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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Musings on my trip to Toronto and Niagara

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I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Toronto, Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake. Many thanks to hdm and other Fodorites who helped to make the trip such a success.

Here are some random musings -

Priceline comes through again. Really enjoyed my stay at the Renaissance at the Toronto airport for about 60 dollars via Priceline. (REALLY enjoyed the Westin Harbour Castle for the rest of the trip - love those Heavenly beds!)

If you have a bit of extra time, get a rental car and go see something! Only 32 Canadian dollars total for a day's rental - and access to NF and NOTL.

Why is Tim Horton's everywhere? Even in Home Depot? And why does Tim Horton's put cucumber slices in an egg salad wrap?

What the heck are tea cakes? Oh. Sweet biscuits as we would call them at home.

When did Boston become famous for pizza? Could not believe how many Boston Pizzas I saw in my first hours in Canada! Boston? Pizza?

What a great idea to have headlights on during the day! I didn't realize it was the norm until I looked back in the rear view mirror and saw all the headlights.

What a great idea to have the blue signs on the highway announcing upcoming exits for farmer markets, farms, potteries and wineries! Why isn't there any signage for farmers markets, etc. "at home"?

Why would I be so excited to see a COWS again!?! I had no idea I would be - but I was. I happened by just as the NOTL store was opening up. Why isn't a chocolate milkshake a normal breakfast/ brunch food?

What could be better than driving along the Niagara Parkway from NOTL to the Falls on a sunny spring day? Okay, trading my rental car for the Mini-Cooper convertible in front of me would improve things a bit, but what a beautiful drive!

When did a 4 door sedan with leather seats become a "compact" car? Yes, it was a Ford Focus but it was very nice and spacious. Not the compact car of rental days of yore.

Why does it take me most of the day to learn the said rental car has a sunroof?

Why don't gas stations accept American cards at the pump? Problems with stolen cards I was told, but was stress-inducing when I was racing the clock to return the car.

Who knew how beautiful the countryside would be? Not me! Getting off the QEW and driving into NOTL was just beautiful. It reminded me a bit of the Skagit Valley and LaConner area north of Seattle. Vineyards instead of tulips, but so beautiful.

Why did I plan my extra day to be a Sunday and few wineries were open? Why didn't I plan two days to explore the area? I will next time!

How often does one come to a four way stop in beautiful countryside and see a mom and daughter on horseback waiting for their turn?

Where is Queenston Pottery? Turned around at York Road and stalked the horseback riders a bit. Passed them again and then turned around. Slowed down, smiled and said "photo op!". All four posed - humans and equines! :-)

How is it the Canandians do such a better job with parks and gardens and roadside amenities? The parks surrounding Niagara Falls were gorgeous - lush green grass and beautiful flowers. Everyone out enjoying the parks and the sunshine.

How did I not know how amazing the Falls really would be? I went because I was near. I was amazed at the Falls.

Anyone who DOESN'T take a trip on the Maid of the Mist should not go to the Falls. To be in the midst of the Horsehoe Falls and feel the power of the water.... Amazing.

Aren't IMAX films wonderful? I've never disappointed. I loved the recreation of the first woman to go over the falls in a barrel - a 68 year old schoolteacher!

Why did I not double back when I realized I had the wrong shoes on as I left home? By the end of the day, my feet were killing me!

How polite for the Canadians to announce the upcoming tourist section. I took a picture of the sign - Entering Clifton Hill (Tourist Area).

What would Queen Victoria think of Victoria Avenue?

What could be a better souvenir than Crocs for aching feet? In bright Canadian red, of course!

What could be a better way to end the afternoon than afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales hotel. Well, the Prince of Wales tea with an assortment of Canadian cheeses. So good. I didn't touch the sweets. They packed them up for me, but the box was still unopened when I left days later.

Where can you meet an absolutely delightful new friend in Toronto - before you ever arrive? In Fodorville, of course! Thanks hdm for your help and your visit! (Report in the Lounge)

What cities have the cleanest cabs I've ever been in? Toronto, so far.

What the most multiculturally diverse city on the continent? Toronto. And, I enjoyed every minute in the city (although I worked for most of it).

What took me so long to return to Toronto (20 years) and when can I go back!?!? TBD

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