Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Niagara Falls

My mother and I worked for the same company for a time. We taught people how to paint on cloth and almost any surface. Then we hoped to sell them the paints and other materials needed to do the painting.

The company was having a convention in Niagara Falls, Canada. We decided to go. My husband would care for our children. My father decided to go too so my youngest brother and sister also went because they were quite young.

Niagara Falls was not far from where we lived so we drove. Of course. And Daddy drove the whole way because Daddy always drove. And when Daddy drove what we did was get in the car and he would start it up. Then he would aim it and off we would go at top speed.

My father was a good driver. He just did not want to mess around. No bathroom stops unless absolutely necessary and who needs food anyhow? We were there in practically no time at all.

My family did a lot of road time as I was growing up so we had road games to keep us occupied. One of the favorites was watching licmuseum. ense plates. Each new state was added to our list. It could be played while we tried to be the first to spot a haystack, a billboard with yellow on it, or a scarecrow. We watched for unusual names for towns and funny signs. It was fun.

We made the decision to go at the last minute so our hotel was not the same one where the convention was being held. That was about a block and a half away. But it was a nice place.

We were right next to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. They had oddities on display. My favorite is the giant faucet that is suspended from wires but not connected to a water supply. Yet water flows constantly from the faucet. Even though I know the secret of how it works it fascinates me.

Roughly two blocks away was Niagara Falls itself. All we had to do was walk across the park in front of the hotel, cross a little street, and there we were.

There is a viewing platform with guard railing to protect you from getting too close or falling in. You can walk right up to stand beside the spot where the water falls over into the water below. Standing in that spot you watch the water rush over you can be hypnotized by the amount of water. It is almost like a crowd trying to get out of a crowded theater that is on fire.

It falls into the pool below and splashes halfway back up just from the force. Down there it bubbles and churns constantly.

There is an observation area behind the falls down there. We were not able to see it because they were working on it while we were there.

We did take a ride on The Maid Of The Mist boat. They provide each passenger with yellow rain slickers and hats to protect clothing. Then they take you right up next to where all that water lands after it falls from above. You are in the midst of the thickest mist ever.

After the ride you have to climb a steep set of steps to get back up where you belong.

In the near distance you can see the Horseshoe Falls. They are part of the Niagara Falls complex. We never did get down to see them because we were busy with meetings and workshops.

So during that trip we saw few of the sights. For myself I was happy to just stare at all that water roiling over the edge and down into the pool below.

All the way home my youngest brother and I drove Daddy crazy by making weird noises. Until he yelled at us anyway. It was kind of fun being a kid again.

My mother and I stopped in Niagara Falls again many years later when we were on vacation together. It has changed so much.

There is a little strip mall type of place on the street we crossed to get to Niagara Falls. Most of the shops were closed while we were there. We did not go on Maid Of The Mist because Mom was not crazy about the water. But I did stand and watch that immense amount of water charge over the edge to the pool below.


  1. I visited a Ripleys Believe it or not museum in New York in the sixties. Couldn't believe my eyes!

    1. I did not know you had ever been to the United States. I hope you saw more than Ripley's.

  2. This post brought back recent memories, Emma, as we made a first-time visit to Niagara Falls last year for our 14th wedding anniversary. The power of the falls was ovewhelming and of course we took a ride on Maid of the Mist. I agree that there is too much commercialization, which we avoided, and thankfully viewing the falls is free and we spent a lot of time, even waiting for night when they were illuminated. We would like to return in winter to see them frozen...maybe a future anniversary trip postponed till winter as ours is in August.

    1. I have not seen the falls frozen except in pictures. I think that would be a sight to see.

  3. Dear Emma,
    that is impressive! I only 'know' the Niagara Falls through an old black-and-white film, must have been a thriller from the Serie Noire, but I can't remember the title.

    1. It is one of those "you have to see it to believe it" things. I tried to describe it and failed.