Welcome back to Part 2 of our Canadian escapades! If you’re just tuning in, we have learned thus far that Stephanie and Kyle’s hotel room is NOT as skanky as it appeared, and is in fact the sort of room that one would want to stay in with a person one likes to be naked with. Just down the street from this love nest, on the way to the falls, is the world’s skankiest tourist trap ever spawned. Did Kyle and Stephanie ever leave their sexy hotel room and wade their way through the cesspool of skank to get to the falls?
Just down the street from all the skank and jank that was the Niagara Falls tourist area was the falls themselves. Sitting in stark contrast, the cheap man-made monstrosity juxtaposed with the awe-inspiring wonder of nature’s power.
They were head-explodingly beautiful.
We spent a lot of time by the falls admiring them and shamelessly taking pictures, both during the day and the night. They were just as majestic as you’d imagine them to be, never ending mist and thunder and power. Amazing. To think of the combination of power and time that it took for their creation to occur naturally, without help or guidance from man, takes my breath away.
But my favorite part of the falls, hands down, weren’t the falls at all, but the lights that lit them at night.
Kyle and I were fascinated by them. They’re enormous Xenon fixtures, and the shot they make goes all the way across the gorge to the falls.
It has to be a mile and a half, and the fact that the light can travel that far and still illuminate the water is vaguely mind-boggling. They have different colored glass plates that slide down in front of the lights to color them, and they change the colors up every 15 minutes or so.
But equally beautiful is the breathtakingly beautiful way the light catches the mist.
The mist from the falls makes a perfect haze that reflects and swirls in a way that smoke cannot, and it holds the beam beautifully. Looking up against the dark sky it looks like the Northern Lights; we even saw a rainbow in the lit mist.
It was gorgeous, just so fucking gorgeous.
Being in the off-season, many of the attractions related to the falls (like the Maid of the Mist) were shut down for the season, but a few of them were still open. We were really interested in doing the Behind the Falls walk, but first we thought we’d check out an attraction called Fury of the Falls. This would later turn out to be a bad choice on our part. Turns out it was one of those “4D” movies where they blow air in your face and jab your seat back to make you feel like you’re part of the movie, except actually all they do is piss me off. Only this one, being about Niagara Falls, makes you feel like you’re part of the movie by dumping fucking water on your head. I shit you not, at multiple points during the 5 minute film water rained down on our heads. And those flimsy little ponchos they gave us? (That should have been my first hind that this was nothing I wanted to be a part of.) Didn’t do shit to keep my socks dry. Look, I can stand a lot of physical discomfort, (See: Running a Half Marathon,) but I cannot tolerate wet socks. Nothing, not even hunger, will turn be into Super Bitch faster than having to walk around in wet socks. So it’s somewhat of an understatement when I say that I was not amused by the Fury of the Falls and their motherfucking waterfall.
Behind the Falls, on the other hand, was fucking awesome.
I have to confess, I wasn’t eager to take part in this attraction. It started by them handing us ponchos, (RED FLAG!) and seeing as my socks were still leaving puddles of Fury of the Falls water I was not particularly eager to submit myself to more hydro-torture. Add to my socks-related discomfort a rumbling stomach and I may or may not have been suffering from severe crankiness. (I was.) But Kyle really wanted to do it, so I donned my fucking ugly-ass poncho and kept my mouth shut. (Mostly.) And holy balls, am I glad I did.They take you down 150′ or so and you walk down these tunnels that let out right behind the falls.
The noise is deafening, and endless water plummeted past the opening. It was almost impossible to wrap my mind around, let alone photograph. There was an outdoor platform for that, though, that was right in the armpit of the falls.
Being so close to the power of the water rushing by was thrilling, and the mist created a perfect permanent rainbow suspended in the light. It was so, so gorgeous.
And to cap it all off was a very sweet anniversary dinner at an adorable French bistro. The food was bonkers. (Seriously, everything should be confit-ed. EVERYTHING.) Again, being the off season, things were a bit slow, and for a time we were the only ones in the restaurant, but instead of being awkward, it was cozy and romantic. (Well, I tried to make it romantic. Kyle doesn’t do romance very well. But I made him hold my hand and I didn’t call him “buttmunch” all night, so that’s something.) The waitstaff was very charming, and when they found out we were celebrating an anniversary they spoke to the chef, who made us a special off-the-menu crepe to celebrate. And holy fucking salty balls, it was glorious. I don’t know if there’s a heaven or if I’ll be allowed in, but if there is and I am, I hope I’ll get to spend eternity doing nothing but eating that cinnamon-caramel-apple-praline orgasm of a crepe.
Driving back home I took a look at my calender and cringed. The entire month of November was and is nothing but work with this trip and Thanksgiving in St Louis wedged in there somewhere. I can count the number of days this month that won’t be spent working or traveling on one hand with digits to spare. And when I look at the insanity of our schedule, I suppose the argument could be made that those three days would have been better spent at home. Our dirty laundry pile is so mountainous that we’re selling season ski passes, I’m pretty sure our kitchen sink has spawned three new species, and I’m uncertain as of yet when exactly I’m going to sleep. But looking back at those three days with Kyle in Niagara Falls, I know that I would make the same poor decision again. I’ll gladly sacrifice the sleep, the neat kitchen, and the clean pants for that time we spent together by the falls.