the tunnel that leads to directly behind the fall)

(And here was my view - I could hear the falls outside, I just couldn't see it)

(A final shot as I was getting ready to leave)

 (The power from the falls has actually moved the fall back quite a few feet, yards, meters.  Imagine taking a barrel over this...)


Last Day in Toronto - Breakfast, Ice Skating, MOCCA, and Kensington Market

Started the day on Roceyenville for a little shopping and breakfast.  The shopping was mainly for Hiroko.  We did have a big old feast for breakfast though and it was quite tasty.  After breakfast we met up with Joe and Nobuko for a little ice skating.  Hiroko didn't think I was that good so we played tag and I skated backwards.  She couldn't catch me...  It was Nobuko's first time on the ice and she did a great job!  By the end of the day she was 'skating' by herself.  I'm sure she also had a few bruises by the end of the day, but that happens.  After that it was back to Queen Street where we ended up going to MOCCA (the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art).  The exhibits were meh.  But, it was fun to go.  After that it was off to Kensington Market, a great little area of Toronto so Hiroko could get some tea.  We stopped at a Chinese bakery and got some mandu which was tasty.  All in all it was a great trip and I'd love to go back and visit Hiroko again someday in Toronto!

 (Hiroko doing something outside - not sure what)

(We saw this place from the street car and decided to hop off and give it a try)

(Bike shop)

(Hiroko and I outside somewhere taking a photo)

 (Hiroko showing off her dance moves...)

(Joe tying her skates - I know she was just playing it up.  Then, I ended up tying Nobuko's.)

(And away they go)

 (This kind of gives you the idea of what the rink was like - $2 to skate, only for the rentals.  So, you could go and skate all day for free if you wanted.  Man, I love Canada)

 (I believe I was trying to get Nobuko to come back out on the ice)

(Joe was having a blast)

 (I tried to get her to let go for the picture but she said she wasn't ready)

 (There she goes - look at that stride)

 (Break time)

(While Nobuko was on break I got the chance to skate a little bit)

 (Back to lessons)

 (Hiroko playing it up for the camera)

(Hiroko and Joe)

(A quick little break for me - wearing rentals never feels great on your feet)

(Nobuko, Hiroko, and Joe)

(And she's off)

(A cute picture of Joe and Hiroko)

(By the end of the day she was able to do a full lap by herself)

(And I think she had fun)

(Hiroko, myself and Joe)

 (Here comes Hiroko flying in)

(MOCCA time)

 (Those are mops with different colors)

(I guess art can be anything these days.  We each picked out a favorite)

(Photo time in front of the art...) 

 (I believe these were famous movie characters that were zombified)

(We had to get our picture outside in front of the fun wall)

(And this is Hiroko's best jump - I don't even think she made it off the ground)

(Well, it got a little better)

 (Then I tried to do one with Nobuko.  I think she was going on 3 and I was going on 1, 2, 3 go...)

(That's ok, because this is what happened on the next try.  As you can tell, our synchronization was terrible...)

(An interesting wall somewhere on Queen Street) 

 (The ladies getting mandu - Hiroko got 6 so she could throw some in the freezer)

(And of course we all had to eat one...) 

 (But I was the lucky guy with the camera)

(Don't think this person will be riding her or his bike anytime soon) 

(Fun cookies...)

 (Some rice and beans at Kensington Market)

 (Hiroko posing again)

 (We stopped here to get tea and it was quite tasty)

(A little street art in the area)

(Some fun colored houses)

(My final photo with Nobuko - she fake cried to make me feel better)

(Hiroko just laughed...)