The older I get the more acutely aware I become that life is short. This quote:
"You know all those things you've always wanted to do?........You should go do them!"
.......has been a bit of a mantra for me for a while and frankly, I'm ready to start bucket list living.
Niagra Falls has been on my bucket list ever since I saw Bruce Almighty and watched the comedic genius Jim Carrey wear that umbrella hat on the Maid of the Mist. It's considered one of the wonders of the world, and while pictures are magnificent, the idea of experiencing its majesty first hand has always been one of my must dos.
Its a bit of a challenge to work through all the logistics of getting up there considering that Niagra Falls is on the border between 2 countries, and all the way up in New York. Bob and I spent all of our Southwest points and made it happen complete with a Canada visit to boot. Which worked out splendidly considering going to Canada was also on my bucket list! Two birds.....one stone.
We made it to Buffalo New York and picked up our car to head to Oh Canada! We were both giddy with excitement. It was overcast and chilly up there and WET! So much water. Us Arizonans were well out of place in all that cool moisture!
We crossed the rainbow bridge, showed our passports at the entry, and had our first meet with the Mighty Niagra Falls. It did not disappoint and was beyond spectacular.
Bob and I snooped around and discovered all sorts of interesting finds. Some of the old pump stations used when Nicolae Tesla developed ways to use water for electricity were rich with history. Everything was green, and wet.
Our evening was lovely and spent walking, coffee in hand, up and down the river getting a first hand view of the Falls. Bob and I were both ecstatic for our grand tour the following day!
We settled into the Spyce Lounge at our Hilton Hotel for an unrushed happy hour before our elaborate, and late (thank you east coast) dinner watching fireworks.
We considered it a source of pride when we officially closed the restaurant down in favor of sleeping. Nevermind their 11 was our 8.
The next morning we did Niagra up royally! We did it all in one grand and glorious tour with our amazing, gentlemanly, and kind Canadian guide, Bobby. If only my girls were older......but I digress.
Our first stop was the Journey Behind the Falls. We got to go down to the bottom of the falls and see all the tunnels and experience the wall of water from behind it. It was spectacular.
Next was a visit above the Falls at the amazing Skylon Tower. Think Seattle Space Needle and you will be there. 360 views of the Falls and both New York and Canada. Such a unique and cool spot to be.
Bobby took us for a great little drive down the river to the infamous whirlpools. This is a spot where the river did a 90 degree turn in its forming. The water now swirls as it is redirected and the spot in the middle is over 300 feet deep! The water is wild and as you look over you can see how it fights to redirect. Very cool.
Last but certainly not least on the tour was the boat ride into the Falls. In true capitalistic fashion, the Hornblower line bought out the Maid of the Mist on the Canadian side of the world so we got to experience the cruise in red ponchos as opposed to our American friends still wearing the blue ponchos of Maid riders. We asked our guide why they had to have such definitive color differences and he responded with, "well, if someone falls in we need to know which country to return him to!" I just about died laughing. Politics be damned.
This experience was by far the most incredible of the morning. We went right up into Horeshoe Bend and spent 5 minutes in the torrential spray of the rushing falls. It was loud, and big, and powerful, and simply more majestic than I have words to express. I guess all I can say is, GO! Its worth it.
We exited the Falls and were saturated from head to toe, but unbelievably happy. These smiles are what life is about and I am so glad that we took the time to meet Niagra in person. The Falls did not disappoint and will be a memory of a lifetime.