Niagara Falls, One of the Seven Wonders of the World?

According to our tour guide and the IMAX Theater,  I just saw the 7th wonder of the world~ which hundreds of thousands of millions and gazillions of people already experienced!  But I am still in awe of the beauty and power of the Niagara Falls! So I’m thinking I might need to see the other six!!

The Seven Wonders of the World are……………….ummm which list do you want look at?  There are the 7 Ancient Wonders, the 7 Modern Wonders, the 7 Man-made Wonders, the  7 Natural Wonders, and a few other Wonder Lists!!  And I didn’t see Niagara Falls on any of them!!!  What the heck!!!   Didn’t anyone tell Canada??  Do they even know??

I don’t want to dispute any list, or any country that thinks they are on the list so I’ll just move on…

My girlfriend and I did a bus trip to Ontario, Canada to see the falls.  Traveling by bus is a great way to travel, you can just sit there and be lazy.  You can read, nap, chat away the hours, or watch the world as you pass by.  But, you are also stuck on a bus with a lot of other chatty people.  Luckily though, there were only 14 total on this trip which was perfect!  We got to know each other and had lots of fun!  And an added plus, they napped when we napped and chatted when we chatted and nobody was noisy at all.  Whew!

The good thing about traveling on a bus trip is that your trip is completely planned for you.  We didn’t have to plan anything; we only had to worry about making sure we got up and on the bus at the appropriate time (and remembered to change out of our jammies).

The bad thing about traveling on a bus trip is that your trip is completely planned for you.  We saw some things that we wanted to do but couldn’t, like walk behind the falls; and also saw some things that we would not have chosen to do BUT we did know this when we signed up.  For instance, we saw an IMAX movie of the falls that was really not interesting, I could have googled that info, or the bus line could have bought the DVD and showed it to us on the drive up.


Upon our arrival in Niagara, and the trip thru Canadian Customs with a few rude customs agents, we went to the Skylon Towers for a dinner buffet.  It wasn’t too bad, considering I am not a fan of buffet style meals.  They had an observation deck that I wanted to up to but it wasn’t on our itinerary so after our meal we were back on the bus to our hotel.  The evening was to then be spent on our own.  Naturally I wanted to walk down to the falls.  It was amazing!  Pictures just don’t capture the natural beauty and power of the falls.  We eventually wandered into a restaurant/bar across the street from the falls, and waited for darkness to fall so we could witness the lights on the falls at night.  Gorgeous!

 Unfortunately, I did not have my tripod with me so my night shots didn’t turn out so good.

The next day was breakfast at the hotel and back on the bus for our 3 hour tour!  Yes some of us did sing the little tune to “Gilligan’s Island”.   We had a tour guide that did a great job informing us on the power plants that once occupied the area, we saw a beautiful seminary, and a convent that now sit empty.  I wanted to get off the bus and take pictures because the buildings were beautiful! We went to Table Rock to watch the falls from above. We saw a floral clock that completely bored me to tears. 

And then we went to the “Locks”; a ship had just come in and they were filling up one of the locks but we only had 15 minutes to spend there and we were off again.  We drove past the butterfly conservatory; I would have LOVED going in there too!

  This is at the Whirlpool where 3 rivers meet, I would have loved to take a ride over the whirlpool!!

Next was lunch on our own after which we hopped on “Maid of the Mist” and headed into the mist of the falls, or rain as we later discovered. 

We were all covered in blue plastic disposable raincoats which thankfully kept my clothes and my camera dry, the rest of me was soaked!  What a great adventure to be down in the powerful spray of the falls!

After we dried in the sun for a few minutes we were back on the bus and went to Niagara on the Lake. 

A beautiful quaint little town on Lake Ontario, I had planned on dipping my toes in the lake but we never made it  L .  So, any of you that are planning on going, let me tell you that the town is nice and the shops are unusual boutiques’, most of which cater to a higher end of shopping, had I known I definitely would have declined that visit and chosen the walk behind the falls. 

