Welcome to Pat's Place

Thanks for stopping by Pat's Place. I hope you enjoy my blog.

As a writer, I will be blogging about many things that interest me. My posts will be about what I am writing and other things I'm doing. Enjoy!

Web site: http://rthrbrtn.synthasite.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Niagara Falls

I could have titled this “I left my heating pad in New Hampshire” (Oh those long miles of sitting makes for a cricky dismount) or I was drunk at the Skylon Tower. Only one of those things would be fiction. Actually I felt drunk at the Skylon Tower. Kim and I were bright and bushy tailed when we met the bus that would take us to tour Fall Foliage in New England. Well, that’s not quick right. We stumbled and struggled out of bed in time to meet the bus at 5:30 a.m. Believe me that is not the hour I want to meet a lot of strangers. And strangers they were, 34 people we had never met before. Standing right in front of the bus door was Chuck. He asked, “Did you bring breakfast?” I replied, “I thought you were bringing breakfast.” And we made our first friend Chuck and Linda Philipian from Nixa, MO. We learned later that Chuck had cancer and this trip was between chemo treatments and he was paying a last visit to places from his early days. They were interesting people. He had been a science teacher and she is an artist still working at MSU. A stop at Rolla for breakfast,(don’t drink too much coffee; you will need a bathroom and who wants to parade down the aisle to the back of the bus to relieve yourself.) I actually heard a story from one tour guide about a lady who fell out of the toilet when the bus rounded a corner. I didn’t want to be that lady, so I went easy on the coffee. Fourteen states in nine days – this was going to be a loooong bus ride. The first day we hurried to arrive at the Drury Inn Dayton, Ohio in time for their snacks, hoping that would suffice as dinner. Suffice it did. There was plenty to junk food. I snagged a baked potato, covered it in spicy chili, nachos entered the picture also. Soft drinks were free and we were given a voucher for three alcoholic drinks. I didn’t use my voucher but the cold Sprite hit the spot to make up for the coffee I didn’t drink in the a.m. The next morning we discovered Drury Inn has a great breakfast buffet. So far we hadn’t seen any colorful trees but we kept looking. Another early start and we were on the bus Niagara Fall, Ontario Canada. Lake Erie was a glimpse out of the left side of the bus. It was Sunday so our tour guide played some gospel music. One of our group threw a fit about the music. She didn’t want to hear it, it was too loud, it hurt her ears, etc. etc. She was very vocal in her distaste for the music. She kept asking everyone if we thought it was too loud. She finally poked Kleenex in her ears. Kim and I christened “The Crazy Cat Lady” because she said she had six cats at home. Later in the day, we changed her name to Ms Blue Flowers, because she went to sleep for a time and after waking up asked everyone if we had seen the pretty blue flowers along the side of the road. We named four women traveling together the Chatty Chicks. They insisted on riding in the back of the bus and were very loud. At first they were flirty but as the week went on they calmed down. Niagara Falls is spectacular. Words cannot describe the power of the water falling over to the rocks below. We had to show our passports to get into Canada and hoped the agent wouldn’t insist on searching the bus because we were anxious to get to our room and out again to view the magnificent river and the American and Canadian falls. We were scheduled to have dinner at the Skylon Tower Restaurant, 775 feet above the falls. I had been fighting a headache all day and really wanted to attend this formal dinner high about the Canadian Falls. The Restaurant rotates so that the diners continually see a different part of the city. Soooo I decided to take a strong pain pill to get me through the evening. Diners are taken up to the tower in an elevator car that travels outside the walls of the tower. Whew! Dizzy is not the word I was feeling. Kim grabbed my arm and I walked unsteadily to the table indicated. It was lovely. White table cloths, with napkins standing at attention, all kinds of glass and silver ware. We were assigned an inside booth but we could still see the revolving skyline under and around us. More Dizzy? You bet. And it didn’t get any better. The food was excellent and the waiter very attentive. I had filet mignon and Kim had Chicken Cordon bleu. We struggled to climb one more story for another view but were disappointed, the view from the restaurant was better. Kim and Linda decided to walk down to the falls and take pictures of the lighted falls. Chuck and I were to go back to the hotel. Kim asked me if I would be OK going back alone to the hotel. I said, “Just get me on the right bus.” I was loopy from the pill and the revolving scenery. She escorted me to the bus. I told her just to tell everyone I was drunk. I was able to find my way to our room. Needless to say, when she returned from her walk with Linda, I was in bed and very glad to be there. The next day, we had a step on guide to tell us all about the falls. The bus stopped occasionally to allow us to take pictures and get lunch. Our guide was a delightful lady with a slight accent. She seemed determined to tell us about all the disasters connected with the falls. Many people died trying to defy the raging water. Late afternoon, after a trip to the duty free shop, we were whisked back across the border in a timely fashion. We were told people could walk across the bridge from America to Canada free but to walk from Canada to America it cost fifty cents. Really!