Wanderlust Callin'

Birthday Trip to the Mighty and Magnificent Niagara Falls.

The fact that I could see, feel and experience this stunning masterpiece ofย nature, up close and personal on my birthday, which has stood the test of time and has been flowing for over thousands of years, was pretty surreal and truly a blessed and breathtaking experience. And I would like to share our captures and a few travel tips for those who are yet to visit it and hope to take you on a stroll along your cherished memories for those who have already been to the falls. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Managed to capture the Maid of the Mist, the Rainbow and the Falls herself with the Canadian Backdrop ๐Ÿ™‚

The stupendous Niagara Falls, actually consists of three different waterfalls. The American falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls where the first two falls lie entirely on the American soil(NY) and the massive Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side(Ontario). Over 700,000 gallons of water flow over these combined falls per second which makes it the highest waterfall by flow rate in the whole wide world. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Now, that we have a primer on the falls and are finished gawking over that fact let me take you to our experience ๐Ÿ˜‰

We landed in Buffalo airport, NY on 24th evening (and 25th was my birthday , woohoo. I know its over but I am still excited with the memories flooding me ๐Ÿ˜€ ). A half an hour drive to our hotel, and on checking in this was what awaited me!!

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I wanted to take home the balloons so badly ๐Ÿ˜€
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โค โค โค

A hoard of helium balloons, bunch of lovely flowers and a sweet stunner of a cake with the perfect words. My colored hair and the comments from my friends had inspired the hubster also to call me โ€œBarbieโ€ it seems ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still cannot stop gushing over how he planned everything sneakily and after taking like a zillion pictures and me totally going over board and literally jumping up and down with joy, we finally did make it to the falls to see the illumination and fireworks. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Happy Birthday to Meee ๐Ÿ˜›

The Old Falls Street which connects the park to the hotels, restaurants etc. was such a charming and scenic street, it was love at first sight for both of us. It. The baskets of flowers neatly arranged, interactive board games, lamp posts with hanging floral hampers..it set the perfect mood for visiting one of the worldโ€™s famous natural wonders.

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Chess on the road ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
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Lovely walk to the Niagara Falls State Park

We entered the Niagara State Park which is the oldest park in the USA but very well-maintained and soon were greeted by the intense sound of rushing water. And we talked towards the Observation Tower, which I had read would be the best vantage point to watch the falls drenched in rainbow colors and the fireworks.

In a few moments, there it was! The awe-inspiring thunderous falls, with an unstoppable flow of gushing water which seemed to speed up as it reaches the cliff as if it cannot wait to nosedive over the 180 feet drop.ย  And the sheer force with which this crashing water hits the basin sends a mesmerizing mist back up to the air with the spray reaching unimaginable heights. (almost twice the height of 180 feet drop at horseshoe falls).

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Our first glimpse of the Falls. The illumination effects are seen a little.
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A ย sight to behold indeed once darkness sets in and the falls get swathed in colors โค
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Fireworks !!

The illumination goes on till midnight and the fireworks for that day started at 10pm and lasted for around 8-10minutes. I thought I could not be any more ecstatic after the birthday surprise but the stunning fireworks and spectacular illumination over the unforgettable backdrop of the Niagara Falls proved me wrong and literally took my breath away.

We returned to our hotel and slept soundly, maybe a little too sound since we ended up being late the next day as per our plans. These swanky hotels, I swear they have the most magical beds and as if the bed at our home is not sleep-inducing enough (esp with my not-so-secret love-affair with them), these ones literally pull you back to the bed when you try to get up!

