From the Archives …
As winter approaches, my thoughts turn to the beauty of ice and snow. Bob and I experienced this beauty firsthand during an overnight visit in December 2005 to Niagara Falls, Ontario (Canada). This was our first visit to Niagara Falls in the wintertime.
We arrived at the Embassy Suites Hotel in the late morning on December 18th. As expected, our room was not available (check-in time is 4:00PM). The desk clerk told us to check back around 12:30PM, as a room could be available at that time. We left our car with the valet and walked down to the falls. Parking at Embassy Suites Hotel is by valet only, and it cost us CAD$20 to park. We enjoyed walking along the walkway beside the falls. Our walk took us through a winter wonderland of ice- and snow-covered trees, lamp posts and railings.
We returned to the Embassy Suites Hotel at 12:30PM. We were able to check into our room at that time. Our “room” was a two-room Whirlpool suite — a living room with pull-out sofa and a second room with one King-sized bed and a 2 person Whirlpool. We could see Horseshoe Falls from the bedroom.
We rested for a little while. Then we went to Casino Niagara by shuttle bus. We received complimentary shuttle passes, for use throughout our stay, as part of our hotel package. We spent $20 at the casino but won our money back, so we broke even. After winning our money back we returned, by shuttle bus, to our hotel. It was only 4:00PM; however, we were hungry. The only meal we had eaten was breakfast at the Bob Evans restaurant in Jamestown, New York, at 8:30 that morning. We decided to eat an early dinner. Our hotel package included dinner for two (up to CAD$40) at either The Keg Steakhouse or TGI Friday’s Restaurant, both of which are located at the hotel. We chose to eat at The Keg Steakhouse. We were seated at a table alongside floor to ceiling windows and had a spectacular view of the American and Horseshoe Falls. We enjoyed the view while we ate our steak dinners (cost: CAD$71).
We timed our visit to Niagara Falls to coincide with the 23rd Annual Winter Festival of Lights. The principle lighting area for the Winter Festival of Lights is a five-kilometer route stretching from Queen Victoria Park at the base of Clifton Hill along the Niagara Parkway to Dufferin Islands. After dinner we drove to Dufferin Islands (located about 1 mile from Horseshoe Falls), where we enjoyed a wide variety of animated lighting displays from the comfort of our car. We wanted a closer look at the animated lighting displays at the base of Clifton Hill; however, there was no parking near the displays. We returned to our hotel. We could have taken a shuttle bus (or walked) back to the display area; however; we didn’t have time to do this as we wanted to see the Hydro-Testlatron fountain laser show in the rotunda at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort Galleria at 7:00PM.
The Hydro-Testlatron fountain laser show was impressive. The water volume gets turned up, and the fountain appears to grow increasingly out of control.
The water churns and foams and emits a fiery orange-red color. Electrical charges shoot across the glass dome and down the rotunda walls.
Audience members sitting on marble benches around the perimeter get a buzz, to add to the fun. Guess where Bob and I sat while watching the show? Yes … on one of those benches 🙂
After watching the laser show we returned to the hotel and attended the Evening Manager’s reception. The reception, which included snacks and two alcoholic beverages, was included in our hotel package. After we finished our drinks we retired to our room. We relaxed in the whirlpool and then went to bed. We returned home from Niagara Falls the next day, on December 19th.