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Friday, 23 May 2014


Had an awesome time in the Niagara Region May 24th weekend! Stayed at an older motel with heart shaped jacuzzis in the room (yes we soaked the stairs and floor around them getting in and out to reset the timer but we cleaned it up responsibly and amazingly though it used all our towels but not a speck of dirt appeared on the towels so we were happy to see how clean the place is lol!). Visited the Botanical Gardens, hiked down to the river at a rest stop before the gardens, ate at Johnny Roccos (our fav!), and went to the Bird Kingdom. Bought a snowy owl stuff toy at their wonderful gift shop.

This was a combination mini vaycay and a trip to visit my aunt and my step dad who live in Welland. 2 years ago we had driven down for a specific reason to the Port Colborne and Welland area several times, not a real good reason. My mother's family having grown up in Port Colborne, I've loved Niagara since a little kid, have good family memories from there. We passed the fruit blossom trees in a couple orchards on one trip but failed to stop (passed it 3 times but did we stop? no! lol! doh!) and take a photo of them back lit, so gorgeous, and had hoped to this time. Well, we weren't really going down that same road, which lead to Ball's Falls, so we didn't really get an opportunity to revisit that exact scene and lighting condition, but I did get a few nice shots at the Botanical Gardens. As usual, Johnny Roccos did not disappoint. The food and atmosphere are awesome there, and funny as it sounds, they make the Best vegetables that are sides to many of the meals. I believe if I recall, they get what is local and available depending on when you go. Bird Kingdom was fun! I have been there once before, with my kids when they were little. There are 3 floors and many exotic birds flying around free. They even can be seen nesting! We walked along the walkway by the Falls briefly, it was chill chill and there were huge ice rocks still below them. Got some pics of probably what is a familiar local guy sitting in a mass of peanut shells feeding the birds and squirrels (sneaked a shot), saw a black squirrel with a white tip on the tail, photographed some flowers, and saw some outdoor birds.

Since we've sort of developed an interest in birds, we planned to go to Bird Kingdom. It's not an expensive place to go to, great for families! There are 3 floors, parrots, reptiles, nocturnal birds and creatures, and a whole open area with free birds everywhere :-) Last time I spotted a nesting bird and this time as well, a silly bird with her nest right on the emergency box lol! The plants and waterfall in the main area are also wonderful, with the daylight streaming in from above through glass.

One thing we planned was to visit the Botanical Gardens though I guess this time of year they aren't quite as exciting as when I saw them one late summer/fall trip about 8 years ago. At that time, the botanical students, who come from all over the world to study there, had their examination gardens up. They were interesting and stunning in many cases! We will go back again later this year as I'd love to see that again :-) But, we saw quite a few stunning blossom tree examples, lots of gold finches and we even witnessed a wedding party in a sun shower, trying to keep dry as they walked way ahead of us (sneaked another shot lol!).

My aunt's home is in Welland and she has an area set up where she does hair. It's a really cool environment and my aunt is and has been since age 18, a talented hair stylist and taught hair as well in a school in Toronto years ago. I always enjoy visiting her <3

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