Saturday, August 29, 2009

What I Did This Summer

Niagara Falls--

Slowly I turned, step by step...

Old 3 Stooges routine. Speaking of the boys, they got themselves a new member--
The family went to Niagara Falls for our family summer vacation. We got all touristy, spending oodles of cash we couldn't afford, and even stayed overnight in a nice hotel room, a 4-star Sheraton with a marvelous view of the falls. It wasn't one of the casino hotels, we did have the kids with us.

The Butterfly Conservatory was very cool--

and we went on the Whirlpool Aero Car, truly foolish for a guy afraid of heights.

As usual, the Maid of the Mist was an awesome experience. We've been in the boat before, but not with Ellery, so this was a first for her.

If you do decide to ride the boat, go after 3 pm. By then the lineup has usually thinned considerably. The only time we waited was for the previous boat to load and the next unload.

Next, we hit the Guinness World Records Museum because my oldest daughter wanted to go. Quick review: DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. But yourself a used copy of a book, it'll be more entertaining and probably more up to date.

Time fore dinner, but where to eat? Out of the hundreds of eateries, we chose a TGIFridays. After a quick scan on the overpriced menu and scraping some crusted cheese from a plate, we decided to eat at the hotel. Still pricey, but the food was good and, what the hell, we were on vacation why not room service?

The next day started with rain. Undaunted, we made our way to my personal choice for the trip, Louis Tussaud's Waxworks. Quick Review: WORTH THE MONEY. Tussaud's is a traditional was museum with plenty of food opportunities.

Not all the statues were perfect replicas,
--but even the fails were superior if only for the care put into the displays.

Next, we rode the Incline Train--
--to get to the Journey Behind the Falls, tunnels blasted out of the shale with two openings behind the actual waterfall--
and an observation deck at the base.
It was okay, I guess. I was expecting more, I suppose. Warning: If you suffer from claustrophobia avoid this attraction. The tunnels are long and narrow.

This brought an end to our trip and we headed for home. Aside from the casinos, Niagara is a great place to visit for the day. Everyone should see it at least once in their lives. After all, it's not like it changes much, so once is enough.
Clifton Hill has a ton of attractions and there is still a lot we haven't done like the Aviary, Nightmares Fear Factory, and The White Water Walk. Yeah, yeah, I hear you saying, "But what about Marineland?" Well, I've heard from more than one reliable source the best thing about Marineland is the commercials. Still, perhaps one day.

Anyway, this pretty much brings an end to summer, and wasn't that a great 2 weeks kids? Geez, who do I complain to? I need to place a grief with my union rep. I guess like the Maple Leafs chances of winning the Stanley Cup, there's always next year.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Summer is Broken

That’s how my 4 year-old described the season as we made our way home from the in-laws Haliburton cottage.  The temperature never got above 21 C and when it did, it rained. Not just rained but nasty thunderstorms.  Not ten minutes on the road home, under a partially but decidedly cloudy sky, it rained yet again. Not much. Not even a drizzle, really.  Just enough to see the drops on  the windshield.

“Why does it rain so much?” asks my daughter.

“Just the way the summer is going,” I answer.

“Summer is broken.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Then to top it off, the engine cuts out and we drop almost 20 km in speed before I could get the car started again.  Thankfully we were the only cars on the road.  We drove all the way home with the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT glowing dismal amber in the dashboard.  Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor, not a mechanic!

Weather and car troubles aside, our hosts were as always, great.

I think its time to starts searching for an agent.  This is the part that scares me the most, the ultimate rejection. Worse than a publishing house saying no to you.  A publisher might say no because, even though your work might be substandard, your mind could trick you into thinking it was just the opinion of the slush reader.  But to have an agent reject you. That’s someone saying, “I cannot invest my time in this crap.”

Assuming they are even looking for new clients.

Nevertheless, it must be done.

Wish me luck.