82. Niagara Falls
As we had so much time in New York City, we thought we could afford to leave for a couple of days to head up north. We booked a ridiculously early flight up to Buffalo, picked up our pre-booked rental car (from a rude, unhelpful, you're-wrong-we're-right company that kept us waiting over an hour with no ounce of remorse) and took off to experience the beauty that is Niagara Falls.
Danny had misplaced his driver's licence somewhere along the trip so I was the designated driver. Lucky me. I had experience driving on the right-hand side of the road after our adventures through Europe, but on that trip we were in a British car (i.e. the steering wheel was on the right). In this car it was on the left. Plus it was a manual, which I hadn't driven since Europe, and the gear stick was in an unfamiliar location. I also couldn't get used to the rear-view mirror, continually looking for it on the left instead of the right. It was hard work, and I often drifted to the right side of the lane. Thankfully Niagara Falls were only 30 minutes away.
We found a car park easily on the American side, and set off to see these hyped up falls. The hype was real - they were spectacular. The amount of water coming each waterfall was mind-boggling. I was in a trance, running around from viewpoint to viewpoint to see them from every angle. Danny wasn't quite on the same page, and left me after a couple of hours to do his own thing. Here's a summary of my day:
Views of American falls
Maid of the Mist boat tour
Wander around Luna and Goat Islands
Ate the biggest small-sized ice cream in the world (my first encounter with super-sized American food)
Walk across the bridge to Canada
Views of all three falls
Up Skylon tower for a different angle of the falls
Back to the USA
All of this took me seven hours. I couldn't remember if I ate lunch or not. I seriously think I took over a thousand photos.
I met Danny at the car, who had found some wine tastings at a store (of course), so off we went to check that out. It ended up being ice wine, a popular variety in Canada. It was overly sweet, which was okay in small doses but not worthy of buying a whole bottle. Afterwards we found a simple Indian restaurant for dinner, chowing down on a tasty thali. I forgot how much I loved Indian food.
Once dinner was over we drove over to Canada, having a great old chat to the immigration officer. They must get really bored in their jobs. We parked and headed back to the falls, ready to see them lit up at night. As it was summer we had to wait until after 9pm before it was dark enough to see the coloured lights shining on the water. The changing patterns captivated me as I sprinted up and down the viewing area, looking for the best viewpoints. It seemed silly that something so trivial and cheesy held my attention for so long. I wanted to stay all night but Danny dragged me away, reminding me that we still had a 90 minute drive to Toronto where we had booked accommodation for the night. Reluctantly, I said goodbye to Niagara, glad that we had made the decision to venture up here.