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Lost Niagara Attraction? "Jungleland Golf"
Hey niagara! After the community's warm response to my history posts here pertaining to Clifton Hill and the amusement industry, I thought I'd come to you all with some information I unearthed about a possible attraction lost to time. I hope now maybe your memories could again help fill some gaps in Niagara's rich amusement history. I was digging around in the Canadian Trademark Database and found the name of the company that Bob Dunham operated the House of Frankenstein and Castle Dracula locations under. For a quick recap, there was chain of six of these attractions across North America, the first and flagship location of both the House of Frankenstein and Castle Dracula being the Niagara locations. The company he ran these under was called Waxattract, and Niagara artist Derek Costello provided the art, figures and animation for these attractions as well as much more. In 1979, two years after the sixth and final location in the haunted house chain opened (Castle Dracula in Lake George, NY) Waxattract filed trademarks for "Jungleland Golf" and "Monsterland Golf". Both are listed as "For proposed use in Canada." Just a few months later both trademarks were abandoned. A year after that, Waxattract filed trademarks for a Jules Verne attraction with an animated dog barbershop quartet out front as well as an Arby's franchise. A few months later these trademarks were abandoned as well. For these attractions to have had names and characters trademarked, they must have been far enough into development that art, business plans and structural drawings were likely already partially developed. That's interesting enough, but the story doesn't end there. I tried googling these attractions to find old news articles announcing upcoming attractions or building permits, but found nothing with the exception of Jungleland. In a 2002 growth plan for the City of Niagara Falls, a section discusses the construction of the parking garage for Fallsview Casino. It reads: "To accommodate parking in the event of a closure of the Allandale parking lot at the discretion of the City of Niagara Falls and/or the Jungleland parking lot." Adding fuel to the mystery, Jungleland Golf is the only of the above trademarks transferred to a new owner and renewed after being abandoned by Waxattract. Its transferred to an Herbert W. Cowan in 1980 and not inactivated until 1996. I can't find anything on Jungleland Golf on the internet. No brochures, merchandise, postcards, photos or references outside of the 2002 growth plan. It's possible for this reason that the municipal parking lot referenced in the 2002 plan was simply the land that was proposed for Jungleland once upon the time, still being referred to as such by the city despite the attraction never being built, even under the trademark's new owner. It's also possible however that this municipal lot referenced was called such by the city because it used to be the land Jungleland sat on, and that this Herbert Cowan ran the attraction from 1980 to 1996 as the records indicate. Adding merit to the theory the attraction existed is the fact that there is a municipal lot about 100ft from the Fallsview Parking garage at the corner of Main and Fallsview. That would have been directly across the street from the Boris Karloff Wax Museum, which was in the parking lot of the Oakes Hotel. This is significant because as I'm sure you guessed, The Boris Karloff Wax Museum was run by Bob Dunham/Waxattact. In fact, this too was recently unearthed due to a telegram auctioned off online. The telegram was sending condolences to Boris Karloff's wife after the actor's death in 1969 and was sent from Robert (Bob) Dunham of the Boris Karloff Wax Museum. Since the museum opened roughly a year before this, it seems like he owned it from the beginning, making it both Dunham's first attraction and likely Derek Costello's, pre-dating the House of Frankenstein by a year. If he owned an attraction directly across the street from the possible location of Jungleland, it makes sense he would develop more on empty land there after all the space on Clifton Hill was used up. After heavy digging, I found 2 aerial shots of that area from the early 90s. What's now the municipal lot indeed has a tree filled area with some small structures around it. The photos are not clear at all being taking from the Skylon tower, and one was taken in the dead of winter under a good 3 feet of snow. This makes it impossible to make out any text, logos or even evidence of a mini golf, but whatever is there looks like it couldn't be much else. Does anyone remember this? It's not to be confused with Jungle Putt on Lundy's Ln. near Typhoon Lagoon, the 80s-era mini golf/arcade/Dairy Queen that was abandoned in early 2010s and eventually burnt. Jungleland would have been near the Seagram/Minolta Tower, specifically directly across from the Oakes Hotel and there between roughly 1980-1996, if it existed. Anybody remember anything?
Angela was the coolest supervisor I’ve ever had. At the time, we were working at a little advertising startup called Digital Marketing Technologies, or just DMT. She was a graphic designer and I was hired out of College to manage Google ad accounts. But to Brad, none of that mattered. Brad was the owner and only salesman of our little startup. A balding, late thirties wannabe celebrity, he envisioned himself as the next Gary Vee. So much so that he regarded his LinkedIn self promotional videos as more important than his clients. He was a good salesman, but he had nothing even remotely approaching anything resembling knowledge on how to effectively run a business. Case in point, almost all of the staff who wasn’t strictly video, were designated as ‘graphic designers’ whether or not they actually were one. That was the bucket I currently fell in. Brad had tossed me into that position after jerking me around his company as an intern for the better part of a year, and treating me like absolute garbage. At first, I took it with a smile, figuring that’s just how it was. While I was working under Angela though, she made it abundantly clear just how fucked up Brad actually was. Being a young white man, with little experience, I didn’t see the rampant sexism, barely subdued racism and ethically dubious business practices that defined Brad. He hid it well for the most part under his fantastical razzle dazzle of technobabble and pompous self importance. He paraded around like a rock star, hosting $10,000 seminars in Toronto that no one came to, and uploading what he considered to be nuggets of marketing genius, most which were barely more than drunken ramblings. He was a sham and Angela saw right through him, and she made sure he didn’t try and fuck over his own employees. Brad’s startup was already circling the drain. His VP, Craig had quit in a rage about a month ago, followed by his assistant Janice. With the structure of his upper management compromised, he’d made the crucial mistake of bringing in Jake. Jake was Brad’s biggest fan. A mechanic by trade, who sold juice for a multi level marketing scheme on the side, his ‘job application’ had been an overlong fan letter that Janice had shared with us just before she left. While Brad didn’t openly call him Craig’s replacement, that was basically what he was.I would have felt bad for him. An inexperienced Yes Man getting put into a role he couldn’t possibly fill. Maybe I could have even related, but Jake had one fundamental flaw. He was every bit the asshole that Brad was, and something of a creep to boot. He stared at people too long, smiled too wide and acted so condescendingly friendly. He’d ask the stupidest questions in a tone that implied that YOU were the idiot who didn’t know what was going on, not the other way around. Like Brad, he fancied himself a Marketing guru. He even had his own website that was essentially a blank screen with a link to his merch store. Yes, he had a merch store. No, no one ever bought anything off of it. His one redeeming quality was that he was about as dumb as a box of rocks, and it was almost pathetically easy to slip stealth insults into casual conversation with him. So, to put a lid on it all, DMT was already a rapidly sinking dumpster fire of a company, with more problems than I have time to list. Being the ‘genius’ that he was however, Brad had a fix. Since the holidays were coming around, and I’m pretty sure it was impossible not to notice that his modest staff all hated him, Brad elected to throw the Christmas party early, and he wanted to pull out all the stops. He booked everyone individual hotel rooms in Niagara Falls for a Thursday-Friday night of partying. To Brad, that meant enough alcohol to kill most living things and gambling away that years profits. The idea was not a popular one… But, most of us stuck it out, hoping that maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t suck. It did. Angela and I had driven down together, and suffered through the disappointment together. I wouldn’t call that Thursday night much of a Christmas party, as much as a disorganized bender. We all watched Brad knock back drink after drink, getting louder and more obnoxious. Given that it was a Thursday in November, very little was open late, and the evening barely lasted until around 10 before Brad decided it was time to hit the casinos! I bowed out at that point. Gambling never interested me, and I had absolutely zero interest in watching Brad get hammered and waste more money that he probably didn’t have. He didn’t take that so well. “Come on, Greg!” he slurred, just outside the Fallsview Casino. “Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’ll stake you. If you win, it’s yours man!” “No thanks, it wouldn’t feel right to gamble with your money.” I said. “Okay well… Okay… What about a years payroll, right?” He looked around at the others with us. I saw Angela’s brow crinkle in disgust. “Let’s just pool it, and see where we get?!” No one took him up on that offer, and he waved it off, enthusiastically going to feed another of his many addictions. According to Angela when I talked to her the next morning, it had gone about as well as expected. Brad hadn’t gone broke, but he had needed Jake to carry him back to his hotel room. Angela herself had left shortly after I did and only got that information from one of the other ‘Graphic Designers’ Leanne. As soon as we had the chance to leave, Angela and I were in my car and headed back to Hamilton. “You know, you’d think he would’ve taken the hint that none of us wanted to go, but he did it, and then he wonders why no one had a good time. It’s Niagara Falls at midnight on a Thursday. Of course nothing was open!” Angela said as we drove. “Well, least we got free food.” I said, it was just about the biggest and only positive aspect of the event. Angela scoffed. “Yeah… Funny how he ran out on the bill and made Jake pay.” I hadn’t noticed that, but I still believed it. She looked down at her phone, checking a game she was playing on it, before pausing. “Oh shoot, hey, do you mind if we make a quick stop?” “Not at all, why what’s up?” “I figure we’re in wine country, right? I wanted to pick up some ice wine for my Mom, I didn’t really get the chance while we were in town.” “I don’t really see why not.” I said, “Google it, lemme know if there’s a place nearby.” She did, and sure enough there was a place a few exits ahead. “Looks like the only one open today…” She murmured, “Greystone Winerys.” She scrolled through their website for a bit, as the GPS told me where to go in a soothing British accent. The exit led me to a narrow backroad. On either side of us, all I could see was empty farmland and sparsely populated trees. No sign of anything resembling a winery. “How much further?” I asked, and she checked her phone. “Says about fifteen minutes… I dunno, it’s acting up.” I scanned the horizon for any indication of a driveway or something. But the road was just a straight unbroken line through empty lifeless land. The only sign of civilization was the phone lines on the side of the road. “Up ahead!” Angela said, just when I thought I saw something past a patch of trees. The turn she indicated led us to a worn out, empty parking lot. A skeletal gazebo sat in the middle of it, amongst patches of snow. The building in front of that gazebo was old and looked almost Victorian. Behind it, I could see what a vineyard that looked strangely empty. “This is the place.” Angela said, as I parked my car. I couldn’t help but admire that creepy parking lot. I snapped a photo of it, before following her to the building where she was trying the door. “Locked.” She said, and frowned, “Maybe they aren’t open then.” She checked her phone again, since there were no listed hours. “Google probably just lists their summer hours.” I said, “This place has to be abandoned right now.” “Yeah… Maybe I’ll stop off at a liquor store or something then. They might have some there.” Angela seemed to shrug it off, and we headed back to the car after our very brief little adventure. We were barely halfway there when I saw a familiar bright orange Corvette round the corner into the parking lot. I actually felt disappointment upon seeing it. The Corvette sped into a parking spot right beside my SUV, and Brad got out wearing the biggest grin on his face. “Hey! What are you guys doing here!” Jake got out of the passenger seat, as Brad approached us. Angela looked like she had to fight to keep from rolling her eyes and groaning in disappointment. “Keeping the party going, huh, Champ?” Brad asked