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Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

I had a wonderful road trip to Niagara Falls this past weekend and here our some ideas for those who plan on making the trip. A lot of activity centers around the Falls with boat trip, walking tours and other things like a car that goes over the Whirlpool just down the road of which you can see a portion of in the pic below. With all the ice this time of year, you don't have a lot of action but it is still a nice spot.

Niagara Falls whirlpool photo 100_6867_zps7148930a.jpg

The Falls are beautiful anytime of year, but the addition of the ice on the water brings a little something extra out.

frozen falls at Niagara photo 100_6882_zpsfae4a113.jpg

Niagara Falls in the winter photo 100_6886_zpsd2852720.jpg

I haven't stayed in Niagara Falls, at least on the Canadian side, in a number of years. Not much has changed in some regards though there are a lot more chain places like Rain Forest Cafe, Planet Hollywwod and the like. My biggest surprise was the beautiful Buddhist Temple near the water. I stolled around a bit and saw one prayer spot up close. They do have hours for tourists to walk around and see these magnificent grounds.

statue at Cham Shan temple photo 100_6870_zpsf8e5e7eb.jpg

Cham Shan Buddhist Temple, Niagara Falls photo 100_6872_zps45b8c9be.jpg

Cham Shan Temple statues photo 100_6873_zps15f7e8ba.jpg

bell at Cham Shan Temple photo 100_6874_zps090d363f.jpg

colorful Cham Shan Temple photo 100_6875_zps5ded099b.jpg

Buddhist statue at Cham Shen Temple photo 100_6876_zpsc2fd492f.jpg

About 2 years ago I was in Niagara Falls for a Ray Stevens concert and passed this packed buffet style place called Al Mac's but I didn't have time to eat there. This time around it was just down the road from where I was staying so I tried it out for breakfast (they just do that and dinner). I wasn't overly impressed. They had some decent food and a few greek items to add a touch of something different. They don't have tap water so you had to buy bottled or spend a lot ofor pop so I just settled on eating some of the fruit and skipping a beverage. At $7, it was a good price and the bacon was good but there are a lot better places to eat though maybe not as cheap. Maybe dinner would have been a better choice.

Al Mac's Buffet, Niagara Falls photo 100_6878_zpsa79c23a4.jpg

Anyway, from there I checked out the Niagara Falls Historical Museum which was nice for a small town museum littered with more touristy trap places. They have exhibits on right now from the War of 1812 (check me out with the gun and cool military hat)and an exhibit from the ROM about forgeries where you can go through and see if you can spot the fake items on display. They have some nice local stuff also and it is a nice break from the main drag as well as being reasonable.

Niagara Falls Historical Museum photo 100_6880_zpsb2170c29.jpg

War of 1812 costuming, Niagara Falls Historical Museum photo 100_6879_zps6c76422e.jpg

From there I walked a bit checking out some gift shops and the Falls. I made stops at the Sunken Garden Gift Shop and met a surprise friend in the bathroom. I got free Hershey Kisses at the Hershey store and a blue-raspberry coca-cola at the Coke store before heading back to the hotel for a swim.

Moose in bathroom at Secret Gardens photo 100_6889_zps0ca91b52.jpg

Hersey Kiss photo 100_6890_zpsc2009d17.jpg

enjoying blue raspberry coke photo 100_6891_zpsd2e9916d.jpg

I did stop and hit the Rock-N-Roll Wax Museum. The figures spanning musical history from Buddy Holly to Tupac with stops at Madonna, Sid Vicious, KISS, Elvis and more. I had to stop being a big music fan and it was worth it to the work of this local artist. Here are pics with Gene Simmons, Ozzy and Slash. I did complain about there being no Cyndi. Maybe next time.

Rock Legends Wax Museum, Niagara Falls photo 100_6894_zps72eb639f.jpg

hanging with Gene at Rock Legends Wax Museum photo 100_6895_zpsafdbef6f.jpg

Ozzy, Wild Bill and Slash at Rock Legends Wax Museum photo 100_6896_zpsbc450ef6.jpg After my swim, I had dinner at a place recommended to me by the locals (and right across the street from Al Mac's). It was an Italian place called the Bravo Grill and I had a nice piece of Eggplant parm. The spaghetti was OK and the olive oil was a tad spicy but I could see why it was so popular. I just wish I could have been there on prime rib night.

Bravo Grill in Niagara Falls photo 100_6899_zpscb9c1605.jpg

Eggplant Parm at Bravo Grill photo 100_6900_zpscc6b48f4.jpg

After that I went to the Fallsview Casino for the 5th Dimension in concert. This is a very nice casino and remember them having a great buffet overlooking the falls. On the other side are a bunch of higher end stores along a promenade. The place is very clean and they have a lot of nice games. The concert venue was very spacious with comfortable seats and no lost sight lines. I was in the upper balcony and had a great view of the show and the sound was very good. The band was just OK as can happen with any older band but the price was decent enough so that made everything OK.

Fallsview Casino photo 100_6901_zps22f51415.jpg
The next day I left town to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Massey Hall to what was a truly spectacular show. I caught a New Play Festival earlier in the day and had dinner at an all-you-can-eat sushi place which was pretty good. No pictures up there but it was a good day though a bit colder than two weeks ago. Nick Cave himself is an amazing talent and should be put on a must see artist list. I esp enjoyed "Right Red Hand". he had some school children and some strings backing him up which just added to the fun.

Here are a few options for you music buffs out there looking for a good show:

Friday (3/29) - Mustard Plug @ Blind Pig, Doobie Brothers @ Caesars Windsor, Carrie Underwood @ WFCU Centre (Windsor)

Saturday (3/30) - Samantha Fish @ Callahans, A Day To Remember @ Royal Oak Music Theatre

Monday (4/01) - Sigur Ros @ Fox Theatre