Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Oh Canada!

Did you know the second Monday in October is Thanksgiving in Canada?

I didn't until about a dozen years ago when the DH and I were off on one of our short jaunts that generally involved a three-day-weekend, and a good deal on an air flight.

Back in the days when I slaved away at the Dreaded Day Job as a faceless bureaucrat, I lived for holiday weekends. One of my favorites was Columbus Day, usually celebrated on the Monday closest to the actual holiday (Oct. 12th). I liked this long weekend because most other people did not get the day off with pay, so there were no 'holiday crowds' and the weather was relatively good where ever we decided to go.

For this particular trip, we found the farthest place that we could book with our frequent flyer miles AND get a good deal on a car rental. After a bit of research, the DH came up with Toronto. YAY! At that time, we hadn't been to anywhere in eastern Canada. Plus, it looked like a fun drive to Niagara Falls. We'd never seen the falls and were excited to go there!

So off we flew on a Saturday morning and arrived in Toronto that evening. As we were going through the customs line, the very nice man who checked our passports asked if we'd come for Thanksgiving. We said we wished we could but we were not able to stay that long. He gave us a funny look and said, "But Thanksgiving is Monday!" REALLY?!?! Neither of us had a clue when we booked the trip.

After a brief jaunt up the CN tower (the tallest structure in North America) the next morning, we headed out for Niagara Falls. We arrived after dark, and you can hear the roaring water going over the falls long before you can see them. Both the American falls (shown in this piccie) and the Canadian falls (far more spectacular, in my opinion) are lit up in different colors at night. What an amazing sight!

However, I think the sheer grandeur of all that tumbling water is even more beautiful on its own in natural sunlight. We saw plenty the next morning. And later in the day, we had a full-blown Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce in the restaurant that overlooks the Canadian falls.

Truly our most memorable Thanksgiving EVER!

The next morning we left and drove to Algonquin National Park where the fall colors were beautiful and we went canoeing (OW, my shoulders!) for my first and last time. The following day found us on Georgian Bay, where we took the next-to-last boat excursion of the season to see a few of the region's 30,000 islands. (Sorry, this was in the pre-digital days so no pictures that I can post.)

We returned home after a very jam-packed week of memorable sight-seeing. And of course, six weeks later we had a second full-blown Thanksgiving dinner. It just wasn't the same without Niagara Falls.

Have you ever seen Niagara Falls? Other waterfalls? Had an unexpectedly memorable Thanksgiving or other holiday? Aunty would love to hear about it!


Helen said...

What a great trip that must have been unfortunatley I have only seen Niagra Falls on TV shows and in pictures but that is another place I would love to go, there are some nice water falls in the Blue Mountains here in Oz although I am not sure of their names but they seem to be around after we have had a lot of rainfall of course because they actually don't come from a river, but they are very pretty when they happen.

We haven't had any fast trips like that but I do enjoy going away whenever I can

Have Fun

Jane said...

I can't believe I've never been to Niagara Falls. We live a drivable distance so there's really no excuse and my cousins have driven there a few times(wonder why I wasn't invited.)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jane,
You really should go since it's not that far to drive. I admit the town and some of the "attractions" are pretty cheesy, but the Falls more than make up for it.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I went to the Blue Mtns. on my one trip (so far) to Oz and they were FANTASTIC!

The Sierra Nevadas close to here have a lot of seasonal waterfalls too. There's one called Horsetail Falls that's quite spectacular during rainy years. And we have several called Bridal Veil because they are like a thin sheet of water.

Happy reading!