playfully, and punched me on the shoulder a little too hard. “No… We were just stopping to-” “Hey, we were gonna do a wine tasting! C’mon! Join us, it’ll be fun!” That was the worst idea I had ever heard in my life, and I hated Brad even more for saying it. “I really don’t feel like it.” I said, and Jake helpfully chimed in with; “A bit of wine won’t kill you y’know, have some fun! It’ll be good for morale!” He wore the sort of smile I imagine must have physically hurt to maintain. I also felt my eyes drawn to his shirt, which naturally came from his merch store, the one that no one on the planet knew existed except for him. Shiitake Happens Real original. Brad was already pounding on the door of the winery as if the people who weren’t inside owed him money. “HEY! COME ON! WE’RE HERE FOR A WINE TASTING!” He yelled. Amazingly, no one answered! Who’d have guessed? “They’re closed.” Angela said, “We already tried.” “But Google says they’re open!” Jake chirped. “And no one’s here, so they’re closed.” Angela replied. Jake didn’t take the hint. “But Google says-” He started to repeat, but he was thankfully cut off by a gruff voice behind us. “We’re closed.” A man had come around the side of the building. He looked gruff and wore wading overalls. “Finally…” Brad murmured under his breath, “We’re here for a wine tasting!” “Those are in the summer.” The man replied, “We’re closed for the season.” “But you have wine, right?” Brad asked. The man frowned. “We do… But we’re closed.” “Well, obviously not entirely or you wouldn’t be here.” Brad said, and took out his wallet, “Look. We’re here for a wine tasting. For four…” I started to protest, but Jake had to cut me off, to avenge the stupid sentence he didn’t get to finish earlier. Angela sighed in exasperation. “Yes sir, four please!” Brad took a handful of bills I didn’t think he actually had, and offered them to the man. “Come on, it’s fine!” He assured the man. The Man just stared at him. He looked at Brad, then at Jake, then finally at Angela and I. He took the money and jammed it into one of his pockets. “Come on then… I suppose I can arrange something since you came all this way. Lemme just call Mr. Greystone.” He marched off towards the back of the building, fumbling with his cell phone and Brad followed him. “I told you it was open!” Jake said smugly, as if Brad hadn’t just begged and bribed the man to give us a wine tasting. Angela and I stayed put for a moment. “Fuck it, let’s just go.” She said. Me, misconstruing that, took a weary step forward to follow. She hesitated for a moment, before going after me. She didn’t bother correcting herself. The man led us to a long barn out behind the vineyard. Going through the empty grapevines felt a little unsettling, and as we headed out towards the barn, I heard the man and Brad talking. “So, where abouts are you folks from?” He asked. “Well, I’m from Texas originally, but I settled down here. Jake, you’re from… What, Oshawa? Hey Greg! What’s that town you live in again? Brantford? Our office is in Vaughan and this guy commutes from Brantford, can you believe that?” I didn’t answer, even though he got it right. Angela trailed behind us, being ignored by Brad, but I could tell she was furious to be caught up in this. “He’s supposed to be meeting with a client.” She said, once Jake and Brad were far enough ahead of us, “That’s where he said he was going this morning. Did you smell the booze on him?” I hadn’t, but it wasn’t hard to guess that Brad was drunk. “This is why he keeps losing business.” She said. We’d had conversations like this countless times before. I knew Angela had even brought it up with Brad, and he’d laughed it off. The Man opened the barn door, letting us inside. “I assume you’d like the tour first.” He said coolly. “Hell yes we want the tour!” Brad said and immediately stepped inside, followed by the rest of us. The Man followed us in, and closed the door behind us. As soon as he did, we heard another man speak. “So, you’re the ones Archie found out front?”The speaker was a younger man in similar wading overalls. He had a full beard and sparkling blue eyes. His handshake was firm. “I’m Isaac Greystone, I own the place. Archie tells me you were looking for a tour?” “That and a tasting!” Brad said, and hastily introduced myself and Jake. He didn’t even bother introducing Angela. “Well then, it’s a pleasure to meet you all. You just came at a really exciting time. We’re not open to the public right now, but I figure since you’re offering to pay for it, I might as well show you around, right?” “Damn right.” Brad said, “A man after my own heart.” Isaac tipped a thousand watt smile that almost rivaled Jakes. “Well, let’s get started… I suppose you know how ice wine is made, right? How we freeze the grapes, and press them to make sure our wine is concentrated. It takes a little longer to ferment, but the final product is so, so worth it.” He led us deeper into the barn. Massive machinery worked on the frozen grapes around us, and it was almost too loud to hear him speak clearly as he walked Brad and Jake through the process. I barely paid any attention, hoping we could just get this over with as soon as possible and looking for the earliest opportunity to make an excuse to leave. “We just finished our harvest this year!” Isaac said, “So the wine we’re making now is going to keep us stocked for the next year or so. It’s not going to be ready quite yet, but we’ve still got some samples!” “Well bring them out then!” Brad said, “Let’s taste these bad boys!” Isaacs grin never faded, and he led us to a side room. “I think you’re gonna love this.” He said, “We have a bit of a special fermenting technique, I can’t say too much about it right now. Trade secret and all, but it gives our wine just the right amount of body and personality. It’s why Greystone is one of the top selling ice wines in the world. We even have some exclusive labels, that we make special for some of our particularly discriminating clients…” Isaac went behind a small bar, and fetched a couple of bottles of the ice wines from a fridge beneath it. He set out four glasses. “So you do special blends?” Brad asked, and traded an approving look with Jake.“See that, that is branding. That’s what having a brand is all about!” Jake nodded enthusiastically in approval. “It’s amazing branding.” I was pretty sure that had very little to do with branding. “I’ve got some samples of those right here.” Isaac said, as if he hadn’t heard a word they were saying. He held up a bottle with the Greystone logo, and a stylized wolfs head on the label. “This we manufacture for one of our best private companies. You ever heard of the Tallinn Corporation?” “No, I don’t think I have, who are they?” Brad asked. “Our best customers, that’s who. They’re Estonian, but they love us. Here. Try a glass…” He filled all four glasses, and Brad immediately snatched one up. I saw Isaac set a bucket on the counter for us to spit the wine into after tasting it. I’d never been to a wine tasting before in my life, but even I knew you weren’t supposed to actually drink it. Brad drank it. He drank it all in one big embarassing gulp. Isaac looked at him with a bit of surprise, as if he hadn’t quite expected that. “Oh Jesus, that’s brisk!” Brad said, “Here, lemme have some more of that…” Jake, for all his flaws, had the decency to drink the wine slowly. Angela didn’t drink at all. He did not however, have the decency to not make weirdly sexual moans as he enjoyed the drink. I hated it when he did that. “Greg, try that!” Brad said, as Isaac filled up another glass for him. I took a sip. Never in my life had I ever had ice wine before, but it was delicious. Easily one of the sweetest things I’d ever tasted! I spit it into the bucket. “What? You don’t like it?” Brad asked. “No, it’s delicious!” I said, “I just thought…” “Well, here’s a toast then!” Brad raised his second glass, “Hey, Angela! Come on! Don’t be a spoilsport.” Angela just glared at him, as if to ask ‘Do you know what the fuck you’re even doing right now?’ She set her glass down. “No thanks.” “Alright… Fine, whatever.” Brad said, shrugging it off. He tossed back the glass, and Jake attempted to do the same. I just took another sip and swallowed it. I guessed it would’ve been a shame to let it go to waste. “That’s got kick…” Brad murmured. I watched as Angela headed towards the door. “I think I’m just gonna wait by the car.” She said, and I understood that she wanted to get out of there. I did too. “Greg, have some more!” Brad urged me. Angela was waiting by the door, before sighing and stepping out. I didn’t, and set my glass down. “I think I’m good, actually. Angela’s got an appointment and we should get going.” “Oh boo!” Brad said, “You can be a bit late, come on!” “We’re already late.” Angela said, “Thanks for everything, Brad. Really. See you on Monday.” She left abruptly and I followed. “Who the hell does he even think he is?” She growled as she stormed towards the exit to the barn. “Seriously, blowing off his meetings to go and get drunk? What an idiot!” I tried to keep up with her, but was starting to feel a little woozy. “Yeah, he’s a prick.” I murmured. Angela stopped in her tracks and looked back at me. “Hey, you alright?” “I think so.” I said. I could see the door to the barn, and the man who’d led us in, Archie, still standing out front of it. “How strong was that wine?” I asked. “It’s wine. There’s no way you’re drunk!” I took another few steps forwards before my legs gave out from under me and I hit the ground. Angela was on top of my immediately. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Greg, Greg, are you alright?” My vision was going hazy, and the last thing I remember was seeing Archie coming up behind Angela and raising something over his head. I woke up to someone shaking me. “Greg! Wake up, Goddamn you!” I recognized the voice was Angela’s, and slowly as I came to, I could see her standing over me. “Finally… I was beginning to think you weren’t waking up.” “I’m awake…” I murmured, “What happened?” “You passed out and someone hit me.” Angela replied, “We’re in deep shit, Greg… Look!” My vision was groggy at first, but as I slowly pieced together my surroundings, I began to feel a creeping fear seep into my gut. We were in a cell, and outside of those bars, was a sight I wish I’d never seen. The machinery around us looked similar to what I’d seen before, but this was a completely different part of the factory. This looked more like a butcher shop. I could see bodies, human bodies suspended from the ceiling. Their throats had all been cut, and I watched the blood dripping into one of six swimming pool sized mixing vats full of ice wine beneath them, and I suddenly felt sick. That was what I’d been drinking with Brad and Jake… Just above the surface of the wine in each vat, a large propeller spun slowly, making sure that horrible concoction of blood and wine was evenly mixed. I patted my pockets. No sign of my wallet, keys or cell phone. Of course they’d taken those. “Angela? Greg?”Jake sounded like he was in the next cell over, and I’d never heard him so terrified in my life. “What the hell happened!” I asked. “I don’t know! We were drinking the wine, and then Brad was on the floor and… Jesus Christ, did they drug us?” That was the most logical explanation, wasn’t it? “Let’s just shut up, and figure a way out of here!” Angela said, “Jake, Brad’s in there with you, right?” “No! They took him! I don’t know where! Jesus Christ, we need to get out of here! D-do you see the vat?” Angela didn’t reply, but we’d all seen it, and we all knew that. She reached up towards her hair, taking out a hairpin. Something that whoever had emptied our pockets had missed. “I might be able to get this lock…” She murmured, and immediately set to work on it. “Are you picking it? Come on, come on, come on…” Jake groaned, “Hurryyyyy.” Angela worked diligently, before pausing suddenly, and putting her tools into her pockets. I heard the voices down the hall too. “We’ll get them processed today and have this whole thing taken care of. Later on I’ll call our usual guy to get the cars... ” I recognized the voice as Isaacs, and heard his footsteps getting closer. “Ah, you’re awake!” He said. It sounded like he’d stopped in front of Jake’s cell. “What the hell do you want from us?!” I heard Jake say, “You can’t just keep us here! Where’s Brad!?” “Well, like I said you’ve come at an interesting time…” Isaac replied. His tone was even and calm. “Usually, we buy our secret ingredient from the Tallinn Corporation. They deal in that sort of thing mostly. People go missing in the old Soviet Union all the time and no one cares. So we don’t really hurt anyone and we get a better tasting product! But, we do care a lot about quality and we’d like to keep all our ingredients locally sourced, if you catch my meaning.” “W-what the hell…?” It sounded like Jake was crying and Isaac chuckled. “You’ll see soon enough… Shock him, let’s get him processed.” I heard Jake scream as he was tased, and the sound of the cell door opening. Archie and another worker carried Jake past our cell. As they passed, Isaac stepped into our view. “Hey there.” He said smoothly, “I understand if you’re not excited to be in this position… I got the feeling you two didn’t really want to get dragged into this.” “No shit!” Angela snapped, “Where are you taking him?” “To become part of the Greystone legacy.” Isaac teased, and looked up towards the bodies hanging above the mixing vats. “It’s a slow process, but quality takes time… Anyways, I wanted to say, before you get angry, that I am sorry you got dragged into this.” He