Three of us almost got stuck in Niagara on the Lake.  We waited and waited….and started to cry….and waited for the shuttle bus to come pick us up to take us back to our bus but it never arrived.  Thankfully a local told us the shuttles stop running at 6pm.  It was then 6:25 and we had to be back at our bus by 6:30.  We cried louder and wanted our Mommies!  It would have been polite for the shuttle driver to tell us the curfew time when he dropped us off.  Would have been nice for OUR bus driver to know that too!  We eventually stopped crying and walked the few blocks out of town to the tour bus location.  We were applauded by everyone else for finally arriving!  I asked them if they were worried about us and they said NO!  Geesh!  Doesn’t anybody love me?

Back on the bus and to the hotel for the night.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret….shhh, you can’t whisper a word to anyone else….we smuggled wine into the country!!!! HA!  So being the rebels that we are, we sat on the balcony of our hotel room and drank our smuggled wine for everyone to see!!  Okay,  just kidding, sort of.  We did bring wine in and my friend declared it.  But how she declared the wine was funny.  The customs agent (who’s personality was equal to a bear with a diaper rash and heartburn) asked her how much wine she is declaring, and my friend used her hands to describe the height of the box and said “about that much”.  Yea yea yea it was box wine!!!  Get over it!  Then she pulled out her metal nail file and proceeded to file her nails!  Umm Janie dear, isn’t that considered a weapon these days!!!

Oh!  I almost forgot!  There was a tightrope walker that walked from the Skylon Tower to one of the hotels.  He just zipped along like it was nothing!

The next morning…….found a Perkins for breakfast (yuck that was bad!) and back on the bus for the IMAX theater.  Again, I knew this was on the itinerary and I was okay it clearly BUT I didn’t realize how lame the movie was going to be.  We learned about the Indian legend to the maid in the mist, heard about some of the daredevils and that was it.  I don’t recommend wasting your time or money on that experience!

Back on the bus for the ride home….and the 1-1/2 hour wait to get thru US customs.  Good to know our country is safe!  They did the mirror under the bus, walked thru our bus and checked out each one of us. Had no wine to declare this time and Janie kept her weapon safely tucked in her purse.   Not sure how I would have explained to her husband that she was arrested for possession of a weapon…..

Adorable friend, fantastic trip and weather, spectacular place to visit and I am so thankful that I was able to go.  But there is no place like home Toto!


Who Doesn’t Like a Give-Away?? Come on over and enter to win!!

Want to win something that will help with your weight loss program?  Slimkicker via my blog, will be giving away this fantastic  kitchen scale .

To enter, leave a comment, just a sentence or two, with your suggestion on a fun, creative fitness or diet challenge.  The winner will be announced next week.

Check out, it is a wonderful site!   The site provides you with a way to track your calories and turn your weight loss and fitness goals into a level-up game with rewards.  You rack up points by tracking healthy calories, and completing challenges such as quitting soda for a week. You can upload a picture of a reward you would like, such as a cheat food (like one of my brownies), or an iPod that you have been wanting to buy, and they’ll remind you to reward yourself with that reward as you reach a certain number of points. 

There are challenges, forums and groups along with resources such as blogs, nutrition & fitness, calorie database, wellness,  and diet psychology.  And let’s not forget all the recipes and diets such as the  DukanDiet  and Weight Watchers.


Hope you have a fantastic day!

Resolutions vs Goals

Resolution vs goals, or as I see it, Pressure vs Direction.

We are 6 days into a New Year!  It’s refreshing to have a new start at life but, we can do that at any point in our lives.  We don’t need January 1st for that to happen, yet many of us seem to wait for it.  Silly isn’t it.

So, how many of you created your New Year’s Resolution list?  Not me!  I used to create that list but I have goals I set for myself, it’s easier and has less pressure.  And if at any time I wander or stray I gently guide myself back on track.  Sometimes it may not be so gentle as I may need a swift kick in the ass, but hey, I’m flexible.  I can give myself a swift kick and good talking to!!

My long term goals are, for the most part, pretty easy for me to stay on track.  Minus the extra winter coat or new pair of heels I may occasionally buy that digs into the money that I wanted to save.  But the short term goals, now that’s my challenge.  For instance, here I sit blogging instead of starting that new scarf, or putting some things on Ebay.  My photo album from the walk in October needs to be put together and my own personal photo’s need printed, dated and put in albums.  But , here I am, on the sofa, on the computer, and watching a movie.   It really doesn’t matter that I spent most of the day cleaning, doing laundry, packing away Christmas decorations, grocery shopping and making chicken soup for a sick friend.  No, I have to remind myself that there are several other things that need to be done NOW.   Thankfully I have one more day to cram all that stuff in.  Ahhh yes there is always tomorrow to finish my honey-do list!

