Scary medicine issue, back to the USA (briefly), lunch at Horseshoe Falls, scenic back country drive, Toronto traffic nightmare, Elegant Trump Tower
Friday morning we awoke to rain showers and low scudding clouds over Niagara Falls. We headed to breakfast at the buffet on the 13th floor of the Sheraton. I realized as we sat down that we forgot to restock the pill container I carry in my purse, so Steve ran back to the room to get four days worth of medications from our medicine bag. He takes three prescriptions, I take three (plus asthma meds) and we also have a few supplements. He came back with the pill container and said, “Well, you’re going to have a fun morning because you did not pack the prednisone”. I stared at him uncomprehendingly and had the same gut-wrenching reaction I had when he announced he had lost his wallet in London two years ago just before our 15-day cruise to Barcelona. Apparently, I packed two versions of one of his prescriptions (in two different bottles) in my haste to complete packing on Wednesday and left out the one medicine that I must not forget.
I take a low daily dose of prednisone for my Rheumatoid Arthritis, which keeps most symptoms at bay. It is not a medication that you can abruptly stop, especially after ten years. I immediately called our health care provider, Kaiser, and started a series of discussions on how I could get a modest supply to keep me through the trip. I luckily had cell service through AT&T because we were only about a mile across the Niagara River from New York. Unfortunately, they were unable to call in a prescription to any Canadian pharmacy, so we found a Walgreens in Niagara Falls, New York. In many ways, this missing medication discovery was made in the best place on the trip because we were so close to the US.
We checked out of the Sheraton and headed across the Rainbow/Peace Bridge (seems to be called both names), which was located right by our hotel. The line was very short at US Customs. We told the friendly guy (seriously, he was friendly) that we wanted to see the falls from the American side. He replied, in true New York style, “yeah, it’s just falling water”. We thought it best not to tell him we came across the border to get drugs :-).
Using our “Neverlost” GPS with its annoying, chirpy “nagivator”, we found the Walgreens in a rundown neighborhood near a hospital. They hadn’t put the prescription together yet, but we didn’t have to wait long and finally I had enough for thirty days. Thank the Lord this was resolved! So, to keep our promise to the US customs guy, we headed over to Goat Island to see Horseshoe Falls from the US side. Quite amazing to stand right next to the precipice and watch the river falling over a cliff…
Back to Canada again! The customs line on the bridge was pretty short and we went through quickly. We drove along the riverfront; the Canadian side of the falls is so impressive, with spectacular gardens and nice walkways. Now that the panic was out of the way, we decided to park at the big Visitor Centre and enjoyed great views of Horseshoe Falls. The Visitor’s Centre also has a nice restaurant (Elements) and we had a cup of soup and took in the scenes of people looking at the Falls, including someone flying a small quadracopter drone out over the drop.
Well, now it was time to drive to Toronto. We asked our Neverlost guru to take us on back roads for a while and had a pleasant drive through farm country and small towns, although we left the recommended route twice without any warning from Neverlost. Alas, near Hamilton, we had to rejoin the Queen Elizabeth Way expressway. To our delight (initially), the traffic was moving very well. Too good to be true – as we got closer to Toronto, the traffic would come to a complete stop, then crawl slowly for kilometers and stop again. We realized that we were not going to get to see anything in Toronto and our 7:00 pm dinner reservation at “America” in the Trump Tower was looking like it was in jeopardy.
Finally, we turned down Adelaide Street in downtown Toronto, mere minutes (allegedly) from our hotel. Well, our annoying friend Neverlost really picked a winner with that street. Traffic was barely moving for blocks; the culprit was a big sidewalk and storm sewer replacement project that took this three-lane one-way street down to one narrow lane for several blocks. Finally, and almost drained of patience, we pulled into the Trump and checked in, but not without a last-minute detour down a side street due to the increasing imbecility of Neverlost.
The Trump Tower hotel was absolutely spectacular, but also quite expensive. We did an upgrade to a corner junior suite for a relatively modest fee and were dazzled by the beautiful decor of the room. Changing clothes quickly, we just made it to “America” on the 31st floor for our 7:00 pm reservation. Dinner was amazing; we both had the 8-oz filet, with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and a roasted Vidalia onion, plus delectable breads. We washed this down with a local Leaning Post Gamay, from the wine country near Niagara. The wine was a bit light, but it did stand up to the steak and it wasn’t over $100 a bottle, like most of the other wines that were offered. We slept well in the very comfortable bed and hit the road early to head to Montreal. It was very nice staying in the Trump Tower, but we regret not seeing anything unique in this city. Trump Tower is in the financial district and I challenge anyone to visit Toronto and look at the buildings visible from our hotel and tell me how the view differs from any other big city.
Stay tuned for stories about our drive to Montreal and our time in this Quebec metropolis before embarking on our cruise.