We Went to Niagara-on-the-Lake, And Now I Think Someone Needs To Pay Me To Live There For A While

I just realized that I told you all about how the Palinode and I each spoke at the BlissDom Canada conference in Toronto, but I completely neglected to mention that, following the end of the conference, we took a side trip down to Niagara-on-the-Lake to visit with relatives.

Grandma Joan and Aidan

They took us down the road to Niagara Falls.

a cold day in Niagara Falls

It was cold and grey. Their Starbucks had the worst coffee I've ever had in any Starbucks. There was a sign indicating where you could wait for tour buses that misspelled buses as "busses". I plugged four loonies (Canadian one-dollar coins, FYI) into four different sets of public binoculars, and THEY WERE ALL BROKEN. Only this one actually warned me of the FAIL:

Niagara Falls pay binoculars FAIL

This is as close as I got to the actual falls:

Niagara Falls from afar

And then, I discovered that the Maid of the Mist, the famous boat that has been taking tourists close to the falls since 1846, is actually one of SEVERAL boats. She's Maids of the Mist. I feel dirty now.

dude, there is more than one Maid of the Mist

Niagara Falls was cold, grey, broken, and had terrible coffee. The romance just wasn't there. I felt like it could use some Viagra to up its game a bit.

Here is Niagara Falls on Viagra:

Niagara Falls on Viagra, ha ha

I know. I'm hilarious.

Of course, going during the summer would probably help things out a lot. I shouldn't expect too much when it's slouching its way into winter.

The rest of our Niagara-on-the-Lake trip was brilliant, though. We do not have leaves this glorious in Saskatchewan:

Ontario has huge fall leaves


this leaf nearly consumed his whole face

The Palinode's aunt has a brittney spaniel named Bella. By breeding, she's a hunting dog, so she found it impossible both to walk in a straigh line and to look at me, which is why the only close-up I got of her was of the back of her head:

Bella, the brittney spaniel

She was on the lookout for dead things. Is there a dead thing over here? Swerve right. Is there a dead thing over here? Swerve left. Squirrel! Stop. Is there a dead thing over here? Swerve right. Repeat. A lot. While I tried not to dislocate my shoulder every time the excitement of a stinky spot on the ground required exuberant rolling.

Aidan and Bella

This was the first time I have ever walked a dog that I remember. As much as I loved all the roaming and the rolling and the excitement over squirrels and the SCOTTIE DOGS OMIGOD SCOTTIE DOGS (Bella thinks scottie dogs were the bomb diggety), I think I don't need to do this kind of thing on a regular basis. I prefer the way my cats freak out, tear around apartment, bounce off the windowsills, and then fall into panting heaps a couple of times a day without me having to pull them out of wreaking piles of mulch.

I did love the walk with Bella, though. I mean, look at her looking at me with that SHE'S-COMING-AT-ME-UP-THE-HILL-HOW-AWESOME-IS-THAT face:

Bella and Aidan

I admit to falling a little in love with her, and I briefly plotted out how we could steal her out of Ontario on the plane. Briefly. Her habit of throwing her body at moving vehicles gave me too many heart attacks.

I also briefly plotted stealing this cat, too, because I'm a wannabe pet thief:


It turned out, though, that she just wanted me for treats, which she strongly suspected I had access to. I snuck her butter tart goo on my fingers. Shhhhh.

Oh! And I almost forgot to mention that the Palinode and I met up with The Nag of Nag on the Lake. I'm so glad that she e-mailed me about getting together, because it completely escaped me to try to hook up with other bloggers while we were travelling, and she was a delight to visit with. Check her out. She'll hook you up with the good links.

On a clear day, this is what Toronto looks like from Niagara-on-the-Lake across Lake Ontario when you are coming back from a huge lunch of pub style fish and chips with The Nag:

Toronto far away across Lake Ontario

And then we came back home to our smaller leaves and colder weather and flatter land in Saskatchewan, which always makes me think how batshit crazy the people were who settled this place before central heating and indoor toilets were all the rage.

Will someone please pay me to retire to Niagara-on-the-Lake for winter? Please, and thank you.

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