Sunday, September 26, 2004

Vacation Thoughts

Got back from vacation late on Thursday, but as you can see, haven't had the time to talk about it.

It was a good trip. We went to Niagara Falls, and then on to Toronto. Finally on the way back we hit the Detroit area.

Niagara Falls sure has changed since I was there last. I believe I was there when I was 13 or so. So it's been 16-18 years since I was there. Last time, I simply remembered the falls, the three observation towers, and the strip of tourist trap things that existed on what they call Clifton Hill.

Now, you've got even more things to do on the Hill, including the first Casino they built. But that's not the half of it. What is really interesting is the Fallsview area. This area is up where if I remember two of the observation towers to be. There's only one remaining. And that tower is hidden behind the enormous new upscale adult hotels that surround the new upscale casino complex in this region. It's almost like a mini-Vegas style casino, only it has no competition. The surrounding resorts are there and make no bones that their location is close to the falls and the new sparkling marble floored casino and shopping complex.

It seems like Niagara Falls has grown up. And it gave me a lot of hope. Because it just goes to show that although our Canadian neighbors lean quite a bit more socialist than we do, they understand that it takes capitalism to fund it. The place stinks of capitalism. I wonder how all the lefties in Toronto deal with it?

Which brings me to Toronto. What a beautiful city. Clean blue water. They did it right by pushing the industry out of the downtown. It doesn't belong there. If Cleveland had the stones to do something similar, it would do wonders for that city.

We stayed in a Quality Hotel just outside of downtown, in that you could walk there in 10 minutes. Not bad! We ended up hitting a lot of the touristy things. Casa Roma, which was interesting in how out of place a castle is in Toronto. Very beautiful as well. The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) was quite nice as well, even if a lot of their exhibits were closed due to the construction of a large expansion. What was really nice there was the collection of dinosaurs and the collection of upscale funishings and high class plateware from the 1600s on up. The travelling pearls exhibit was cool too. I was amazed at how modern the Art Deco look still appears to this day.

We caught the play Hairspray at the Princess of Wales theatre there. What a fun show! It starred a girl who was on American Idol two seasons voted off very early, and seemed more broadway anyway. Well, she proved that she had the pipes and moves to star in the Canadian production...which I'm guessing is the AAA of theatre. Not bad. Regardless, the show was very very entertaining. Highly recommend if you get a chance to see it on Broadway or in Toronto...or even on tour.

The next day we saw the CN Tower, which was a lot of fun. We went up the additional 400 feet to the Skypod, which put us some 1500+ feet above the ground. It's pretty freaky at first, but you get used to it.

We then took a tour of the Toronto islands, which were a lot of fun as well. We drove a bicycle type thing around the island for an hour before taking off to Detroit. Unforutnately it smacked us in the beginning of rush hour since we left at 4 pm. That probably delayed us a good hour since the traffic was very bad all the way past Hamilton airport.

In Detroit we decided to go and do the Greenfield Village.

If you can't get in for free...don't go. It's a waste of $20. It really isn't that fun. Maybe we're too young for it. It was neat, but $20 is outrageous. It's just not that interesting for $20. The way I see it is it's a museum....a demented museum, considering how Ford collected these homes, but a museum nonetheless. It cost us abotu $15 USD to get into the ROM in Canada. That was far more interesting than the village. There's just something eerie about it as well since these homes were bought and moved there.

I'll have pictures to post later this week.

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