I’ve been meaning to post some about our trip to Niagara Falls for a couple of days now, but it’s still been busy around here with the in-laws and such. Anyway:
Annette and I had a two night/three day getaway to Niagara Falls while Annette’s parents watched Will and Sophie. Interestingly, Sophie warmed up to the strangers pretty quickly. Hopefully, the same will happen when my parents come to watch Will and Sophie at the end of the month….
Niagara Falls was a lot of fun, but also a lot of money. The main attraction is pretty impressive, one of those things it’s worth seeing live and in person at least once in your life. I’ve never been much of a fan of video cameras, but this is one situation where having a video camera would have been pretty handy because you just can’t capture the motion or the sound of the water in still images.
There’s two basic ways to get the “falls experience” (though there’s a package deal that includes a walk along a section of rapids and a tour of a butterfly conservatory, I guess a building with a bunch of butterflies– maybe if we go back with Will, we’ll give that a shot). The most famous is the “Maid of the Mist” boat ride, which, as you can tell from the picture, takes you into the mist of the falls on the Canadian side.
Slightly less famous is the “Behind the Falls” attraction, which takes you to tunnels literally behind the waterfall and also to an observation platform right at the base of the falls (which is where I’m standing). We did the “Behind the Falls” thing first and decided that that was enough. Besides, neither one of us was in the mood to wait in another line and we didn’t feel like being bounced around in the boat, either. Though, for the record, I want to point out that I was willing to do the “Maid of the Mist” ride, despite my lack of enjoyment of boats.
Anyway, there was a lot of fun stuff for us at Niagara Falls. The park around the falls was quite lovely, we had a great hotel room with a spectacular view, we had a lot of fun at one of the big casinos, and on our drive out of town, we had a chance to go through the wine country and Niagra-on-the-Lake, which reminded me of Ashland in some ways.
But man, there’s a lot of tourist-trap crap there! It may be because we had just spent nearly two weeks being tourists out west, but there just seemed to be no end to the opportunities and obligations to spend money. Just about every bill included about 20% worth of tax, more or less wiping out the value difference between the American and Canadian dollars, and everything cost too much money to begin with. You get a couple blocks away from the falls and you run into a strip of arcades, haunted houses, wax museums, etc.– we went into the “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum.” Again, maybe this would be fun with Will, but it didn’t take much of this to hurt our heads.