I celebrated my 63rd birthday in Niagara Falls, NY. It was a weekend birthday celebration.
We departed home at 12:20 pm on Friday, February 22, and arrived at Comfort Inn The Pointe by 2:30 pm.
Soon after checking in, we walked to Seneca Niagara Casino, where we ate a late lunch / early dinner at Thunder Falls Buffet. After eating, we played the slots. Bob went through quickly his $20.00. I hadn’t even spent $10.00 before hitting an awesome win.
I ended up with 25 free plays and won $324.80! That win was on an $0.80 bet. I cashed out (I am no dummy!), and we left the casino. I split my winnings with Bob.
We returned to our hotel room, picked up my camera and walked to Goat Island. It was a nice afternoon for a walk. It was partly sunny. The temperature was around 38 degrees, with little to no wind. We walked as far as the overlook of the American and Bridal Falls, before turning around to go back to the hotel.
We stayed in the hotel for the evening.
On Saturday we got up around 5:30 am. We ate a complimentary hot breakfast at 7:00 am. We both enjoyed waffles, eggs, fried potatoes, link sausage, orange juice and coffee for Bob and hot tea for me.
Around 9:45 am we went to the Aquarium of Niagara. The aquarium was a new-to-us attraction. We saw seals, penguins, several fish in small aquariums, and a sea lion show.
A pool holding rescue harbor seals was located outside, near the entrance to the aquarium.
After paying the admittance fee, we walked over to the Humboldt penguin enclosure. We were in time for the 10:00 am Penguin Feeding/Presentation.
The aquarium is on two levels. We circled the first floor, walked up the stairs to the second level and circled that floor as well. There are several fish tanks on each floor.
In the center of the aquarium is a large pool. The pool is at eye level on the first floor. On the second floor visitors look down on the pool. A Sea Lion show is held in the pool four times each day that the aquarium is open.
This short video clip is from the 10:30 am sea lion show.
We ate lunch at 1:00 pm at Hard Rock Cafe. We both had pulled pork sandwiches with French fries, cole slaw and baked beans. Saturday was my birthday, and lunch at Hard Rock Cafe was my birthday dinner.
After lunch we made a return visit to the aquarium to catch the 2:30 pm sea lion show. We had not watched from an ideal location for the morning show. We wanted to improve upon our vantage point. We located ourselves across from the stage, instead of over top the stage as we were for the morning show. I expected the show to be the same as the one at 10:30 am. Some of the show was the same, but there were new additions as well.
This video clip is from the 2:30 pm sea lion show at the Aquarium of Niagara.
I liked both sea lion shows; I am glad that we made the return trip.
From the aquarium we returned to the hotel and parked in the parking lot. We walked to Prospect Point, where I photographed the American Falls from that vantage point.
On our way out of Prospect Park a woman and young son asked where the falls were. They were headed in the direction of the falls but thought the falls may have been behind them. In all the years we have been coming to Niagara Falls we have never had that question asked. We told them to continue to walk in the direction they were going, that they couldn’t miss the falls.
Phil P. and I have been Facebook friends since August 2012. Our mutual interest in photography is what prompted our friendship. Phil and I have had an almost 7-year-old friendship, and we had yet to meet in person. That fact changed, when Bob and I met Phil and his wife Wendy for coffee / tea at Tim Hortons in the Seneca Niagara Casino. Bob and I drove to the casino, rather than walk, as it was drizzling. We drove around awhile before finding parking. The casino was very busy! I think the casino was busy because it was “fight night”. Phil had trouble finding parking too. He and Wendy were delayed about 15 minutes for our 6:00 pm meet up. We enjoyed the hour or so that we spent together. We talked about photography, work, some politics, retirement plans and travel.
Leaving Tim Hortons, Bob and I went to the casino. The casino gave me $5.00 free slot play for my birthday. I lost the $5.00 plus $20.00 more. Bob played $20.00 and won $150.00. Bob split the $150.00 with me.
From the casino we returned to the hotel. We returned to our room around 8:00 pm, where we stayed for rest of the evening.
We got up around 5:30 am on Sunday. We were showered and dressed for the day by 6:30 am.
At 7:00 am we ate the complimentary hot breakfast at the hotel.
We began our drive home at 7:30 am, ahead of the high winds and snow in Sunday’s weather forecast. We had planned to visit the Buffalo Zoo on our way home but changed our minds, given the weather forecast.
Our drive home was pretty much uneventful. We decided to take Route 5 home, as the sun was shining and the winds were calm. We did drive into some wind and a heavy downpour, while on Old Lake Shore Road. Other than that it was a smooth drive home.
We made it home by 11:00 am. Soon after coming home, we saw the temperature rise to a high of 55 degrees. The temperature dropped quickly afterward. By mid afternoon it was snowing. The weather forecast was calling for 2-4 inches of snow, with a high wind warning through Monday sometime. We ended up with at least 6 inches of snow!
What a wonderful (and profitable) birthday weekend!