Tara’s Tales and Tastings #120: Holidays


Words and photography by Tara Pepper

I think I need to restate, for my own benefit, that I will not take holidays again in February without heading somewhere warm for at least a week. Mark my words on that one—it’s definite. Even if I’m going alone, I will be somewhere with blue skies, aqua blue water, white sand beaches and temperatures at least 25°C or 75°F. Guaranteed.

This year, my holiday started out with a girls’ day at -21°C. At least we spent the day indoors. The rest of the week was no better. All I seemed to do was run from one appointment to another (physio, osteopath, orthopedic surgeon, rheumatoid specialist) and then the week was almost done. Nothing to show for it, didn’t feel overly relaxed, nothing.  Bobby suggested that we take a trip to Niagara Falls on Friday so at least it was something to look forward to.

His idea of course was to go to the casino. The last time I ventured into one was shortly before Christmas and I’m pleased to say that my first $20 bill netted me $2,000 from a Wheel of Fortune slot machine. What a great win especially right before the holidays.  Somehow he thought that if I stepped foot in one again, I’d win again. Well, no such luck!  I lost the money he gave me in the first 15 minutes we were there. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Should I mention that his game is Roulette? And that he lost his money in about the same time as I did? Well, shucks, who’s sayin’?

So what else did we do you might ask? I decided I wanted to go across the border at Lewiston to do some shopping so over we went. First stop, Harbor Freight in Niagara Falls, NY.  It’s a fantastic hardware/tool shop that I found over there when I was looking for tools and supplies for jewellery making. I bought a tumbler from there as well as a number of other things the first time and this trip was just as successful. It’s a fun place to just walk through; it’s not your every day tool shop for sure.

honeys wingsNext stop: lunch! One of my favourite places in Niagara Falls, NY is Honey’s. They make the BEST honey garlic chicken wings—crispy, sweet and delicious. They had moved further down Military Road from the parking lot of the outlet mall but we found the new location.  It was great as always and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

It wouldn’t be a trip across the border without a stop at the Chico’s outlet—my favourite women’s wear purveyor where I’ve been shopping for the last 20 years. It’s usually hit and miss with me; sometimes I find a lot, sometimes nothing at all.  This time was excellent and I came away with some great finds.

Back on the Canadian side, we decided to go and see the falls. I’ve never seen them in the winter with all the ice. It was spectacular. It’s amazing to see the way the ice forms from the spray and with the sun glinting on it, it looked like a field of diamonds. We also went back on our way home to see the falls with the lights. That’s a beautiful sight with all those formations bathed in colours. It’s truly beautiful.

Niagara Falls-20150220-00082I forgot to mention the best thing. It was -16°C all day but because the sun was sparkling, it didn’t seem nearly as cold. I know, I’m probably fooling myself but it was manageable.

I’d suggest a day trip if you’re looking for something to do, just to get out of the house for a little while. It’s worth the trip and may be the only time I’ll visit the falls in winter ever again. From now on, sunshine and warmth beckons!

’Til next time,


Photo credits

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