smiled, and walked away from us, following the others. Angela was silent for a bit, listening to his footsteps fade. When she was sure he was gone, she got the hair clip out of her pocket, and worked on the lock with renewed vigor. It didn’t take long until we heard the click of the lock, but Angela didn’t open it. It didn’t take me long to see why. Archie, his associate and Jake came into view again, this time on a catwalk above the nearest mixing vat. Jake was still unconscious, which made it easy to bind his ankles and place a hanging hook through the rope. “W-what…” Jake’s voice was faint and echoed from the distance, but he was starting to come to. He let out a startled yelp as the hook yanked him up just like the other bodies. “Wait, WAIT, WAITWAITWA-” He didn’t get to finish his pleasing. Archie pulled a knife from his overalls, and opened his throat. Jake squirmed and choked out his death rattle, blood pouring over his face and dripping into the vat below. Shiitake happens. The other worker took a long pole, and used it to push Jake out towards the other bodies, right over the center of the mixing vat. We watched as they prodded the others, before choosing a few to pull towards them and take down. As soon as they were gone, she opened the door to our cell. “We’re leaving.” She said curtly. I didn’t argue. For a moment, I thought about Brad, but Jake had said they’d already taken him. He was probably dead, and I could have cared less! Neither of us knew which way to go, but we opted for the way that Archie and the other worker hadn’t taken Jake. That way led to a hall that seemed impossibly long, and on either side were massive chilled vats of Ice Wine. I tried not to think about just how many people had died to fill these… But the thought still came.How many people around the world were unknowingly drinking human blood in their wine? How many people did it knowingly? Down the hall, I heard a voice, and paused.I ducked into the narrow space between one of the vats, and I saw Angela doing the same across from me. “50% in under three months, now that is unprecedented growth, but it’s doable! I’ve done it. Not everyone can, but if you’ve got the product, you’ve got the brand, and you’ve got the know how, it’s already done!” That was Brad’s voice! I had to peek out from behind my vat, and I saw him and Isaac passing through the hall in front of us, side by side like old friends. “It’s a bold claim.” Isaac said. I wasn’t sure if he was impressed or not, “But you sound like you can back it up.” “Dude, if you just let me show you my numbers, gimme a phone, something. I won’t try anything! But I’m telling you, you’re making the right call. Those other guys? Fuck ‘em. They’re disposable, I mean, hell. I was honestly looking for a chance to get rid of Angela anyways. But me, I’m the one you wanna keep. I get it, this whole operation here, it’s about adding value to your brand. What you’re doing gives the wine it's signature flavor, and it’s honestly kinda hardcore! I dig that! But you and I both know, that I can give you more value right here, like this, then I would in a bottle of wine.” Isaac and his workers were going to slaughter us for wine, and Brad was trying to fucking sell them on his service? I sincerely hoped someone would show up to drag Brad off to the same fate Jake had met, but I didn’t get that wish. “Well, if you’re half of what you claim… Maybe you’d be worth it.” Isaac said thoughtfully. He idly played with his beard. “Let’s say I kept you around, huh? I’m gonna need to make sure you don’t try anything. I’ll give you what you need to work. Just work. Nothing else. You let me down, and you’re going in with the next batch.” “Hey, that’s A-okay with me! I just want the chance!” Brad said, grinning from ear to ear, “Trust me. You and me are gonna do some amazing shit.” Isaac nodded slowly, and from my vantage point, I could see the rage on Angela’s face, but she stayed still. “HEY! CELL’S EMPTY!” Archie’s voice cut through the hall, and both Brad and Isaac looked up suddenly. “They’re out. Find them.” He said, “They can’t be far!” Isaac was coming towards us again, with Brad trailing behind him. I heard Archie coming up from the opposite direction, and I realized that sooner or later, one of them was going to see us. I think Angela knew it too. She moved suddenly, running for her life, and I did the same, but I wasn’t as fast. She slipped past Brad easily enough, but I didn’t get past Isaac. He grabbed me, and I felt Archie grabbing me too. Both of them wrestled me to the ground, and the last thing I remember was a terrible jolt of electricity before everything went black. I woke up in the hall. I don’t know how long later. Archie and another worker had me draped over their shoulders, and dragged me slowly. Ahead of me, I saw Isaac. “Shock him again.” Isaac said. I hadn’t even given any indicator that I was awake, but Archie didn’t waste any time. I didn’t pass out this time, but I wasn’t in any condition to fight. “I know you probably think this is barbaric.” Isaac said, still not looking at me, “It’s… well, an old family tradition. One gets desensitized to it. But as heinous as this all must seem, I need you to understand that this really does make it a superior product! The blood sweetens the wine, and the corpses do wonders for the vineyard. Every year, we have a bountiful harvest. It’s because of this that we’re the best, and if your friend Brad delivers on his promise, we might even be the biggest.” Up ahead, I saw the hanging bodies… But now they were much closer to eye level. “I wouldn’t take it personally.” Isaac said, and stopped, letting us pass him. “Make it quick for this one!” He ordered, “Suffering taints the wine.” With that, I heard him walking away. We were at one of the vats, and Archie shocked me one last time. I felt his associate starting to tie my legs together. Archie pulled the knife from his overalls. “It’s never personal, kid.” He said gruffly. I looked at the knife, my heart racing as I waited for what was coming. Then I heard the worker behind me scream, along with a dull thud. Archie looked up, and I caught a glimpse of Angela behind us. She was holding a shovel, and swung it ruthlessly at Archie’s head. It bounced off his shoulder and he grunted in pain. I didn’t have much time to react, but by God I made the most of it! I grabbed him by the wrist, and jerked his arm towards me, then I sank my teeth into the skin. His grip on the knife loosened, and I tore it out of his hands. Archie kicked out blindly at Angela when she tried to hit him with the shovel again. He uselessly slapped at me to try and keep me away from him, but I had the knife now, and I put it in his throat. It was very personal. Archie twitched, eyes looking up at me in surprise, but as the blood trickled out of his throat, his body went limp. I was panting heavily, and looked over at Angela. The worker she’d hit lay on the ground, unconscious or dead. I didn’t care which. “Are you alright?” She asked, and I absentmindedly nodded, before backing away from Archie’s body. “I just killed this guy…” “Yeah. I guess you did…” Angela replied, “Take the knife, we need to go and…” She swallowed, “We might need it.” I didn’t want to touch that knife. I didn’t even want to look at Archie. I wanted to scream and cry and lose my shit, but I did what she said. It came out easier than I expected. Angela started down the hall again, and I followed, still a little shell shocked from committing a murder! “After I split off from you, I found what I’m pretty sure was Isaacs office.” Angela said, “Here, we needed these.” I saw her reaching into her pocket for my car keys and wallet. “Our phones were missing. Probably broken.” “Shit… We can’t call for help then?” “Which is why we need to focus on getting the hell out of here.” Angela replied, We moved silently. For the time being, there was no sign of any other employees, but we didn’t want to risk it. We both knew there was more than Archie and his associate lurking around. In a few moments, we’d made it back to the lower level of the mixer room. “I think the door to the main factory is down that way.” Angela said, “We just need to find it, and-” A gunshot cut her off. She ducked, and looked around for the source. I saw it before she did, and pulled her towards one of the vats. We ducked beneath it to avoid another shot. “Found you!” Brad cried, “Ah shit… I guess you picked up Greg too, huh?” He held the gun professionally as he crept towards the vat we cowered behind. “Well, I’ve got enough ammo to do you both. I hope you know it’s nothing personal! But it’s honestly just me or you, and even with the… well, unusual recipe, this is still a big client! Do you have any idea what this is gonna do for DMT? Isaac gets me, man!” He was drawing nearer, but even when he had us cornered, Brad was still an idiot. The second he got close to our hiding spot, I was ready. He came into view slowly, and I lunged at him when he did, catching him off guard. The knife went into his shoulder, and I caught the gun across my face. Angela was on him next, tearing at the knife and trying to rip it out of him. Brad struggled against her, and frantically brought the butt of his gun down on her head, over and over again. He shoved Angela off of him, and she hit the ground holding the handle of the knife. The blade poked out of Brads shoulder.He grinned through gritted teeth as we took aim at her, but he wasn’t watching me. I was on my feet again and I grabbed his arm, forcing it upwards. He fired off a stray bullet, but it went harmlessly into the ceiling. Brad may have had a gun, but I was bigger than him. Angela recovered and went with the age old trick of going straight for the groin. I went for the stomach. Brads grip on his gun loosened. I watched as Angela tried to rip it from his hand. But Brad saw that coming. With a jerk of his arm, he sent the gun flying across the factory floor. I didn’t see where it landed. His elbow caught me in the face, and I barely had time to see him drive his fist into Angela’s jaw. He grabbed her by the throat, and got ready to punch again. I grabbed him from behind and tried to drag him off of her. Brad flailed helplessly, and I almost got him there, before his head slammed into my face. The first time just stunned me. The third time, I had to let go. Brad glared hatefully at us once he was free. “I shouldn’t be surprised you two are the ones I have to deal with right now. You’ve always been a poison to MY company, Angela. Since I hired you you’ve been trying to cripple MY success!” His eyes shifted to me. “And you? You’re just dead weight! I am DONE with you people! I am DONE with your disrespect!” He probably had more to say, but Angela didn’t give him the chance. She’d noticed something that Brad hadn’t. He was standing right in front of a vat. As he opened his mouth to speak again, she lunged for him, pushing him back towards it. I caught on quickly and went to help her. Between the two of us, we were able to press him right up against the vat. Angela and I traded a brief look, before I ducked down, grabbing Brad by the legs. She pushed him by the shoulders. Brad struggled, but he went into that vat of blood and wine. The mixers arm was coming around again. I know Brad saw it in the moment before it struck him over the head. I don’t know if it killed him, but the force of it pulled him into the vat entirely. Given how little of a struggle there was, I’d have guessed it just knocked him unconscious. The arm dragged him around the vat slowly, his head submerged in that disgusting mixture of blood and wine he’d been willing to murder us over. We didn’t stick around to see if he was ever going to wake up, and as far as I’m concerned, he drowned in that vat. I wish I'd said 'Cheers'. The next room was more familiar territory. This was part of what Isaac had shown us, and we sprinted for the door, and through the empty vineyard. It was starting to get dark. Halfway through it, I let myself look back. I could see people coming out of that long barn, and I didn’t wait for them to start running after me.The gazebo was up ahead, along with my car and Brad’s ugly orange coupe. I didn’t waste any time getting inside my car, and as soon as Angela and I had our doors closed, we were speeding off down our driveway, as fast as we could go. We drove until the next town over, and made it to the police station looking like hell. I’m pretty sure my statement came out as a rambling incoherent mess, but I didn’t care. I told them just about everything… except the part where I murdered Archie and helped drown Brad. If the Police believed my statement… I never found out. I heard talk of an investigation, but from what I understood, they found nothing. Not even Brad’s ugly orange coupe. DMT dissolved quickly without him. He and Jake were just considered to have disappeared. Brads so called ‘fans’ barely seemed to notice his absence.Our story never got out. I still talk with Angela on occasion, but we don’t talk about Niagara. The unspoken agreement is that we did what we had to do, to survive. We both know that, and we don’t need to remember. I almost wish we could talk about it though… I wish I could talk to her about the nightmares I’ve had of drowning in a vat of freezing cold wine. I wish I could talk to her about the anxiety I have whenever I’m alone. I wish I could tell her that I received a bottle of ice wine from Greystones Winery in the mail the other day. Because I don’t know who else to tell. I wish I knew if Isaac is congratulating me on my escape, mocking me for my inability to stop him… or warning me...
