Bye-bye to kittens, good flight, gross moment in the rental car, time slows down in Canada, glimpse of the famous falls, Hard Rock burger

We kissed our silly kittens goodbye early this morning and headed to the airport. For this trip, we are using Canopy parking, which is on Tower road north of Peña, and includes “indoor” parking under a high canopy roof at a reasonable rate. I looked at the cheap metal structure of the canopy roof and realized that a 30-inch snow or 80 mph wind would probably destroy it, but we will hope for mild weather while we’re gone.

We got to the airport, checked in, went through security fairly rapidly, and began the trek to seek out our regional United flight at gate B83, which is only 400 MILES east on the B-concourse (just kidding - it’s only about 150 MILES). DIA was jam packed today, which was perplexing, as it is not a business travel peak time of day or summer/winter travel season. We boarded our CRJ-700 regional jet, made in Canada you betcha, and enjoyed the smooth 2.5 hour flight. The seats were a bit small, with hard cushions, but time went by fast with the assistance of Monopoly, Scrabble and other games on our iPads and real Coke on ice.

Our flight arrived on-time in Toronto, after a dramatic circle over Downtown and Lake Ontario. We taxied to the gate, went through customs (so, why ARE you in Canada, eh?), got our bags and made the incredibly long hike to the rental car area, which was way out in the suburbs of the humongous parking garage. Glad I have my Virgin Pulse steps thingy. We had a long-standing reservation with Dollar rental car that was booked, oh, about eight months ago. Steve went up to the counter and I watched from the sidelines as he suddenly moved over to the adjacent Hertz counter. I sat there puzzled (and waited… and waited…) and he finally came back with keys to a Hertz car. Apparently, Dollar/Thrifty completely ran out of cars and Hertz took up the slack. We have a generic VW something or other (white color) but they tossed in the GPS, which has been very handy. So off to the car we head!

We found the VW Jetta (could have fooled me) and struggled for a bit to open the trunk. Finally, we were in! I went to the passenger side and opened the door, and grabbed the armrest, like any normal fool. My hand immediately slipped in some slimy stuff on the arm rest, which looked just like the amazing snot of an alien creature. OMG!! With the recent scary headlines about Ebola and Enterovirus 68 and other nasty diseases making their way into everyone’s nightmares, what fresh hell was this?? Fortunately, I had Lysol wipes, plus regular hand wipes in my purse. I went to work on the amazing expectorant pile (I’m not kidding) and then washed my hands at our quick pit stop at a McDonalds for about ten minutes (we stopped there to get some water for the drive).

We programmed our GPS for the shortest route to Niagara Falls, Ontario. Of course, after the delay at the rental car agency, we were smack in the middle of rush hour. Most of our route was on Queen Elizabeth Way, which moved at roughly the same speed as the dear octogenarian monarch. It seemed like the countdown on the “Neverlost” GPS would never get to zero, but finally we pulled into the Sheraton on the Falls.

We have a Falls view room, which is amazing! We are on the fourteenth floor and look at the American Falls across from our room (with the nearby Rainbow Bridge going into that no-man’s-land between countries), while the Horseshoe Falls are further to the west, to our right. We got some great photos, then went to dinner next door at the Hard Rock Cafe. We ordered small burgers and waited an interminable amount of time for them, finally ate, and are now at the bar in the Sheraton.

So tomorrow we will hopefully be on back roads to Toronto, spend a night at the Hairpiece Inn (Trump Tower) and then it’s off to Montreal Saturday. Stay tuned!

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