Guelph Day 7: Part 1

Here it is Saturday morning- I’ve just sent off the intro for the choir that will be read as we come onto the stage, so it all feels quite real now. In my mind, I’m freaked out about the big space and our small group, but today is really all about hearing these other brilliant choirs and working with Rollo Dilworth, and getting to sing together in the massed choir. That will be fabulous, and it’s great music to sing en mass too.

I never got around to filling you in about our day yesterday:

We stayed in a cute hotel in Niagara that featured a New Orleans style courtyard where a DIY buffet breakfast was served. They had these “make your own waffles from a dixie cup full of dough” machines that were fun.

We headed off in formal uniform to perform at a place called The Heatherwood. We were really kindly received and the kids sounded great. We sang for a full hour, and GYS joined us on the 4 massed pieces, plus they sang Diane Loomer’s arrangement of Song of Peace on their own. The only way to get better at performing, is to perform… and we’ve done lots of that this week.

After juice, cookies and squares with the audience there, we headed to Niagara Falls. First stop, the IMAX theatre to learn about the history of people actually going over the falls- intentional and accidental. At first I was kind of thinking that it was weird to spend so much time watching a movie ABOUT the falls, without having SEEN the falls, but after the film I realized that we’ll have a whole new appreciation and respect for the falls when we get there.

Back on the bus, a short ride to the falls, and we had some time to walk along the upper balcony over looking them at the Table Mountain Welcome Centre area. Inside, we had pizza lunch and then headed down stairs to the walk behind the falls area. Well…. there is a reason that there are very few tourists here this time of year… the portals where you view “behind the falls” are completely iceburg-ed in. We found one portal where we could stand 1/2 way down the falls, and off to the side for a close up view. Apparently in the summer, all that we saw boarded up, is open and you can walk around out on a lower deck. For us though, it was all closed and iced over. Nevertheless, we were there and sang “Jordan’s River, is chilly and cold… “etc.

Upstairs to Niagara’s Fury 4D experience about how the Falls were formed. You know you are in for something zany when the first thing you do is put on this full body blue plastic bag, complete with a hoodie! ACK! THEN they take you into a round room with a grate on the floor and an awful lot of water all around the grate, and movie screens in 360 degrees above that. SHRIEK!!!!!!  I know we learned about the geology and ice age in all of this… between screams….

Back to viewing the falls, then a short 30 minutes of power shopping on Clifton Hill. This is the “Vegas Strip” of haunted mansions and wax museums and neon. 30 minutes wasn’t long enough to hit the attractions, but apparently it was plenty of time to load up on the worst food colouring saturated chemical sugar candy imaginable. I guess I’m a chocolate snob. And what to do? Let them eat it all at once like they want to and then deal with the insanity that will ensue, then the sugar hang over later? Or do we attempt to make them ration it out so they are buzzed up and down for days? ……. We went for option 1.

We got back on the bus and headed for Betty’s Restaurant. An all you can eat buffet out of town, that was just perfect for us: great fish and chips, roasted chicken, vegetarian pasta, nice salads and home made pies!

A 2 hour bus ride got us safely back to Guelph, where we said goodbye to Darryl, and went home with our billets  for the night, and to prepare for our TREBLE FESTIVAL DAY today.