Our next day(my bday ๐Ÿ˜€ ) started with the Maid of the Mist attraction which is indeed a โ€œmust-doโ€. Before we went down the elevator to board the boat, we snagged a few selfies from the Observation Tower which is an excellent place to make use of your selfie sticks ๐Ÿ˜‰ The day view of the falls from the tower was equally mesmerizing as the illuminated-night view. Maybe even better some say but we could not make up our minds on that, so I leave it to your discretion ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Falls in Day Light ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the only way to get closest to the Horseshoe Falls in Canada from the American side. You are taken on a boat ride which is about 20 min, claimed as โ€œmonumentalโ€ and true enough it is. Everyone is given ponchos since we will definitely get soaking wet, when the boat nears the Horseshoe falls. How much just the โ€œmistโ€ from the falls drenched us gave us a perspective of the amount of water contained within the falls themselves ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Falling water, billowing mist and the resounding rumble of the falls. We felt as if we reached some other part of the universe when we entered the brink of the Horseshoe Falls!! You cannot see anything except the great plumes of icy mist and the mixture of turquoise waters and the thundering torrent of the falls and it really does strange things to you. (Like shouting and screaming like we did, oh yes including my โ€œcalm and composedโ€ hubby ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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The approaching HorseShoe Falls. Wooo! You can see the Journey Behind the Falls attraction of Canadian side if you zoom in the pic.
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Right in the middle of Horseshoe falls. It was almost impossible to take pictures with the spray of gushing falls all over us but still we tried ๐Ÿ˜‰
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A still from the video hubster took! He had the sense to wipe off the lens right before we entered this zone. ๐Ÿ˜€
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American Falls as seen from the boat

The Maid of the Mist is a ticketed attraction and it also includes the opportunity to get close to the American Falls through a boardwalk past the boat dock for some amazing picture opportunities. With rainbows being a part and parcel of the fall as much as the mist this is a fabulous place to get pictures of ourselves with the rainbows and the Niagara river (and the mist if you are lucky to find a kind photographer ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) as a backdrop. And if nothing works, atleast you can get some cool shots of this delightful spectacle.

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Double rainbows โค
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The Mist from American Falls benevolently showering us ๐Ÿ˜€

With new-found respect and admiration for the grandeur of the falls we proceeded to the next attraction Cave of the Winds. We paid our price for over-sleeping with the queue for this one. :\ After a wait for about an hour for the ticket, we were taken down an elevator ride of around 180 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. Clad in yellow ponchos this time and cool flip-fops(which is so comfortable that we even took it home with us) we walked up wooden staircases and decks among the spraying torrents of the Bridal Veil Falls.

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This was the base level. You can get a peek into the heights we were going to scale behind ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Woaaah! That was exactly our reaction on seeing this view ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

And as we looked up we saw the โ€œHurricane Deckโ€, where the sheer force with which the falls hits you literally pushes you and keeps you moving forward from the base. Hair gets drenched and mist clouds your eyes but if you hold onto your heart and try to keep your eyes as open as possible you would be able to appreciate this thrill of a lifetime. The deck is aptly named since the powerful Bridal Veil Falls creates tropical storm-like conditions of โ€œhurricaneโ€ gales.

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One level below the Hurricane Deck ๐Ÿ™‚
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There it is.. ๐Ÿ˜€ “The Deck” people !!
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Hurray, we survived the Hurricane deck. Oh yeah thatโ€™s us ๐Ÿ˜›

The pictures are only the tip of the iceberg and nothing whatsoever can describe this incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. Standing right next to the roaring falls, experiencing the magnificent spectacle of debatably one-fifth of the worldโ€™s fresh water crashing down to the rocks below. The fun part was we could spend as much time as we wanted to ๐Ÿ™‚ They say nowhere on Earth gets you closer to the Falls, and as of now I might have to agree to it ๐Ÿ˜€

There were many Indian restaurants nearby and nothing like your homelandโ€™s food when you are ravenous after all the adrenaline rush. ๐Ÿ˜€ We then decided to get back to our hotel for some rest time (read getting our hair dry ๐Ÿ˜€ ) Soon after we again set out leaving our waterproof camera behind and armed with our DSLR ๐Ÿ™‚ This time we wanted to cover Luna Island which separates the American Falls from the Bridal Veil Falls and which is another great viewpoint plus you get to see the people enjoying Hurricane Deck right below.

