The Great White North

Horseshoe Falls

It is like a freaky alternate reality. Things are similar… but not the same. You know those dreams where everything seems real, but everything is just a little off? The dreams where everyone is going about their daily business acting perfectly normal, but everyone is wearing either golf shoes or bowling shoes. The dreams where the color red is blue and blue is orange. Yeah… those dreams.

This weekend was like being in one of those dreams all weekend long. “Why?” you ask. You are quite nosy, but I will answer anyway. This weekend Wifey and I visited a land called Canada. Don’t worry all you USians out there; we went to one of the most American-ish of places in Canada so the Canadian culture wouldn’t overwhelm us. We went to Niagara Falls pretty much on a whim. Little Man stayed home with his Mimma and they both ran each other ragged. I am pretty sure that they both were asleep by 8:30 last night.

As everyone knows, the US side of Niagara Falls is crappy so we decided to go to the Canadian side. The differences were subtle but eerily palpable. The pavement markings are similar but different. The signage whilst driving on the QEW was a bit odd to we US-ers in the car. The repetition of all announcements en Français also added an air of otherness. Avec six ans de Français sous ma ceinture, Je suis joyeux que tout les announcements sont an Anglais aussi parce que, ma Français, c’est terrible.

Anyway… Wifey and I had a grand time. We left Columbus Friday evening at 6 and got to our Hotel at 12:45 AM. That includes a leisurely dinner and going through customs. Saturday we did the Maid of the Mists boat-ride and got up close and personal with the Horseshoe Falls.
Maid of the Mists

The power and size of the falls is pretty awe inducing. On the boat we were getting soaked next to some Scots and some French. While on the boat I heard some Korean, Japanese, Dutch, French, German, and some Slavic language that I could not place (let’s call that one Polish). It really is amazing how multi-cultural the world is when you actual brush up against so many cultures in one small spot.

We walked around a whole bunch looking at the tourist trap that is Niagara Falls. The best way to describe the touristy parts of the area to people familiar with rural US life is that the area was one big county fair without all the deep fried batter. Frankly the place needed some funnel cakes. You hear that Canada? One prescription of funnel cakes to Niagara Falls stat! Anyway there were 3 fair-like haunted houses and an amazing amount of gaud and glitz. There was so much gaud and glitz that one might call the place gaudy and glitzy. There were multiple arcades and t-shirt vendors. Seriously, if there were more food on a stick places and glowing crap for sale I would have been wondering where the livestock competition was.

Wifey and me at The Four Brothers Italian restaurant
(I'm the one in blue)

Now the glitz and gaud associated with the tourist area was the exact opposite of the gloom and general rundown-ness of the “downtown business district.” Wifey and I are a bit odd in our travels. We enjoy looking behind the veneer of places to see if the place is truly what it is portraying or if it is only a façade. For example, London England is what it acts like. It is a cosmopolitan world class city that has a vibrant and sustained community and economy. Reno, Nevada is where people go to gamble. Turns out that Niagara Falls acts like a state/county fair, but the fun is only masking an economically depressed area that seems a bit sad.

So, wax museums and craptastic haunted houses aside, the weekend was most definitely Canadariffic!

To recap
Some Pics to be posted sometime tonight
They still reside on the camera
Wifey liked it there sooo much she bought some Canadian Pride socks
(I have been informed that there will never be pictures of the socks)
Little Man was happy to see us
We were happy to see him
Mimma was REALLY happy to see us
The exchange rate is not that favourable for US-ers right now
Everything used to be on sale for us
Bruschetta has been benchmarked… BENCHMARKED I SAY!
Tomorrow’s 20 questions shall revolve around the topic of Canada
I need a nap
Everyone does realize that it is a mere 8 days to the Blogaversary
And it is a 3rd Blogaversary to boot
Do I get any presents?