Thursday, September 4, 2014

#142 He Loves the Falls

You know you have discovered something wonderful if you are willing to drive to it time and time again.  Even after this second trip, Hubby and I both agreed we would still take the seven-hour drive back to Niagara in a heartbeat.  

Most people grow up knowing what the falls are, but the experience of standing in front of this massive amount of water flowing continuously is unequal to what a simple photograph or description can hold.  Even more astounding is the knowledge that this was not created by man.  It makes me feel so very small, but in the same breath so very important.  If the Creator of the universe could mold water and rock to form something as breathtaking as the Niagara Falls, how much more can he do with me?

Final Stop: Niagara Falls, Canadian Side

We arrived in Canada around dinner time giving us little time to explore the falls during daylight.  After we ate, we wanted to walk around and get closer to the falls so Jonathan could see them with the colorful lights they are lit up with at night.

On our way we ran into this cutie...

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Alright, I'm calling him a cutie now, but I'll admit I wasn't quite so calm and cool as I stood a foot away from him.

This was, apparently, the night of the crazy spectacular moon.  Naturally, I didn't realize it until we were back in our hotel room.  Jonathan hadn't taken to the idea of standing in the dark against a railing overlooking a deep drop into the water with about a thousand other tourists so we cut our walk short after grabbing some much needed Starbucks.

I tried my best to get a picture of it from out room.  It looked amazing over top of the buildings on the American side of the falls.

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But the pictures either came out too blurry...

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or caught too much glare from the window.

The fireworks we watched from the same hotel window came out perfectly.

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Jonathan was still recovering from the trauma of standing near the railing to look at the falls, so he insisted that he was going to stay in his side of the room and not watch the fireworks.

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Which prompted Hubby to drag him across the room and force him to sit with us as we watched the fireworks over the falls.  Jonathan kept his body turned away from the window, as if looking would cause him to fall out.

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The next morning we made Jonathan face his fear of the railing.  This time, I think he was more aggravated with the mist blowing in his face than the height.

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The weather was absolutely perfect.  The last time Hubby and I went it was July and it was hot!  The mist had been a refreshing delight.  We caught some strange fall gust of weather this time and our days were between high 60s and low 70s.

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I wasn't complaining!

Apparently, the Maid of the Mist is now called, "Hornblower Cruises".  The American side still runs Maid of the Mist ships though.  

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We figured this was the one excursion Jonathan would like best.  It also was my favorite from our last visit.

Because where else can you get a view like this?

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For the first couple of minutes on the boat, Jonathan stayed sitting on top one of the lifesaver bins.  Once we got closer to the falls I coaxed him to come stand in front of me.

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There are two major negatives about visiting Niagara Falls.  

1. Dining is ridiculously expensive.  We paid $40 one day for breakfast...for three people...and before tip!  If you want to save on food, you have to drive at least five minutes away from the falls.   

2. There is a lot of walking.  To get to the falls you have two options: walk down an insane incline (which means, walk back up the same incline to go back to your hotel) or take the Falls Incline Railway.  Last time, we didn't use the railway.  We decided we needed the exercise.  This time, since we had Jonathan we planned to buy a day pass and use the railway all day long to spare our legs.  A one way ticket is $2.50, a round trip ticket is $5.00, and an all day pass is $6.00.  We figured we would use the railway at least four times so the round trip ticket would be well worth it.

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On our first use of the railway, we were thrilled.  We have saved probably a half hour of time and spared our legs the torture of walking down the strip only to have to walk back to the same spot the railway would drop us at.  Confusing, I know.

The only problem?  We huffed and puffed our way back to the railway after having spent most of the morning looking at the falls, walking down to go on the Hornblower Cruise, only to find that the railway was not working and we would have to walk all the way back from where we started, and up the incline.

I'm not normally one to demand a refund, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I made them refund our round trip ticket purchase.

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While we were in Downtown Niagara, Jonathan wouldn't rest until he could play arcade games.  The above game is a great example as to why I do not go on rides at amusement parks.  It shook, rocked me back and forth, made my head bang against the seat, and had me ready to jump off, run out of the arcade, rush to my room and lay on the couch for the next two hours.

I know, I'm a big baby.

After avoiding the window for the first day and a half that we were in Niagara, as we were getting ready to check out was when Jonathan decided to tackle sitting next to the window.  His response?  "I love falls!".

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It's always hard to end a vacation.  As much as part of me misses home and needs to go back, another part wants to stay away enjoying life somewhere so different from home.

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