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The view from Luna Island. Those are the American Falls.
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Bridal Veil Falls pouring down to the Hurricane Deck
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But first, let me take a selfie ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here also you can see us kinda drenched with the mist ๐Ÿ˜€

We proceeded to the Terrapin point on Goat Island from where we could see the mighty Horseshoe falls. It was a sight to behold and the mist rising almost twice to the height of the falls was indeed hypnotic. Unfortunately the sun was right above us(we went in the afternoon) so we could not get any good pics except this one ๐Ÿ˜€ And you can evidently see the gloom on my face that we could not get much pics from here ๐Ÿ˜›

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Behind me its the mist from ย the epicย Horshoe falls ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

After visiting the Three Sisters Island as well we decided to call it a day. It was around 5pm or so and we had covered almost the whole park by foot and were quite exhausted. But after going back to the room we immediately knew we were โ€œNiagara-Sickโ€ !! After a quick round of freshening up, we again set out to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the park.

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One Last pic on my birthday from the Old Falls Street โค
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I promise, we did not plan to wear black together ๐Ÿ˜‰
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The Rapids are illuminated too ๐Ÿ™‚
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Bridal Veil Falls Illuminated.View from Luna Island.

I know the post has already got a bit long but before I conclude, I want to share a few tips to those who are planning their visit to these mighty falls, based on our experiences so that you can have your share of fun without mascaras running down your face or shelling out unnecessary bucks. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The reviews from TA were very valuable but I missed reading a comprehensive collection. Hope this will help ๐Ÿ™‚

Tips

  • Make sure you pack Sunscreen, Shades, Chapstick and a Waterproof camera in case you are planning to take pics at Cave of Winds. And ladies better get a waterproof mascara too ๐Ÿ˜‰ I would recommend selfie stick too as it helped us get great photos in some vantage points.
  • The Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds are the two attractions where we heard that we will get drenched, so we planned to do this together. But the ponchos they give is very effective and our dress stayed almost completely dry. But still your hair and face gets completely soaked, so a freshening up is almost inevitable after these two rides. You can check the schedules for both the attractions in the site. It varies seasonally http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/Explore.aspx If possible do the Maid of the Mist early in the morning so that queue does not build up. The other attraction, late afternoons we found queue was less.
  • For Cave of Winds, they give plastic bags to keep your old shoes and any other stuff you carry like your wallet or so. But be careful with the bag when you take pics. The flow of water is just unstoppable and sometimes the mist even limits your vision.
  • The Observation Tower is the best place to watch the falls illuminated and the fireworks. You can also see the casino on the Canadian side too changing colors ๐Ÿ˜€
  • The Terrapin Point would be a good visit in the morning. We did it in the afternoon and with the glare of the sun could not get good pics.
  • We walked the whole park but there is a trolley running around the park offering unlimited rides for 3$ per person for a day. But the catch we saw was there was a lot of queue for the trolley and if you are pressed for time, this might not be a good option. And some places were good to be walking than on the trolley. However, on less crowded days maybe this would be better than walking.
  • For souvenirs you would be spoilt for options ๐Ÿ˜‰ Since we liked the Cave of Winds the best we got a cute 3d texturized photo-frame from the flagship store. Personally we think the Maid of Mist Store was a little costlier than this one but it could vary. There are also stores right on the Old Falls Street so make sure you dig in there as well for options and prices. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope you enjoyed the post and am glad if I was able to take you all on a trip with me atleast on a virtual note โค

Have you been to Niagara Falls? Is it on your bucket list? I would simply love to know what other tips would you add to maximize the travelerโ€™s experience or if you have any questions on planning the trip ๐Ÿ™‚

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103 thoughts on “Birthday Trip to the Mighty and Magnificent Niagara Falls.

