Monday, April 21, 2008

Niagara Falls!

I finally made it! It only took me 8 years to get there...

We had been given a gift certificate from FamilyLife to attend one of their Weekend to Remember conferences this year. It was a generous gift from FamilyLife to all MOPS Int'l field leaders at convention in September. What a gift! They wanted to partner with MOPS to build stronger marriages and we were all delighted to receive such a gift! We'd been to one six years ago so we went as alumni. Of all the locations Dan could have chosen (he was left in charge since he was going to arrange with his parents to take of our four wonderful children), he chose the Buffalo site so he could take me to see The Falls.

Hey...they asked us to take their picture first!

The horseshoe falls- man that mist was in the could hardly see the falls behind it! While in Canada we walked around a lot, had lunch at Quizno's and either the soda boy couldn't fix the fountain or Canadians like their soda flat... either way the Coke was a disappointment!

The American Falls- those giant boulder looking things are HUGE blocks of ice

We took the Journey Behind the Falls and it was cold and loud! But very cool. You walk about a third of the way across the horseshoe falls and can walk out in portals closer to the edge of the waterfall. I have to say I did not imagine it like it really is. Somehow I guess I thought it was safe just to have a giant ledge that you could walk across the whole way. Crazy, huh?

Dan told me to look cold...that didn't take much effort, but in my defense (of my goofy look) you have NO idea how long it took him to get the waterfall in focus while I stood there freezing and getting just a little wet!

This was from the edge of the upperdeck at the base of the Canadian falls

We didn't take the Aero Car...I wasn't up for a ride like that, but we were both glad to see the whirlpool. All that white stuff is ice and man does is truck right around in a big circle down there- wild.

AAAhhhh back in the US! I'm glad I made turns out that Dan grabbed the wrong document and instead of my birth certificate he brought my certificate of completion of driver's ed from high school!!!! We didn't know this until we were in line at customs and I was gathering documents. After some questioning and delay...I was allowed back into the country. American soil never look so good!! We decided not to go back the next night as planned. We were going to sit and eat expensive food and look at the falls all lit wasn't until the following afternoon that we found out the falls aren't lit until May. That would have been something. Maybe I just finally need to get a passport!

See those big striated blocks down there? From the other side we thought they were rocks, but close up you can see they are giant blocks of ice. How cool is that? We spent a lot of time watching chunks of ice that had flowed from Lake Erie go over both falls! It was fun to see them bob down and spill over. We were both surprised at how warm it was outside- over 70 degrees and to see ice on the river still. The temperature dropped at least 20 degrees as you got closer to the river's edge.

The brink of the American Falls

So, I did it! I finally made it to Niagara Falls. Overall, it was great. Who doesn't love a waterfall? Where we live, waterfalls are an extremely common occurrence, but there is still a sense of awe at all that power coming over the edge when you look at Niagara Falls. We had read an awful lot about the power generated from the river when we did our LEGO FIRST project this year. It was great to see it in person.

But, I have to add that although the Horseshoe Falls were spectacular, I really preferred the American side of the falls. The only thing I found disappointing about Niagara Falls in general was the city right up against this natural landmark. It was a bummer. I really felt like we as a people should have done a better job preserving the natural beauty of the area which is why I really enjoyed the American side. Most people look at it and think there's nothing to do. I looked at it and thought that a State Park was the perfect way to view the falls. A state park setting is just how you would imagine something like a big waterfall to have next to it.

Oh yes...a few comments on the marriage conference. If you haven't been to one, take the time! It was refreshing not only to be away from our regular responsibilities but to focus on each other and our relationship. On Saturday night they give you a date night and since we decided not to go back to Canada, we ate at a local fish place that was superb (if you have a Bonefish Grill nearby GO there!!) and spent the rest of the night at Dave and Busters where we played many miserable games of Skeeball (I've never played so bad) and some really crazy games of air hockey. We need an air hockey table in our house so I could take on the world! Anyway, there is only good that can come from time spent with each other and it was well worth it for us. So, thanks to my inlaws for taking some time to play with the grandkids for a few days. J2 is still getting over the experience, but I think he's going to be ok!


Lynn said...

Heather, looks like a great trip!! I am so glad you and your dear husband got away like that and then back home safely.

Lynn ~:-D

Your dh said...

Nice pictures! Who does your photography?

Heather said...

I love you Dan!

Alana - The Mommy said...

Very nice Heather. So glad you and Danny Dubya got away for some fun. The pictures are great! You really looked cold. And Dan really looked like it was loud....LOL!

Alana - The Mommy said...

Very nice Heather. So glad you and Danny Dubya got away for some fun. The pictures are great! You really looked cold. And Dan really looked like it was loud....LOL!

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you would post pictures. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time and finally had a chance to see the falls! If you get a chance to come this way again, let me know so we can try to get together. I completely agree about city of NF. It's pretty scary, isn't it? It is disappointing.

deleise said...

Very cool! We are going to a weekend to remember in June.

Anonymous said...

Hey it's me...Michele. Your email link does work. Pics look awesome. Glad you had a great time!