“We are not fully booked, so we upgraded you to a better room”. That is certainly what you want to hear, when you arrive at a hotel. “It has a fireplace inside” makes it even better.
I took the 8:20 train from Toronto and arrived in Niagara Falls about two hours later. The weather was cold (-9 degrees celsius and quite a bit of windchill), but perfectly sunny and I had an almost perfect view at the falls.
It began to snow during the night and it seems like in this place, a lot of snow really means a LOT of snow. I felt a bit worried about my trip to Cleveland the next day as I had to go through the hot spot of the lake effect snow in Buffalo. Many roads had already been closed and TV commentators called it a “once in a generation snow storm”. While that was probably a bit exaggerating, the situation was and still is obviously quite extreme.
The next morning it turned out, that both the train and the Greyhound bus to Buffalo (and beyond) were not running. Most of the flights from Buffalo airport were either cancelled or delayed. Since you don’t want to drive a rental car in a situation like this, there was no reasonable way to get to Cleveland in time for the NBA time.
I checked back into the hotel for another night. The staff was again very helpful and I was looking forward to a relaxing day in Niagara Falls. It’s a bit warmer than yesterday and the snow (fortunately far less than in the areas around Buffalo) makes for a nice winter setting. My previous room was not available, so they booked me into a bigger one with an even bigger fireplace.
I spent some time replanning my journey and came up with a pretty good route. In fact, I like it a lot better than my original plan. Given there are no more unfortunate events, I’ll be back in Toronto tomorrow, in Detroit on Friday and in Cleveland on Saturday. We will see…
UPDATE (Nov, 20th): Another good thing about an extra day in Niagara Falls was the opportunity for a morning walk to the falls and a second great breakfast. Try the Traditional Egg Benedict at the Grandview Manor!