I am already planning my day tomorrow, minute by minute, chore by chore.  And a huge pot of coffee.  I also have a promise to not put too much pressure on myself and just enjoy the day by relaxing, breathing, prayer, meditation, yoga, cooking, knitting and walking the dog.  Anything else I can accomplish will be a bonus!!

PINK OUT, Women’s Cancer Fund

As I do every spring, I attend the Pink Out Women’s Cancer Fund event.  It is a night that is filled with fun, friendship, food and awe.  Money is raised for the Pink Out Fund, information is  HERE.  Please make a donation!

The mansion is a beautiful piece of architecture and design in itself but it is totally decorated in pink for this event.  The girls in the committee are all dressed in a theme outfit and we are greeted at the door by Jane Rice with a hug, a hug that is one that you would give your best friend as she enters your home for a girl’s night.  The committee women’s husbands wearpink polo shirts; they direct the parking and offer you a ride to the mansion in golf carts.  There are tall pink flags waving in the evening breeze as you drive up to the mansion, gorgeous pink flower arrangements are placed throughout the rooms (donated and crafted from plastic bottles and bags and painted), tables are adorned with pink fabric and ribbons, and beautifully hand-blown glass hats and purses dress the tables outside in the backyard.  The drinks for the evening are of a pink nature of course, made with cranberry or pomegranate juices, pink plates and napkins, pink food ~ pasta with a pink sauce and salmon, even the salad dressing had a pink hue to it! 

The entire place is filled with women in pink, it looks like a pepto bismol bottle exploded!  It’s one the most wonderful things you can experience.  The sister-hood, the love, the caring.  And then you are humbled when you see someone that is obviously undergoing chemo treatments.  I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time.  She had no hair and my heart instantly ached for her.  She told me that she shaved her head for her daughter-in-law who has breast cancer.  LOVE

Volunteers for the evening, also in a theme outfit but different from the committee girls, are walking around all evening collecting your empty plates and cups.  There is also a  silent auction and raffle drawings. 

Then Jane speaks, her story of surviving cancer is amazing and makes me tear up every time.  A guest speaker spoke last night, a young woman; I could not move from where I was standing.  As she was introduced by her friend, it was mentioned that she was a tough cookie; she also mentioned a t-shirt that this young woman wore, it read “hey cancer, you picked the wrong bitch”.  And cancer did.  This young woman’s story was shocking and heartwarming and I couldn’t help but cry.  She had a doctor appointment, had her breast exam and was given a clean bill of health, in a matter of 2 months I believe; she did her own breast exam and found the lump that changed her life.  She talked about how she wanted to “feel” what cancer was like so for a few days she didn’t take some medicine, which she said looking back was probably not a good thing, but she still wanted to feel it.  After a treatment she was so sick but still went to work, had to excuse herself and then went back to work.  She did then take the meds, and she said that she really couldn’t explain why she wanted to do that but she did.  She also told us how she would have a treatment and then go home to put on her bikini, hop on the John Deere and mow her yard.  Yea I think she might be a tough girlie!  She told us though, she was still depressed and sad BUT she was not going to let cancer live her life, she was going to learn to live her life with cancer. 

After she spoke and walked away we were asked if we remembered a young bald girl 2 years ago in a pink fluffy dress, a lot of us agreed that yes we did, that was her and she will be celebrating 2 years of being cancer free this month. 

Next, Jane asked all the women in the room that had breast, ovarian or uterine cancer to come forward.   Women from all corners of the room walked up, some beside me.  I just cried.  They held hands and stood around a tree that was decorated with names of those being remember or honored with women’s cancer.   It was so moving. 

At the end of the night as you walk outside you are greeted by the husbands in pink polo shirts again.  They help you down the steps, hand you a gift and escort you to your car in the golf cart.  They use lights to guide you out of the cart and walk you to your car, open your car door and get you in the car safely.  And finally, they tell you “get home safely”.

People that care. Friends, family.  Amazing.  Please make a donation, this is a wonderful organization.

Ladies, do your breast exams!!!