  1. So glad to see you guys having a good time! Happy birthday hon! Gorgeous pics I must say….last time I was at Niagara it was in Canada….and we from the other side wore blue ponchos and could see the Americans wearing yellow ponchos! ๐Ÿ˜‚ All of this makes me nostalgic for sure๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh woooow. You had been to the Canadian side ? How awesome. All the falls view hotels were there and a ton of attractions too. Lucky you โค๏ธ They say that the Canadian side is the best side to see the falls and American side is the best to feel the falls ๐Ÿ˜Š
      Ohh they change the colour of ponchos ? Hehe this time Canadians were wearing red ponchos ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nikki โค ๐Ÿ™‚ I was over the moon ๐Ÿ˜€ It was such an awesome day. Exhausting but exciting nevertheless ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha yes every year he does something like this and I am like what can I do for him to make him feel elated like I do :\ I personally think that there a lot of options to surprise / make a girl happy than a boy ๐Ÿ˜› How many times can we throw a soccer-themed or biker-themed bday party ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      1. Exactly! Ha! I could not agree more with your assessment! I have to tell you something and this may seen weird…but i love how your husband touches the side of your head in some of the pictures you post. He looks like he is just worshiping the ground you walk on. He is a man in crazy love. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. What a great post! I’ve been to the Falls so many times, but you made it seem new and magical all over again! And Happy happy birthday! I’m so glad you had a wonderful birthday, Minaxi โค ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Oh wow. Seriously, wow. For some reason, this made me so emotional! It’s so beautiful! Sometimes it’s hard to believe this type of thing is actually real until you see the experience through somebody else’s eyes. It looks like you had a fantastic time! I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your pink hair looks so great btw! You’re rocking it! ๐Ÿ˜€

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      1. Aw that’s really great :). You really should be pleased – your descriptions and your photographs are definitely enough to make someone want to experience the same beauty as you do :).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thank you so much dearest Maja. I just love reading your comments. It is so bubbly and beautiful just like you . I know a trip to your exotic places is long overdue from my end . I will visit you soon I promise ๐Ÿ’– Thanks again for the wishes lovely ๐ŸŒน

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  4. Ah, he’s a good one isn’t he? I’m sure you must have had enough balloons to float over the falls in a recreation of Up! It all looks incredible – you’ve captured some excellent shots. It’s definitely somewhere I’d like to go but then my list continues to grow and grow!! Happy belated birthday – your hair looks awesome btw ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Hahaha. Loved your UP analogy. ๐Ÿ˜ Thank you so much for the visit and the warm wishes dear ๐Ÿ’– and I totally agree with you on the list. It’s like that quote. “I have not been everywhere but it’s on my list ” ๐Ÿ™Œโค๏ธ Same goes with me.. I just envy those people who keep traveling all the time making an income out of blogging and photographing and all.. Totally awesome life..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would be awesome and I’m sure I’d love it… for a small amount of time! But I must admit that as much as love to travel, there’s nothing like coming home to your own bed – even if those huge hotel ones are ridiculously comfortable!

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  5. Do you know that cute puppy face you see on kids whilst they want something from their elder ones.

    I found myself making that all along the read from the start becase this post is way up there and i wanted more and more of it.
    Talk of Love, talk of possitivity, talk of beauty, talk of nature, talk of how amazing this world can be..
    Talk of how happiness is real, and it can be attained, positivity.

    Gameplan Happily Ever After the complete package blog you want to be at to find and drain love, happiness, inspiration and motivation out of it.

    *takes a bow* … i wanted to read more and more after the end. So i just read your comment replies to find satisfaction to my reads.looking forward to more!
    Love from Psychedelic Bay – Cezane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. wow. wow. How do I let you know how much the comment meant to me? Well, I guess I have to resort to words here. Thank you SO much for these words Cezane. If there was one moment I had to choose , I was the most happy after I started blogging, I would choose the moment I read your comment. I hope this comment reaches you. I just checked your psychedelicbay site and it said it got deleted. Everything alright?

