Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Niagra Falls

Our recent trip to Niagra Falls was amazing.  My husband planned out a 5-day excursion to celebrate a big birthday with me, and off we went to do as we pleased for a while, staying at inns and eating lunch at beautiful places and watching the scenery go by. The freedom to do that was amazing and much appreciated, as hard as we all work these days.  (Youngest son was at a hockey camp that he loves, so the trip was guilt-free, as well.)

I have wanted to see Niagra Falls for a few years now.  I love the Marilyn Monroe film "Niagra," and I saw a television special about people who have tried to "conquer the Falls" that was really interesting.  While I thought that the would-be conquerers were pretty stupid, what I did appreciate was the Falls themselves; so powerful, so wild, so...unstoppable.  Nature at it's beautiful best.

Of course long ago, humans came around, saw the Falls, and thought, hey, we could build towns here and make some money offa this!  So, on both the Canadian and American sides of Niagra Falls, commercialism was born.  Stairs and concrete scenic vistas and boat docks were built, to bring people as close a possible to the magic.  My favorite thing about the experience was a trip aboard the "Maid of the Mist," where you don a rain slicker, climb on a boat, and get as close to the Falls as is humanly possible.  At one exciting point in the ride, when the captain has brought you almost under the Falls, all you hear is a roaring and thundering of water, all you see is falling water and mist and spray, and you can feel the Falls in your own heartbeat, like when the bass of a good sound system is really cranked up. 

My mother-in-law said to me, "I remember thinking, even now that I'm back home, the Falls is still there, still falling.  Never stopping."  Now that I've been there, I know what she means.  it's reassuring.  A beautiful destination (we stayed on the Canadian side, which I recommend), a great trip.  I won't ever forget it.

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