Monday, October 4, 2010

Honeymoon expenses

Here's the rundown of our fabulous few days in Niagara Falls, the honeymoon capital of the world.

View from the American side of the Falls
$168   Amtrak tickets
$209   Food and tips
$350   Accommodations
$22     Taxi and bus from/to train station
$107   Tourist things (Adventure Pass, Butterfly Conservatory)
$7       Mousse
$7       Souvenir (fudge)
$870   Grand Total

Not too bad!

I'd never been on such a long train ride. The ride up was fun, entertaining, and quick. The ride back was crowded, three hours longer, and I got motion sick. Overall, though, I would totally do another long-haul train trip. I'd just come a little better prepared with a blanket, more food, and never across an international border (we spent hours at customs both ways -- going across solo is much faster).

We stayed on the Canadian side, in a hotel that might once have had a view of the Falls, which had a great deal that included three hot breakfasts and one two-course dinner. The touristy area is REALLY touristy -- we could not find a decent sundries store within walking distance and I finally had to pay $7 for a can of hair mousse which I'm still irritated about. We also couldn't find a place to buy snacks for the train that didn't cost what they cost on the train's dining car. Food was really expensive in general, but at least each meal included a lot of food. We might have been overtippers -- we tipped 20% standard, as we do here in New York, but on our last day I noticed that the tip whenever it was automatically included was always only 15%, whereas here it's at least 18%. Canadian readers, what's the standard tipping percentage for you?

We bought one tourism package, the Adventure Pass, which includes four attractions and two days of free transportation on the Peoplemover, for about $44 each. That seemed like a pretty good deal, and the transportation in particular was great. (Niagara is VERY hilly, and I got tired of walking quickly.) We did the water things on the day it was kind of raining, which was great because we already had ponchos on and got wet anyway. The next day it was sunny and a little colder, and we spent that day walking to the American side and wandering around Goat Island.

I had a great time, and took hundreds of pictures. I'm so glad we took a few days to ourselves, and even happier that we came in under budget!

2 comments:

  1. Glad you enjoyed your honeymoon!

    The tipping amount is usually the taxes. GST, PST, BAR tax for booze all rounded up for the cheapies. I usually tip around 20% depending on the service.

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  2. Glad you had a good time on your honeymoon. I take Niagara Falls for granted since I grew up outside of Buffalo. I've been there a million times and all over Toronto etc. But when I do go back it reminds me of some of my childhood. The falls are beautiful at night. If you ever get a chance go in the winter with the lights. The water falls freeze. It's an amazing sight.

    I took the Amtrak from Penn Station to Buffalo one time and it was loooooong! It takes 2 hours longer than it does by car!

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