Lily woke up with a start. She tried to return to sleep, but the blaring of her alarm clock erased any chance of that happening. She picked it up and threw it at the wall. A loud clang resonated throughout the room, waking up Liberty. She was a loyal golden-doodle that had been with her for the past eight years. They had gone through this morning routine hundreds of times. Liberty bounded onto Lily's lap, making her sit up. "You ready for today Libby?" Lily whispered. Liberty barked in response. The sun shined through the plexiglass windows of their spacious loft. Lily looked at the beauty that was Central Park as she sipped her hot chocolate. She looked at her feet to find Libby chowing down on her breakfast. She looked out into the New York skyline whilst finishing the contents of her mug. Liberty looked out as well. A ring emitted from Lily's right pocket as she latched Liberty's collar. She didn't need to look at the screen to know who it was. She was expecting this call. "Hey Colin, I'm just taking Libby for her morning walk. I'll be there in an hour," she told him. She didn't wait for his response and hung up instead. Liberty led the way as they walked out of the apartment building and onto the street. She had just dropped Liberty off at home and was now taking a seat at the round mahogany table of Meeting Room 3. She was browsing the news on her phone when Colin slid a folder across the table. "I'm sorry Lily, the algorithm can do things you can't and does what you can do faster," Colin said. Lily looked up and opened the folder. "An algorithm can't have conversations with clients, I can. An algorithm can't understand social cues, I can. You can hack an algorithm but you can't hack a human for God's sake, Colin!" Lily shouted. Colin stood up and took the folder. "I'm sorry Lily, this has to happen," Colin replied. Lily sat up, straightened her jacket and walked out of the room. She knew what was coming. There had been a rumour that the firm had acquired advanced software that could take their jobs. Her only problem was that the firm had fired her first. The email said the algorithm was only being tested for now. If it worked, she would be the first of hundreds of employees to be fired. She spent the rest of the afternoon at home. She kept telling herself that everything would be okay. That she would find a job and that she would be able to make rent. She was scrolling through various job websites as she fiddled with the ring on her left hand. After hours of searching, she couldn't find a job with a high enough pay. If she took any of these jobs she would have to move out, and she was not doing that. The apartment was her dream. She decided that she had done enough job hunting for a day and poured herself a drink. She didn't stop. It was 6:00 pm and her 3-litre bottle of scotch was nearly empty. She was thinking, and drinking helped her think. She needed a way out and finding another job was not going to work. She drank and thought. She did this until an idea struck her. An idea that worked in the movies and that could work in real life. An idea that seemed so unrealistic, it seemed possible. No, it would never work. It's 2019 and it would be impossible to get away with it. But they needed it. Ever since Lily's grandma had to go on life support, they lost all of their savings. She couldn't abandon her. It had to be done. She still remembers all those Sunday afternoons going out for ice cream after church. A singular tear dripped down her cheek. It was decided, they needed this. She called someone she knew could help. That person said yes. She hung up and lay down on her couch. She slept with a smile that night. It was the next morning, and she was already on her laptop doing research. She needed to buy equipment. She needed to disguise them. She only stopped when she felt something on her right foot. She looked down to see Liberty lying down. Lily got up and filled Liberty's bowl with food and water. She was on the phone when the package arrived. Liberty walked over as Lily flipped open its latches. She held it in her hands and looked down the barrel. She felt every indent and every bump on its metallic shell. She looked at Liberty and looked back at the weapon. She placed it back inside its case and took a seat on the couch. She turned on the T.V as Liberty took a seat beside her. She had all the tools she needed, it was only a matter of when. It had been a week since they had come up with the plan. All the pieces were in place. All she had to do was step out of the cab she was currently in. Lily paid the driver, opened the door, stepped out of the cab, and waited for Libby to exit. She put on her sunglasses and gripped the leather leash in her right hand. As they crossed the street, she looked up and read the sign. The Bank of New York. She walked through the large glass doors and continued to the middle of the building. There were two elegant spiral staircases in front of her with booths to her left and right. There were only two security guards, one only armed with a baton, the other armed with a small handgun. This was not a problem. She waited a few seconds and soon one of the guards held their microphones close to their mouths. Soon both guards were no longer in the building. She looked over to booth 9 and found a man with his thumbs up. She transferred the leash to her left hand and reached into her pocket with her right. She pulled out her custom-fit 50 calibre Desert Eagle and fired a round into the ceiling. She let go of Liberty's leash. As soon as that happened, Liberty ran towards the front exit and growled at anyone nearby. Everyone in the room instantly ruled out the front door as an exit. There was nowhere to go. Lily ran to the stairs and stood at the bottom. "Everybody listen up! I'm here for the money and nothing else! Nobody try to be a hero, 'cause nobody in this room can survive a shot to the head," Lily shouted. Liberty barked in response making everyone even more nervous. Lily pointed at two bank tellers and threw garbage bags at them. "Fill those up!" Lily yelled. The two scurried to opposite sides of the room and opened up the registers. They didn't have long. The police were probably on the way; the nearest station was 7 kilometres away. They had 3 minutes, and even that was pushing it. The tellers were fast, and soon Lily had the equivalent of a 420k in 4 trash bags. She whistled and Liberty ran over to her. Lily picked up her leash and they ran. Lily pushed open the fire exit and ran towards a dark blue Honda Civic. She pulled the door open and Liberty bounded inside. She sat in the driver's seat and was about to step on it when suddenly, the passenger door opened. "About to leave without me, were you?" He said as he sat down. He was wearing a red shirt with khaki pants and a shiny plastic name tag that read 'Marcus'. He was a genius. He stole one of the guard's extra walkies and told them there was an emergency in another building. He told Lily when the traffic was worst in this area so that they could slow down the police. He was also Lily's fiance. She smiled and stepped on the gas. It was 5:00 am the next day and the Civic was stopped at a Seven-Eleven just off Highway 81. Marcus was inside picking up some food as Lily stuck the gas pump into the dark blue Civic. She looked up and made sure no one was around or acting suspicious. Unsurprisingly, she saw nothing in the dark and deserted Seven-Eleven and shed off her worries convincing herself they had escaped. It was nearly midnight when they arrived at Fallsview Casino. The valet parked their car and the duo proceeded to walk under the glass structure that arced over the entrance. Marcus held the door open as Lily walked through. They had gone through the painful process of creating a new bank account complete with a chequing account, a savings account, and debit and credit cards. The bank staff had been a bit suspicious but a thousand dollars had solved that problem. With their newfound wealth, they decided to spend a little to make a little. They had set aside a couple thousand dollars to have fun with the next day. But first, they needed rest. They had just committed a bank robbery and they needed sleep, desperately. Marcus checked them in and they brought their bags to the room. They set them down on the carpeted floor and collapsed onto the bed. Lily woke up at around 6:00 pm to find a note on the bed. Marcus was out buying them some new clothes. He had left a ham sandwich and a salad on the bedside table for her. She sat up and Liberty bounded onto her lap. Lily ruffled her fur and Liberty lay down beside her. Lily grabbed the salad and turned on the T.V. It was set to a local news channel broadcasting a pie-eating competition. She watched until she finished her salad and put on a change of clothes. She walked through the halls with the sandwich in her hands. Waiting. Contemplating. Thinking. Waiting for the police to show up and rip everything she had worked for from her hands. Contemplating her choices leading up to this point. Thinking about what would happen if they got caught. She took a bite of the sandwich and looked out the window, seemingly looking for an answer to her questions. Looking for a way out of her thousand-piece-puzzle of a situation. Nobody understood. Nobody felt what she felt. She felt a tap on her shoulder as she thought all this. She turned around to see Marcus with Liberty at his feet. Nobody understood. Except for him. They walked back to the room, put away the clothes, and walked to the Casino floor. Marcus played a few slot machines and made a couple of hundred dollars. Lily played blackjack and made a few hundred there. They were heading out for a few drinks when someone caught Lily's eye. He walked with arrogance, somehow enunciating every step he took. He wore clothes that suggested he was living an elegant lifestyle. Lily was not the only person to notice. People looked up from their games when they heard the jingle that resounded from his chain as he walked by. He took a seat at an empty poker table and reached into his pocket. Lily had already pushed her way to the table when he pulled out a metal sphere with a swiveling eye. He took it out and marvelled at it. He set it down and cleared his throat. "What I have here is a state of the art robot. However, this robot does not do what normal robots do. You know what it does?" He didn't even wait for a response and instead continued. "It plays poker!" He yelled. It was at that point that the casino security had reached the table. The stranger looked back and flashed his driver's license. That was all it took for the guards to back off. "I challenge anyone in this room to play against this robot!" he announced. He looked around to find the answer gith in front of him. Lily took a seat and rolled up her sleeves. "Let's play." They started slow, each only betting a couple of hundred dollars. Lily won a hand, and the robot won a hand. They traded until Lily had had enough. She lost her job to a robot. A robot had made her rob a bank. A robot was the last thing she wanted to beat her. She needed to end it. She needed to end it now. She threw her debit card onto the table. "You mind me betting a little extra?" she said. He looked into her eyes and saw the blaze behind them. He saw it and smiled. "Sure, but you're about to lose a lot of money." He snarked. The dealer handed out the cards. Lily had the eight and king of hearts. The dealer put down the flop. A seven of hearts, eight of clubs, and 3 of spades were the cards. He put down the turn and an eight of spades showed itself. "Let's skip the theatrics mister dealer, put down the last card already!" The stranger yelled. The dealer hurriedly set down the last card. An eight of diamonds. Lily showed her cards. She had a four of a kind, plus a king. That was the third-best hand she could have gotten. The stranger showed his hand. He had a four of a kind, plus an ace. He laughed and swiped the cards. Lily wrote down the P.I.N and ran away. She ran to their room and fell face-first onto the bed. Liberty barked as she sat down at the side of the bed. Marcus entered the room with a box of tissues. She cried for a while. She cried until Marcus gave her a drink. He handed her a scotch on the rocks. She was thinking, and drinking helped her think. She thought until an idea struck her. An idea so unrealistic, it just might work. An idea that never happened, not even in the movies. She told her fiance. He said yes. They left the hotel to gather supplies. Liberty barked as she walked alongside them. It was the next morning, and they were at the Hotel Fairmont in Toronto. Lily took a bite of her bagel as she continued counting the cash. They had split up the money into 4 bags. Marcus counted two, and Lily counted the other two. They were too busy counting to notice Liberty step on the T.V remote. It turned on and was set to a news channel. The channel cut to a shot of a building reduced to rubble. Firefighters had put on the blaze, but the whole building had collapsed. The view changed to include a sign on the ground. It read 'Hotel and Casino'. The view changed again to show the Niagara Falls behind the rubble. The view changed once more to include another sign. This one read 'Fallsview'.
Best Places To Visit In Canada In 2019 That Will Leave You Spellbound!
The best places to visit in Canada are a proof that the country has a heart bigger than its size when it comes to satiating the wanderlust of every type of traveler. And you would happily agree with us once you see them with your own eyes. Be it the lakes, the gardens, or the cities as a whole, Canada has got it all that would make your holiday worthwhile! Take a look at these places in Canada so that you know which ones you need to put on the top of your list! Best Places To Visit In Canada In 2019 Thinking about exploring Canada? Here is the perfect list of the great places to visit in Canada on your trip. Take a look!
Niagara Falls With Rainbow in Canada If there is one destination you’d find in every ‘best places to visit in Canada during summers’ list, it is the Niagara Falls. Built along the spellbinding waterfalls by the same name, this famous city is an ideal place to explore if you’re looking for a magical experience. Have a great time enjoying the views and clicking pictures of the cascading falls. Things To Do: Witness the gorgeous waterfalls Get your game on at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort Spend time at the MarineLand Location: Ontario, Canada Must Read: 10 Vancouver Hotels For Luxury And Budget Travelers
best places to visit in Canada in winter Home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Whistler is your winter holiday destination! Skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing are few of the thrilling sports to indulge in for enjoying in this captivating snow land. So, if you are a thrill seeker, then Whistler is one of the best places to visit in Canada for you! Things To Do: Indulge in snowmobiling Witness the town’s vibrant culture by visiting the art museums and cultural centres Dine at 21 Steps or Alta Bistro Location: British Columbia, Canada Suggested Read: Christmas In Chicago: Time To Celebrate Christmas Of 2018 In Mud City!
