13 September 2018
Well, that was a surprising night. Bugsy woke up at midnight, just after I’d gone to bed, and didn’t go back to sleep until about 04:00. She was just wide awake and said to me that she was trying to go to sleep but just couldn’t and she didn’t know why. I went in to her just after midnight when she called for me, and didn’t leave until 03:00, when I swapped with Ian who stayed in bed with her until the morning which came far too quickly for all of us!
The alarm went off at 08:00, and I showered and dressed before waking Ian, unintentionally waking Bugsy at the same time. She asked to stay in bed for a bit, which was fine, as I made lunch and Ian packed the bag for today’s trip to Niagara Falls.
Poor little Cornelia doesn’t do well without sleep and was soon sad about everything. She was cold, her porridge was too hot, she banged her chin on the sink while brushing teeth etc. 😫
Eventually, we piled into the car about 45 minutes later than planned and set off. I’d hoped that she would fall asleep but (despite me listing each item to go in our bag) Ian forgot Cowbat so she didn’t have anyone to chomp on and instead watched her Kindle. I had in my mind that we were just going to have to try and survive today!!
We arrived safely at Niagra on the Lake, where we collected our bikes for the day, from a nice guy at Zoom. They’d suffered a fire just a few weeks previously and had lost fifty bikes, but seemed to be coping with a smaller unit pretty well. He gave me easy directions to Niagra Falls (to the lights, turn left. When you hit the river, turn right and just keep going!) and off we went. Cornelia has been given the option of a toddler seat or a tag along and she really wanted the tag along, and merrily cycled behind Daddy.
The route was terrific, largely flat with one long uphill, but nothing too difficult. We stopped for a snack at the Brock Monument where a couple of road cyclists told us that we probably wouldn’t be able to cycle all the way to the Falls as the cycle trail ended and you joined the main road and it would be far too dangerous with Cornelia on the back, so this made us quite anxious, as we carried on regardless. Well, we’re not really sure what they were talking about. We did indeed join the main road, but there was plenty of space, all the drivers were perfectly behaved and we never had a moment of doubt as we approached the magnificent and mighty Niagra Falls.
First glance was that it was a bit underwhelming before we realised that that was just the American side of the Falls and the real drama happened down at Horsehoe Falls.
We locked up our bikes, bought boat tickets and boarded the Hornblower, having donned our pink ponchos which should keep us largely dry! The twenty minutes boat trip down the river and into the heavy spray of Horseshoe Falls was incredible, made especially more so as it has been something of a childhood dream to be there. I felt quite emotional as we stood port-side with the mist being blown into our faces and a beautiful rainbow forming along the waterfall. It was magical and special and simply a must-do for anyone visiting.
With her poncho now acting as her super hero cape, Cornelia had an energy-giving chocolate ice cream back on dry land, which melted rather quickly in the heat, before we re-saddled and returned to Niagra on the Lake.
The area (just outside the immediate Falls area) is particularly beautiful and lush. The road is lined with wineries and although there is minimal development overall, it’s like cycling through the pages of Country Living magazine… the houses that are there are mostly spectacular, and no doubt rather expensive! Sotheby’s seems to be the estate agent of choice…!
Cornelia did incredibly well, especially as she must’ve been totally shattered after such little sleep last night, but she remained cheerful, capable and competent the whole ride back.
We dropped our bikes off shortly before 19:00, and our plan was to stop for food on the way home. We ended up driving for nearly an hour before we pulled off the Queen Elizabeth Way, settling for a Denny’s! For all the cheap and cheerfulness that epitomises Denny’s, we were served good food quickly and by really friendly staff. Cornelia wolfed down her spaghetti, as I did my chicken curry and Ian his huuuuge burger! We thought Cornelia would fall asleep in the car, but she put on her nursery rhymes and managed the whole journey back without so much as a murmur.
Her and Ian nearly fell out just as we entered our apartment but narrowly avoided doing so. I whipped her off to wash her hands and face, and brush her teeth, before it was story-time. She fell straight to sleep. Fingers crossed for an uneventful night!
(I’m still trying to work out how to create some WordPress space, so I can continue to upload photos and make these posts a bit more meaningful!)