Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Stop: Niagara Falls

Kate and I stopped at Niagara Falls on Saturday, en route to another week-long summer Suzuki Violin Institute, this time in Ithaca, New York. Kate had been begging to see Niagara Falls for ages, whining about how her friends were more well-travelled than herself, the only one who hadn't seen the falls yet. This comment came from a kid who's been to various countries in two other continents, thanks to having family members scattered all over the world. However, I agreed that it was a shame that neither of us had seen one of Canada's greatest tourist attractions located practically in our backyard. I'd technically seen the falls once before, briefly in the wintertime, but that barely counts.

So off we went to do the grand tour, despite Oscar Wilde's famous words: "The Niagara Falls is simply a vast amount of water going the wrong way over some unnecessary rocks; the sight of that waterfall must be one of the earliest and keenest disappointments in American married life." I bought each of us an Adventure Pass, which started with a ride on the Maid of the Mist. This boat ride, the highlight of our day in my opinion, took us close enough to the American and Horseshoe Falls to be soaked in spray. Well, we would have been soaked were it not for the ubiquitous rain ponchos handed out at every attraction near the falls. Feeling the power of the water thundering down around us was an incredible experience.

We then went on the White Water Walk, a very scenic walk right next to the Whirlpool Rapids. This was followed by the Niagara's Fury "4-d ride", included in our Adventure Pass, but which frankly pales compared to the real thing. Kate loved it, though. Finally, we did the Journey Behind the Falls for a close-up view of the Horseshoe Falls. And now, we can say that we've really seen Niagara Falls!

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