Author Topic: Canada/USA trip  (Read 6614 times)

Offline bear

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Canada/USA trip
« on: Sep 21, 06, 08:40 PM »
This is my first live journal in this forum. Of cos there is my blog which has all live journals...

Anyway, here i am in the lounge at Changi Airport. Due to my frequent flyer entitlement, i am in the thai lounge at singapore changi airport awaiting my flight to toronto. What are my plans there? Well, i will be visiting a friend of mine and staying with him. Sunday, i will be running the scotia bank half marathon and then folowwing that, make my way to the border where the niagara falls is. What i will do there is still unknown as in i do not know whether i will have dinner with my friend or what. I only know that i must be in buffalo HI by 2000 hrs Sunday where i have booked a place to stay.

As for photos i cannot guarantee as i am using a disposable camera which i hope to develop to a CD. I am using a waterproof one so that hopefully, i can catch a few good shots from the maid of the mist itself as i approach the Falls.

That's all for now folks.
« Last Edit: Sep 22, 11, 05:46 AM by Karel »

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #1 on: Sep 22, 06, 06:02 PM »
I have not reached toronto yet. I am now in mineapolis/St Paul Twn cities airport in the northwest airline lounge surfing the free internet.

During my flight from tokyo to here, i almost thought my stomach would burst :oops: .  Why? Because of mycard lah.  I got the use of the thai airlines lounge in changi airport where i had free flow snacks and drinks.  A meal anda snack on a NWA flight to tokyo. Scenario repeated for tokyo NorthWest lounge this time except i drank a few glasses of wine. FromTokyo to Twin Cities, it was ten hours so i had a grand total of two full meals and two snacks on board the lane. I was so bloated....

Anyway, i am now in yet another lounge. The view of the runway from the lounge is as fantastic as that of tokyo. Notmuch different from a normal viewing mall in changi airport but u get to sit on a sofa and look out while drinking wine and best of all, it is all free.....

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #2 on: Sep 23, 06, 01:29 PM »
Actually, to correct a misconception, the privileges is because of my frequent flyer rather than being a marathon runner, though i should call myself a walker instead.  Anyway, what happened after the last posting?

I had not been getting a good sleep for close to 24 hours and i could feel the effects already, though i could not fall asleep.  I then did one thing which can either be called a stroke of genius or very stupid.  I drank myself almost silly.  Remember i had a free flow of wine?  I drank a few glasses non stop until i felt very drowsy.  I then crashed out on a sofa.  Even then, i found myself waking up every half an hour or so.  It was not a restful sleep.  

A t the appointed time, i went to catch my final connecting flight to toronto.  I slept all the way on the plane.

Upon reaching toronto arrival area, i scanned the area for my friend.  I could not see him.  I started to worry as i did not have his number with me.  Only thorugh the internet could i get it.  I considerd briefly walking around and look for him or something but decided that it was best to just stay put.  Trust my friend will not play m e out.

Eventually, he came.  Traffic conditions, he said.  Of cos i was too relieved to complain :P .

Went to his place, still had supper with him :)  and had a good night rest.

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #3 on: Sep 23, 06, 10:03 PM »
Well, nothing much to add for today.  In the morning, i went to the expo to get my race packet.  The queue was surprisingly short and soon i was on my way again.  Bought some souvenirs then went to visit some of toronto attractions..

All right, saying i went to visit them might give a lot of misconceptions.  I went to take pictures of one attraction.  Casa Loma.  I do not really know much about this attraction other than the design is very nice, like a castle and something to see and take pictures of.  Of course the other thing i know of it is that it cost CAD 21 to enter so i did not :oops:

The second attraction i went to was Spadina.  It is basically an old house.  All the furniture there is authentic meaning that they can all be considered antigues.  The last owner who stayed there left at 1982.  Cost of entry is CAD 6 so i felt it was affordable to go in.

After that, it was back to the subway where i would meet up with my friend and plan strategies for tomorrow...

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #4 on: Sep 25, 06, 12:15 PM »
Well, it ia actually 25 sept over here but yesterday was really very exhausting.

In thenmorning, i ran the half marathon with a surprisingly good timing.  The best memory i had was that of the view of the CN tower framed against the morning sky.

After that, of cos had breakfast and met up with my friend and we went to the niagara falls together.  Bought souvenirs and viewed both the falls as in American side and Horseshoe falls. Had dinner over there and by the time dinner ended, it was time for the lightings.  The  whole scene was very beautiful but it also meant that when i walked across rainbow bridge to enter USA, it was already late at night.

At niagara USA< i tried to find the bus interchange that would bring me to buffalo where i would stay for the night.  No one seemed to know and i remember thinking "i am so screwed".  Eventually i took a cab.

As i was leaving the niagara region on the cab, i saw the fireworks going off but i was glad to be on my way rather than stop to take pictures.  Yet another experience to be had.  The taxi driver receivedf a call of another driver who left his keys in the car.  We made a detour to the car shop where i witnessed first hand how the person forced the window down a little bit and used a hook to try to unlock the car.  Failling that, he simply used the hook to fish out the keys.

Reached the hostel late at night.  Now as for today, i am going back to the niagara falls for the maid of the mist ride.

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #5 on: Sep 25, 06, 11:17 PM »
So what did i do today?  Basically, i spent  the whole day at the niagara falls.  In the early morning, caught a bus and reached the niagara falls about 11 am.  

I bought a pass which gave me access to a few attractions.  Only two attractions actually stood out in my mind.  One of them was the maid of the mist and the other is the cave of the winds.

