Sunday, August 16, 2015

Road Trip part 1: Niagara Falls

   I told a few people that we would share about our trip. The first leg of our road trip took us from Massachusetts to Niagara Falls (the US side). I had never been to Niagara Falls. It was supposed to take us about 7.25 hours to get there. Our intended plan was to get up very early, drive to NY and then to do everything involved with the Niagara Falls Discovery Pass:
-Niagara Adventure Theater- a 30 minute movie telling the history of Niagara Falls
-Aquarium of Niagara- self-explanatory
- Cave of the Winds Trip- Starting with a 175 foot descent into Niagara Gorge, visitors can travel up a wooden path (and stairs) to Hurricane Deck, which is just a few feet away from the falls.
-Niagara Gorge Discovery Center-
The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center showcases the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge. You can learn about the ancient rock layers, local minerals and fossils, the history of the Great Gorge Route trolley line, and much more! Interactive displays, a virtual elevator trip and a 180° multi-screen theater presentation will show you how the mighty Niagara River carved the gorge and the falls over the course of more than 12,000 years --a process that continues today!" 
- Maid of the Mist- A boat that brings visitors down into Niagara Gorge, where you are surrounded by the sight, sounds, and spray of the falls.

     Highlights of the ride to New York- Watching the boys completing the packets I made to keep them entertained for the ride,
-trying sugarplums for the first time. We bought them at a famer's market at a rest stop
- Beautiful white, puffy clouds and clean, fresh air

     Thinking back, perhaps our plan of going to all of these attractions was a little ambitious. We got there a bit later than we had hoped- 5 pm. When we checked in, the woman at the information desk basically told us that 1) the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds both had over an hour and a half wait and 2) tours ended at 7. We quickly realized that we would have to decide what was most important to us. We decided to ride the Maid of the Mist. You may not know this about me, but I'm a little fearful about water in a lot of situations so I was fairly proud of myself for being brave enough to ride.

    These were some pictures Matt took from the top of the falls. I may sound unappreciative, but when I first saw the falls I was expecting something more. It is only when you get to the bottom of the falls (at least for me) that I could really appreciate the scale and power of these falls.

 See all those people? It was crowded.
 Notice the people over past the falls too. This was what it felt like to wait in the 90 minute line. lol

 Despite the line, we were still having a great time. Over time, being a fair skinned person in a crowded line in direct sun made me kind of miserable but it was still a good experience.

 Notice the I <3 NY shirt. He was very purposeful in his clothing decisions that day.

 Canada on the other side. Canada has a reputation of having "the better side" of the falls. Everytime I mentioned that we were going to the falls, people said something to the extent of "You're going to the Canadian side, right?" We didn't have passports so, the US side it was!
  From the observation deck
 The happy Canadian Maid of the Mist. The US side uses the blue ponchos. (Which come in handy when you're stuck in huge rain at Yellowstone by the way!)

 Views while we were on the boat. I loved the sound of the falls and the spray. I did pretty well with the whole being on a boat as 600,000 gallons of water per second came down around me.





 I didn't know what this was so I took a picture to look it up later. It is the abandoned Ontario Power Company, which was built in 1905. (That wouldn't have been scary to build down there at all. Gasp) It closed in 1999 and now belongs to The Niagara Parks Commission.



 Me and David in our stylish blue ponchos. I'm holding onto him for dear life. Just kidding, but I was slightly worried he'd fall out the door we were leaning near. I watched as everyone leaned over the sides with their cell phones and wondered how many phones are at the bottom of  Niagara Gorge.
Mr. Adventure. Tim was having a great time, right up on the bow of the boat. He couldn't wait to venture further into the falls. 


 See, photographic proof that I went on the boat and smiled at least once. See how soaked David was?
 This is the observation tower and deck. You wait in line on that big platform and there is an elevator in that tower.
 Did I mention there's also a line at the bottom, trying to go back up? We met this delightful family from Ohio who Tim became fast friends with. Matt and the boys also ran up toward the falls via a path on the right of the line.
 See all those people waiting? The line is 4 people wide. I'm usually a patient person but not in hot weather after a 9 hour ride.
 I think this is my favorite picture that Matt took here.


     Next stop- Wisconsin

3 comments:

  1. Loved seeing your photos, Jen! Thanks for sharing. The Falls look amazing- I love all of the mist... so pretty :) And just think of the wonderful memories you guys created... the smiles say it all! :D So glad you were able to take this trip.

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  2. As always, I myself look forward to visiting the excitement of Niagara Falls with my wife each year for our yearly vacation. If you do go again I strongly recommend that you try the Canadian side. I used to be like you and was amazingly astonished at how good the Canadian side was when I first went there.

    Norman Hawkins @ GoByBus Coach Travel

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    1. Hi Norman, Thanks for visiting my blog. I have heard fantastic things about the Canadian side. Usually I'm a huge planner and, for this trip, we planned a lot closer to the trip than I would usually have. We don't have passports and I wasn't sure about what the requirements were to go over to the Canadian side.
      We're thinking of going to Canada for next year's vacation, probably Quebec. Any "must see" recommendations for me?

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