Great Vacation = Discount Shopping

In Budget Travel, Shopping on February 18, 2009 at 3:28 am

My husband was invited to a conference last month for Canadian Jewish Students in Niagara Falls. We decided since we weren’t taking any real vacation, to take off 2 days and fly to Buffalo, where the activities are cheap. We ended up having a fabulous time and we didn’t spend all that much.

Day one we landed in freezing cold Buffalo. It was about 12 degrees, and with the wind chill was about -4 degrees. So pretty cold. We were dressed warm though. We picked up our rental car, and made our way over to our hotel, which was right next to a huge gorgeous mall. More on that later. We dropped our stuff off, and changed into everything we owned to go skiing. I was so bundled up,  it brought me back to being a little kid, when my mom would over bundle me and I’d fall over in the hallway of our building as I walked to the elevator. Skiing was beautiful, but really hard. It was my first time. What a workout! If I did that everyday I’d totally be a size 2. After a fun packed day we headed back to our hotel for some shopping and relaxing. One thing about western New York, every time I’m there I get the best stuff and so cheap.

I found at Ann Taylor Loft, two fantastic cardigans and a belt. The cardigans were $11.16 each and the belt $5.12. My husband bought at Macy’s a beautiful Club Room shirt and a tie, for $15.00 and $5.00. If you have the time it’s worth the trip for the shopping alone. Not only that but everyone working in the mall is kind and courteous, ready to help in any way they can. Plus the mall is spotless, even normally hectic, thrown all over type of stores, like Forever 21 are neat as pin. The mall was also pretty empty, so it was like having our own personal mall experience.

Day 2 we drove over the Canadian border to the most quaint beautiful little town, called Niagara on the Lake.  We spent our morning riding fabulous horses through beautiful snow covered woods. It was so pristine and untouched, we even saw a family of deer. My horse Brock was so fat, my saddle kept sliding around and I had to keep hoisting myself up. I got quite a workout.

We then drove to the actual downtown of Niagara on the Lake. It’s full of historic landmarks and British expats. There are the cutest shops. Full of interesting homemade foods, maple syrup, chocolate, hats, housewares and much more. Most of the landmarks are closed in the winter so definitely head out in the spring, summer, or fall. There are also many local vineyards you can tour both in winter and summer. There is also the ice wine festival which happens the last week in January. We just missed it. Ice wine is grapes picked on the coldest day of the year at 2 am and then pressed into wine. It’s apparently very sweet. We couldn’t try it because of the kosher issue.

One of my favorite stores was Special Teas. They are an organic fresh tea shop. There are hundreds of canisters packed in this little tea shop. Every kind of tea imaginable, roiboos, honeybush, black, ceylon, green, green kombucha etc. They have tea tastings and seminars. To find out more check out

After a phone call that night from both my mother and mother-in-law that Macy’s was giving away free makeup, we headed over Friday morning to the mall one last time. I came out with free Clinique moisturizer and Estee Lauder night repair serum. I  ran to actual Ann Taylor and bought another gorgeous cardigan reduced from $89.00 to $19.44 and a stunning leather belt regularly $48 down to $9.88. Seriously the deals are unreal.

We drove across the border to Canada again and experienced the white wonderland that is Niagara Falls in January. The trees are covered in white and the river has large chunks of ice floating in it. Definitely a sight worth seeing.

The amazing part of the whole vacation is that it cost us very little and we got to do the things we really enjoy doing. My only wish is that we had  more time.


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