As my Friday evening winds down and I log onto the wifi at the hotel, I am smiling thinking about the whirlwind day I just had. For the first time, DoTheDaniel.com is attending a press trip. Not only that, but I am flying solo while attending! No Catherine, No Amanda, No Julio. It’s a strange feeling when I think about it really… but such an exciting one at the same time. So while it is all still fresh in my mind, let me tell you about first day with my friends at Niagara USA and why you should come visit too!
A rocky start to my morning had me in pain with a migraine and dragging myself out of bed. Not exactly the way I wanted to start my first press trip. Thankfully with some extra strength pain killers and a bit of patience, I got myself off the couch from the fetal position and got to my To-Do List. I packed up this laptop which is as old as time and NEEDS to be replaced and a few outfit options. Three bags of clothes, shoes, electronics and cosmetics later and I was ready to go.
To go along with this exciting weekend, my friends at Buick Canada came through with my travel arrangements. I was able to get my hands on the Buick Regal GS (in a sexy shade of red I might add) for my drive down to the United States. Not only is this car one that both Julio & I love for its sleek design, it also drives like a dream.
I am someone who is always checking the map and thanks to the OnStar technology with Turn-By-Turn Directions that get sent directly to your vehicle, I was able to focus on the road while instructions visually projected on the radio console and dashboard. I love how friendly the OnStar staff are, especially when I get a southern belle with a thick accent. My favourite!
For most people, Buick might not be the first brand of car that comes to mind when you think of modern & sexy design. Let me be one of the first to tell you that although I once thought the same, I have been pleasantly surprised with the versatility of the car and the ability to match my busy lifestyle. Not only does the design make me feel great it also has the driver in mind with its countless technological advances. With charging docs in the middle console, to an AMAZING sound system (there may or may not have been an excessive amount of car dancing on the way down) I am left seriously pleased and wanting one of our own.
A friend of mine lives in Kansas and just bought her very first Buick. The team at Conklin Cars Dealership were able to find her the perfect car in no time at all. If you’re from Wichita and looking for a new Buick too, you could definitely give them a try.
So, for those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a planner and a STICKLER for a schedule. I despise being late for anything and being that I now have to plan schedules for four people regularly, it makes for a lot of work. So when I looked into how long the drive from Toronto to Niagara, New York would take, my GPS options gave me an approximate travel time of 1.5 hours. So, being Planner McPlanny Pants, I gave myself three hours to travel from door to door.
For those of you leaving Toronto and heading to Niagara, New York, don’t do it on a Friday afternoon if you are in a hurry. That’s all I’m going to say. Not only is Toronto under a crazy amount of construction, but so is the QEW highway. And then… and this was something I have never experienced before, the DEAD STOP traffic for the Rainbow Bridge to the states. OMG this was hell on earth and caused for a lot of angry drivers being congested into one space. CLEARLY everyone wanted to come down and experience #TasteNiagara with me!
Once FINALLY in the states I was able to get to my hotel, The lovely Sheraton at the Falls. I apologized profusely to my fellow attendees (make sure to follow the #TasteNiagara hashtag across all social media platforms this weekend to follow along with our adventures) and quickly checked in. With their six floors this massive hotel covers a lot of ground without towering over its fellow hotels which really fits the small town quaint feeling of Niagara USA. For those of you visiting, The Sheraton a great option for affordable accommodations smack in the middle of it all. The staff at friendly, the rooms are large and clean, and they have helped with every question I have had about the area. I quite literally threw my bags on the bed, got changed and tried to touch up my baby ponytail… and I was off!
First stop for the night was dinner at Savor at The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. The space itself is associated with the local college and helps to train aspiring chefs and students interested in learning about The Food & Beverage industry. The expansive kitchen is used as a teaching kitchen and the staff for the most part are students. I loved how much they all loved their jobs and it made me remember my years in the service industry. The space itself is open to the public as a restaurant and I would recommend it when visiting. The menu itself, since it is after all a teaching tool, is a bit of a lot of things combined to be honest. Appetizers, Salads, Pizzas, Pastas and Entrees for dinner options. There was a lot of great choices and a lot of great inspirations, and alongside bubbly and wine, Savor proved to really get the group laughing.
In no shocking manner I spent the majority of the night talking about Julio. Because that is what I do. I might manage his brand & business, but I also love him more then anything else on this earth. Everyone wants to meet you babe. Hope you’re ready for some visitors to the condo sometime soon!
After dinner we got into a private bus and headed to Cave of the Winds. Now, as I was handed a plastic bag and asked to put my shoes into it, I started to realize I was about to get wet. With it being dark, I was impressed that the attraction stays open so late for those of us looking for something unique and actually quite romantic to do in Niagara. I learnt as we went down into the elevator that the attraction was actually originally opened in the 1920’s. Another fun fact is that the stairs the lead directly up to the American Falls are built and taken down every year. How crazy is that?! SO much dedication and work to something so beautiful.
As I made my way closer to the falls I was moved by how beautiful they truly are. I have travelled the world twice over and I have never seen Niagara Falls until today. The roar of the water and the stars in the sky made me wish Julio was beside me so I could kiss him. The best part was that I felt so close to Canada with the skyline of Niagara, Ontario right across the water from me. The team was even so brave as to climb to the “Hurricane Deck”. It is quite literally the wet-est thing I have ever done but it was amazing. I stood under the actual falls while experiencing it for the first time. This is something everyone has to experience when you come to visit because it is both powerful and exhilarating!
After soaking myself to the bone (I hope that the “summer” warms up so that you can enjoy this on a warmer night then we did!) we stood together and laughed. And then, as little children do, we all went silent during the fireworks. There’s something quite magical about watching them beside THE Niagara Falls. It was probably the best way to end an incredible day and I couldn’t be happier to be sharing it with you all.
Please make sure to follow @NiagaraFallsUSA on Twitter & Instagram to be inspired for your next trip. Being so close to Canada and having such a welcoming environment for any kind of tourist, this is a great place to visit. Be it for the delicious food, the famous wine, the stunning scenery… I love it all. Follow along for my perspective with the #DoTheDanielUSA hashtag and tweet us both to let you know what your thoughts are!
For more information on how to plan your next visit to Niagara USA make sure to head to www.niagara-usa.com
Make sure to check out Day 2 AND 3 here!
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