Romantic places to visit in Canada Renowned as North America’s oldest walled city, this is amongst those Canada tourist places, which you must visit with your partner if magic, romance, and all things french is what tickles your fancy the most. Have an amazing time with your partner in the magical Quebec city. Things To Do: Visit the historic attractions like The Citadel Relax at the BattleFields Park Walk along the scenic Terrasse Dufferin Location: Québec, Canada Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do In Niagara Falls, Canada: An Experience Below A Majestic Waterfall
colored houses in St. John's Canada Popular for its jelly beaned & crayon colored houses, and being an artist’s retreat, St. John’s is like a mini San Francisco. Despite being the oldest city, the vibe of this place is as refreshing as that of any metro town, which is perfect for any of your holidays. Also, do not miss the Water Street when you are here! Things To Do: Visit the Cape Spear Lighthouse Learn about the local culture and history at The Rooms Shop and eat at the famous Water Street Location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
beach town in canada Image Courtesy: Laviezine.com If you can’t imagine a holiday without a beach, Tofino is the place for you! It’s a paradise for water lovers and a haven for people seeking comfort in their cozy hotel rooms after spending a long day out in the town. Have a great time by the beach in Tofino. Things To Do: Explore the famous beaches like Long Beach and Chesterman Beach Try the popular fish tacos Indulge in kayaking and camping at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Location: Vancouver Island, Canada Suggested Read: Niagara Falls in Canada: A Guide To A Majestic Waterfall In North America
Polar bear capital of the world canada This small town located on Hudson Bay definitely counts as one of the best places to visit in Canada. Known as the polar bear capital of the world, Churchills is the perfect hotspot for travelers who love having a close encounter with wildlife. It is also a great destination for adventure seekers and one can enjoy underwater activities here. Things To Do: Swim or snorkel with Beluga whales Explore Fort Prince of Wales Take a Tundra Buggy tour Location: Manitoba, Canada Suggested Read: 10 Best Alaska Hotels For A Sojourn Amid Nature
Best places to visit in canada Old-world charm, spectacular buildings, and horse-drawn carriages are pretty much what describes the fascinating aura of this oldest area in Montreal. For travelers in pursuit of a peaceful & unique experience, this is the perfect place to be! Have a great time with your folks here. Things To Do: Explore the underground city Rejuvenate at the Spa Scandinave Take the Old Montreal food tour Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada Suggested Read: 10 Budget-Friendly Hostels In Canada For Enthusiastic Backpackers!
Banff National Park
Beautiful Banff National Park Canada Image Courtesy: Traveldigg.com Chances are, you have already heard of Banff a lot of times. And why not, it is amongst the top Canada destinations every traveler must visit. Turquoise colored lakes, spectacular glaciers, snow capped peaks, and mesmerizing landscapes, everything beautiful can be witnessed here at once. Excited to visit? Things To Do: Capture the beauty of Lake Louise and Bow Lake Take a ride in the Banff Gondola Go for hiking or whitewater rafting Timings: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day Location: 224 Banff Avenue, Town of Banff, Alberta, Canada
famous parks to visit in vancouver canada Vancouver is one of the most famous French cities in Canada which is a popular destination among travelers. If the red-orange colored trees shown in movies have always tickled your fancy, Stanley Park is one place you have to visit in Canada. The red cedar and Douglas fir trees around with a gorgeous view of the city would not only leave you spellbound but also make you fall for nature again. Do visit the park on your next Canadian vacation. Things To Do: Walk through the majestic cedars and firs Indulge in biking or rollerblading Take a ride in the Miniature Train Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day Location: Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada Suggested Read: Canada Travel Tips: For A Perfect Holiday In The Largest Country Of North America
Popular gardens to visit in Canada Of all the top tourist attractions in Canada, Butchart Gardens is the best place to explore with a camera in hand. With an enchanting display of flowers around, fun boat tours, night illuminations & more, there’s a lot to see and do here that will make your holiday vibrant! Ready to capture some Instagram worthy pictures? Things To Do: Capture the gorgeous flowers around Witness the fireworks show designed by Disney Indulge in ice skating Timings: 8:45 AM to 10:00 PM Location: 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada
Beautiful places to visit in Canada Image Courtesy: Photoshelter.com Known for its wineries and fruit orchards, the Okanagan is a beautiful place to visit in Canada. A walk into the regions here makes you feel like you have stepped right into heaven. So, try and savour the beauty around not just with your eyes, but also with your camera. Book yourself a wine tour at one of its wineries! Things To Do: Visit the Sperling Vineyards or Mission Hill Winery Spend time at the Okanagan Lake Take a tour of the Kelowna region
Niagara Falls has changed things up since I was last there. There are 2 casinos, Fallsview and Casino Niagara, and they used to each have a poker room. Niagara had 1/2, 2/5 and probably on up, I don't know because I am a low-stakes player. Fallsview had went up from 2/5. Fallsview no longer offers Poker, only Casino Niagara. They have moved their tables to a newly constructed room. The old room was in the lower level, but open to the rest of the casino, where the bings and bongs of the slots were part of the soundtrack. The new room is off to the back, has 26 nice, new tables, comfy chairs, and is walled off from the bustle of the casino floor. Limit runs 3/6 to 50/100, and NLHE is 1/3 to 50/100. There are also some Omaha, I think. Buy-in is maxed at 100BB. One big difference is that they have disposed of the rake. Instead, every 30 minutes there is a dealer swap, and everyone throws in a $6 "seating charge". So it's $12/hr to play a rakeless table. There is a pull for the BBJ. Speaking of the BBJ, it's 50/25/25, and according to the rules, a full house of Aces over Queens or better, must be beat by a higher full house, Quads, or Straight Flush. Both hole cards must play. Right now it's running at a shade over 100K CDN. Keep in mind that in Canada, gambling winnings are not taxable. As far as play is concerned, there was lots of action, but none of it went my way. The players seemed to know their stuff, and were nowhere near as loose as I had hoped. There were some 100-200BB pots, but I wasn't in 'em. I think Niagara might not be as loose as some other places, as there are something like 7 million people in the Greater Toronto area, and this is the only casino within the 2 hour drive. As well, there were some out-of-towners, one from Texas and one from London at the table. Shitty variance day. Had an OESD + 4 to the flush coolered at the river. One hand I had AQo, flop A84, turn A, called the guy all-in, and the motherfucker flips over pocket 8's. One hand I had the nut flush, bet 10BB into a 5BB pot and got ONE caller. Oooooo, a whole $42 payout for the nuts. It was just not my night. Stupid shit like folding 46 pre and seeing a 664 flop. Lady Luck was spitting in my eye at times. Eventually I busted out and headed home. That's poker. I wasn't bringing money I couldn't afford to lose, I enjoyed my time there, the table was pretty sociable, and I had a good time. I actually had more money in my budget for the night, but the way things were running for me, I decided not to rebuy. Knowing when to pull the plug is a skill I am still learning. I've gone from "Where's the fucking ATM?" to "That's poker. Have a good night, gents." Have a good night, gents. EDIT: Sorry, there are other casinos within 2 hours of Toronto. There's Rama, with 10 tables, Brantford with 14, and Blue Heron with 7, but those numbers might not be accurate. EDIT 2: If you are thinking of visiting, competition for the tourist dollar is substantial, and the off-season is coming up. Shop around, there are some really nice hotels, suites overlooking the Falls, that can be had in the $100 range mid-week, maybe a little more on the weekends.
Looking for photos of niagara from the late 1980’s.
Back in 1988 my family came to Canada for a visit, and we did plenty of touristy stuff including Niagara Falls. We took tons of photos (for that time) and they are all of us in front of the falls or of the falls from the top of the skylon tower. But none were taken of the area where all the hotels and the fallsview casino are. I recently went back and was wondering what it used to look like when we visited the first time. I have tried finding some online but no luck. Would anyone have any that they could share? It would be nice to see how it has change in the last 30 years! Tia.
Pissed that I had to stop playing Neverwinter for a weekend, won 250 bucks on D&D slots XD
Was excited for a weekend out with the boys in Niagara Falls, ON. But as always, leaving Faerun for a couple of days was painful. We arrived, got settled in, and headed to Fallsview Casino which was conveniently attached to our hotel by tunnel. Then... I saw this: http://pasteboard.co/8bRDC7UYh.bmp Hohengroth was calling to me... saying my name. "NO HOHENGROTH!" I shouted at him... "I'm supposed to be on vaca with my boys!" But he wouldn't listen, he compelled me to drop a 20 in that beautiful machine... After placing my bet I was greeted with multiple slot screens of beholders, dragons, Dwarves and Muradin's Hammer. Then suddenly, a bonus game appeared. I saw a dragon roaring and the money kept on multiplying! And behold! I was rewarded for my loyalty!!! From his Dragon Hoard, Hohengroth gave me a gift. I wish I would have taken a snapshot of the winning screen. Was this fate? I left Neverwinter, but did Neverwinter ever leave me? Nobody will ever know. If anyone is in the vacinity of Niagara Falls (Canada side), go visit our buddy at the D&D slots. Perhaps he will bless you as did me. Fun times. This machine totally caught me off guard. Beautiful design and fun slot.
Heading to the Niagara Falls area for Spring Break and have some questions. Thanks!
My GF and I are planning a trip to come up to Nigara Falls area at the end of March during spring break. I was on Groupon and found the Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel for what I believe is a decent price (2 nights for around $170 US dollars). I have some questions that I would really appreciate if someone could answer. We are both 20 years old. Want to go to the Casino. Do not want to go on wine tours.
Should I bring United States Dollars to pay for stuff or should I get it converted to C$? If i need to get it converted then where is the best place to do that at?
Is there any good night clubs or areas where my GF and I could go dancing? We during Week days (Tuesday, Wednesday nights)
What is this Niagara On the Lake I see people talking about here? Also are there any other places we should go explore except the actual falls themselves?
What do I need to have ready with me when I cross the boarder from the US side to the Canadian side (I know my passport card but anything else). Also how long does that process usually take?
Are there any local mom and pop restaurants or stores that are a must go to if visiting the area?
I was reading a post about how some places will charge you a random tax that just gets pocketed by the owner of the business how do I know when to avoid this tax or not?
We are pretty hardcore Pokemon Go players. We are wondering if there were any good spots to play PoGo?
Thanks so much for any responses to any of these questions I would really appreciate it. Thanks again!
