Saturday, April 25, 2009

Niagara Falls trip 17 to 18 April 2009

As you can see from the picture above, we are always trying to kill each other. Just joking. This picture is taken in the basement of my ex host, Capt J. This trip up to the Niagara Falls, Toronto and Oshawa bears great
personal significance for me. When I got my place at Bentley, I have already made up my mind that I will visit Niagara Falls again to meet up with my ex host. I think neither me nor Capt J. would expect to ever meet again. The basement of his house is a treasure trove of artifacts, a lot of artillery patches and even some empty artillery shells. By the way if anyone knows where to find any Singapore artillery badges, patches or other related stuff please let me know. From the left, P.K, Me, Capt J. and Scott.
The last time i was here 7 years ago in 2002, we were in such a rush we forgot to take any photos with the house and we only had the old film camera or digital cameras that was 1.3mega pixels. We didn't even manage to take any decent photos so this time i brought in the DSLR and a tripod and make sure i make ample couples of these precious memories.
A quick trip before dinner to view probably what i think is the only canal system in the world that moves ships across high elevated areas. Its a bit scary and amazing how the ships manage to not knock into the sides when there is only a few inch to the sides
The Skylon Tower is one of the good place to dine at the Niagara falls. Its expensive but the view is great, the best timing to come is after May when there are fireworks display in the evening. Capt J. used to take all the exchange cadets for dinner at the Sklyon tower and we were all dressed up (the last time i got to borrow a shirt from Tim, the Australian exchange cadet). This time, I was much better prepared with a full suit and actually i like this tradition.
From the top of the revolving restaurant, you have plenty of great views. This is a picture of the American falls. By the way, anyone that is thinking of visiting Niagara falls must come over to the Canadian side if you want a view of the falls. The thing is if you stay on the American side you probably can only see the foams of the fall cause the closest you can get is on top on the falls and you can't see it in its full glory.
love this much better the Canadian Horseshoe waterfalls.

If you can see there is something stuck in the middle of the picture, its a old ship that got stuck there.

The plaque presentation to Capt J. My unit had learned that I was meeting Capt J and as mentioned earlier he had hosted Pei See and Ahmad as well so the unit decided to sponsor the plaque while me and Ahmad drafted the words.
I also brought along two handwritten postcards from Ahmad and Pei See and a pair of artillery badges sponsored by Keith (our ex cadet). I think it was this point when Capt J got really teary. It was also an emotional experience for me to be back for such a reunion. I actually wanted to tell Capt J that we have not forgotten about him and we are really grateful for what he has done for the air cadets and for hosting us. As someone who had serve in the cadets for more than 10 years now, I know how important it is to feel some sort of appreciation, no matter how tiny it may be to fuel the passion.
I told my friends before this, if no one wanted to come to Niagara falls with me, I will still somehow make it there irregardless of the price and i really mean it as long as there is an airport or a bus that will go there. I am so glad I made it. So to Capt J's question, how did you know you will meet me? The answer is simply, Ii simply have to. It helps when you have bus services and an airport nearby. Oh and yes you replied to my email in December welcoming me to stay with you again so its easier for me to plan my trip. Haha.
A view of both falls
Niagara falls at night. This is a special treat that Capt J. would bring all the air cadets when he hosted them.
Capt J explaining how the lighting system works.
We went to the control room of the lights of Niagara Falls and we manage to play with the lights. In other words, whatever lights we choose would appear on Niagara falls and everyone who took pictures for that moment would be taking the colours that we choose. It was cool and it was certainly not what everyone will have a chance to do.

The light bulk here cost 2000 dollars and has the power of 5 million candlesticks. There are 21 such light bulbs which light up the falls at night.
The external view of the control tower.
Niagara falls at night. Eh... somehow after a period of training, Scott's hand still can't stop shaking when he takes photos. Therefore, only the photo i took came out nice. The others were all blur. Please brush up your skills in keeping steady hands before we go to the west coast.
So after the photos didn't turn up well, i tried to kill him again... haha just joking.
Oh, not to forget Capt J's super big but friendly dog, Rockie
The guys room.
P.K's room with all the pots of plants. I stayed in this room 7 years ago and i guess P.K was lucky cause the room was supposed to be filled with potted plants at this time of the year and she only confirm she is joining us just a few days before and Capt J somehow manage to squeeze some space out for her
The super poser, forever.
don't have time to edit these photos and neither do i have the programme to do it now so yah its a pity the faces are all dark cause of the sun but i guess they can do it back in Singapore.

The control centre for thhe lighting in the day view.
Before we left, we went to visit a historical site, Landy's lane ( i hope i got the name right), where the British fought with the Americans in 1824.
This is a quick but certainly fruitful one and the half day tour of Niagara falls. I wish you (Capt J.) good health and may we see each other again. I certainly hope i can bring you around in Singapore and tour my unit.

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