The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Niagara-on-the-Lake ON’

Lots of Miles for a Lunch and Dinner Date

Bob and I spent the day, Saturday (8/29), mainly on the road. We left home (Warren, PA) around 8:30 am.  We drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. We crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge and followed the QEW to Niagara-on-the-Lake.  We had a picnic for two at Paradise Grove, located just south of Niagara-on-the-Lake along the Niagara River.

Our picnic table

We found this picnic area by driving south on Queen’s Parade, turning left onto Ricardo Street. The picnic area was on the right.

After lunch we drove a little farther down Ricardo Street and parked at the Navy Hall, just down the hill from Fort George. We had just gotten out of the car, when a Canadian man approached us to ask if we had jumper cables. His motorcycle wouldn’t start. We did have jumper cables with us. This man and another pushed the motorcycle over to our car. Bob connected the cables to our battery, and the rider connected the cables to his motorcycle battery. The rider turned on his ignition, pressed the starter button and the motorcycle roared to life immediately. Afterward, the rider made the comment that he just realized that we were from the States…not that it mattered.

After Bob had jumped the motorcycle, we checked out the Navy Hall.

Navy Hall

According to a Wikipedia article, “Navy Hall is a wooden structure encased within a stone structure that was the site of …Ontario’s…first provincial parliament, from 1792–1796. It is a unit of Fort George National Historic Site…  It sits on Ricardo Street near the shore of the Niagara River, near Fort George, and across the river from Fort Niagara. …After Parliament left, the building was used as a dining hall by officers from nearby Fort George. Destroyed by U.S. artillery fire in the War of 1812, some of the fort’s buildings were re-built by the British, and today’s Navy Hall is the only one remaining of that reconstruction. It…became.a barracks for British troops in 1838, during the Rebellion of 1837-38. It served as a medical commissary during World War I for Canadian troops… During the 1930s, it was moved to its present site by the Niagara Parks Commission and encased in stone…”

 

Simcoe Memorial on the grounds of Navy Hall

John Graves Simcoe was the First Governor of Ontario from 1791 to 1796.  On September 17, 1792 he presided over the first provincial parliament.  You may read more about Simcoe and his wife by clicking here.

After walking the Navy Hall grounds, we walked up the hill and to the right to the entrance of Fort George.

Fort George

The official website for the Fort George National Historic Site provides the following short summary about Fort George: “Overlooking the Niagara River, Fort George was built between 1796 and 1802. This fortification served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army during the War of 1812, and played a pivotal role in the defence of [Ontario]. Fort George saw action during the Battle of Queenston Heights, was destroyed and captured by the Americans during the Battle of Fort George, and was reclaimed by the British seven months later.” We have passed by Fort George on past visits to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Saturday was the first time we went as far as the entrance to the fort.  It would have been a good day to visit Fort George on Saturday, as over 200 years of Niagara’s military history was being commemorated.

A tank approached, while we were standing near the entrance to Fort George!

Inside the fort were displays featuring uniforms, weaponry and period military vehicles from the War of 1812, First and Second World Wars, and more. Demonstrations were being held throughout the day. The demonstrations included fife & drum, artillery and tactical.  Neither of us were willing to part with the C$11.70 each to step foot into the fort. Perhaps another day …

From the Navy Hall we drove a short distance along Ricardo Street, where we found parking near Nelson Street. We put 5 quarters into a parking meter for 50 minutes. Later we found that we could have parked on Nelson Street for free, as the parking meters were broken! We walked down Nelson Street, alongside the Niagara-on-the-Lake sailing club marina, to the Niagara River and a waterfront trail.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club Marina

Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club Marina,
as seen from gazebo near waterfront trail.

Across the Niagara River is Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY.

The waterfront trail was entered via a gate that had a sign that read “no exit”. The Niagara River was to our left and a residential area to our right. Private property signs were posted everywhere, except on the trail. We walked to the end of the trail, which was quite short,

We could see a lighthouse at the end of the waterfront trail.

We turned around at the location where we saw the lighthouse and took the trail back to Ricardo Street.

We still had time on the parking meter, so we walked the short distance to Melville Street, at the base of which is the whirlpool jet dock. Just past the dock, there was a nice view across the Niagara River of Old Fort Niagara.

Old Fort Niagara

We returned to our car (18 minutes still remaining on the meter) and continued our drive along Ricardo Street. We passed by Queens Royal Park, from where we had seen Old Fort Niagara in past visits, and turned left to make our way back to Queens Street. We turned left onto Queens Street and followed it to the Niagara Parkway, passing by the clock tower, the Prince of Wales hotel and lots and lots of flowers along the way.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Queens Street
Clock Tower

Niagara-on-the-Lake Queens Street
Prince of Wales Hotel

Queens Street
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a very lovely town!

We followed the Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls, not making one stop along the way.