So i thought since i went to UGC Niagara i would write a review on the experiences i had in Niagara. WARNING i will be talking about my WHOLE experience in Niagara covering everything from hotel, food and entertainment. DAY 1 So for this trip i went to Niagara with 3 of my friends, friend A was just getting into competitive cod and friend P was just there to have some fun. We get on the greyhound bus to Niagara and the bus was pretty comfortable. we reach Niagara within 1.5 hours, and we immediately took a taxi to Best Western Fallsview which was the place we were staying at. checked in with no problems, the hotel was okay(pillows were not comfortable whatsoever). we go to eat at TGI Fridays(10 min walk) and i see Teepee and Mr. X sitting at the bar area. Soooooo i was super suprised as to how DIFFERENT they looked IRL compared to streams and youtube videos. i didn't bring anything with me so i didn't bother getting anything signed yet, so we just walk to the venue 3 hours later and everyone was standing outside and cops were all over the streets. As soon i saw one police car i was telling my friends about what happened at umg philly. we get back into the venue within 10 mins of waiting and we sit down to watch some matches. the first day was pretty lackluster BUT my friend did get his salami signed by crimsix LOLOL. https://twitter.com/OdysseyofLP/status/462434179104657408 On our way back we eat at shoeless joes which was right next to casino and a nightclub near four points sheraton(too bad i'm 18). DAY 2 We eat at subway(of course i got it TOOOASTED) and go straight to the venue. we woke up late so we missed the optic vs vvv match. i get my ghosts cd case signed by the crimbot and get a nice picture with him. my friend was struggling with the camera on my iphone and crim had an awkward chuckle and he was probably just thinking "haha puny humans don't know how to take a picture". crim was a super nice dude and all but as you would expect he was pretty awkward lol. we saw a couple of matches and we leave to go eat at clifton hill(had to take a cab, cost about 9 dollars from the venue). we had fun at the wizards golf, mirror maze and the arcade. we go eat at tgi fridays and just get back to our hotel. DAY 3 This was by far the most entertaining day of the tournament.We eat at IHOP for breakfast(food was good, had to wait a LONG time). we miss the first match in optic vs coL because of the food delays, but we got there just in time to see karma kill scump w/ a pistol. then as soon as teep gets his 1v3 clutch the crowd just EXPLODES. there was a teepee fan crew that was cheering for anything amazing teep did. one thing i noticed is the crowd is WAY louder in person than in streams. once the match was over my friends go to play the raffle for charity, you could buy tickets and search for the numbers on the wall(this was so time consuming but i heard they made an app where you could type the numbers in to see if you won anything). friend A spent $90 and won a xbox one beanie(too bad he doesn't have an xbox one) and friend P spent $110 and won a xbox one hardened edition and 2 posters(too bad he doesn't have a xbox one either lol). We got to meet teepeecod and he was super nice as you would expect. also met coLKarma and he was really funny IRL. we go to get some food and we see clay and proofy and they were super nice as well( this is a recurring theme amongst all pros and casters). we watch the finals and crim's 7 piece got the MOST hype ever out of the crowd. after the first bo5 was over against nV i got a picture with my favorite player, PATTYCACHES. Once the finals were over it was the best time to get pictures with the players. i got a picture with GoldenboyFTW and he was probably the nicest person at the venue. he was so personable and kept the conversation going. my friends who are getting into comp cod are goldenboy's biggest fans now :D. I also got a picture with aches, karma and coLMrX after we went to goldenboy. friend P who won the hardened edition ghost got mr.x signature on the other side of the box. mr.x was in fact the 2nd signature on the box, and aches made a funny comment when he was asked to sign saying "oh i thought you were JUST a fan of coaches haha". i also got a picture with merk who is my favorite player from nV. we leave the venue after, grab some food and head back home. OVERALL The event itself gets a 7/10 because during snd matches they had to lower the volumes of casters making it barely audible for the audience. they did this because players didn't have soundproof headsets. the people at the venue were super nice and food was always accessible. there was a lot of hype in the crowd which made the atmosphere even more amazing. if you add all the experiences, food and entertainment into the score i would give it a 8.5/10. still sad that i couldn't meet NotTheFakeJKap, crs burnsoff, killa and nadeshot(OMG aren't coL fans suppposed to hate nadeshot?). EDIT:forgot to mention i met tmartn, he was an awesome dude. PROOF that i was indeed at the event: https://twitter.com/OutOfCurry/status/462693681389404161
Best Niagara Falls Tours Canada One of the most thrilling places to visit in Canada is The Niagara Falls. Because of the beauty it has got, many of the visitors plan more than one visit a year for the Best Niagara Falls Tours Canada. It is always exciting to visit the most beautiful and picturesque places in the world. A Niagara Falls visitor always takes great memories with him after visiting it and loves to plan another visit to the Falls in future. Visiting the Niagara Falls from the Canadian side always leaves the best memories for all those who visit it. Also, those who visit from the Canadian end do share their memories and recommend to their friends. Once upon a time, the Niagara Falls area was a honeymoon spot for the newly married and families used to visit for vacation. Now along with the Niagara Falls, the surrounding areas have the entertaining stuff required for a visitor. Know About the Niagara Falls Niagara Falls comprises of three waterfalls which sit right on the border between the United States and Canada. From largest to smallest of the waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. The water falls from an elevation of more than 50 meters and releases more than 1 lakh cc of water on an average per minute. Places To Visit In The Niagara Falls The main attractions of Niagara Falls on the Canadian side are listed below: • The Floral Clock • The Hornblower Niagara Cruises • Whirlpool Aero Car • The Souvenir shop • Fallsview Casino • Botanical Gardens • Wildplay Niagara’s Zipline • Skylon Tower for the best view of the area. • Niagara White Water Walk, Kurtz Orchards Farm and Marketplace. • Great Canadian Midway, Reg’s Candy Kitchen, House of Frankenstein, and The Tower Hotel. • Dufferin Islands, Marineland of Canada, and the Bird Kingdom are worth watching. • Niagara Falls Boat tour operating in Niagara Falls, Canada, is worth watching. One can view the waters from very close quarters and experience the water falling on them like a spray. • For more thrill, one can also visit Whirlpool Jetboats and Nightmares Fear Factory. • Enjoy a candlelit dinner at the Fallsview Restaurant. Finally, Niagara Falls fireworks are the perfect ending to an evening at the Niagara Falls Canada Tours. The Privilege of Online Ticket Booking Anyone can book tickets online before visiting the Niagara Falls. From the above information you read, now you know the places to visit in and around the Niagara Falls region. Do not miss to visit any of the places surrounding the Niagara Falls, for they leave great memories for a lifetime. Do not postpone your visit once you get a plan to visit the Niagara Falls, just book your Best Niagara Falls Tours Canada tickets online.
Plan A Trip To Niagara Falls From Toronto Niagara Falls is by far the most famous waterfall in the world. Located on the US-Canadian border, it is the most visited waterfall in North America. Niagara Falls is also the name of two towns on either side of the border where the Falls is located. Niagara Falls – A Vacation Destination for All Niagara Falls has been the backdrop for many daredevil stunts, honeymoons, proposals, historic events and movies! Niagara Falls, Ontario, has beautiful parks, fun activities, iconic landmarks, shopping, theatre, spas, hiking and biking trails, historic sites and more! If you are visiting Toronto or Buffalo, you can drive down to Niagara Falls to view this awesome sight and experience attractions like Hornblower Niagara Cruise, Journey behind the Falls, etc. See the Majestic Niagara Falls at Night There are a lot of exciting things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, at night. It has casinos, fun activities in Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane, shopping, great restaurants, entertainment shows, and of course, the Falls Illumination. Enjoy the sight of the majestic waterfall even at night when it is lit up in multiple colours by LED lights located on the Canadian side. If you plan your trip correctly, you can see fireworks over Niagara Falls at 10:00 p.m. You can also experience Niagara Falls at night with the Hornblower Falls Illumination Cruise or from Skylon Tower or Sheraton Fallsview Restaurant. There are many hotels which offer rooms with a view of the Falls. With a “Fallsview” room, Niagara Falls is just outside your window. Niagara Falls Evening Tour from Toronto – Day and Night View of the Falls If you are in Toronto and wish to see the Falls at night, you can book a Niagara Falls Evening Tour from Toronto. As pickup time is later in the day, you are not harried, are more relaxed, can attend to work in Toronto, get up late in the morning, and most important of all, you get to view the Falls in daylight and again at night when it is illuminated. After arriving in Niagara Falls, Ontario, you can view the Falls and explore the neighbourhood in the late afternoon. Take the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, a boat ride that takes you close to the American and Bridal Veil Falls and into the turbulent waters below Horseshoe Falls. This thrilling attraction should not be missed. Stop to view the whitewater rapids and Niagara Whirlpool. Later, visit Niagara-on-the-Lake, go on a winery tour, stop by at historic Queenston Heights Park, admire the Floral Clock on Niagara Parkway, and head back to Niagara Falls for dinner. For a view of the illuminated Falls, you can eat at the Sheraton Fallsview Buffet Restaurant. After dinner, you can view the illuminated Falls from Niagara Parkway and maybe even fireworks in the night sky at 10:00 p.m. before heading back to Toronto. Create memories of a lifetime with a Niagara Falls Evening Tour from Toronto.
Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. Millions come to see the Falls every year. It is perfect for a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a group outing. Across North America, for many families, Niagara Falls has become a yearly vacation destination. Niagara Falls can be viewed from its two namesake towns on the Canadian and US sides. The view from Niagara Falls, Canada is better and it also has more activities/attractions for tourists. Niagara Falls – A Natural Wonder of the World This geological wonder was formed about 12,000 years ago by retreating glaciers and erosion. The spectacular sight of Niagara Falls leaves visitors awestruck. Visiting Niagara Falls is a once in a lifetime experience. The Niagara Falls is made up of 3 waterfalls - American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls. The best view of Niagara Falls is from Niagara Parkway, a road that runs parallel to the Niagara River. For a closer view of the Falls, visitors can go on the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, which takes them to the basin of Horseshoe Falls. Where to stay in Niagara Falls, Canada? Hotel accommodations are costliest during peak tourist season, which is June-August. A wide range of accommodations is available in Niagara Falls, Canada. There are resorts, upscale hotels, motels, campgrounds, bed & breakfasts, inns, vacation rentals and budget hotels. Popular Attractions in Niagara Falls Canada Some of the must-see attractions in Niagara Falls, Canada are: • Hornblower Niagara Cruises • Journey behind the Falls • Queen Victoria Park • Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory • Niagara Whirlpool • White Water Walk • Niagara SkyWheel & other places in Clifton Hill • Adam Beck Power Plant • Skylon Tower • Niagara Daredevil Museum • Niagara Falls Illumination Popular Places near Niagara Falls, Canada There are many places surrounding Niagara Falls Canada that are also scenic, full of history and has many interesting sights. If you are in Niagara Falls, Canada for more than a day, you can visit Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Port Dalhousie, and Fort Erie. Niagara-on-the-Lake has many award-winning wineries and vineyards that offer a tour of their property and wine tasting too! Chocolate FX is a delightful place to visit. Niagara Falls Canada – A Family Vacation Destination Niagara Falls has many activities for families. There are museums, waterparks, zoos, boat tours, eateries, etc. Some places you can visit with your family are: • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum • Queen Victoria Park • Bird Kingdom • Fallsview Indoor Waterpark • Niagara SkyWheel • Hershey’s Chocolate World Niagara Falls • Butterfly Conservatory • Marineland of Canada • Great Canadian Midway • Americana Indoor Waterpark • Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks • Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours …….and more! Niagara Falls Canada – Things To Do For Adults The Niagara region is famous for its wines. Couples/adults can tour wineries dotting the Niagara Peninsula. Niagara Falls has a vibrant nightlife with many pubs, nightclubs, and gourmet restaurants. There is also Casino Niagara, Niagara Fallsview Casino, spas, fine dining restaurants, and theatres. Niagara Falls Canada is the perfect vacation destination for everyone!
Planning To Niagara Falls Canada: Here's What You Need To Know About The Niagara Falls
Planning To Niagara Falls Canada: Here's What You Need To Know About The Niagara Falls Niagara Falls is one of the most exciting places to visit for anyone for the beautiful picturesque it has to everyone’s surprise. Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a Canadian City at the famous waterfalls of the same name, linked with the US by the Rainbow Bridge. Niagara Falls was once a destination for honeymoons and family vacations but now has stepped it up as an entirely fun oriented vacation spot. Find more fun things to do in Niagara Falls, Canada. Simple Guidance For You In Niagara Falls Niagara Falls are three waterfalls which sit right on the border between the United States and Canada. From largest to smallest of the waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Falls comes from the highest elevation of more than 50 meters and every minute; it releases around 100,000 to 110,000 Cubic meters of water on an average. What Makes Best Attractions Of Niagara Falls So Incredible That You Never Want To Miss One? The best attractions of Niagara Falls on the Canada side are, The Floral Clock, The Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and Whirlpool Aero Car, The Souvenir shop, Fallsview Casino, Botanical Gardens, Wildplay Niagara’s Zipline, and Skylon Tower for the best view of the area. Niagara White Water Walk, Kurtz Orchards Farm and Marketplace. Great Canadian Midway, Reg’s Candy Kitchen, House of Frankenstein, and The Tower Hotel. Dufferin Islands, Marineland of Canada, and the Bird Kingdom are worth watching. Niagara Falls Boat tour operating in Niagara Falls, Canada, is worth watching and one can view the waters from very close quarters and experience the water falling on them like a spray. For more thrill, one can also visit Whirlpool Jetboats and Nightmares Fear Factory. Enjoy a candlelit dinner at the Fallsview Restaurant. Finally, Niagara Falls fireworks are the perfect ending to an evening at the Niagara Falls Canada. The Horseshoe Falls is on the border of the United States and Canada, with the American Falls entirely at the United States side, divided by Goat Island. The smallest of the three, Bridal Veil Falls is also on the United States side, separated by Luna Island from other waterfalls. This Is Why Toronto To Niagara Falls Tours Is So Famous! People planning to visit the Niagara Falls from the Canada end would start from Toronto and its surrounding areas. Travelling from Toronto to Niagara Falls gives immense pleasure to everyone because of the best services through a road trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls and back coupled with the assistance of tourist guides. There are daily Niagara Falls tours to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of the most beautiful cities in Canada departing from many pickup points including hotels in the more significant city, Toronto. Visit Niagara Falls Canada and get ready to experience fun!
