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Old 07-27-2008, 03:50 AM   #1
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Renna and I are in Niagara Falls. We got here yesterday afternoon. Camped at a Wal Mart in PA last night. It's early in the morning yet, so we have not gotten out to explore the area yet. We will be here until Aug.3rd. Nice long time to see both the US and Canadian sites.Sure is beautiful here. We are staying at the Niagara North KOA. Nice clean older KOA. I'll post some pics when I take them. Off to a day full of adventures now.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:50 AM   #2
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Renna and I are in Niagara Falls. We got here yesterday afternoon. Camped at a Wal Mart in PA last night. It's early in the morning yet, so we have not gotten out to explore the area yet. We will be here until Aug.3rd. Nice long time to see both the US and Canadian sites.Sure is beautiful here. We are staying at the Niagara North KOA. Nice clean older KOA. I'll post some pics when I take them. Off to a day full of adventures now.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:01 PM   #3
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We will be real interested in your stay. We are headed there next June. Looking forward to the pictures.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:50 PM   #4
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Steve,

Let us know how it all works out, we are headed that way in early September.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:28 PM   #5
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Well Bugs, I am going to save you a whole lot of money right this minute. As PT Barnum once said, there is a sucker born every minute. I guess I fell into that catagory my first day at the falls. The primary route in this area, that you will take into the Park area, (which is also in town) is the Robert Moses Expressway. We went into town via this route, and our sole intent was to go to the Visitors Center, and purchase the USA Discovery Pass Write that down. It is important !!!!!
When you enter just into town on Robert Moses, there is a 10 or 15 story building. It has blue green glas windows with GREAT BIG letters that say Niagara Visitor Center. People all over outside with saftey vests on, waving flags, directing traffic into the parking lot, taking your 10 bucks for parking. Very busy and official looking place. DRIVE RIGHT ON BY THIS PLACE !!!!! DO NOT STOP HERE !!! Inside you find an information desk, and beside that a sales counter selling tour passes. Here is the catch. These are NOT the USA Discovery Tour passes. This is a privately owned company called Cataract Tours. Their tour package costs 60 bucks a head. They suckered us into believing that this was a bigger better tour than the Niagara USA Discovery Tour. They pointed out that they take you to a bunch more places than the Discovery, and that they provide all of your transportation. We spent 120 bucks for the 2 of us on this tour. We went to 6 different sites. 4 out of the 6 sites, are free admission to everyone. The only 2 site they take you to that are pay sites, are the Maid of the Mist boat tour, and the Cave of the Winds tour. Had we simply gone to all six of these sites, on our own we would have driven a grand total of maybe 15 miles all around, and spent a grand total of 55 bucks in parking and entry fees.
The Niagara USA Discovery tour pass is sold INSIDE THE NIAGARA STATE PARK ONLY. Everyone selling them will have on park uniforms with state park emblems. DO NOT buy any other pass from any other tour. All 6 of the sites that you get into with this pass are pay entry sites. The Discovery pass costs 30 dollars each for adults. Here is a link to the official park site describing it. Niagara Discovery AND They also provide you all day transportation via the park trolley system which is included in the package. So long story short, we were stupid, and let ourselves be talked into a crumby tour package, and spent a grand total of $ 113.00 dollars more than we should have spent for a 5 times better tour. So please do yourself a favor, follow this advice, and you will have a fantastic experience. If I can save one person, or hopefully a hundred people from getting ripped off by Cataract Tours, then it was worth the money I lost in stupidity.
Be sure to go to the Power Station for the free tour there also, and find out about how the falls are used to power New York State.
Renna and I are having a wonderful time here, with 4 days left to go. We are going to Canada tomorrow. Lots to see and do there also. The awsome power of the Falls is truly unbelievable until you see them up close and in person and hear the roar. Simply unbelievable. Anyone who has not been here, you are missing out on one of Natures greatest wonders.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by machman72:
Renna and I are in Niagara Falls. We got here yesterday afternoon. Camped at a Wal Mart in PA last night. It's early in the morning yet, so we have not gotten out to explore the area yet. We will be here until Aug.3rd. Nice long time to see both the US and Canadian sites.Sure is beautiful here. We are staying at the Niagara North KOA. Nice clean older KOA. I'll post some pics when I take them. Off to a day full of adventures now. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>We liked that KOA. Ask them about the best place for breakfast. I think it was in Youngstown. Also ask about the strawberries down the street.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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We really like the campground also. The owners are good folks. We saw the other KOA to the south, and it looks pretty new. No large trees. All small new stuff with little shade. Nice and shady here. We ate a terrific breakfast at Syros in Lewiston yesterday. Had a great Greek omlette.
lthrnk, I see from your blog that you are in Gettysburg. Renna and I were born and raised there up until 15 years ago. I know you will have a great time there. The National Park Service has been making a lot of changes over the last 15 years to make the battelfield events easier to follow. Go eat at the Lincoln Diner on Railroad St. Great food there.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:02 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Cataract Tours, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Might we say that you were "blinded" by them?

