Have you ever been to Niagara Falls?
It's a place I've always wanted to go to, but it just never happened...until this summer. While not terribly far, it is a 7-hour car ride, so we kept putting it off.
But when we were invited to visit friends in Lake Erie this summer, it provided the perfect excuse to finally see one of the seven natural wonders of North America. We decided to make it the second stop of our summer road trip. From Erie, PA, Niagara Falls was just a short 2 1/2 hour drive.
Niagara Falls is actually three separate falls: American Falls (below)... Bridal Veil Falls (the smaller one, far right, below)...
...and Horseshoe Falls (the curved one, below).
We had a choice a staying on the New York side, or the Canadian side. We opted for the latter, because everyone told us that was definitely the prettier view...they were right!
Plus, I wanted to use my Starwood Hotel points for our stay, and the Sheraton Hotel on the Canadian side is located right at the Falls.
The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, with a door that opens, but obviously, you don't want to go out!
Afraid of heights? Don't look down!
Check out the magnificent view! I took this through our open door.
Although we could have just admired the view from the room, we did want to get up close and personal, so we walked along the promenade. Pretty fabulous, eh? (I'm practicing my Canadian...how am I doing, eh?)
Our stay was only two nights, which gave us a day and a half to explore.
Our favorite attraction was the "Maid of the Mist" boat ride. It was a spectacular experience, getting really close to the Falls.
If you do decide to go to Niagara Falls, I've got three pieces of advice for Maid of the Mist:
1) Wear water-proof shoes. Your feet will be soaked, and it is no fun spending all day in squishy shoes. You will get a lovely blue rain poncho to keep your clothes dry, but they're not gonna help your feet!
2) When the boat gets right up in front of the Horseshoe Falls, DO NOT keep your head down because you are getting
3) Do not say to the person next to you, "Oh, how clever of you to bring a ziploc bag for your camera," because then she will give you one, and you will feel obligated to use it...and if you are anything like me, you will not close it properly, and your camera will get soaked and stop working. Then you will have to rely on the other people with you to take pictures good enough to be blog worthy, and they will become very irritated about having to take 36 shots of the same thing. And then, you will get a new camera for your birthday that very next week, which is great, because you'll need it, but bad, because you really wanted new earrings.
In other words, keep your camera in your purse or pocket under the poncho. It might be a good idea to buy a disposable waterproof camera just for this.
Another attraction we went to was Journey Behind the Falls, but we found it kind of disappointing. Basically, you just look through a portal and see the water crashing down. The cool part was at the end when we went outside on the viewing platform right next to the falls. Oh, you do get another lovely pancho, this time a yellow one.
This is the view from Journey's observation deck. It was worth the price of admission.
Niagara's Fury is a very short 4D movie about how the Falls were created The floor rocks, the temperature drops...its snows, you get sprayed with mist...and yes, you get to wear another one of those pretty ponchos. We enjoyed it, even though it was less than 10 minutes.
He had a great time at the giant arcade.
If you've been to one Ripley's Believe It Or Not, you've been to them all. But we did get a kick out of this tongue twister. Go ahead...try it!
We indulged in a nice dinner at the restaurant in the Sheraton, Windows By Jamie Kennedy, which claims to be one of Niagara's best. It was quite good...and of course, everything tastes better when gazing at that glorious view of the Falls.
We all agreed that seeing Niagara Falls in person fully met our expectations. One of my favorite views was just outside of the Table Rock complex. It felt like we were standing right on top of the Falls.
It was great to see the Falls at different times of the day, and how the light changed their appearance. They are most impressive at sunset, in my opinion.
Oh, and yes, the falls are lit up with colored lighting at night, but because I broke my camera earlier in the day, this was the best that I could do with a night shot with Mr. Goo Shoes' camera, which I obviously do not know how to use. You get the idea, eh?
As if right on cue, a rainbow appeared when we were standing on the promenade, just before we were heading home.
All in all, visiting Niagara Falls was a great way to end the summer...
...except for the drive home, which took way longer than our GPS said. Road trips are only fun on the way to vacation. The drive home? Not so much.
OK, it is the end of October, and I think I am now done with my summer vacation posts. Summer seems sooooo long ago.
It's time to get back to pumpkins and Halloween, don't you think?
Till next time...
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