Women Over 50

This was sent to me in an email, I love it and had to share it!


“As I grow in age, I value women over 50 most of all.

Here are just a few reasons why:


A woman over 50 will never wake you in the middle of the night & ask, ‘What are you thinking?’ She doesn’t care what you think.


 If a woman over 50 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She goes and does something she wants to do,

& it’s usually more interesting.


 Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant.

Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you,

if they think they can get away with it.


 Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved.

They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.


 Women get psychic as they age.

You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50.


 Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier

 than her younger counterpart.


 Older women are forthright and honest..

They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one.

 You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.


 Yes, we praise women over 50 for a multitude of reasons.

 Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal.

For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 50,

there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself

 with some 22-year old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.


 For all those men who say,

‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’

 Here’s an update for you.

Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage.


Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig

just to get a little sausage!”

Christmas Music

Jumping in the car this morning, I turned on  a local radio station that is already playing Christmas music, 24/7.  It wasn’t until I pulled out of the parking lot that I realized I ran out the door a little too early.  Shocking if you really knew me in the morning.  Anyway, by the time I park my car at work, this old Christmas tune is playing,  Johnny Mathias, “The Christmas Song”.  I was transported back in time.  Seriously.  I sat there and saw my Mom as though it was yesterday.  In her skirt, heels and hose with an apron tied around her waist.  The couture very 60’s!  Beehive hair-do, and frosted nonetheless!  On the kitchen wall was the cat clock that wagged its tail and moved its eyes as it kept time.  Dad in the kitchen helping my Mom mash the potatoes.  In the living room my grandparents sat with my brother and me playing with our new toys by the silver tree I disliked.  Our stockings hung on the bookcase shelves because we didn’t have a fireplace.  On the rooftop was a Santa in his sleigh with all the tiny reindeer, and Rudolph with a red lightbulb for his nose leading the way.  The house was framed in those old-fashioned large bulbs.    And on the record player, a Johnny Mathias album.  “The Christmas Song” filled the house along with the aroma of a turkey dinner cooking. 

And as I sit here typing this, I remember the same album playing at my Grandmothers house.  She is baking cookies and wrapping her gifts so precisely that the gift wrap pattern matches, you cannot see any seams.  And the Nativity scene.  That is one of the things I love the most about my childhood Christmas memories.  I would lay on my belly and just gaze at Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  Oh and I cannot forget the ribbon candy!!!  She always had ribbon candy.  I didn’t think they made that anymore but someone brought some into work last week.

Hope you all have pleasant and happy Christmas memories too!

Thanksgiving, The Forgotten Holiday?

Or so says someone at work today.  We were talking about shopping for Christmas gifts, especially on Black Friday, buying decorations and putting them up, and so on.  He was not happy.  But I have to agree, Thanksgiving, in the commercial form, has definitely been forgotten.  I’d like to think that as families and friends, we still have the true meaning of Thanksgiving in our hearts.  The stores have indeed done their best to re-direct our focus from Thanksgiving to preparing for Christmas.

I have always loved Thanksgiving.  Family and friends are together, the food is incredibly delicious, and it gives us a time to reflect on how blessed and fortunate we truly are.  But I have to admit, I also love preparing for, and beginning to celebrate, Christmas.  I have fun on Black Friday shopping with my bestie and spending the weekend decorating for Christmas.

Christmas seems to bring the best out of most people.  The human race seems to be more considerate and thoughtful of those less fortunate.  Why is that?  Why can’t that heartfelt caring for other humans carry throughout the year?  I love to hear about people that are helping others, donating food and gifts.  So if this is what happens with the early arrival of Christmas preparations, is it really all that terrible?  I don’t think so.  But I do think, as my friend at work, that we need to hold onto Thanksgiving ~ embrace the traditions and celebrate one holiday at a time.

So I will be cooking dinner for my son and his girlfriend, and you can be sure that they will know how thankful I am to have them in my life, I’ll most likely visit some friends and my niece as well.  And yea I’ll be shopping on Black Friday. 

Oh, and another thing, I challenge you all to make a donation of some sort through the upcoming holiday’s.  Whether it be food donations, dropping off toys, anything to help someone in need.  Get out there and embrace the holidays, show those that you love and care for that you are blessed to have them and help those in need.

Happy Thanksgiving!