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:02 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by historyljc:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Cataract Tours, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Might we say that you were "blinded" by them?

Thanks for the info. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's a real groaner
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:59 PM   #10
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Today was Canada side of the Falls day. Man Oh Man is it expensive in Canada. We had a good time veiwing the Falls from the Canadian side, which is where the view is the best. We had dinner in the revolving restraunt atop the Skylon Tower. The views up there are stunning. I got terrific pics of the Falls from there that I will post. I will leave it up to you, as to wether or not you want to pay the cost of the meal up there. An adult can pay 12 bucks just to go to the top and lookout from the observation platform. Same great views as from inside the restraunt. Renna and I each got a mixed drink in a souvenier glass, the least expensive item on the menu, the Chicken Cordon Blue (very good), and we split a slice of cheesecake for desert. With the 15% gratuity, the total bill was, are you ready? $ 168.00. No it's not a typo. 168 bucks. I'm not complaining here, cause we checked it out ahead of time, and we knew what the prices were before we ever went up. The food was excellent. The atmosphere, and the service were all outstanding. Just want to inform anyone thinking of going there ahead of time. Plan to spend some dough in Canada. I recommend parking at the Skylon Tower also. 8 bucks to park all day. You have to pay to park EVERYWHERE. The cost varies from 8 bucks to 25 bucks. Look around ahead of time, and decide how much you want to walk. There is a park and ride area. Cost is 20 bucks there. Based on the sign I saw.
We are going to have a "down" day tomorrow, to recuperate from all the running we've been doing. Will go back to Canada either Thursday or Friday for a last visit to fit in a couple of attractions we were not able to get in today.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:21 AM   #11
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Posted a bunch of Pics this morning. At present they are pending approval, but should be viewable soon. Niagara Pics
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:13 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">With the 15% gratuity, the total bill was, are you ready? $ 168.00. No it's not a typo. 168 bucks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You have to ask yourself how many times in this lifetime are you going to do this. We took the tour of the falls with another couple in 2001 before 9/11. Stayed on the Canadian side in a hotel. Expensive, yes. Worth it, yes. Will we ever go back, ??? At the time, there were two restaurants at the top of the tower. A sit down, order off the menu on one floor and a buffet on the next. We wanted to eat in the order off the menu one but they were full. In the buffet, the food was outstanding, great selection, and the cost at the time, about 1/3 the other restaurant. The most expensive meal we had was in another restaurant (I do not recall the name). Very upscale, excellent food & chocolate cake that you'd rob a bank for. The bill for the 4 of us (2001) was over $250. (I'll make the last payment on it next month.) My long time friend and traveling buddy passed away last month. This one, and all our other travels together are now never to be repeated memories. Were they all worth it - absolutely priceless. Make those memories -- they're free for the rest of your life.

machman72. Great Pictures!!!!
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:20 PM   #13
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We just got back from Seattle and went to have a cocktail in the revolving restaurant in the space needle.They have a $25.00 per person minimum.I passed on it because we had just eaten lunch.Last year we were in Niagra falls and we passed on the tour you mention because my wife thought it was crazy money for what they offered,so we did the walking thing and the maid of the mist. The buffet at the seneca casino had great crab legs and I left there $1000 richer,hitting on the wheel of fortune.That paid for half our trip last year. Great pics and enjoy the rest of your trip..
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:25 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by historyljc:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">With the 15% gratuity, the total bill was, are you ready? $ 168.00. No it's not a typo. 168 bucks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You have to ask yourself how many times in this lifetime are you going to do this. We took the tour of the falls with another couple in 2001 before 9/11. Stayed on the Canadian side in a hotel. Expensive, yes. Worth it, yes. Will we ever go back, ??? At the time, there were two restaurants at the top of the tower. A sit down, order off the menu on one floor and a buffet on the next. We wanted to eat in the order off the menu one but they were full. In the buffet, the food was outstanding, great selection, and the cost at the time, about 1/3 the other restaurant. The most expensive meal we had was in another restaurant (I do not recall the name). Very upscale, excellent food & chocolate cake that you'd rob a bank for. The bill for the 4 of us (2001) was over $250. (I'll make the last payment on it next month.) My long time friend and traveling buddy passed away last month. This one, and all our other travels together are now never to be repeated memories. Were they all worth it - absolutely priceless. Make those memories -- they're free for the rest of your life.

machman72. Great Pictures!!!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Like I said, I'm not complaining, simply passing on the information. We had a great meal there, and I would not trade that time alone with my wife (who is also best friend) at a window seat for 2,watching the beautiful Niagara Falls for anything else in the world. You only live once, and that time is short. Do and see, and be all that you can in that time.
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