niagara falls

Tuesday, July 15

What the hey, let's go to Canada, is what was said about this last weekend. We were already going to be traveling in upstate New York with Tyson's parents, so we figured we'd just go all the way and check Niagara Falls off the ol' bucket list too. Now, here are the perks of aggressive weekend road-tripping when you're eight months pregnant. If you go with your in-laws, there are 6 extra hands besides your own to haul in and out of hotel rooms. If there are no queen/king sized beds left at your European-esque hotel, you get two, TWO, full sized beds instead. And this is great news for you and your six pillows. And if your in-laws happen to have a suburban, then you're in for a real treat because your husband will be sitting next to your two-year-old in the middle seat, taking care of snacks, games, and all other requests and exchanges, while you get the pillows and the entire backseat to yourself, for all of your adjusting and readjusting needs. And a book and a magazine. You get a book and magazine and hey, a nap too, like it's your very own personal 8-hour vacation.

After we checked-in to our hotel, Everett pulled himself up to the window and was absolutely thrilled watching the falls from a distance. We walked down to the view-decks and he watched all the boats going back and forth on the water and under the falls, and when we told him that we were going to ride on one the next morning, we heard of nothing except for that boat ride the rest of the day.

Niagara Falls in July feels like Virginia's version of a non-humid day in May. In other words, heaven. We spent the first afternoon walking around the city, grabbing some excellent fish and chips, and swimming at the hotel pool. And they had those little spa sample pack things, you know? With an essential oil spray that's supposed to make your pillows put you into the deepest beauty sleep of your life, and a cooling gel for making your pregnant legs, or "shopping legs" relaxed and soothed, etc. And these ones really worked, man. The next morning we got up early and felt like the only souls awake, walking the city streets to breakfast and then down to the docks. It was perfect. If you ever do the boat tour at the falls, I would highly highly recommend taking the off-hours tours in the morning. There were no lines, and only like two other families on the boat besides ours at 9am. The tour after ours at 9:30 was stuffed full.

So back to Everett and his excitement over this ride. That morning he woke up at 5:30, a new record, singing the ABC's and whispering, "Mama! Mama! Wake-up Mama! Let's ride the boat!" Turns out, the IDEA of going on a boat ride next to a big waterfall, and ACTUALLY going on a boat ride next to a big waterfall are two very different things. Getting on the boat was a majorly exciting moment. Looking at the water churning below as the boat started to move, was slightly less exciting. And getting closer and closer to the pounding falls was about the end of all excitement. He kept his head tucked under my neck for the whole trip, stunned into silence by the overwhelming experience of nature so up close and personal. When you get to horseshoe falls {the largest of the falls}, the boat stops for a few minutes and lets you just FEEL what is happening around you. The parts of us that were not under our ponchos got soaked. I wish I could have recorded the majesty of what it felt like to sit under the mist and wind and thunder of so much roaring water, but we kept our camera under our ponchos and took it in. It was beautiful, honestly. Just completely overwhelming. Everett felt a little less strongly about the beauty of the experience, but agreed about the overwhelming part. He kept totally silent, tucked under my arms, clutching his poncho hood to his head, only piping up every few minutes to say, "wanna go home." I felt reallllly bad, he was so brave. Back on solid ground though, he recovered quickly after finding a waterfall snow globe in the gift shop. He's completely mesmerized whenever he watches our iphone video of the experience, and now swears that the ride was both, "Sooooooo fun. And a little scary." Bout sums it up.
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I stopped to take a shot of the gardens that we were walking through, when my dear, sweet father-in-law wanted to make sure that he was included, jumping up and down, asking if he was in the shot yet. Am I in it now? How bout now? Can you see my head?
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After the boat ride, Nana and Papa took Everett back to the hotel room for some snacks, while Tyson and I walked up to the Niagara Sky Wheel for a view of the falls and the city. We hadn't originally planned on going alone, so it felt very spur-of-the-moment and awesome to get a little bit of alone time. We topped off our walk back to the hotel with a trip to the candy store to get rid of the last little bit of our Canadian bills. Very romantic and stuff, picking out Swedish fish together.
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