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My wife and I booked a room at the Marriott Fallsview in Niagara Falls, Ontario in Canada. It was our anniversary, so I got a room with a whirlpool and a view of Niagara Falls. When we arrived, we found the hotel did not have self parking. We could either park a block away, or use the valet parking. Either way it was going to cost us $20 a day. Ouch! We decided to go for the valet parking. The valet service was very efficient though. They gave us a card with a valet number on it. When we wanted to use our car, we just had to dial extension 4242 on the phone, type in a 6 digit number, and we would be told that our car would be available in 20 minutes. But our car was usually down there in less than 10 minutes.
Check in was smooth, and we went up to our room. The view of the falls was spectacular! The window in our room overlooked the Canadian falls, and we had a great view of the American falls as well.
I hooked my laptop and booted it up. There were two wi-fi connections available. One was from the Marriott Fallsview, and the other was listed as Free Public Wi-Fi. I tried the Marriott Fallsview connection. It came up with a page asking for a pin #. I called the reception desk and asked about it. I was told the internet cost $20 a day. OUCH! I told them I would think about it. I tried the Free Public Wi-Fi connection. I connected with no problem. I had a strong signal. But whenever I tried connect to a webpage, I would get server not found. I gave up. I decided I could get along without the internet for a few days. I wish I had done a search before I left home for free wi-fi locations.
I went down and used the fitness center. They had a couple treadmills, an elliptical trainer, a couple exercise bikes, and a weight machine. It was all high quality equipment. I ran 6 miles on the treadmill, while watching TV on the treadmill screen. I also got to watch the people in the swimming pool through the glass window.
After my workout, I head back to the room. I was hungry and so was my wife, so we decided to get something to eat. There were several restaurants near the hotel. There was an Outback and a Tony Roma’s right across the street, and a TGI Friday next door. We decided to go to the TGI Friday’s. Another ouch! The prices were pretty high! Even in US money! We ended up eating there anyway. I had a burger and fries, and my wife had a soup and salad. With a couple of soft drinks and tip, the bill came to about $45. Yeah that was Canadian, but even converted to US money, that was kind of expensive. Tomorrow we will try to find a few restaurants away from the falls for some less expensive food.
Something we have noticed in the room is the water controls are backwards. When you turn the knob towards hot, it gets cold, and when you turn it towards cold, it gets hot. It seems like this might violate some sort of safety code. Nonetheless the Jacuzzi tub was nice.
The view of the falls continues to be amazing. In the evening the falls are illuminated by ever changing color lights. Also visible is the Casino Niagara all lit up reminiscent of the Rio Casino in Las Vegas.
One annoying thing we encountered was that our card keys would not admit us to the pool/fitness area on the morning of the day we were due to check out. Check out time was noon. But when I went down there at 6:15am to run, my card didn’t work. A security guard let me in, and said my card might have been demagnetized. He suggested I go to the front desk to get a new one. After m run I went to the front desk, and they redid it. The card worked fine to get me into our room. But when we went down about 9:15am to use the pool, neither my card nor my wife’s card would work to get us into the pool area. We went to the front desk, and the girl swiped a 3rd card just to get us into the pool area. We got in, but it was kind of annoying to have to go through the extra steps to get into the pool and fitness room when we hadn’t check out, and weren’t due to check out yet for hours.

When going on a trip I always seem to have plenty or time leading up to the trip. I usually only start packing a day or two before the trip. Sometimes even the day of the trip. It is too easy to forget to pack stuff. You might be thinking ahead of time that you need to remember to pack this item, or that item. But it sucks to be on your trip, and realize that you forgot the item that you had thought about. That is why I almost always make a list. Then as I am packing my bags, I check stuff off of the list.
Be sure to remember all the small stuff. If you bring an mp3 player, remember to bring batteries.
Especially don’t forget the irreplacible stuff. Don’t forget your medications, extra contacts, and backup glasses. Don’t forget your identification, passports, plane tickets, etc. How about emergency contact information!
There are so many things to remember, big and small. Just make a check list. And as you think of stuff write it down. Then as you pack, just check stuff off. You will be less likely to forget stuff.

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