Our plans to hit the road early were derailed by a bunch of those little things that always pop up at the very last minute. I had trouble sleeping, which resulted in waking up later than I had hoped, then my laptop decided to throw a noisy fit when I tried to check my email before leaving. You know, those kinds of things.
So, after a slightly stressful start to my birthday morning, Mom and I hit the road a little after 1 PM.
It was a nice, uneventful ride on a somewhat overcast day. Occasionally, the sun would peek through and shine down, giving the clouds a really cool look, like paintings.
Again, I whipped up a playlist on my iPod that helped the miles fly by. I included a live performance by Chantal Kreviazuk where she sang some songs from her new album, Ghost Stories, which I was looking forward to picking up in Canada. Though it may not sound it, it was pretty funny when Mom started crying (while driving) as Ghosts of You played. We both had visions of us pulling up to the border with Mom just sitting in the driver's seat, sobbing.
As we always do, we stopped to eat at the rest stop in Angola, New York before heading back onto the road.
The clouds became more and more ominous looking as we approached Buffalo and images of Independence Day popped into my mind. They had no bite to them though, only producing a brief drizzle.
Before long, we crossed the Peace Bridge into Canada and arrived at the hotel overlooking Niagara Falls a little after 6 PM. We settled in and I returned a couple birthday calls I missed while on the road, including one particularly amusing rendition of Happy Birthday.
I decided to see if any birthday luck would find me at the casino.
Grandma had given me some birthday money and told me it had to be used in the casino, so I used it. In my first ten minutes there, I hit. Granted, to 90% of the people in there, my winnings would probably be considered pocket change, but I was ecstatic.
I figured I'd splurge a little to celebrate my day, so we went to the Terrapin Grille. We split an order of bruschetta and had some wine. I think this may have been the best wine I've ever had. Sadly, I can't remember what it was called. All I know is it was the last one listed on the menu for Niagara white wines. Delicious.
After we finished, our awesome server surprised me with a piece of cake with "Happy Birthday" written in chocolate on the plate. That was a nice little surprise that ended my birthday and the first day of the trip on a great note.
Tipsy (and extremely giggly) from the wine, I followed Mom back to the room and hit the hay.