There is an old lamp that looks like Niagara Falls - the way the light shines through it makes it look as if the water is moving. I remember as a child watching that lamp and thinking how great it would be to see it in person. So I guess you could say I've always dreamed of seeing Niagara Falls. So it was a no-brainer that when we were that close, we had to go. We crossed into Canada near Buffalo, NY, at the Peace Bridge then headed north on Niagara Parkway which follows the river to the falls. For the best effect, you have to see the falls from the Canadian side.
I don't know if I can tell you how excited I was. Now, Paul and Paula and their family had traveled to the falls over 40 years ago. I am so blessed that they were so excited for me. They were pretty excited too – 40 years is a long time…
As we drove along the river I was thinking about how calm the river was - how could it make the amazing Falls I had dreamed of all these years. As we got closer to the falls, I thought I saw smoke up ahead. Paula informed me it was the mist coming up from the falls - we were getting close..... Then we rounded the corner and there it was in all its glory. I think I had an out of body experience. Everyone should see Niagara Falls. The physical and emotional power of the falls can’t be captured in words or photos.
Paul booked the room for our stay at the Falls. He told me he thought we would be able to see the falls from or room. See the falls from or room......now that was an understatement. Check out this view, and yes those are my toes.
There are a lot of things that you have to do while at Niagara Falls. There is a boat that goes up near the base of the falls called the Maid of the Mist and it is probably the most popular thing to do. If you want to get soaking wet on a boat, you should do it. We decided we would rather walk under the falls so we headed to a tour called Journey Behind the Falls. Paula did this on the last trip here, so she said she would sit this one out. I am not so good about small spaces and you have to ride an crowded elevator down 150 feet through bedrock to the tunnels. The current tunnel which goes a third of the way under the falls has been there since 1944. The sound of the water lets you know how powerful the Falls are. The view is not great from the 2 portals they have cut through the rock allowing you to look out under the falls but feeling and hearing the intensity of the water is worth the trip.
I don't understand why anyone would think you could go over the falls and live but boy, have people tried. You better put your rain poncho on before you walk out on the platform near the base of the Horseshoe Falls and even with your poncho on you are going to get wet. This is as close to the falls as you can get without going over the top!
From our hotel room we could see a red walkway on the US side that went to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls, so a trip to the American side was in order. Cave of the winds is another elevator ride of 175 feet. As the three of us exited the tunnel at the river level we were met with 1000s of seagulls nesting on the riverbank - the smell was overwhelming. Now I need to tell you that Paula does not care for birds, even ones that don’t smell like poop of rotting fish. As a small child she was attacked by a rooster, and to be standing in the middle of thousands of birds, now that was a brave lady.
The closer we got to the base
of the falls the further away from the smell of the birds we got. You walk on
the boardwalk right up to the base of the falls. Be sure to put your poncho on
because you will be standing in a 50 to 60 mile per hour torrent of water. You
will still get wet but the thrill is well worth it. They call the closest point
to the falls the hurricane deck for a good reason.
Standing at the base of the falls is quiet a rush and a must do...
If you are looking for something a little more relaxing consider the Butterfly Conservatory located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, 10 minutes north of the Falls. We all agreed that this is the best Butterfly house we have ever seen with over 2,000 butterflies, made up of 45 different species. The gardens provide a great place for a relaxing walk.
As you drive a little further north you will find the Niagara Whirlpool where the river makes a 90 degree turn. The whirlpool naturally spins in a counterclockwise motion during normal flow. For a great view can ride The Whirlpool Aero car that has been in operation since 1916. If you need a little more adventure you can ride the Whirlpool Jet Boat through the Class 5 whitewater of the Devil¹s Hole Rapids and the swirling waters of the Whirlpool. We chose not to…