The other thing that we did on Monday was to arrange our Niagara trip. On the list of things to do, that always came up as one of the Toronto attractions. I’m sure that it comes up as a Buffalo attraction too. “What’s one of the best things to do in this city? Get out of the city.”
I say that we arranged it. But it was actually our concierge, Andy, who did it all. He asked the particulars of what we wanted and made all the arrangements. CityTour picked us up at the hotel. (They ran 15 late but we were their last pickup.) If your hotel has a concierge, use him.
Sabi, our driver/guide, was talkative and attentive. When the kids behind us started to get out of line, he addressed them quietly, personally, and directly to be more considerate of others. I thought it was very well done. Since it was an hour and change trip to and back, starting out by taking control is probably best. And he chatted with us the entire way about the road we were on, the difference in culture, what Canadians earned, paid in taxes, enjoyed as pasttimes, etc.
In my reading of the tour reviews, a lot of the negative reviews said that the drivers were rude, the wait was long, there was nothing to do. But, it was just the opposite. Our driver answered every question, the whole trip passed quickly and we didn’t get to do a lot that was out there because the time just flew by.
They allowed for three hours at the falls. That was barely enough time to get a nice meal and walk the promenade before we had to turn around and get back to the bus. Not enough time for the Ferris Wheel, sky tower, or boat ride.
The second part of the tour was the city of Niagara-on-the-Lake. There was barely enough time to get an ice cream and visit a cheese shop before it was back on the bus. For the record, I impressed Sabi. He was suggesting that anyone who hadn’t tried Maple and Walnut ice cream do so. I went one better and had a Macintosh Crumble with Maple-Walnut ice cream a la mode.
The final part of the tour was to a winery. In this case it was the Niagara College Teaching Winery. Where they had us try a nice white wine and two ice wines. Thea picked up a nice pair of earrings; hematite beads in grape-cluster design. Then it was back on the bus for the ride back to our hotels.
Now, I said that the tour picked up and dropped off at our hotel but in reality we had him drop us off a block away from it at a restaurant called Golden Thai. We shared a tempura calamari appetizer and I had a very nice and surprisingly inexpensive Mussaman Lamb Curry.