Location: Niagara Falls, NY & Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Written by: DJ Doran
TAKE NOTE: This post was written while DJ & Joey were on their RV roadtrip across America. Sadly, their trip ended before it really got started. No worries, Shelly & Lucia are taking the Connextions Out n About Roadtrip to new heights, exploring one RV park at a time!
We continued our exploration of Niagara Falls under sunny skies and comfortable temperatures for October. I want to pause here and point out that although the attractions charge a price for admission, they are reasonable… Cave of the Winds was like $10.00 and a trip aboard the Maid of the Mist was $15.00 per person that is very reasonable considering what you will take from the experience. Don’t go cheap and skip either of these, you’ll be glad you didn’t. Also, the food, snacks and trinkets at the shops can be pricey, but do yourself a favor and stop and have a hot dog or an ice cream and walk through the shops, its part of the experience and the vendors will appreciate it even though they may show it in typical New Yorker fashion…
Joey and I finished our tour of the New York side of the falls and were ready to head to the Great White North aka Canada!! I start to sing Oh Canada as we approach the entrance to the rainbow bridge and Joey gives me “that” look reminding me that there are tourists and cameras all over the place. We watch as some Japanese tourists try to figure out how to go through the turnstile and quickly follow behind them. Once on the bridge we gawk at the cars waiting in line to cross over to the US and realize that they are gawking at us too. It’s easy to forget how high above the water you are until you (meaning me not Joey) look over the railing, which is only 3-4 feet tall. FYI, The Rainbow Bridge is not named after the iconic Gay symbol, but rather after the natural rainbows caused by the spray from the falls. We walk across the bridge and I say hi to everyone that passes, some say hi back but most look down at the ground like I have sharp teeth and horns. I really need to check myself in the mirror when I get to Canada!
As we approach the Canadian border we stopped to read the monolith detailing the meaning of the rainbow and how it was promised by God after the flood to demonstrate his promise not to kill any more humans or something like that. That’s good enough for me! We walk into the immigration kiosk and hand the young Canadian Officer our passports. He quickly inserts them into some scanner and asks us what we do for a living, why are we in Canada etc… after my failed attempt at small talk we are free to go.
Joey takes a moment to remind me that although he is sure I already know it, they are not interested in our life story but like the old guy on Dragnet used to say… “Just the Facts”.
We walk out of immigration and step onto Canadian soil! We were immediately taken by the contrast to the American side. The main road along the edge of the river is lined with beautiful gardens. There are huge hotels and casinos lining the hilltop and the main avenue going up the hillside is replete with stores, attractions and eateries that almost made us feel like we were in the Canadian version of Vegas. We walked behind a couple of American tourists, a Mother and her teenage son. He jumped onto the stone wall, which had a gabled top and was walking on top of it as his mother had her hand atop his foot. We commented that one slip and he would tumble down the side of the rocky slope and that he was someone that we would read about in the papers as having injured or killed himself and that measures must be taken to improve the safety of the walkway and wall as a result. Joey commented about what kind of mother would first let her son disrespect the park and Canada but also jeopardize his safety. As we passed them I wanted to grab him by his baggy pants and pull him off the wall but decided against it. We continued our trek up the street, amazed at the amount of development geared toward one goal, relieving you of that almighty dollar or yen or whatever you had that they wanted. Joey and I stopped into a little shop for a bottle of water and paid $2.30 for a small bottle of water so be prepared if you want to eat or drink on the Canadian side.
After a couple of hours taking photos of gardens and attractions we worked our way back to a little garden area that afforded us a panoramic view of the falls and waited for sunset so that we could see the falls lit up at night. Over the next hour we talked and took photos until before we knew it the lights started to illuminate the falls. The lights faded from white to green to red and we were lost in the beauty of the moment and for a brief time it was just Joey and I and the falls…
On our way back across the Rainbow Bridge and the welcoming arms of Priscilla I let myself be reminded not to over plan or be upset when things don’t start out exactly as I planned because if I had done that earlier in the day I would not have experienced the wonderful time I had with Joey that had begun as an imperfect day but finished with a perfect ending.