Niagara Falls

Recently, my family and I took a trip to Port Colborne, a small town west of Fort Erie, half-an-hour away from Niagara Falls. Due to the nature of the trip, it was only for a couple of days, we traveled most of the time in and out of the car, and in and out of hotel. When we finally got back home, my mind drifted back into the rhythm of everyday life. I thought, oh how I wanted to write about Niagara. So I did. Here is my Freedom Friday post about past trips to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

Before my wife and I got married, way before our engagement, we’d spent a lot of time in volunteer activities together for our church. Since we acted, sang and played in related theater troupes as well, our schedules were nearly identical. We didn’t have to wait long before we saw each other amid the hustle and bustle. There were always those in-between moments during a rehearsal, a gig or a run-through that we could chat. Of course, when you’re falling in love, every nanosecond of every day together just isn’t enough. One gorgeous May weekend we decided to take a daytrip to Niagara Falls. We played mini golf, watched an IMAX presentation of how The Falls came to be, and took goofy pictures of ourselves at one of those instant photo booths. We still have the pictures. And yes, we did dine, talk, hold hands, and all that other romantic stuff. It became our place where we discovered more existed between us than the performing arts.

View from the Penthouse
View from the Penthouse

Every few years after we got married, we’d return to Niagara Falls. Something good would always come from these trips. One time it was the decision to purchase a house. Another time we’d talked about how many kids we’d like to have. No matter when we took the trip, we’d come back refreshed and filled with hope for a planned future. If you’ve ever seen a couple in the back of a restaurant at The Falls writing on napkins—charts, graphs, timelines—that was us. We were the crazy folk who wanted to ensure our decisions were mutual. If one of us didn’t agree to an idea, we’d scrap it.

The latest trip took place a few autumns ago. With both kids in tow, we stayed in one of those incredible two-floor penthouse suites with a Fallsview and Jacuzzi. We managed to grab a deal on the room because off-season rates rule. Otherwise, no way we could have afforded it. The first thing, we walked to The Falls. Ever hear of that dark and stormy night? Well, we got caught in one of the worst storms to hit the Niagara region coming back. I don’t think we’ve gotten so soaked in all our lives. It was fun, though. When we arrived at the hotel, we changed, dried off and went for a warm meal at the restaurant downstairs. The place took me by surprise. The food was rather good at reasonable prices.

The remainder of our getaway consisted of taking in as many of the hundreds of attractions humanly possible. We enjoyed The Falls from the top of the SkyWheel, read the tombstones at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, played mini putt with aliens at Galaxy Golf, met the Joker and Michael Jackson at Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember but know we had fun doing. My wife and I also made one of our major life decisions during that trip, which proved to be one of the best decisions in our lives.

We’re still reaping the rewards.

Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? If so, what did you like about it? Did you know it’s the Honeymoon Capital of the World?

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Niagara Falls

  1. Niagra Falls holds a lot of childhood memories for me. I used to live in Buffalo, NY and we’d always take a weekend trip there. my favorite time of year was Christmas because they would decorate the park with lights and that mist would freeze on the branches of the trees. when they’d turn on the lights it was so beautiful.

  2. Nice article! My wife and I are planning to visit Niagra Falls this summer. I like this sentence that you wrote: “Something good would always come from these trips.”

  3. Niagara Falls is a great area. I love that your family returns there to make major decisions. The surrounding area (Niagara on the Lake, Stratford) also has good theatre. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. The Hubster and I are going to the Falls for the first time this May. We will actually be on the Canadian side, but we plan to do all the touristy things, like the Maids of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds. We’re both so excited!

  5. The view from the penthouse and some of the Falls views are awesome! And I love the storm shot. Believe me, if it was doable in a daytrip from here I’d be there!

    • Sandra,

      You will absolutely love the Canadian Side! Here are some of the fun places I’ve been that you might enjoy with the family. First thing you need to do though, if you’ll be going to the attractions on Clifton Hill, is grab a Fun Pass at the SkyWheel or online (http://www.cliftonhill.com/tickets). It’s a great deal. It gives you the option of choosing many of the attractions at discounted prices.

