Rather than sleeping in late like we had been doing every morning, we were all up early and excited for our day, but trust me, there was still time for Brian’s hand ground coffee and some granola and yogurt. We piled in the car and drove into the city of Niagara Falls and parked. Walking in together to get our tickets for the day, our spirits were high. After a quick stop at the visitor’s center for some guidance for our day, we walked to the observation deck for our first glimpse of the falls.
We made our way down to ride the Maid of the Mist. This is a boat tour that takes you past the American side of the falls close into the horseshoe falls of the Canadian side, straight into the mist at the bottom of the falls. I don’t know how close you actually get to the falls, but when they take you into the mist, cut the power to the boat and let you sit there and bob in the water, you feel like you can reach out and touch them.
We were first in line to get on our boat, and as we waited for the passengers before us to disembark, one man walked past us and told us, “Top right, best view in the house.” Our little Bella girl was pretty scared to ride the Maid, so we decided we’d go bottom right so she’d feel a little safer. Holy cow, y’all, we had quite the view! And quite the mist. We could hardly hold our heads up, the spray was so hard. It even tore one of my earrings out of my ear, lost forever in the Niagara River. At one point Bear turned to look and couldn’t even see the back of the boat. The kids kept chattering about how they were in Canada! “Another country, Mom! We’re in Canada!”
Dear Bella was a brave girl, but when they cut the engine, she completely freaked, begging us for them to turn the engine back on and turn around. She was convinced that we were going to get sucked under the falls. I’ll admit, there were a couple moments where it felt possible even though I knew it wasn’t. It was phenomenal.
The boat returned us safely to the American side. After drying off, we did some more observing the falls from above before making our way to Cave of the Winds, a walking tour down by the American falls complete with yellow ponchos and a hurricane deck. On our way we stopped so Bri could snap a picture with Nikola Tesla, and I sat down to chat with Ash. As you can clearly see from the picture, I must have been saying something quite exciting for him to be yawning so. Hilarious!
We stood in line in the heat of the morning (I was not expecting 93 degrees in upstate NY!), staying hydrated and snacking on protein bars, but even that wasn’t enough for me. About two-thirds of the way through the line, I looked at Brian and said, “I’m going down.” I could feel my blood pressure dropping, and got down on one knee unable to stand anymore. Because of the gates on either side, there was no way for me to get out of line, so we inched through the line, a few steps, then down on my knee, a few more, then down. We finally came to a place where I could climb over a chain, so I went to the end of the line and sat on the ground to wait for my loves. It scared the kids pretty bad, and I hated the attention it drew to my weakness. The rest did some refreshing, and by the time they came to the end of the line, I was able to walk down to the Cave of the Winds and see the falls from this angle with them. Bella and I avoided the Hurricane Deck, but the boys braved it and Ash-man reached out to touch the falls. It was sensational.