In Niagara Falls we stopped at the duty-free shop, where Bob purchased two bottles of whiskey. I took one picture of the falls from the parking lot.

the American Falls,
as seen from the parking lot of the duty-free shop

We crossed into New York via the Rainbow Bridge. We didn’t stop in Niagara Falls, NY. Once on I-190, I asked Bob if he would like to go to Erie, PA for dinner (and to check out the Once Upon a Child store for vintage Fisher Price Little People accessories to go with a play house that I purchased recently at a garage sale). Bob readily agreed.

We arrived in Erie around 4:30 pm. We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse. After dinner, we went to the Once Upon a Child store. We didn’t find any Little People accessories. We fueled up at the Sam’s Club and headed back home. Upon arriving home, I checked the trip odometer.  The odometer showed that we had driven 327 miles for a lunch and dinner date 🙂  What a great husband and a wonderful life we have!

 

An Ontario Thanksgiving

It is rare that Bob and I spend the Thanksgiving Day holiday at home. In fact, since we married in September 1998, we have spent only one Thanksgiving Day holiday at home. The majority of our Thanksgiving Day holidays have been spent in Virginia at Bob’s brother’s house or in New Hampshire at his sister’s house. Last year we spent Thanksgiving Day at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia. This year we decided to spend the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Ontario, Canada.

Both Bob and I worked until noon Wednesday, November 23 . At approximately 1:00 PM we left home en route Niagara Falls, Ontario. When we left Warren, the sky was heavily overcast giving the day a gloomy look. As we approached Buffalo, New York, the sky began to clear.  By the time we reached Canada the sky was blue, and the sun was shining brightly.

We crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge. It was a speedy crossing; no delay. We followed the QEW to Niagara Falls. We arrived at our hotel (the Best Western Cairn Croft Hotel) around 3:30 PM.  While checking in, I asked to purchase a shuttle pass. On June 30, during our last stay at this hotel, we purchased a shuttle pass. We found the shuttle very convenient and planned to ride it again this visit. However, we learned that the shuttle stopped running, for the season, on September 4. The hotel desk clerk assured us that we would have no difficulty finding parking by the falls on Thursday, as it is a weekday and not a Canadian holiday.

We retired to our hotel room for about 1 1/2 hours before going to dinner. We chose to dine at the Swiss Chalet, located a couple blocks from our hotel. We enjoyed rotisserie chicken dinners. Bob added BBQ ribs to his chicken dinner. We shared a slice of vanilla cheesecake on a graham cracker crust topped with strawberries in syrup. After dinner, on our walk back to the hotel, we stopped at a pet store, where we contemplated bringing home a present for our kitty.

An Ontario Thanksgiving
Don’t you think Patches would like this Kitty Nest?

On Thanksgiving Day we visited Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we spent about an hour browsing the shops and taking pictures. Bob purchased a pair of polarized sunglasses for $6.00 and a Christmas present for me that I picked out (a lighthouse bird feeder!).

Prince of Wales Hotel at Niagara-on-the-Lake

Bell Tower at Niagara-on-the-Lake

George Bernard Shaw statue at Niagara-on-the-Lake

We have visited Niagara-on-the-Lake several times. This is the first time that we saw this statue. I enjoy seeing something new whenever we return to a place that we have been before!

We made a few photo stops, along Niagara Parkway, on our drive back to Niagara Falls.

Brock’s Monument in Queenston Heights Park

We met a couple who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They climbed to the top of Brock’s Monument, while on their honeymoon. They wanted to climb to the top of the monument again, to see if they would be able to do it. The monument, though, was closed for the season. I didn’t even know that you could climb to the top of this monument. That climb is a *must do*. The view towards Lake Ontario in the north and Niagara Falls in the south on a clear day would be magnificent!

The Niagara Whirlpool and Whirlpool Aero Car

We have stopped at this attraction several times over the years. I have yet to ride this car across the Niagara River. I might become brave enough one day to step on board!

We returned to Niagara Falls in the early afternoon. The hotel desk clerk was correct in her determination that parking near the falls would not be difficult to find. Paid parking was plentiful. We could have parked for free at IHOP, where we ate breakfast; however, we didn’t feel like walking from there to the falls. As we planned to entertain ourselves at the casino, we opted to park in the casino garage. We learned that parking would be free if we gambled using a players card. If we didn’t gamble parking would have cost CAD$20. Our first stop in the casino was at Guest Services, as we did not have players cards. We spent a couple hours in the casino. It would have been less expensive to pay for parking! We ate dinner at the Market Buffet, located in the casino. It wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner but good nonetheless.

After dinner we walked down Niagara Parkway, enjoying the Winter Festival of Lights displays as well as the lighted falls.

the American Falls

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Mickey Mouse

Winter Festival of Lights displays and Skylon Tower

We returned to our hotel around 7:00 PM. We planned to drive around Dufferin Islands to see the Winter Festival of Lights displays there, but forgot!

We had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day holiday, although the weather could have been warmer! I’m thankful, though, that we didn’t see any snow and ice, as was the case 6 years ago!

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