September 4, 2016
Nostalgically, I declared to Joel that we must be reliving our honeymoon backwards from exactly 18 years ago. We had previously been to Traverse City, now at Niagara Falls and then plan on continuing on to explore the New England states. He said, “I hope not, because that’d mean we’ll be flying out to Minnesota once we reach Boston.” (We originally had flown out to Boston and ended up driving back because the airline workers were on strike back then.) While we laughed together, we sure hope that does not happen.
It is always exciting to be able to visit a famous landmark that my children have seen in past pictures. I was probably more anxious to see the expressions on their faces than they were to finally see the giant set of waterfalls, the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. They were amazed at the amount of water flowing over the edge creating such a large mist. At one point, the breeze blew the cold mist back onto us making us unable to capture the rainbow on camera.
At one point, my boys wondered what birds would do upstream right before the falls. Would they go over them and just fly off? Were they aware of what was ahead of their floating path? The answer to their questions came when three Canadian geese were seen approaching a small rapids area in one of the quieter upstream branches of the river. The birds paddled around and allowed the water take them to the edge of a preliminary waterfall. They fluttered their wings to help them softly land on the next level down. Simple entertainment at its best.
After relaying stories of how people would go over the main falls in a barrel, we decided to move on and see what else the town offered. We ran across the tourist information center and found it very worthwhile. We never knew how much the city catered to the tourist industry. In the future, I want to make a point to stop in to other such places to find other “secret gems”.
One of the gems we discovered was the New York Power Vista. They had just finished the multimillion dollar renovation of the visitors’ center. They totally upgraded it to have high tech interactive exhibits explaining how the power plant works as well as basic electricity and energy grid concepts. This reminded me of a futuristic version of Minnesota’s Bakken Museum, complete with a 4D theater. I was very impressed, both boys enjoyed it, and best of all, it was TOTALLY FREE!
If we were to advise any family on touring the area, the best way to go about it is to park your car at the NY Power Vista, where it is free and open. (Niagara Falls State Park costs from $10-$20, if there is even a parking spot left). Then take the City of Niagara Falls’ FREE “Explore Niagara Falls” trolley/ bus. This trolley stops at all of the major tourist attractions in the area, including the Niagara Falls State Park. The trolley’s loop that takes a little over a half an hour with all of their other tourist stops along the way.
After spending the day there, we made our trek back to the camper and continued on our RV journey the next day.
Until we meet again,