      Particularly on Clifton Hill, as I mentioned in my post, Louis Tussaud’s is the best wax museum at Niagara and I’ve been to them all. It’s a dual museum where past and current personalities reside upstairs while the basement is the horror floor. If you only take in one museum, make it this one. All the other attractions on Clifton Hill are pretty standard except for Galaxy Golf where you’re putt-putting in the dark (glow in the dark, that is). Very cool!

      Once you venture out of the Clifton Hill area, you can try this attraction on for size: The Niagara Falls Helicopter. It’s just that, a real helicopter ride. When I was on it, it took me to the Horseshoe Falls, turning at a forty-five degree angle, giving the impression you’re floating in mid-air. How cool is that?

      The Maid of the Mist ride is pretty awesome on the Canadian side, although I like the American version better. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. But the American side’s version takes the passengers right to the edge of The Falls, while the Canadian version…well, doesn’t. Food for thought.

      If you have some cash to burn for dinner, I suggest the Skylon Tower. The food is exceptional and the view is incredible at sunset. Also, the beauty of the tower is that it rotates as you’re enjoying your meal, which allows you a full 360-degree view of all Niagara!

      That’s all I can think of for now. If anything else pops into my mind, I’ll come back and write about it.

      Enjoy! 🙂

  6. The Falls are an incredibly romantic place, and it’s amazing to read about the tradition you and your wife have built there! I’ve been to Niagara with my family as a child, with friends in high school, and with my boyfriend and each time has been a unique experience. I think part of the fun in visiting somewhere like Niagara Falls is indulging in the silliness of the arcade games at the Midway, the wax museums or the haunted houses, or even the casinos simply because those are things you don’t get to experience often as an adult (casino excepted…). My favourite memory as a child is the butterfly conservatory though and as long as your children are able to be calm, and quiet I highly recommend it!

    • Ally, the butterfly conservatory is the one place I haven’t gone! Every time we go to Niagara we say we want to go but then we end up in the haunted houses, the arcade and the museums. Maybe this summer…keep your fingers crossed!

  7. I’ve been to Niagara Falls multiple times. When I was younger, it was with my mom on those crazy bus tours. In my 5 years with my boyfriend, we’ve gone on two summer vacations there and explored diff stuff each time, except maybe the Canadian Midway and the Falls 😉 We love it and its always a great backup plan: Fun, entertaining, relaxing and beautiful. We’ve been thinking of going back to do the wine route there eventually 🙂

    Great post!

  8. I definitely agree with the lady above. It was just so sweet and wonderful to read the love and respect you both share for each other.. A heavenly place !! I have heard, read about this much. Hope to see it someday 🙂
    Regards,

  9. You’ve written about Niagra Falls a couple of times. I must saw I was saying “Awwww” the whole entire time I read this story. You can definitely feel the love you have for your wife pouring from the pages. Its sweet that you two spent so much time up there planning out your lives. I hope one day I can find the love of my life and write so lovingly about them. You also make me want to go to Niagra Falls. It sounds like a really beautiful place. I’m always thinking of different places I would like to visit and this one sounds great. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story.

    • You’re welcome, Lakeshia, and thank you for the comment. As Mike said above, you’ll have to come over the Canadian side if you really want a treat experiencing the best of what The Falls has to offer!

  10. Took my kids (aged 4 and “almost!” 2) for a solo trip (the hubbie was working) last summer. I’d never been and wanted to go to Marineland ever since I was a kid. Had the time of our lives. My son – who’s NOT scared of heights (I AM!) – made me take them on the Skywheel. We were the ones sitting at the top during the 10 PM Friday night fireworks over the falls. It was AMAZING. What I liked best about Niagara Falls? Too hard! EVERYTHING!!! I’ve never done a solo road trip before, had a wonderful special time by myself with both my kids. I know my son and I will never forget it. We’re planning to go again this year – this time we’ll bring Daddy too…. We have LOTS and LOTS of attractions left to see there.

  11. Niagara Falls, a terrific place. I was stunned by the difference between the cities of Niagara Falls, NY (decaying) and Niagara Falls, Canada (vibrant). The Falls, amazing. Make sure you take the boat ride into the falls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s