A very belated Happy New Year, everyone~ To celebrate the arrival of 2015, Kevin and I took our first mini getaway to Niagara Falls on January 1st. This two-part series covering our trip has been co-written with Kevin!
We took the Megabus from 610 Bay Street at 12:30pm. Not a bad deal from Toronto to Niagara for $10 each. It was a pretty comfortable ride with a few other stops. The journey took just over two hours. I slept through most of it while Kevin read.
Upon our arrival at Fallsview Casino, we were offered the Players Advantage Card (PAC). We just needed to show ID and head to the counter for the card. We were given $15 of credit on the slots for arriving through Megabus and signing up.
We walked to Wyndham Garden Hotel, where we would be staying in the king bedroom with a jacuzzi! Kevin and I actually found this deal on Groupon, which included free wine tastings at Niagara-on-the-lake and a tour of a chocolate factory. We arranged to upgrade our room for an extra $30/night for the jacuzzi. Anyway, it was a short 5-10 minute long walk from Fallsview but felt even longer because of the wind chill. I nearly blew away!
We checked in fairly easily, the one snag being that our supposed wine tours do not offer transportation to and from. We were pretty disappointed – not the most well thought out deal by Groupon or the involved parties. We called one of the wineries to arrange for transportation but it turned out they were closed for the holiday anyway. So we decided we would save our wine tour for another day, maybe in the summer.
This definitely didn’t bring us down! We went up to our room and were pretty happy with what we found.
After settling in, we decided to use our free drink tickets at the bar downstairs before grabbing some dinner. The bartender was a super friendly woman who made us a super fruity cocktail she invented and said she’d name “The Kolly” after us. :D
For dinner, we went to a place nearby called Cheetal, a great Indian restaurant offering a dinner buffet for just $12.95. Kevin found this place on Yelp. We were initially pretty off-put by the extravagant prices of meals in Niagara since it’s such a touristy area, so this place was an amazing find! The food quality was outstanding and so was the service. We really stuffed ourselves silly. @_@
We waddled our way back to the hotel to grab our player cards for Fallsview. We walked over and played the slots for a couple minutes. The $15 of credit on each card disappeared alarmingly quickly. With our $30 of fake money we managed to earn $11 of real money. Pretty lucky rolls by yours truly earned the lion’s share of our winnings. :D (It was only like $7). Kevin’s initial cashout is pictured below, hehe.
We continued to wander around the casino. It gets pretty overwhelming with the lights and sounds and people just plugged into their slot machines. We ended up being taken in by a Chinese version of roulette called Sic Bo. We pretend-played it for a few minutes, sitting down at a table and casting down fake bets on the computer at the table. On a side note, if we had been playing for real we would have made a lot of money. This encouraged us to give it a try. So we put in a ten dollar bill and tried to place a $1 bet on a number. We were rejected! The guy next to us had been listening in our newb-ness the whole time and laughed. He told us the table was $10 minimum but cheaper tables were available.
We found a table that had $2 minimum bets and started playing. We are such anxious (non)gamblers that the idea of losing our initial deposit of $5 was stressful, haha. It was highly entertaining though! Starting with that $5, we dropped as low as $2, and got as high as $9 before falling back down to $5. We cashed out and broke even! Woohoo!
We walked around the casino a bit more, watched blackjack, poker, craps, and more. There was also a live band dressed in orange jumpsuits playing in a corner of the casino which was neat. We cashed out our total winnings which I believe was $11.74. All profit thanks to our PAC credits!
We checked out the shops and galleries in the casino, and then spent a bit of time trying to check out the Falls at night because for some reason a bunch of paths were closed down during winter for fear of icy conditions. We did make it though, and saw some great lights on the Falls.
After our meander around the Falls, we walked back to the hotel to shower and prepare our hot tub experience. We both showered while the tub filled up. Kevin excitedly dipped his feet in first…and quickly pulled back out! The water was scalding hot! Oops, we never actually checked the temperature. In true amateur form, we spent close to an hour trying to cool the water down by putting in tap water, draining the tub, and filling it with more cold water. Turned out to be a bit of a funny misadventure for the pair of us and made us appreciate the experience a little more. We finally got in and were able to have our jacuzzi night, complete with a delicious cranberry wine and season 3 of How I Met Your Mother.
Feeling super relaxed and super content (“the room keeps spinning~”), I fell asleep quickly. Kevin read in bed a bit before following suit. Good night from us!