How about this? A couple of Insider rabble rousers wearing outrageous shirts. Anyone who knows us will not be surprised (Insiders with Outrageous Shirts). Our long-absent friend erc would no doubt approve of the location of our visit (the bar at the Marriott Fallsview). We can both recommend the Niagara's Best Blonde Premium Ale.
Like others, I have been following the adventures of our friend from across the pond (Monthlong Vacation - Eastern Canada and USA) as he reports on the hotels, lounges, and experiences from Ontario, New York, and Washington D.C. (so far). While he had been posting plans for the trip over the past few months, I decided at least one member of this community should extend a personal welcome to our shores. After asking about his itinerary, Niagara Falls was about as close to Columbus, Ohio as the route would go. I figured if he could travel this far from the U.K., I could drive the 5 hours or so to meet him.
The last time I actually stayed in the Niagara Falls area was about 20 years ago (though I did pass through Buffalo on a county collecting trip in 2012). I had a category 1-5 certificate (from my CC) that was due to expire at the beginning of August, so it made sense to use it, especially since there is no summer bonus this year. Sadly, that meant staying on the U.S. side of the border (category 4 CY in Buffalo-Amherst). Not a bad hotel, but nothing compared to the category 8 Fallsview. So, taking Friday off work, I drove to Buffalo and across into Canada for our short visit. I can honestly say that brightlybob is just as much fun in person as he is on Marriott Rewards Insiders. I hope more of the members of this community get the opportunity to meet him.
While I haven't reached the levels of the "King of the Insider get-together", jerrycoin, in the last 15 months, I have met jerrycoin, erc, Nathalie (aka NathalieF), pluto77 (twice), foxglove, and now brightlybob. Truly a fine bunch of people. Up next is kharada46 in early September. One of these days I'll make it out to Houston to see IAHFLYR (I promise ). I'm sure there will be others.
While at the Marriott Fallsview, I got to visit the CL (thanks, brightly ). What a truly amazing view.
I snapped a few shots from different spots in the lounge, but the one above is my favorite because of the rainbow.
Of course, no trip to Buffalo would be complete without some of the eponymous wings for which the city is famous and what better place to visit the the birthplace of this tasty treat, the original Anchor Bar.
Of course there is much more to see and do in the area than I had time for, but despite the compressed nature of the trip, the meeting between the first two Featured Insiders made all the driving worthwhile. After seeing the view from the CL, I've decided I need to go back and stay at the Fallsview someday.
Thanks brightlybob for taking a couple hours out of your vacation to meet. I look forward to our next visit (on either side of the Atlantic). Cheers and safe travels my friend.
Outstanding post bejacob! Looks like a great time in a wonderful destination, definitely a bucket list destination for me.
Looking forward to our meet up too! Just about a a month away now
And a very good afternoon to you bejacob from my current residence at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre. Although our road trip with the kids has now ended me and the wife are on a 4 night sojourn together, taking the train from Toronto to Montreal.
Let me tell all you insiders, bejacob is every bit the gent, with a massive wallop of Mid-West American humour. We had the good fortune to be able to have a couple of pints in the bar at the Marriott Fallsview:
And the opportunity to take our final pint to the exec lounge to enjoy what must be the very best view from any exec lounge anywhere in the world:
Alas I didn't catch the rainbow, but later that evening I was able to catch the fireworks:
I really must thank bejacob fortaking a whole day off and driving 10 hours, 5 hours each way, it was a pleasure to meet you, mate, and any time you, or any other insider, is in England just drop me a line, to see if we can fix up the first ever European insiders meet up...
bejacob What a great post and also great pics! It's so cool you guys were able to meet up!
brightlybob You picked the perfect spot in Toronto. Love the Eaton Centre Marriott. If you have time you should check out the Pickle Barrel Restaurant. Very short walk from the hotel. Great Food and Huge Menu!
Fantastic to see you two got together, what a wonderful sight. I've looked at the Falls property in the event I ever get back to Buffalo and now I am sure it will be the joint we stay.
Oh, it is just me or could these two almost pass for brothers?
Thanks for sharing this with us, now where's the pint for the rest of us?