Recently, my friend Shannon and I decided to get out of town for a “Girl’s Weekend” and head north of the border into Canada. We figured our passports were feeling neglected and we’d take any excuse to escape to another country, even if it’s a mere two hour drive away. With our limited vacation time and the desire to keep our bank accounts intact, we decided Ontario would be the best option for a quick little adventure.
The drive flew by thanks to our love for singing along to every song that blared out of my satellite radio, even if it was apparent that we never learned the proper lyrics. Luckily there’s no judgment on “Girl’s Weekend.” We breezed past border patrol but I still always get nervous thinking they’re going to deny me entry or want me to pull to the side and check my trunk, even though I have nothing to hide.
“Maybe one of these days I’ll get caught for smuggling all those napkins I take from Tim Hortons that I have shoved in every compartment of my car. Or, this is the moment I get that one immigration officer that dislikes my passport photo and wants to give me a hard time. ”
These are the thoughts that run through my mind at moments like this. It’s not like I’m harboring fugitives or have any outstanding warrants, but every time I enter a border, my imagination gets the best of me and my nerves kick in. Maybe I’m the only one?
Once we arrived in Canada and I refrained from declaring my excess of stolen napkins, we made our way towards Niagara Falls. We checked in to our hotel and were eager to see our “Deluxe View” room located on the 29th floor. The suite was nice, yet simple and the view from our window did not disappoint. The panoramic vista of rushing water forming this colossal wonder was breathtaking. The haze from the falls shot up and created a beautiful backdrop for the double rainbow that appeared in the distance. I had been to Niagara Falls numerous times throughout the years, but to see it like this from up above made me feel fortunate to have such an amazing spectacle of nature right in our backyard that most of us take for granted.
We explored the area and took the railway down the hill to get an up-close view of Mother Nature before night set in. This massive surge of 3,000 tons of water is thundering over Horseshoe Falls every second, as the cool mist sprays anyone brave enough to stand near. The overwhelming roar of the current drowns out your thoughts and takes you to a place of enchantment.
As darkness set in, the floodlights came on and illuminated the falls creating a colorful display of artwork reflecting off the water. The view from our room was even more spectacular, but we were more interested in the nightlife once the sun went down. We found the casino and were instantly distracted by the intense blinking lights and the jubilant sounds of the slot machines blaring loud beeps and chimes as the gamblers pushed their buttons and pulled their levers. It’s no Vegas, but it’s still a fun change from the day-to-day routine at home. Someday we’ll pull a “Rain Man” and win big on blackjack, but we just weren’t feeling lucky enough with the $20 limit we allowed ourselves that night.
We ended our night out on the town at The Spice Lounge, where the music was pouring out into the street and summoning us inside. The atmosphere was hip, yet sophisticated. You’d think I would’ve felt fancier when I shelled out nine bucks for my American beer in its fancy glass, but I knew I was paying more for the ambiance. Luckily the band did not disappoint and the group of dancing Canadians in front of the stage encouraged the entire bar to get up and shake their groove thing. Once the music ended, we made our way back to the hotel to enjoy our brief night living in the lap of luxury wearing our fancy robes and slippers, while taking in our million dollar view. We looked like Harry and Lloyd in “Dumb and Dumber” when they booked the Presidential Suite after coming into a large sum of money. (If you haven’t seen the movie, trust me; we looked ridiculous but felt fabulous.)
The weekend adventure was quick, but a nice change of scenery for the both of us. Shannon was heading back to New York City after her brief stint home and I was grateful to have some girl time away before she disappeared to her exciting life back in the Big Apple.
“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary simply by doing them with the right people.”