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The Canadian Falls. Majestic. Powerful. Wet.

I had never heard of a babymoon before.  I mean, when I’m changing a diaper, I figure that mooning is a hazard of the job, but I had never thought of it as a slight.

My wife, however, is an avid fan of the “baby boards” (online forums for pregnant women to vent their frustration at how stupid their husbands are and how bad their stretch marks are getting), so she is completely up to date with all of the new mothering trends.  It seems that heading out for a long weekend away before the baby arrives is now in vogue, so Erin requested one for her birthday.  With roughly 6 weeks left, she figured that if we didn’t do it now we likely wouldn’t be able to sneak it in before risking having the baby in a hotel Jacuzzi tub.

We weighed out our options for a long weekend away: Toronto, Niagara Falls, Camping Trip.  We’d done TO a few times before, so we weren’t super-excited about another stay at the SoHo.  We also don’t own any camping equipment and have a tendency to get lost in unmarked areas.  That left Niagara Falls, a place that against all appearances is supposed to be one of the most romantic in the world.

Tongue in cheek, we booked our stay at the Hilton Fallsview.  While we opted for an upgraded room with a whirlpool tub, we decided that a city view was good enough for us, and resigned ourselves to the fact that we wouldn’t be able to see the falls from our bed.  We also determined that we would make up the rest of the trip when we got there.

“Hey,” I said, whipping along the QEW on the way to Niagara, “look at all the wineries.”

“I’d love to go on a wine tour someday,” Erin said wistfully.

“We could go stop in at one of them on the way,” I suggested.

“Yeah, that would be really fun for me…”

Grossly underestimating our travel time, we arrived at our hotel before noon.  Check-in was at 4:00.  Trying to look as uncomfortable as possible, without looking like she was in labour, Erin begged to know if our room might possibly be ready.  The lovely staff at the Hilton took pity on my pregnant wife and sent us up to the 15th floor to officially start our babymoon.

And that’s when the problems started.

We could see the falls from our room.

“You bastards!” I shouted.  “I wanted a city view room!  I can see falling water!  I demand my money back!”  Erin calmed me down by pointing out that most of the falls were blocked by the Fallsview Casino.

“And look!” she said.  “We can look out the window while we use the whirlpool tub.”  She opened the partition between the bathroom and the bedroom, turning it into a large, open area.

“Yes,” I said, “but now I can also see the view while I’m sitting on the toilet.”

Luckily the day moved upward from there.  It seems that all those idiot soccer moms driving their 5-ton SUVs actually created an upside for us: 24° C weather on April 1.  We were able to park ourselves on a patio behind the casino and slowly burn under the sun while we sipped our drinks and ate deep-fried things.

April 1st, patio, sunshine, beautiful wife, and one of the greatest natural wonders in the world.

“What should we do now?” I asked, polishing off my pint of Creemore Springs and trying to ignore the hungry, jealous looks Erin was shooting me over the lip of her water glass.

“Let’s go to the Casino,” she suggested, which would have been a great idea, except that her driver’s license has one of those “Valid Only As Photo ID” stickers on it.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: “That means you can use it as photo ID, right?”

Wrong.  You are totally, totally wrong.

It turns out that casino policy is that you have to have the accompanying paperwork with the license that says that you are, in fact, still legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle in the province of Ontario.  The fact that my wife is 8 months pregnant, 28 years old, and celebrating her birthday that day made no difference to the bouncers at the Fallsview Casino.  They turned her away.

And boy was she angry when I finished playing the slots an hour later and came to pick her up from the lobby.

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