May, 2015

  1. Niagara Falls, ON

    May 30, 2015 by Angie

    Our big trip this year was to Ontario, Canada. We flew into Buffalo, New York, got a rental car, drove across the border to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, then went on to Toronto for the remainder of our trip. Here is the Niagara Falls part!

    We stayed at the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa for one night. We were both very impressed with the hotel. We got a fallsview room on the 21st floor. The view was amazing. You can see the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls very clearly right from our room!

    View from our hotel room

     View from our room at the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa

    hotel view

    Another view from our room

    another hotel view

    Hotel view with a rainbow

    hotel and its hood

    Here’s a look at our hotel and the surrounding area from the other side.

    sunset view from our hotel

    And one more at sunset 🙂

    The food situation in Niagara Falls is very chain restaurant blah. We managed to find a great pizza place, magically. We walked to Antica Pizzeria & Ristorante for dinner. We had oven baked garlic bread for our appetizer and coal oven baked Margherita pizza with a side of extra sauce for our entree. The wait staff was really nice and helpful. I love Canadians. We had a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir with our meal.

    Robbie at Antica Pizzeria

    Robbie and the Pinot Noir at Antica Pizzeria

    Angie at Antica Pizzeria

    Angie with wine bottles in the background at Antica Pizzeria

    After dinner we walked down to the falls. The sunset was really late so we got to see everything in the daylight.

    Tulips on Murray Street

    Pretty tulips on Murray Street

    American Falls

    American and Bridal Falls

    Falls selfie

    Falls selfie

    Horseshoe Falls near sunset

    Horseshoe Falls at sunset

    We stopped in at the Fallsview Casino Resort to see what all the fuss was about. It was a pretty depressing place featuring a lot of older people plugged in with an umbilical cord-esque card situation to slot machines. We had a round at the bar. The bartender was very nice. We played the video poker game located on the bar. We lost 🙁

    Robbie at the casino bar

     Robbie at the casino bar

    The next morning we walked to the falls bright and early for our 8:45 a.m.Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour with Hornblower Niagara Cruises. We booked the boat tour online several weeks before our trip which made boarding quite painless. They gave us plastic ponchos to wear. We rode with about 75 European teenagers and Asian tourists right up to the falls. You will get wet!

    Hornblower Cruise

     On the Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat tour!

    Angie in front of the Horseshoe Falls

    Angie in front of the Horseshoe Falls

    Robbie in front of Horseshoe Falls

    Robbie in front of the Horseshoe Falls

    misty Angie

    Misty Angie

    we got a little misted

    We got a little “misted”. The ponchos – they do nothing.

    cruise kiss

    Falls kiss

    After our cruise we walked to Table Rock Centre to get a good look at the edge of the Horseshoe Falls. Even after looking at Niagara Falls for twenty four hours, it’s still breathtaking.

    Table Rock Centre Angie

    Angie in front of the Horseshoe Falls at Table Rock Centre

    Table Rock Centre Robbie

    Table Rock Centre Robbie facing us

    Robbie in front of the Horseshoe Falls at Table Rock Centre

    Horseshoe Falls from the side

    A side view

    Mighty Horseshoe Falls

    Horseshoe Falls from Table Rock Centre

    Serious waterfall


    After getting cleaned up and checking out of our hotel, we walked to the The Kasbah Mediterranean Qsine for lunch. I, regretably, didn’t get any photos of the food. Robbie got the vegan red lentil soup and soy veggie burger. I had the tabouleh salad and a falafel/hummus/baba ghanoush/pita slices combo. We were really happy to find yummy vegetarian food in Niagara Falls. It’s a chain restaurant disaster in that city.

    The Kasbah

    The outside of The Kasbah – a great, locally owned Mediterranean restaurant in the land of Outback Ruby Friday’s

    Adorable sign

     Heisenberg drives erratically when it’s freezing outside?

  2. St. Petersburg, FL

    May 17, 2015 by Angie

    We stayed in Downtown St. Pete for a night for our fourth wedding anniversary mini-celebration/pub crawl. We had a great time exploring that area on foot.

    We got a free night’s stay via rewards points at the Courtyard St. Petersburg Downtown. It’s a really old building, but quite nice on the inside, much nicer than I expected from the photos on their website. The location is great for walking to the best restaurants and bars downtown. We left our car with the valet for our entire stay. That’s exactly what we look for in a hotel location.

    Robbie planning

    Robbie planning our night out in our hotel room at the Courtyard.

    Our first stop was the Mandarin Hide where I had the second best cocktail of my life, an espresso martini. It’s a small, classy place with very impressive gourmet cocktails. I highly recommend it. We were back in St. Pete the next weekend for something so we stopped in again and it was equally great.

    Espresso Martini

    My espresso martini. So delicious.

    Mandarin Hide

    Behind the bar at Mandarin Hide

    We had dinner outside at Bella Brava, an Italian place near the water. We weren’t impressed. Sorry, Bella Brava. There seemed to be seafood in the butter that came with the bread – weird. Our red wine came chilled – also weird. Neither of us were impressed with our entrees. It was nice to sit outside, but I don’t think we’ll be back.

    Bella Brava

    Weird fish butter and chilled red wine, ravioli, and eggplant parmesan at Bella Brava

    After dinner we headed to The Canopy Rooftop Lounge at the Birchwood Inn. The Canopy is a schmancy, South Beach-esque bar on the top of a hotel. We love to drink on a roof so we had to stop by this place. The drinks were good, the other rooftoppers were friendly, and it’s a great to place to watch the sunset.

    The Canopy

    It’s like South Beach, but for retired people.

    water view from The Canopy

    The view from The Canopy
    canoodling anniversary selfie

    Canoodling anniversary selfie.

    so-so kind stranger photo

    A kind stranger took our photo. It’s not the best, but it’s all I’ve got.

    The next morning we walked to brunch at the Red Mesa Cantina. It’s in a really cool and huge building with a pretty patio. We were seated right away even though there were a lot of folks there already. The guacamole appetizer we got didn’t really taste like anything. The tofu tacos were absolutely delicious but oh so tiny. We would definitely go back, especially because I didn’t get to try their margaritas.