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    1. Hi Pauline ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for the wonderful words โค Its always awesome to hear someone loves my pink hair ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still have not let go of it you know ๐Ÿ˜€ The upkeep is terrible though with black roots. I hope you get to visit Niagara soon ๐Ÿ™‚ And sorry for the delayed reply ๐Ÿ™‚ I just got back from a short travel stint in east coast of US ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Happy Birthday to you, Dear Minaxi. ๐Ÿ™‚ What a fabulous birthday in a wonderful place. So gorgeous and so picturesque. I was all smiles as I scrolled through this beautiful piece. ๐Ÿ™‚ You have a way of making love appear even more wonderful and glamorous. May you continue to exude love, joy and everything beautiful. All the best wishes to you and yours. Enjoy the times Dear! Xoxo.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re most welcome Dearie. I can understand that time to fully attend to blogging matters is sometimes very scarce. All the encomiums poured on you are truly deserving. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re such a beautiful soul with an incredible and infectious disposition. So nice to read from you again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you and hope to see you more. Blessings my dear. Xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Happy Birthday Minaxi!!!
    Oh my Oh my! I just moved to another country and your hair turns to magenta-pink-fuschia-magenta loveliness? You look great!
    Anyhow, what a lovely birthday getaway..you made me drool by this post.This trip sounds 7 looks amazingly so you. Glad you have a blast and thank you for letting me envy this! :)))
    Hope you are doing great,I could see that.
    Glad to be back again in WP and seeing you.
    Take care always ! XO from Germany!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heyaaa Christina! Long long time ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for the kind and sweet words bestowed on me ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be soon hopping over to your side to enjoy your escapades. With you in Europe, nothing can stop you from giving in to the travel spirits I guess. And it would be my turn to envy ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A very belated happy birthday to you Minaxi. ๐Ÿ™‚ What an absolutely spectacular way to celebrate. Your photos are out of this world beautiful and you two look so happy. I think after seeing your incredible photos here that this place has just rocketed to the very top of my travel bucket list. Gorgeous post Minaxi. Keep smiling. xo ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And a very belated thank you Miriam ๐Ÿ˜€ Wow, this place rocketed to your top of bucket list with my pics? I am doing my “happy dance” routine here โค . I would be soon blogging about my other east-coast escapades too and hope I can help you with the US itinerary when yon plan it ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are doing good Miriam ๐Ÿ™‚ I will soon hop over to your place. Take care ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy super late birthday. The fireworks were just for you ๐Ÿ™‚ I had no idea there was so much to do at Niagra falls but now I really want to go get drenched by it and see everything. I’m happy you had an amazing time!!

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  10. Pingback: The Happiness Tag
  11. I tried commenting earlier but for some reason it didn’t go through. Anyway love this post. So packed with great pics and super helpful tips. Hope to find my way there someday ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so glad you got to enjoy such a stunning place, especially on your birthday!

    I have to say โ€“ I love the yellow dress, and with the pink hair, those are 2 of my favorite colors and you wear them well!

    Your review of the Falls was wonderful and your pictures are epic! You grabbed some great shots there! I could feel the spray! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I hope youโ€™re doing well sweetie. Iโ€™m sorry I didnโ€™t get to this earlier. I thought I had but I was going through some email stuff a few weeks ago and I guess I lost track. Iโ€™m sorry.

    I donโ€™t know how much longer youโ€™re going to be back East, but I hope youโ€™re enjoying every minute!

    *hugs* โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, Nessie dear. Thank you sooo much for showering me with such kind words and making me revel in happiness.This one really made me go awwww for a long while. Like I told you before,your sincere wishes did the trick and I did have a ball in the east. Please don say sorry for late comments. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have all been there ๐Ÿ™‚
      I just posted a brief intro about the places we visited and about my feelings. I would be doing a detailed post soon on each of the places and esp NYC. Thank you so much for your wishes again dear. It matters to me a LOT โค *loadsa hugs* โค

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      1. I’m so happy you had a wonderful time! I can’t wait to see your detailed posts! You always have such glowing posts and beautiful pictures to share!

        If my wishes did the trick, then you are going to have an amazing and wonderful life. ๐Ÿ™‚ *hugs* โค

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awww, thank youuuu โค ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ *hugs hugs hugs*
        I am still working on the detailed posts. And half of the time while writing I get caught up in the memories and get wistful and then by the day ends I understand I have not made much progress at all :\ I am telling you never been so travel-sick till now. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        I have shared a small post though on where all we went in WordPress and cues on what to expect in the coming days ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus I also recently joined instagram ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. WOW! That is one birthday you will never forget…from hubby surprising you with such goodies in your room (so sweet and thoughtful), to the magnificent Niagara Falls…love the double rainbow pic of you two!! From start to finish your birthday was fabulous! Happy Belated Birthday and Cheers to many, many more…xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚ Such amazing photos, I have never been but I felt like I was right there with you….except for the thunderous roar. Simply spectacular. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you SO much Debbie for dropping by and for the “Debbelicious” (sweet,sincere and kind) comment. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes it was an incredible birthday by God’s grace. โค And now back to the base and I guess all the travel hangover makes me so whiny in my latest post ๐Ÿ˜›

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