Niagara Falls is one of the most thrilling places to visit for anyone. For the beauty and the majestic looks it has got, not one time is enough to visit it. Visiting the most picturesque places in the world is always exciting. Niagara Falls is one such place where a traveller takes great memories with him. Most visitors do visit the Niagara Falls from the Canada side as it leaves the best memories in their minds. People visiting from the Canada end share their memories and recommend to friends. Niagara Falls once upon a time was a spot for honeymoon and family vacations. But, currently took a shape of being an entirely fun-oriented vacation spot. Not only the Falls but the surrounding areas too are time killing and are great fun to all. About Niagara Falls Niagara Falls are three waterfalls which sit right on the border between the United States and Canada. From largest to smallest of the waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. The waterfalls from an elevation of more than 50 meters and releases more than 1 lakh cc of water on an average/min. Never miss the fun and entertainment in the Niagara area The attractions of Niagara Falls on the Canada side are: • The Floral Clock • The Hornblower Niagara Cruises • Whirlpool Aero Car • The Souvenir shop • Fallsview Casino • Botanical Gardens • Wildplay Niagara’s Zipline • Skylon Tower for the best view of the area. • Niagara White Water Walk, Kurtz Orchards Farm and Marketplace. • Great Canadian Midway, Reg’s Candy Kitchen, House of Frankenstein, and The Tower Hotel. • Dufferin Islands, Marineland of Canada, and the Bird Kingdom are worth watching. • Niagara Falls Boat tour operating in Niagara Falls, Canada, is worth watching. One can view the waters from very close quarters and experience the water falling on them like a spray. • For more thrill, one can also visit Whirlpool Jetboats and Nightmares Fear Factory. • Enjoy a candlelit dinner at the Fallsview Restaurant. • Finally, Niagara Falls fireworks are the perfect ending to an evening at the Niagara Falls Canada Tours. Book Your Tickets Online: Now, you knew what all you can visit at the Niagara Falls Canada side. Do not waste your time thinking when to go for it. Book your Niagara Falls Canada Tour now! The Horseshoe Falls is on the border of the United States and Canada, with the American Falls entirely at the United States side, divided by Goat Island. The smallest of the three, Bridal Veil Falls is also on the United States side, separated by Luna Island from other waterfalls.
Disclaimer : This isn't an orignal work. It was lifted entirely from a Middleeasy article. I just put it in text format because, if you click the link, you'll realise that it's completely messed up. The headliners & the text following them are a mismatch. Also, some links are broken. Just wanted to make it easier for the readers. Somewhere deep within an ashram in Tibet, a corner of a room has been sectioned off to pay homage to a handful of truly unique MMA fighters. We’re not talking about the obvious here. Guys like Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Fedor already have their respective cult following. They no longer need our spiritual guidance. This section of the room in this undisclosed ashram is dedicated to a group of guys (and girls) that took the MMA world by the scrotum, gave it a firm yank and then raided our fridge as we all rolled around our living room floor in excruciating pain. Only a select few deserve their own effigy constructed out of spare plywood, leftover Christmas decorations and half-empty cans of spray paint. I present to you ‘The Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To’ only at MiddleEasy.com – Because MMA is everything. Michelle Waterson Whatever you do, try not to let your girlfriend know Michelle Waterson exists. If you have bikini photos of her, don’t hide them in a folder on your desktop called ‘Work’. If you do have a potpourri of Michelle Waterson pics under a folder on your desktop called ‘Work’, don’t hand over your laptop to your girlfriend and disclose your Windows login password. If your girlfriend finds these photos, she will threaten to smash your laptop against a hampster cage and kick you out of her apartment. You will then have to hop on the nearest train and book a hotel for the rest of the night (everything about that story is true). We can all agree that Michelle Waterson is beyond hot. That’s already an established fact humanity has come to accept like…the Lakers are the most dominate team in the NBA history or Kimbo Slice is already a UFC champion. It’s not even debatable. The only thing the world needs to see is more of Michelle ‘The Karate Hottie (that’s her real nickname)’ Waterson. She holds a record of 6-3 and she trains out of Greg Jackson’s camp, the same guy responsible for the equally hot Julie Kedzie (yum) and Georges St. Pierre (hot only if you’re a chick…or a Mets fan). Her last fight, she chalked up an ‘L’ to Elena Reid last April which inevitably turned out to be the hottest fight in MMA history. Before that, Waterson grabbed a ‘W’ against Tyra Parker (she’s cute too, they’re all cute). I woke up in a frenzy this morning thinking about Michelle Waterson. If aliens landed on the White House lawn right now it still wouldn’t be as exciting as knowing that Michelle Waterson mounts other chicks in the cage…with hot pants on. If you’re still not convinced that you should raid your local Home Depot to build a shrine to Waterson, just Google her and make sure your girlfriend isn’t standing over your shoulder (double check just to make sure, trust me). Here’s a little blueprint to get your shrine started. No, that wasn’t some sexual innuendo. Beau Taylor Ah man, the story of OMA. If you were alive on July 21st 2009, you probably remember waking up to the news that Kimo Leopaldo died of a heart attack in Costa Rica. TMZ picked up on the report and the New York Post quickly followed. Within a couple of hours, the entire MMA world gave their condolences to the Leopaldo family in a variety of blog posts, news articles and guys that still proclaim if Royce Gracie fought Kimo again, Royce would lose. It took Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports several tries to eventually get a hold of Kimo Leopaldo on the phone in which he replied with:
‘I knew I wasn’t dead, so when I was reading this I wondered if I was jinxed or something was going to happen ‘It was really strange. I was surprised at how nasty it was. I guess it wasn’t a good thing. I’ve always had strange things written about me but nothing this bizarre. I couldn’t believe it when I searched for my name and I wrote in ‘Kimo Leopoldo’ and it added the word ‘death.’’
His publicist press released a statement that Kimo was in fact not dead, but just sleeping. The next day, dude even held his very own ‘Look people, I’m alive’ press conference. And the guy behind it? Undefeated mixed martial artist Beau ‘One Man Army ™’ Taylor. Hold up, it gets even more bizarre. Shortly after the incident happened, Beau Taylor spoke with TheSmokingGun.com about how he duped the entire MMA world. Everyone needs to read this TSG report in its entirety because it will be the funniest thing you will read today (regardless of current time or location).
JULY 22–The fabricated claim yesterday about the purported death of a former Ultimate Fighting Championship star was the handiwork of a self-described “Internet troll” with a “weird mind.” Beau Taylor, a 31-year-old Oklahoma man, created a thread on a popular mixed martial arts (MMA) web site reporting that Kimo Leopoldo had died in Costa Rica of a heart attack. Taylor told TSG that he selected Leopoldo as the subject of the hoax in light of the fighter’s arrest earlier this year on drug charges. “I thought it would be a good fit,” said Taylor. The fabricated account of Leopoldo’s death leapt beyond MMA web sites and bulletin boards when TMZ.com reported yesterday afternoon that it had “confirmed” the 41-year-old athlete’s demise (this confirmation was presumably delivered by one of the gossip site’s paid sources). The erroneous story was later yanked from the site, which is now batting .500 on recent death exclusives. For his part, Taylor’s eventful week has also included a public intoxication arrest. He was busted early Sunday morning after security officers at a shopping center found him passed out in his car with the engine running, with “an open container of beer in the center console,” according to a Tulsa Police Department report. Cops noted that Taylor reeked of alcohol and had difficulty standing. “Taylor said that he had left his house intoxicated in order to buy cigarettes,” noted cops, who reported that Taylor said he had consumed three glasses of wine and six beers. Asked about his beaming mug shot, seen below, Taylor spoke of trying to strike the right booking photo balance: “You know, I didn’t want to look like Nick Nolte,” he said. “Or that I was too happy to be arrested.”
For his antics, Beau Taylor was banned from The UG (the forum in which he created the hoax) but his account was later reinstated just for the sheer rawesomeness of his trolling ability. OMA even created a parody of Kimo Leopaldo’s press conference where he claimed Kimo was still deceased and the previous Kimo press conference was just a hoax. Besides becoming an internet legend over night, OMA also claims he is the World Champion of the American Southwest (dude does have a belt) and is currently recovering from an injury that has sidelined him for much of 2009. You can find Oma/Beau Taylor still doing his thing on The UG to this day. Have fun with that. Din Thomas Raise your hand if you’ve operated an unsanctioned, underground fight club entirely in your gym in Palm Springs, Florida. If your name isn’t Din Thomas then you should slap yourself in the face and give me everything in your kitchen (including that six-pack you bought for this weekend). Din Thomas is the friggin man. I know that expression is used more than ‘Machida is elusive’, but it’s true. Din Thomas is the friggin man. Who else has a DVD where they teach you 1,001 submissions in a 52 volume set. I bet you didn’t even know the human body was capable of 1,001 submissions (it’s cool, I didn’t either). When Chris Brown was accused of assaulting Rhianna earlier this year, Din Thomas got on the mic after his win over Gabe Lemey and called out Chris Brown. Dude announced in front of an audience of drunk fans that it was wrong to beat chicks and if Rhianna ever needed his assistance, he would readily be available. See, I told you Din Thomas is truly the friggin man. We ran into Din when we covered The Ultimate Chaos, we even took pictures of him in his undies. His opponent was supposed to be Javier Vasquez but due to some incompetent confusion, he wasn’t allowed to fight (matter of fact, no one really knows exactly what happened). But let’s get back to the underground fight club Din Thomas operated in his gym in Florida… Din Thomas constructed a full size UFC octagon at his American Top Team gym and charged admission to a crowd of over 150 heads. Din Thomas was later arrested and managed to post a $10,000 bail to be released from prison. Shine Fights has signed Din Thomas to an exclusive contract along with the former WBC and WBA welterweight champion, Ricardo Mayorga. When Din got word of Mayorga’s signing he issued the following statement:
”Ricardo Mayorga just signed to fight in Shine. I think he is afraid of me. If he does accept the fight I will put him into retirement and send him back to his fruit stand in Nicaragua. He will be wearing a straw hat, smoking cigarettes, and selling bananas once and for all. This is MMA and I will beat him standing or on the ground. I will let him pick how he wants to lose his first MMA fight.”
