"The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership is a government agency created in 1999 to partner with Ontario tourism operators to showcase Ontario as a four-season must-see travel destination at home and internationally."
The OTMPC Summer 2007 Brand Campaign had a 90 second "There's No Place Like This" ad that was shown on TV regularly during March and April. About 40 seconds into the commercial (watch here) you will see a ridiculously long suspension bridge. The first time lunato and I saw the ad on TV, we said "wow!" simultaneously and decided we must where that bridge is. It had to be in Ontario, but where ?!
Google search led us to multiple Ontario travel websites but the campaign was relatively new so we couldn't find any information about the suspension bridge. I called the Ontario Travel agency and inquired about the commercial and the suspension bridge but the agent didn't know what I was talking about. She offered to mail an Ontario Travel Guide and suggested that the guide might have pictures of bridge and I might be able to find more information there. Sure, thanks! The guide arrived within a week but unfortunately no helpful hints about the suspension bridge.
Lunato and I continued our search on the internet and our research seemed to indicate the bridge might be in the gigantic Algonquin Provincial Park. Now, months later, with more information online about the ad campaign, we know that the bridge is Canada's longest foot suspension bridge, 600 feet across the Eagle Canyon. Insane. We're planning on visiting it during the Fall.
During the Hunt For The Bridge, lunato stumbled upon the Whirlpool Jet Boat website. Before I go any further, click here to watch a video of the Jet Boat ride.
"WOW!", right ?
The Jet Boat ride starts from Niagara-On-The-Lake and travels along the Niagara River towards the Niagara Whirlpool, which is a natural whirlpool with a depth of about 38m. The water flowing from the Niagara Falls flows into the Niagara River and then takes a 90 degree turn thus forming the whirlpool. The water around this area is extremely turbulent with rapids all over the place.
Once boat engines became powerful enough to brave these rapids, it probably did not take too long for someone to realize that people would pay money to get soaked with water.
Since Harry was going to visit Canada soon, lunato and I decided that we will wait until he arrives and then go together. $56 CDN per person is a bit pricey but it was sure worth it.
We had reservations for 5 PM. Lunato was working until 2 and I had taken the day off so we were in front of her workplace at exactly 2 PM. Yonge and Bloor in Toronto to 61 Melville Street in Niagara-On-The-Lake is about 138 km and we had 3 hours until the jet boat left the docks. However, visitors are expected to arrive at least 15 minutes before departure for an info session. With the horrible Toronto Friday Traffic to contend with, I had to drive very creatively to reach our destination on time. Dooh and Harry fell asleep while I was driving.. what ungrateful punks. At least we got a funny picture of them.
The Jet Boat ride was amazing. We were lucky enough to be in the front row. Dooh kept saying "I hate you, I hate you" when I insisted we sit at the front.. but once the ride was over he was grateful that I had insisted to be at the front. The "Ten Thousand Gallon Nasal Flush" really felt like the 10k Nasal Flush. We were soaked to our bones from head to toe. Numerous times the water inside the boat was up to our chest. It's an amazing ride and well worth the admission price. Just make sure you take an extra set of clothes with you; shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and a towel too!
After the Jet Boat ride we drove along the Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls, stopping occasionally along the way for pictures.
Lunato and I recently got in touch with Margarita through Lisa, our 2002-2004 roommates from Ottawa, and while browsing through her wedding pictures on facebook, one picture stood out in particular. It was so unique and nice that lunato insisted that we create our own version of it. After multiple tries, we succeeded. So here they are:
Niagara Falls is always fun. Lunato had been putting off going to Screamers until Harry was here so we went there right after parking and having a bite to eat. It was just as much fun as I imagined it would be. I led the way followed by Lunato, Dooh, and Harry. Harry opted to stay at the back
behind Dooh, his favourite position. We yelled and screamed in absolute darkness but kept inching forward. At one point someone breathed down my neck and whisphered ominously "Leave the girl behind." Hehe.
We took a few more pictures here and there and then it was time to head back. We were sleeping at my mother's house in Mississauga tonight. She had insisted that Harry and his mother should visit her while they were here in Toronto. They've known each other almost as long as Harry and I. Unfortunately she had already left for Ottawa by the time we reached Mississauga. Oh well, maybe next time.
A few weeks before her parents arrived, lunato made a schedule for how we'll spend each weekend while they're here in Toronto. Today we visited Niagara-On-The-Lake and Niagara Falls. Her parents visited Canada sometime in 1992 so this was not the first time for them to see the Falls. However, they were on a package tour at the time so they didn't get to spend a lot of time exploring the area. Today, on the other hand, we spent almost the entire day in Niagara and the short trip was pretty enjoyable. I was contemplating whether I should take them to Screamers but lunato rejected the idea. She wants to go to Screamers with Alidhooh and Harry when they visit us in Toronto from the 13th to 17th of June. She's made a detailed plan for each day for them as well. Phewh, it's going to be a very busy June of 2007!
we were on the way to mom's house and all of sudden sikander asked me "lunato, shall we go to Niagara falls?" "what, Niagara falls? just like that?" you know Niagara falls is world famous sightseeing place and people dream about seeing it in real at least once in their life..
sikander then asked me "lunato, do you have your passport with you?" hahaha very funny sikander. when we were just "good roommates", we, dooh, naraku, sikander, and I, went on a Toronto trip together. we stayed in sikander's house eating sikander's mom's food. (who could have imagined she would be my future mother-in-law). anyhow, during the 2003 toronto trip, we went to Niagara falls. sikander and I planned to visit the American side but we forgot to bring our passports. we were very disappointed and were sitting on the side of a path looking so pissed while dooh and naraku went to get coffee. all of a sudden a lady approached us and started talking to us. "this may sound a bit odd.. I am from States and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so nice to be here. but I was looking at you two and I could tell you guys are unhappy about something. is there anyway I can help you at all ? it is just sad to see a couple look like this when they're on a trip"
Hehe, I was very embarrassed that we were displayed like that in public but at the same time happy that we looked like a couple not just roommates :D
On the way, we listened to the song "Eyes on me". I like the lyrics a lot.
Whenever sang my songs
On the stage, on my own
Whenever said my words
Wishing they would be heard
I saw you smiling at me
Was it real or just my fantasy?
You'd always be there in the corner
Of this tiny little bar
My last night here for you
Same old songs, just once more
My last night here with you?
Maybe yes, maybe no
I kind of liked it your way
How you shyly placed your eyes on me
Did you ever know
That I had mine on you?
When we got there it was almost midnight and rainy. It was pretty dark and cold as well but we could hear the sound of massive water falling clearly. and hold on, what is that on the American side of the falls ? OMG... Aku.. the core of evil is now at Niagara Falls USA.. where is Samurai Jack??? Help!
Standing by the falls for 5 minutes was long enough to feel the chill on the skin. We drove a bit more along the falls and then headed back to Mississauga at close to 1 in the morning. Talk talk talk, sing sing sing, yawn yawn yawn, coffee, coffee, coffee... by the way, I still think Tim Horton's ice cappuccino is the best ice cappuccino in the world (at least in my world)
"Hello, my name is lunato and I am Ice cappuchinholic."