Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flat Stanley ain't got nothing on me...

One of the perks of traveling for your job is sometimes you get to go really awesome places. One of the downsides of those trips is you are usually by yourself. I always find myself wishing I could share the experience with a friend or family member and, while I can't, I can always take selfies to prove to others just how cool it was. #whowouldntwanttolookatadozenselfiesofmeinfrontofthings

I recently got to enjoy this perk by squeezing in a trip to Niagara Falls. I drove about an hour and a half from Toronto to see the landmark and was totally impressed.

It was a beautiful day, with the high in the mid 60s. I could hear the waterfalls before I saw them. The air felt  clean and the town smelled fresh. I made my way to the waterfront and sucked in a sharp breath when I saw them. They were unbelievable. The experience reminded me of the first time I saw mountains; it was invigorating and humbling all at the same time. It reminded me of the power of nature and that we are, after all, only human. Our lives are but a blink of the eye.

Enough of the seriousness. YOLO, right!?

While I did have an emotional reaction to the Falls, they weren't the only thing I was reacting to. Let me guide you through my day at Niagara Falls through a photo blog.


Here I am nearing the waterfront.

OMG- There they are!

 And just to prove I was actually there....


So then I paid to go behind the Falls. I know, I'm a risk taker- what can I say? Aren't the ponchos adorable? They remind me of the shitty yellow ponchos from Disney. Except these were free. And you had to give them back at the end. That's kind of gross now that I think about it. 

Other idiots tourists in their ponchos.

Another selfie. You know what they say about selfies- you can never have too many.
Perfect shot.

There are some informational signs posted in the small tunnels behind the Falls. I stopped to read a few but then I got a little claustrophobic. I don't know if it was the idea that there were hundreds of thousands of gallons of water rushing over me at that moment or the pushy tourists that all smelled slightly of dankness and B.O. wrapped in yellow saran wrap that didn't give a shit about the idea of personal space that made me panic, but I didn't take the time to read all of the info. I did look at two of them, though.

The first outlined famous people that have been there.

Harry is unimpressed. "But Mummy, you said we would get to see boobs."

The second outlined people who have gone over the Falls. The first was a woman in 1901. She made the journey in a barrel with her cat. I immediately pictured doing this with Sophie and knew how the story would end. "Autopsy shows that woman was unharmed by actual trip over Falls, but clawed to death by the cat after they made the journey and were waiting for the rescue boat."

Annie Edson Taylor, the original cat lady.

Before I went, I did some research on Niagara Falls. Did you know that it's one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world!? Wow-wee. I was expecting to see some young lovers, but nothing could have prepared me for this:

This is just like a sex scene from gossip girls. A nice little clothes on romp in the grass.

I also bumped into a group of nuns who were nunning it up. I walked close to them for a while hoping for a bar or two of "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" but instead I just got to watch other people stare at them. Come on, y'all, it's just a bunch of nuns. It's not like you need to follow them and take pictures... 

On my way out, I had to check out the gift shop. It was packed full with all sorts of Canadian wildlife stuff- toy beavers, wood cut into the shape of wolves, moose things, and all of that nonsense. It also had banks for children that fit the "Niagara Falls Dinosaur Theme." Naturally.

I got excited when I saw the clever banks. EVERYONE CAN BE A SAVEASAURUS! EVEN ME, DINOBANK!? Wrong....

Screw you, then. I didn't want to save money anyway.

I left the gift shop disappointed in my non purchase and made my way back to my car. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the best part about Niagara Falls. It's a total Disneyworld/Vegas/beachinthesummer HAVETOENTERTAINTHEKIDS shit hole. The entire strip down to the beautiful natural wonder is covered with arcades, pizza joints, bowling alleys, and other places designed to be black holes for parents wallets. You literally had to kick the screaming kids out of the way.

Oh, you didn't have to kick them? My bad.

That boy has "I'm going to jail before the age of 23" written all over his face.

Before I made my grand exit, I stopped in one last shop hoping for a souvenir from the day (beyond the amazing selfies, of course). I was forced to leave empty handed because I couldn't choose between the clever t-shirts that epitomized Niagara Falls.