Thursday, September 29, 2005

Niagara Falls 2005: Day II

I had a bit of a hard time falling asleep the first night, but I eventually dozed off. Around 9:00 AM, I was the last to wake up. Mom was up way before us and snapped some pictures of the sunrise through the mist of the Falls.

She also took a picture of me waking up. I was still beat, it wasn't a pretty sight. Apparently I look like a bad Jack Nicholson impersonator in the morning.

"Wait til they get a load of me..."

One thing we could all agree on was that we were hungry. We marched down the street to a breakfast buffet Kris saw while walking last night. It was a nice little place, the food was alright, not the best ever, but it did the trick.

From there we walked up the street and checked out the OK Gift Shop. I've loved the name of the place for a while now, but this was the first time I had been in there. It's a cute little shop, a bit cramped though.

We stopped back at the hotel to pick up the van and we were off to Marineland. Kris couldn't believe how apart everything in the park was.
The first attraction we checked out was the deer park. It's basically a big enclosed area with dozens of small deer roaming freely. The thing is, you go right in there with them. You can pet them, feed them, just get up close to them, it was pretty cool.

A pygmy deer sits on my lap and eats from my hand...not really...

The comes backup!

From there, we found ourselves at the section housing the black bears. There were a bunch of them down below and you could toss food down to them. It was pretty funny, the bears seemed to keep posing for pictures. One would throw his paws in the air when someone was about to toss food like he was saying "Come on buddy, over here!"

Another one leaned his paws across a big rock and looked up at Kris as he was about to snap a picture.

Zombie bear

We wandered a bit more and just like last year, the sun started to get to me. I was getting hot and my skin was turning red. I needed relief, so we found a water fountain, whipped my towel out of my backpack, soaked it, and used it to cool myself down.

After a little more wandering, we checked out the Beluga whales for a bit.

Next, we headed for the killer whale enclosure. We went to the underwater viewing area for a little while, but the water was cloudy and the whales weren't hanging around the windows at all. Kris did spot an amusing sign though.

We went up to the above ground area to check it out, but wheelchair height is never very good for things like that. Mom asked a guy who worked there if there was a raised area or anything so I could actually see into the water. He told us to hang on and then disappeared into the crowd for a minute. Upon returning, he said "Follow me."
He led us to an off limits area where he introduced us to the whale trainer, Christina (or Christine, but I'm pretty sure it was Christina). Before I knew it, Christina had called the whale over.

All my life I've been fascinated by marine life and now here I was, just inches away from an orca. She then asked if I'd like to touch it. The whale turned over on her side, lifting her fin to me. I couldn't believe I was actually touching a whale. It felt rougher than I expected, like a wet eraser, but that might've been cause I touched the edge of the fin.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I can get grossed out fairly easily. Imagine Christina shoved a dead fish into my hand. I just tried to block it out of my head that the warm squishy thing in my hand was a dead fish and went along with feeding this beautiful whale.

Mom got her turn too

After a quick little song from this magnificent animal, we said our thank yous and goodbyes and we were on our way.
As we made our way out of the park, I had a hand covered in fish goo. What's a guy to do in such a situation? No, not the towel. Savages. I got some Purel from Mom, of course!

From back at the hotel, we found ourselves walking towards the Skylon Tower.

When we arrived, Kris backed out of heading up top with me and much to my surprise, Mom decided to ignore her fear of heights and accompany me. We bought our tickets and up we went.

The ride up the little yellow elevator was really fast, it really doesn't feel like you go up that high.

The view from up top was just awesome, you could see for miles. The only bummer was that there were stairs to get out to the main viewing area. Ah well, the view was still great. Major kudos to Mom for going up with me.

Me longing for Toronto

We popped into the Imax theater, but the next showtime was quite a wait, so we decided to pass and maybe come back the next day.

It was pretty cool though, they had some of the actual barrels that people have gone over the Falls in on display, so I posed by a couple.

We made our way back to the hotel for a little bit. I decided it'd be cool to head to the casino, but we needed to eat first. We headed to the Friday's in the hotel we stayed in last year and amusingly enough, we were put at the same table as last year. The food and drinks were good, but really expensive, not to mention our waiter was ridiculously slow.

Me drinking an ultimate mudslide...through my nose

With full bellies, we made our way to the casino and I found the quarter slots. I decided I was only going to use the Canadian money I had gotten from my lovely family for my birthday. In the end, I spent $40 and won $29. A loss of $11, not too shabby.

Gambling makes you thirsty, so we stopped in the lounge in our hotel's lobby before heading up to bed. Drinks were ordered and I decided to just get water. Good choice. Like most places up there, it was expensive. For example, Kris ordered a beer that turned out to be $8. Needless to say, he made sure he enjoyed every last drop.

With a very full Day Two behind us, we headed to bed in preparation for Day Three.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You got to pet a killer whale?? I am sooo jealous!