The maid of the mist was really up to expectiations.  You are given a poncho and allowed on board the bpat.  I boards the maid on the US side.  This is different from the canadian side in the sense that the boat design is slightly different and of course there is less crowd on the US side.  Went past the falls and felt the spray on me.  Took a few photos of the falls as seen from the maid.  Hopefully it turns out well and i will post them  here.

The second attraction is the cave of the winds.  Basically we went down to observe the third waterfall.  It is supposed to be the smallest fall where the power is the "least".  As i stood on hurricane deck to feel the power of the falls, i had a brief glimpse of my own mortality.  If i had lost my balance or had fallen i would just simply tumble down into the niagara and never be sen again :oops:

Went to the discovery centre and the aquarium but nothing really stood out in my mind as far as these and the other attractions went.  Will be heading back to singapore tomorrow.

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #6 on: Sep 26, 06, 01:15 PM »
What can i say?  I think i am destined to have too much adventure.  What happened today?

I went dutifully to wait for the bus to bring me to the airport.  Next to the dangerous places, it was claimed and i felt a little tensed waiting there all alone at 0410 hrs alone in the chilly morning.  Waited for the bus.  Waited for the bus.  0530 hrs.  Bus still did not come.  I started to panic and was about to hail a cab to take me to the airport when the bus came.  So i boarded the bus, thinking my adventure is over.

When i reached the airport, i was informed that i was 1 minute too late to check in.  ONE MINUTE!!!  I pleaded and begged to no avail  I now am back at the hostel at buffalo. I will be flying home tomorrow instead.

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #7 on: Sep 26, 06, 08:21 PM »
So what did i do today after i missed my flight?  Well, as my policy goes, if life throws u a lemon, u make lemonade.

After tying down the essentials like accomodation and the next flight, i went out to the library and surfed the net  :P   After that i met up with a friend from the hostel.  He was so surprised to see me cos i bade him farewell the night before :?

Anyway, decided to see the sights of buffalo and noted that at the end of the tram line, it was the harbour of Lake Eerie.  Having never seen that before i enquired at the hostel what it was.  I was then informed that the harbour held a small maritime museum and a destroyer where for a small fee, u could board it.

I went with my friend, determined not to board the destroyer cos i do not like to waste cash especially at this point of time and what is so great about a destroyer anyway? :roll:

When i was there, i saw people entering a submarine.  It was then that i realised that not only a destroyer was there, there was a missile guided cruiser and a submarine there, all for boarding for the same fee.  Immediately, i told my friend to join me.

Having run out of film in the niagara falls, i made a purchase of a disposable camera.  You might wonder why i spent so much money suddenly but entering a submarine is something that I am unlikely to experience anywhere else.  And of cos the obligatory shots of me entering a sub and manning the anti air craft guns were just too much to resist.  So i went. 8)

Hopefully all my shots would come out.  On a side note, i tried to get the bus company to acknowledge that it made a mistake cos the bus did not come at the appointed time but i was stonewalled.  Hopefully matter could be resolved so i could claim from the bus company.

Even if i could not, well, life must go on and there will always be other trips.

bear


US submarine


Entering submarine


Missile cruiser guns


Gun turret
« Last Edit: Oct 05, 11, 05:36 PM by Karel »

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #8 on: Sep 29, 06, 11:04 AM »
Well, here i am, back and safe in singapore.  Any adventures?  Well, first off i got up super early and took the first bus to the airport even though i had to wait for about three hours for the plance.  Now very careful.

The buffalo to detroit route i took business class as it was given to me.  found it comfortable but hopes that it would be business class all the way to singapore were dashed.  Still, for the extra money i paid to change the date, i think it was worth it.


Horse shoe falls close up


American falls


American falls as seen from Canada


Bridge around Niagara falls


Spadina house


Another rainbow


Toronto


Hurricane deck


The closest to the falls


Me at the falls

I have already kind of written my schedule.  But i think i should share my budget and the such to that next time ppl can follow.

Toronto:  Basically i spent a grand total of CAD 60 cos i stayed with a friend and "sponged off him."

Niagara falls:
USD 6 to cross customs
USD 45 for taxi ride from niagara falls to buffalo
USD 46 for two nights at buffalo HI
USD 3.50 for all day pass in the metro back to niagara falls
CAD 30 for a pass to niagara falls (US side)..yes they accept CAD which i still have...
USD 1.75 to go to airport.
USD 50 cos i missed flight and paid penalty
USD 1.75 back to buffalo and another USD back to airport next day
USD 20 for 3rd night
USD 8 for boarding the ships
USD 10 for another disposable camera

plus food and all that

Grand total inclusive of all penalties, meals, transport, rides and souvenirs but excluding half marathon entry fees and airfare:
CAD 100
USD 260

From friday night to wed morning.


Rainbow over Niagara falls.

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« Last Edit: Oct 05, 11, 05:34 PM by Karel »

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #9 on: Sep 29, 06, 11:10 AM »
Horseshoe falls from canadian border

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« Last Edit: Oct 21, 06, 08:01 PM by soul4travel »

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #10 on: Sep 29, 06, 11:16 AM »
CN tower in toronto

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« Last Edit: Oct 04, 11, 06:43 AM by Karel »

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #11 on: Sep 29, 06, 01:28 PM »
Very close to niagara falls.

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« Last Edit: Oct 21, 06, 08:06 PM by soul4travel »

Offline KingPatryn

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #12 on: Sep 29, 06, 02:37 PM »
The weather is really good!
nice pics!

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #13 on: Sep 29, 06, 03:31 PM »
Yah.. The weather was really great and i used a disposable camera which is waterproof so i could take shots from the maid of the mist.  Too bad i ran out of film or i would have snapped pics of me "struggling" on the hurricane deck :roll:

bear

Offline bear

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Re: Canada/USA trip
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 07, 06:13 PM »
The falls up close

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