Niagara Falls - A Canadian Wonderland: Day 2
Friday, August 30th (Part 1)
After a day of driving and a bottle of fabulous wine, I was not surprised to have had an excellent sleep last night. We figured out a game plan for the morning before we fell asleep last night, so we knew we needed to get up a little on the early side. Neither of us were happy about an early rise, but still...when on vacation...
Before we got very far in the morning, we ambled downstairs to the lobby where Starbucks lived. I set out to the front desk to request a later check-out since I decided not to shower this morning. Yeah, I own up to this fact. Shut up!! Cause really, why bother showering when we know we're going to be out in the elements and basically under a waterfall?? But I digress. I went to request the later check-out and Adele went to the concierge for a map so we could plot out the wineries we were going to seek out later in the afternoon. She was given a massive booklet and we came up with a game plan as we consumed our Chai.
The first Maid of the Mist tour started at 9a. Maid of the Mist is North America's oldest tourist attraction and will take visitors on a 30 minute tour of the basin. When we walked the area last night, we talked with one of the tour operators. She said the 9a tour was never crowded. And as we walked up, we knew she wasn't fibbing. No one was in line to get tickets. As we paid and walked through the non-existent line, we thought we might be the only ones there. And got kind of jazzed about the idea that we could be there by ourselves. Our joy was short lived as we walked up and saw about 100 people in line before us. Come on!! But the boat holds 600 people. 100 folks isn't that bad. The boat people gave us two blue ponchos and we prepared for the elements.
Unfortunately, as we made it on the boat, all of the people in front of us forced their way upstairs. Probably the best area to view the falls. So we went over to the front of the boat on the right hand side (there are technical terms for this area, but I'm just too lazy to figure it out) and quickly figured out we were on the best side of anyone. The boat started out and we were in a great position to see the Canadian side of the falls. The boat turned around and we had a great view of the US side of the falls. Kind of perfect.
During the tour, there was an audio explanation of the falls. Which could not have been less possible to hear. Sure, it could be because the audio was not so great on an older boat, but the biggest reason was because of the squealing children. Squealing because of the water hitting them as we got closer to the falls, and squealing because they are children. Children are always squealing. It would have been nice to hear the story of the falls. But overall, I think it was $19 pretty well spent.
I changed into my $2 Old Navy flip flops (usually reserved for pedicures and pool time) as we made it on to the boat. I didn't want to wreck my pink Birks, so I went with the flip flops. This did make walking a little difficult, since I walk right out of flip flops and these are not made for walking any distance. But I kept going since we had one more stop where water was plentiful. Spoiler Alert, I did get a massive blister on the underside of my pointer toe after being in these flip flops for less than an hour. It probably would have been better to wreck my Birks.
Our next and final spot in Niagara was the Journey Behind the Falls. This was an area that took you 150 feet under the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and up very close for picture taking. It also took you behind the falls (no way!!) so you could see the power from another angle. We were given another poncho (yellow, this time) and we went under and behind the falls.
Now this one...I think it's something you kind of have to do, but it was slightly disappointing. The $15 might have been better served somewhere else. Then again, there was a pretty cool angle next to the falls that made for some good picture taking (depending on how much you wanted to destroy your camera with water), but other than that, it was a little non-eventful. Though I did pause for a moment as we walked behind the falls. I thought if the engineering on the tunnel failed, we were such goners. Kind of like the thought as I go through the Holland Tunnel...this is where we're going to get attacked as we try to leave NYC during a zombie apocalypse. Though why I'd be in NYC during WWZ is something I've never figured out.
After seeing the back side of a waterfall (and changing out of my destructive flip flops) we went back to the hotel to get ready for our next part of the day. Overall, we didn't spent a ton of time in Niagara, but it was a nice time. If we were going to spend more time in Niagara, I think a kitschy stop would have been a little fun. But we didn't bother this time. Wine was calling. And when wine calls, Adele and I both need to pick up the phone. So we piled in my car and hit the road for the next stop in our journey.