Get ready for Part II of our cross country road trip recap: Canada!
In May 2012, we drove 3,815 miles through 12 states, coast to coast. Our route took us through New York, Ontario in Canada, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. Check out the route:
You know what Canada means – passports and border crossing!
Crossing into Canada took no time at all. We wanted to go to the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls and figured we’d get border crossing out of the way early since we’d have to do it eventually anyways.
On to Niagara Falls!
It really ticked me off that we couldn’t purchase Maid of the Mist tickets ahead of time online. I know tourist/vacation season wasn’t in full swing yet but I would have loved the peace of mind of having a ticket in hand. The ticket lines were disorganized, with groups of people just standing around everywhere. We finally found a line with no one in it, bought our tickets, and walked down to the boat.
There is an elaborate concrete labyrinth to get down to the boat. I cannot imagine waiting in a line that was as long as the path, holy moly.
We put on our goofy ponchos and were ready for the Falls!
The Falls were incredible. So majestic and powerful. And loud!
At first the mist was just that, mist.
It was so pretty and peaceful, I was convinced the ponchos were for nothing.
Man, was I wrong! As we approached the horseshoe of the Falls the mist became more like pouring rain and the noise was deafening. We hurriedly put our cameras away as the boat idled in the midst of the downpour, huddled together getting soaked. As the boat finally pulled out of the horseshoe and we came out of the downpour, we could not stop laughing. It was a refreshing experience to say the least!
A quick outfit change later and we were ready for lunch!
Since Niagara Falls is pretty touristy we ended up at the Hard Rock Café for lunch. It was actually pretty awesome! Our server chatted with us about our road trip for like 15 minutes and we had the best nachos there! I also snapped this requisite photo of an autographed R.E.M. record they had hanging on the wall (my favorite record of theirs, Automatic For The People).
Full from lunch but not done with the tourist trap splendor that is Niagara Falls, we headed up to the main street to check it out. The whole area was so hokey and touristy, we had no idea! I’d been as a kid but didn’t remember it at all. It reminded me of the Jersey Shore meets Vegas. So crazy but a lot of fun!
We headed over to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. I loved those books as a kid so I was super excited.
These were my favorite things at the museum: A wall art piece made only out of dryer lint and us high fiving in a special room that took a picture of your shadow with a super bright bulb. Awesome!
After we had our fun in Niagara Falls we drove an hour to Hamilton, Ontario to the Canadian Warplane Museum.
The museum was awesome and huge!
We even got to meet the mechanic who works there full time restoring the planes and keeping them flying.
They were setting up a wedding for that night. What a cool place to get married, right?
We left as the museum closed for the night and drove another 2 hours to our final destination: London, Ontario. Our hotel in London was fabulous! We did some laundry and, without being able to use our phones, walked around to find a place to have dinner. We stumbled across a neighborhood restaurant called The Works. They specialized in burgers, served their drinks in measuring cups, had a Davis Square vibe, and was just great!
The next morning we woke up early, worked out in the hotel gym, got ready, and hit the road. We gassed up and got ready to cross back into the U.S.
Bridge to U.S.A.!
Before we could cross back into the U.S. we had to wait in the long border crossing line going into Detroit. Of course our car got selected for a random search (where we had to get out of the car while they searched it, x-rayed it, and dog sniffed it) which delayed us an hour. Oh well!
Stay tuned for Part III – Michigan!