We slept in until 11:00 on Thursday - I never do that! It was really nice to feel so relaxed and not have to worry about anything. I started off the day with some gluten free cornflakes, almond milk and a soy misto from Starbucks (conveniently located across the street)
Yum! We spent a good chunk of the day at the Fallsview Waterpark, which was a lot of fun! Joey was a little disappointed in the wave pool (he says it doesn't compare to the one at the Edmonton Mall), but the slides were awesome and it was just a good time hanging out together in the water. We were pretty tired and hungry afterward and decided to grab a quick bite at Denny's. Cue more salad.
I'm not even going to post the picture of my garden salad because it was pretty sad looking. My word of warning with salads at these chain type places is to ask what is on them if the menu doesn't contain a description. I asked if there was cheese on it (which of course there was) and asked for it to come without. When it arrived it had a bunch of croutons on it, which I wasn't expecting. Lesson learned for next time. I enjoyed my salad with a side of home fries (which at 210 calories, weren't nearly as awful as I had anticipated they might be)
We walked back to the hotel where I had a nap before a big evening out! This was the night of the huge storm/tornado in Toronto and we missed a lot of it in Niagara Falls. I waited for the rain to clear up with a jacuzzi bubble bath. Fun!!
Since we weren't sure if it was going to continue raining or not, we decided to stay fairly close to the hotel. We had already planned to go to the casino, so I did a little surfing and saw that there was a buffet there (and since I had just posted about tips for the buffet I was armed with a ton of strategies!) I headed to the salad bar straightaway, but this sign caught my eye:
Vegan lentil soup??? In the cheesy meat laden land of Niagara Falls?? I actually did a dance of joy standing in front of the soup. I paired it with some bean salad, corn salad and butternut squash.
I was so happy. While I would have been content eating lentil soup all night (it was delicious), I wasn't sure about the rest of the buffet and I had noticed a sign stating that you could talk to a sous chef if you had any allergies. The attendant at the meat carving station grabbed Steve (the sous chef) for me and after hearing about my food issues, walked me through the entire buffet, telling me what I could and couldn't eat. After realizing there wasn't a lot of choice for me (beyond my gluten free vegan soup, a few other vegetables and rice), he mentioned that he had some rice noodles in the back and offered to cook me up a vegetarian stir fry without soy sauce.
It was so awesome!! I went back to my table and a few minutes delivered it himself (and then was upset because he forgot to bring me a pair of chopsticks!). It was simple, but yummy and I was so grateful for his kindness. He then came out later to talk to me about the gluten free desserts and actually brought me printouts of a bunch of the recipes!! Many of them contain dairy, but I think I might work on modifying some of them to be gluten free in the next few weeks. It was so nice to be catered to and have food choices other than green salad. Joey enjoyed his meal as well. If you're heading to Niagara Falls and you have any food allergies, I highly recommend the Grand Buffet at the Fallsview Casino.
I wanted to take pictures in the casino, but apparently that is not allowed! There was an awesome cover band playing and we enjoyed playing a bit on the slots and other machines. I lost about $45, but it was still a really great night with Joey.
I started Friday morning off with a swim in the hotel pool until it was invaded by a couple little kids. It was a refreshing way to start off the day! We checked out of the hotel, stored our bags with the concierge and headed out for breakfast.
We checked out a little ma and pa place for breakfast where I had some fruit salad and hash browns.
When she saw me analyzing the menu, the waitress asked if I was vegetarian or had any food allergies. Once I gave her the scoop, she said "join the club". I asked here where she ate in the this town and she told me that she ate at home and lot and when she went out, she ate salad. I'm glad I wasn't missing much. It was a yummy breakfast and I really liked the papaya in the fruit salad.
We finally got a close up view of the falls and I have to say that it was pretty amazing.
I haven't been to see the falls since I was a kid and they are pretty phenomenal. It blows my mind that these sorts of things exist in our world!! We walked around a bit more before grabbing our bags at the hotel and heading back to Toronto.
I had such a nice time on vacation and it really reminded me that I need to take time to take care of myself. I rarely take full weeks of vacation so this was really nice. Joey and I had a lovely time together and I feel like we did a lot of fun stuff together!!
As for the food... I was really happy that I had brought so many snacks with me because that really helped to get me through amid all the salad. Niagara Falls isn't known for it's food, so I'm looking forward to our next vacation (hopefully NYC!!) to be a little more accommodating. As with dining out, it's about doing your research and planning ahead as much as possible.
Activity wise I felt really good. We walked pretty much everywhere, including the 5km to the outlet mall. We only took cabs to and from the bus station and relied on our feet for everything else! Niagara Falls isn't particularly big and because our hotel was in the city center it was pretty easy. I practiced a bit of yoga (on my ipod) on Thursday morning and the hotel pool was nice as well.
I went back to work on Monday and I think Niagara Falls has inspired me to start planning, saving and dreaming of our next trip!!
Did you take any vacation time this summer? Do you have any exciting vacation plans coming up?