lifestyle / Travel

Trippin’ and Fallin’ for Niagara

Back in 1901, Victoria Day officially marked a day of celebration in honour of Queen Victoria after her passing. Now, we celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer with fireworks, BBQ and outdoor adventures, the latter is how I celebrated my Victoria Day weekend. This year I went down to Niagara with 5 of my friends and I thought I would share some saucy details (by saucy I mean the pasta).

Our journey began with some great road trip fuel from McDonalds ( I am a firm believer in eating like crap when you’re on vacation because treat yo’self). The good thing is that we walked enough later on to burn off all the junk food.

After lots of long weekend traffic (even on a Sunday), we finally arrived at our destination – The Marriott on the falls. Now if you’re considering staying at the falls, note that there are 3 different Marriotts in the Clifton Hill vicinity, but Marriott on the Falls is the closest one to the falls, with the best view (according to their website).

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We actually opted for a city view as we were on a budget, but you are able to see the falls from the hallways of the hotel anyway. I also advise that you shop around ahead of time and book as early as you can. We were a bunch of procrastinators and booked one week before the long weekend but we ended up with a decent price (additional fees aside).

The room was absolutely beautiful. It was modern and bright with lots of marble details (basically a blogger’s dream). Along with the complimentary water and coffee, I absolutely loved the bathroom. The mirror was lit up like a vanity mirror, which was perfect for beating my face #priorities.

After checking in, we decided to hit the town to find some fun activities to do. We got our pre-dinner exercise by walking from the hotel to the entertainment district. We also got our frustrations and anger out by playing bumper cars in the Rainforest Cafe arcade. Let me just say, it was a true test of our friendship as we almost killed each other.

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After lots of hot, passionate smacking, we headed down to the infamous falls to refresh ourselves and take touristy photos (as one always does when they visit the falls).

Then my pals and I decided to put our hearts to the test and visit “Dracula’s Haunted Castle.” We picked the medium scare level, and well, the only thing scary about this haunted house is the price. Definitely not worth the money but my friends screaming is priceless.

After sweating it out, we needed to get some grub. Now, Niagara Falls is always busy once the weather heats up, but it was particularly busy during the long weekend. Any restaurant in this area either had lines or you had to have a reservation. Luckily, we were able to make a last-minute reservation at the Milestones in our hotel (again stressing to plan ahead).

While we had a table farther in the back, we enjoyed the ambience. Milestones had lovely servers and a beautiful view of the falls. I had the popcorn shrimp and fish tacos because there’s just something about being near water that makes me crave seafood (and it was delicious!) I also had a pitcher of sangria with my friends, but unfortunately we weren’t feeling it, as it tasted more like fruit juice than anything.

After dinner, we rushed back to our rooms to grab some blankets for the fireworks show, but sadly the show was shorter than Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries. It was probably less than 10 mins, but it was a beautiful sight to behold.

Before turning in for the night, we headed to the hotel bar to redeem our free wine samples provided by the Marriott.

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The next day, we checked out and then grabbed some lunch at My Cousin Vinny’s Italian Restaurant (named after the iconic 1992 film). I wish I had more photos to do this restaurant justice because everything from the exterior to the interior is Italian-themed and it has a cool, old school vibe. On top of the decor, the food was a foodie’s dream. I had the cheese stuffed ravioli with rosé sauce and it was so creamy!

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After fueling up, we decided to go for a stroll. We actually planned to go hiking at the Niagara Glen first, but we ended up going to the Botanic Garden before, as it was just down the road (and also we couldn’t find parking near the Glen #oops).

I must say, I lilac’d it! It was a nice treat on a sunny day. The park is perfect for photo-ops because it’s so darn bloomtiful. If you’re a fan of flowers and spring, it’s definitely a spot you want to check out.

Finally, we decided to try our hands at parkour. I’m kidding, but the hike down the Glen definitely felt like we were doing some intense Lara Croft tomb raiding. The trail is rocky and steep but the views are worth all the sweating.

After scraped knees and the most intense leg day ever, we reached the bottom and dipped our toes into the cool Glen. In that moment, all the blood, sweat and tears was worth it, until we realized that we had to climb all the way back up..

Even though I was sleep-deprived and sore for days, I still enjoyed my trip to the falls a lot. It’s true that there are so many things to do in Niagara at different price points, but spending time with the weirdos you love is priceless.  I really have my friends to thank for such a fun trip. Sometimes it’s not about where you go, but who you go with. Before I get mushier, I’m going to dip like it’s cheesy.

I hope you guys enjoyed my first travel blog. What are your favourite places in Ontario to visit?

As always, if you have any questions about anything I wrote about, please feel free to leave me a comment blow or send an email to meenanow@gmail.com.

Until next time…

H2-go see the world,

– Meens

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