We take day trips to Niagara Falls a couple times a year. Right after Irene was born, we bought a car and realized it was only an hour away in good traffic. I’ve spent more time than that on the TTC! So every once in a while, on one of those increasingly rare weekend days with nothing scheduled, we’ll look up over brunch and say, “Hey, wanna go to the Falls?” And we pile everyone into the car, find cheap parking in the town, walk around, spend very little money and drag our weary bodies back into the car way after bedtime, saying, “One day, we’ll spend the night here. One day.”
Friends, that day has come. Or rather, it came and went a couple weeks ago. But I am here to tell you about it!
The Courtyard by Marriott in Niagara Falls offered to put my gang up for a night and I scrambled to accept the offer. We snagged the Friday night before the Labour Day long weekend and set out to
ensure the roughest first week of school possible make the most of every last minute of summer vacation. We planned to get away first thing on Friday, but when you’re packing three kids for the weekend, you leave when you leave. We arrived mid-afternoon and I sprinted through the lobby to the nearest bathroom because that’s what life is like when you go on a road trip after birthing three children and drink a lot of coffee.
The staff at the check-in were lovely and they even called up to the room to make sure we had everything. I asked for a playpen for Mary to sleep in that she later thought was hilarious fun for climbing in and out of. I guess our playpen days are over. The hotel has a Keg restaurant off the lobby and also serves a fantastic hot and cold buffet breakfast in the morning. There’s a game room, a fitness room, an indoor and outdoor pool, a whirlpool and a sauna. We used none of that but we totally would if we were there for more than one night. In fact, we planned to take a dip in the pool on Friday night, but somebody [twiddling my thumbs and whistling] forgot to pack one of the swimsuits.
Here’s the view from our room. The Falls are just down the hill to our right and straight ahead where you see the Ferris wheel (no, we did not go on that one) is the Clifton Hill stretch of cheesy old wax museums. I LOVE the kitschy tourist attractions from the 50s and the glitz of the old strip. It’s not like you want to hit up the casino with three kids in tow anyway.
A hotel big enough to run in.
We dropped our stuff and went straight out to Clifton Hill.
We have A LOT of fun just checking out the outsides and lobbies of these places.
My kids have never met a “stick your head on somebody else’s body” gimmick they didn’t like.
Johnny Depp! Colum! Who’s real and who’s made of wax?
The Great Canadian Midway is an arcade with lots of little rides and games. Irene’s killer at the kiddie skee ball.
Those are my kids. Always rushing over to hold a building up. Does a mama proud.
They make me take a picture of them sitting with this guy EVERY TIME. Some families have years of Christmas photos to look back on. We have the bug-eyed guy at Ripley’s.
Um. So this is the ONLY picture I have of us at the actual Falls.
After our breakfast buffet the next morning, we checked out of the hotel and found a staircase not far from the hotel parking lot that leads right down to the Falls. After an incredibly wonderful and cool summer, I was not prepared for the Labour Day weekend to be so stifling hot. It was pretty brutal in the sun, but we decided to splurge and buy tickets for the Maid of the Mist for the first time ever. It’s a ferry boat that takes you right up to both the American and Canadian waterfalls and it is truly amazing to get so close to such a great force. It’s also very refreshing on a hot day. Prepare to be drenched.
The kids had a blast. We had a blast. It was a real luxury to be able to spend the night and take our time seeing everything. Thanks again, Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls. You were the perfect end to our summer.