Near the end of August, I took a trip to Niagara Falls. The last time I had visited Niagara Falls (except for briefly passing through on the way to Niagara-on-the-Lake) was with my parents, almost exactly 50 years ago.

On that trip half a century ago, we were on our way home from the station when we heard on the car radio news (and possibly saw direct evidence) of the Heron Road bridge collapse, which killed a number of workers.

The Niagara Falls trip this past summer involved nostalgia of a more positive sort too. At the Fallsview Resort, I went to a performance by Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits and Coronation Street fame. I really enjoyed that show - he sang most of his big hits ('enery-the-eighth, Leaning on the Lamppost, I'm into Something Good) as well as some of the songs from the era of Herman Hermits' heyday (like Ferry Cross the Mersey, Jumping Jack Flash, It's Not Unusual, I'm a Believer...). And from the woman from Virginia sitting next to me, I learned a new word, "Noone-a-tic" which apparently is analogous to "lunatic" and means a fan of Peter Noone!

But what about Niagara Falls itself? Well, the Falls are of course beautiful. I enjoyed wandering about in the vicinity, though I didn't zip-line across! But as for the town... I think the word "tawdry" is what springs to mind. From the standpoint of natural beauty and one of the great wonders of the world, I really think putting casinos in there was a big mistake. And I hadn't realized until I went there this summer that there are TWO major casinos in town, not just one. Luckily the one in the Fallsview Resort (which also houses the Avalon Theatre where Peter Noone was performing) seems to be the slightly more "upscale" of the two. The other one, which I mistakenly went to first, was in the midst of an area that looked rather like the Ex!

This was also the first time I had done the trip between Toronto and Niagara Falls by train. The train itself was an Amtrak train and was rather more plush and comfortable inside than the Canadian VIA trains (although the staff going through the Canadian portion of Niagara Falls are still VIA employees). But I was shocked that there was no wi-fi service available, and rather surprised that you had to walk through another coach to get to the snack car (rather like CN rail used to do in the 70s)

In Toronto, I went to the zoo for the first time in many years, and saw the visiting giant panda cubs (they were around 6 months old, I think - I'm not sure how long they have in Toronto before they move out to Alberta).

On August 30, I got cataract surgery on my left eye (I've been told I may want to get the right one done too, but I'm in no rush!) and just today, I went in to our local New Look Eyewear to pick out some new (weaker) glasses. More on that at a later date!

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