Being a tourist and celebrating a birthday in Niagara Falls

I've been to Niagara Falls several times before now, but this time I was headed there to celebrate Steven's birthday with him from the 21-22nd of August. He was turning 23 and had always visited falls-obsessed city when he was a kid, but since moving out of his parent's had stopped going.

Since we were just celebrating a birthday and due to our busy schedules, we were only going to be staying one night in the Holiday Inn. I had initially asked Steven if they had a pool or hot tub there and he tricked me by saying "Well no they don't have one ... they have two, and a hot tub!" I love hot tubs — though I can't stay in them for too long or I get uncomfortably hot — since I don't get to go in them very often as I don't own one myself.

After departing from Sarnia and picking me up in Stratford along the way, we finally arrived in Niagara Falls in the mid-afternoon. Our first stop was Dufferin Islands Park, a not-so-well-known park in the outskirts of the city that's made up of a bunch of little islands, linked by pedestrian bridges. I've wanted to go to Thousand Islands National Park so this felt like the same thing, albeit on a much, much smaller scale.

Next, Steven had an appointment so while he was doing that, I set out to find the closest Starbucks location (I'm well aware of how #WhiteBoy I am). The map told me to get on the highway and then get off at the next exit which I absolutely hate — getting on the highway, speeding up, and then 10 seconds later having to get off — so I took the residential streets to get there and back.

Next we quickly checked into the hotel and headed for our dinner reservations at the top of the Skylon Tower in the revolving dining room. When we were seated they made us very aware of the fact that if we put our phones down on the ledge, we wouldn't be seeing them until the dining room did a complete 360 degree rotation, taking around a hour. The meal was good and we both ended up ordering the same food — though I seem to always have bad luck with my choice of wine, since I cannot remember the type I got in Ottawa which I liked oh-so-much.

Following our dinner, we headed down to the falls to see the fireworks. Since they didn't start for a little while longer, we decided to grab a few drinks at a bar (we get it, we're aspiring alcoholics). Our server was the nicest person ever and left us a message on our receipt!

Finally the fireworks began and lasted for only a few minutes, which is probably because they do a fireworks show at least a few times a week during the summer months. We headed back to the hotel and though the pool was due to close shortly, we managed to talk to staff into keeping it open a little longer so we could go into the hot tub.

The next morning we woke up around 11 am — early by Steven's standards but late by mine — and checked out of the hotel. Since we didn't have anything else happening that day, we decided to go to the Butterfly Conservatory. There had to be hundreds if not thousands of butterflies there, and it was so neat! I had a few butterflies land on me, but one left some goop (for lack of a better word) on my sweater.

As we left the city in the lanes going to opposite way were a bunch of police vehicles and black SUV's driving. Later we found out that Justin Trudeau had made his way through the city as we were leaving.

Finally we started to head home, taking the backroads as we went. We ended up stopping in a little town called Drumbo where we took some pictures of a cute little bridge, before hitting the roads again.