Dude got his wish. Shine Fights has slated Ricardo Mayorga’s first MMA bout to be against the same guy who defeated Clay Guida, Matt Serra, Rich Clementi and Jens Pulver. Good luck Ricardo. Koji Oishi Out of the many people that have crossed Nick Diaz’s path (in or out of a hospital in Las Vegas), Koji Oishi definitely gets the award for being the most desperately inventive. Dude had a plan unlike any MMA fighter out there. He was a visionary. Koji Oishi was ahead of his time. If we went back 300 million years, Koji Oishi would be that one fish who tried to walk on the beach but failed miserably and died of suffocation. Charles Darwin would have been proud of Koji Oishi. To avoid getting punched in the face, most MMA fighters would either dodge or block with their forearms. Not Koji Oishi. In fact, if Oishi got a hold of your gameplan he would urinate on it and right hook it into the ground. Koji Oishi gave the saying ‘a good defense is a strong offensive’ an entirely new meaning. On June 4th 2005, Oishi’s trainer convinced him to execute the most awkward and impossible defense in UFC history. Instead of blocking and dodging strikes, Koji Oishi was instructed to intercept Nick Diaz’s fist with his own. Koji Oishi believed that if he were to punch Nick Diaz’s fist as Diaz threw a strike at him, he would create enough force to break Diaz’s hand. We’re serious. Bobby Green On January 24th 2009, the world was introduced to a guy from Riverside Submission Camacho MMA team that had an impressive record of 7-1 (with all eight fights occurring in 2008). On two weeks notice he made his PPV debut on one the biggest cards of 2009: ‘Affliction: Day of Reckoning” (RIP). While you were contracting a staph infection from training your Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Bobby Green was busy thwarting gang turf wars with his fighting style. The fact that Bobby Green’s fighting style is categorized as: “Hood” should be enough for you to sacrifice a few goats in his honor. Just before Bobby Green walked out to the ring, dude was so preoccupied with jumping in the stands and dancing amongst the crowd that he missed his walk-out cue. Affliction ended up announcing his name before his intro video was shown on the monitors at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Bobby hopped down from the stands, ran back-stage to redo his entrance but it was too late. Everyone was going nuts and Bobby Green had already premature ejaculated his entrance. It’s ok, we’ve all done it before. Once Bobby Green’s bout with Dan Lauzon ensued, we all realized what fighting style: ‘Hood’ entailed. Essentially it meant kicking a guy in the testicles three times in the first round. Big John wasn’t officiating the fight but he said the first groin shot didn’t even land but the other two were fair game. After the first testicle punt, Bobby Green rested on the ropes, looked at the crowd and the camera caught Green saying ‘Oh sh__ it’s Oscar De La Hoya…and Donald Trump’. Unfortunately ‘Hood’ couldn’t keep Bobby from being submitted by Joe Lauzon’s brother. With five seconds left in the first round, Bobby was caught with a rear-naked-choke that forced him to tapout. Bummer. Dude still pocketed a cool $4,000 which he probably used to further improve his ‘hood technique’ (compared to Andrei Arlovski who made $1,500,000 for not listening to Freddie Roach’s gameplan). Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett Krazy Horse is better than your favorite MMA fighter. Alright, maybe not better but astronomically more entertaining. If the entire MMA world were condensed to Marvel comic cliches, dude would undoubtedly be Deadpool. Damn, that was pretty friggin nerdy. I hope that chick I met at [insert name of Gentleman’s club I was too drunk too remember] didn’t just read that. If a place is called a ‘Gentleman’s Club’, it really just means that you’re going to be searched at the door and charged $15 for a Bud Light. Watching Krazy Horse’s old Pride Bushido fights is stuff of legends. Dude plays to the camera, loves his audience and is known to never train prior to any MMA match. 21 of his 40 fights have occurred at King of the Cage so it’s safe to say he’s like a demigod over there. His knockout of KJ Noons (and subsequent freakishly high back-flip) at EliteXC earned him a spot on CagePotato’s Eight Most Insane Victory Celebrations of All Time. In an interview with MMAJunkie (via Fightlinker), Krazy Horse says that he had to change his name to ‘Kid Khaos’ in order to calm his image and be a role model.
Long known as one of the more unusual – and, at times, skilled – fighters in MMA, Bennett is looking to reinvent his character. He’s a father now, he says, so he needs to be a role model. He’s training, committing himself to the sport, cleaning up his image and hopefully heading into the best part of his career….That includes a move from Krazy Horse (and all that character entails) to Kid Khaos, who, despite the name, is meant to be calmer and more controlled than his former incarnation.
Yeah, we didn’t think it made sense either which, of course, makes it exponentially better. If Krazy Horse isn’t one of your favorite fighters, then you’re just lying to yourself. Looking up Krazy Horse’s arrest record is like opening up one of those little Russian Matryoshka dolls. Every account of Krazy Horse being arrested usually has ‘again’ in the title. As of June 27th 2007, Krazy Horse has amassed a collection of twenty separate mugshots. We’re not sure whether Krazy Horse immediately stopped doing illegal activity in 2007 or perhaps he just stopped getting caught. Maybe this Kid Khaos transformation is working after all. But before you start building your shrine to Krazy Horse, you need to check out this video of him rushing Cristiano Marcello, a member of the Chutebox Academy, after an entire evening of ragging on Wanderlei Silva. Dude gets some good blows in but Marcello eventually triangle chokes Krazy Horse into the next dimension. Harold Howard Harold Howard lived in a different time. If this were the 1400s, dude would be pillaging villages and sloppily drinking wine from the skulls of lions. The general population just couldn’t fully understand Harold Howard. He was too raw for his own good. On December 22th 2009, Harold Howard intentionally drove his flatbed truck directly through the entrance of the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Canada. Police have now charged Harold with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a weapon, attempted break and enter, fail to remain, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, mischief and two counts of breach of recognizance. Dude racked up 11 charges in one nutty vehicular escapade (luckily nobody was severely injured or killed). People shouldn’t be surprised at this behavior. Back in 1994, Harold Howard issued a general warning to anyone that dare venture in his vicinity: ‘If you’re coming on, then come on!‘ (but be sure to take off your sunglasses before you do). But let’s get to the meat of exactly why Harold Howard is ranked number four on our Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To. It’s not his 2-3 career MMA record and it’s not the fact that he was ‘technically’ the first person to beat Royce Gracie. It’s because of the friggin scissor kick that refuses to go away after over 15 years of endlessly being replayed. In the UFC 3 finals, a fresh Steve Jennum replaced the worn and highly discouraged Ken Shamrock. Apparently Ken wanted to avenge his UFC 1 loss to Royce but upon hearing the news that Royce’s corner actually threw in the towel at the beginning of his Harold Howard bout (due to exhaustion from fighting Kimo Leopaldo), Ken Shamrock decided to drop out of the UFC 3 tournament. To open up his final UFC 3 match against Scott Jennum, Harold decided to do something that has still puzzled virtually everyone who has ever watched the footage. In short, Harold does a scissor kick that completely misses his opponent. Realistically, if he would have landed the kick, the damage would have been minimal and left Howard vulnerable on his back. Maybe he was just in the moment or just ecstatic that he made it so far in the tournament. Whatever inspired Harold to execute this infamous scissor kick has inspired a new generation to basically bite and perfect Harold’s style. And of course Tom Lawlor’s UFC Fight Night 20 weigh-in entrance where he pulled off the scissor kick garbed in authentic Harold Howard regalia. Lee Murray Jason Statham is like a substitute teacher version of Lightning Lee Murray. In 2006, dude kidnapped a bank manager and forced his way into what was supposed to be a high-security bank. Not like Bank of America or Well’s Fargo…we’re talking about the ones that have red lasers everywhere and can only be penetrated by Catherine Zeta Jones doing backflips in tight spandex. This bank was like one of those you would see in a cartoon with a 600lb diamond guarded by Elmer Fudd. Apparently, they hired Warner Bros security because Murray, along with a few of his buds robbed the bank of $96,000,000.00. $96,000,000.00! The dude must have been drinking whatever Bernard Madoff had that morning. It was the biggest bank heist in history. After knocking off the bank, the dude fled to Morocco and claimed citizenship because his father was born there. Authorities couldn’t do a single thing about it. Dude just masterminded and got away with just about enough money to satisfy my ex-girlfriend. He was enjoying a ballerish lifestyle until the police arrested him for having bricks of cocaine in his pad which (probably) broke local laws. Note to anyone stealing $96,000,000.00…try not to give a reason for the police to arrest you and take your loot. Don’t trespass, look both ways when you cross the street and try not to litter. The cops recovered all but $50,000,000.00 of his bank heist profits (which is practically like not recovering any) and threw him in jail. Lee Murray was somehow was released from prison on the claims that he was ‘a citizen of Morrocco’. What? That makes about as much sense as Clay Guida pretending to be human. We’re assuming the dude threw some cash their way and, as you read this, he’s sipping dirty martinis on a bear skin rug in his villa. War Lee Murary. Now the director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and The Wrestler is slated to direct a movie based on Lee Murray’s life. Besides the above mentioned rawesomeness, Murrary also had open heart surgery that took seven hours to complete. Dude had no heart for seven hours. Of course this was due to a knife puncturing his left lung, coming out the other side and lodging right into his heart. Oh, and on top of all that…he was knifed twice in the head on a separate incident and survived. Breaking news, the role of Lee Murray is going to be played by Shia Labeouf. Just kidding, let’s not let ‘suck’ enter this movie. Walid Ismail You can’t call yourself a true MMA fan if you’re not familiar with Wallid Ismail and his beef with Ryan Gracie which has perhaps given the MMA world the greatest sound bite ever. In a time when the Gracies were running things in the jiu-jitsu game, Wallid Ismail stepped up and defeated Royce Gracie, Ralph Gracie and Renzo Gracie. Then in 1999, the feud began. In November of 1999, Ryan Gracie agreed to fight Wallid Ismail in WEC on Janurary 2000 so he moved to New York to train with Renzo Gracie. Wallid Ismail had to pull out of the fight because he was on the verge of signing off on another fight with Pride FC sometime early in 2000. The Pride FC contract fell through and Wallid signed on to the WEC fight with only six weeks notice but Ryan Gracie suddenly dropped out of their bout. In December of 1999, both fighters unexpectedly met at PePe beach and nearly scrapped on the sand and a few days later Ryan came to Wallid Ismail’s gym to confront him. Dude constantly reached into his fanny pack (yeah, 10 years ago people still rocked fanny packs) and threatened to pull a gun on Wallid (later it was discovered dude didn’t have a gun in his fanny pack). Wallid Ismail backed down and Ryan Gracie eventually left the gym. On October 2000, Wallid Ismail and Ryan Gracie crossed paths at the after party for the Bad Boy fashion show in Brazil. The reports are a little cloudy, but the general consensus is that Ryan Gracie and a few dudes snuck up on Wallid Ismail and caught him off guard. Wallid’s boys eventually jumped in and the fight ended with Wallid Ismail guillotine choking Ryan Gracie. The next year, Wallid Ismail and Ryan Gracie agreed to fight on a WEC card that was planned for April 2001. Everything was good until Ryan Gracie was arrested after stabbing a man in a bar fight in February, needless to say…he dropped out again from the Wallid Ismail fight. Unfortunately, Ryan Gracie died in a jail cell in Brazil from an apparent overdose so the MMA world will never get to see an official Wallid Ismail vs. Ryan Gracie showdown (one that didn’t happen in a bar at least). However, we are blessed with two of the greatest interviews of all time…both of which belong to Wallid Ismail. If you’re drinking milk, be warned that it will immediately eject out of your nose after listening to these interviews. If your neck hasn’t exploded in laughter at the previous interview, check out Stephen Quadros bringing up the one name that is guaranteed to get Ismail heated. Got to love it. Genki Sudo However cool you think you are, Genki Sudo has exceeded everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life and he did it with a synchronized team of Japanese dancers riding shotgun. Genki Sudo is the living embodiment of everything you’ve ever wanted to accomplish in your life manifested in the body of a 16-4-1 fighter. Genki has only been stopped once in his career and it was by the stand-up of Kid Yamamoto. That was back when Kid was pound for pound the best in MMA, since he left his wife…dude can’t get a win. Genki Sudo retired at the age of twenty-seven solely because he wanted to transition to the 4th dimension. Genki said that he was finished fighting in the 3rd dimension and his next ‘fight’ would take place on a mental/spiritual plane in the 4th dimension. However, Genki stated that he would have to reside in the 3.5th dimension in order to effectively get his message across. His message is simply: We are all one. It’s actually not as simple as you may think. In his documentary, Genki Sudo breaks down his message and says that we all exist in exactly the same moment. The perception of past and future is merely an illusion. If one makes too many plans in the future, a portion of their present ‘self’ is lost in an unobtainable moment. Of course, if one chooses to focus on their past ‘self’, their present ‘self’ will never be fully realized. Genki stresses living in the moment and to rely as little as possible on material objects. In fact, the physical world prevents Genki Sudo from fully transitioning into the 4th dimension. Genki has said his greatest accomplishment in MMA was his K-1 – Premium Dynamite!! submission of Butterbean back in 2003. Despite being outweighed by 260lbs, Genki managed to dive in Butterbean’s general direction and grab a heel hook only forty-one seconds in the second round. Call him the ‘Neo-Samurai’ or the the ‘Transforming Trickster’, Genki Sudo is by far the most shrine worthy person who has ever graced the MMA world. He’s the author of eight philosophy books and even manages his own amateur baseball league for players over thirty. Genki Sudo also has a role in the pseudo sci-fi film entitled ‘The R246 Story‘ and that is why you should raid your garage for spare materials to construct a shrine for Genki Sudo. Check out the first part of Genki Sudo’s documentary just because I love all of you so much. We are truly one.
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