Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Niagara Falls Part 2

**Read Part 1**

Saturday morning we got loaded up and out of lodging by 11 am and headed straight for the border. We weren't completely sure if we would be allowed into Canada since Alanna did not have a passport. I did plenty of checking online before we left and talked with some people and was basically told that a child under 10 can leave and enter the country with a birth certificate and parent approval.

We did not wait long to cross over and our border patrol guy was pretty nice and we joked with him nearly the whole time.
We drove along the main road and found parking near the Visitor's Center -- costing twice as much as the US side did! We ate our lunch in a nice grassy picnic area near our parking and gazed at the Niagara River. Will and Alanna had fun feeding the seagulls their left overs.
Then we began our trek.

And this is why I say the American side was better than the Canadian side: on the Canadian side there is a rock wall with safety barrier above it, a side walk... and then the street! On the other side of the street is the beginning of the hotels and casinos and other commercialized tourism stuff. It seemed very overwhelming to me. BUT -- Canada definitely has the better views!

The edge of Horseshoe Falls and the spray. The spray is actually the first thing you see from either side of the falls when you get close to the parks.
Horseshoe Falls
American Falls
We didn't check out the Visitor's Center at all, we just began walking along the path, taking pictures and having fun just being together. Well, sort of. Will only wanted to ride in the stroller and Lana (who didn't want to be in the stroller) was refusing to walk so Ryan carried her for large portions of our long walk. We stopped frequently.
Once we reached the "end" of the walk we stopped to check out the souvenir shops to pick up a few items... then headed back to the car. There were more things to do over there but we'd already done the boat ride and Traveling Behind the Falls tour was not exactly little-kid friendly. We were satisfied.
We tried to head out from the Falls to travel back to the States over a different bridge (Whirlpool Bridge) but we were unsuccessful. Instead we had a nice little country drive. We saw some beautiful houses overlooking the river and passed Chippawa Battlefield Park. The best part of not finding the bridge was that we had to head back to the falls to cross at Rainbow Bridge and in the process we were able to catch sight of a rainbow -- an everyday occurrence there that we had so far been unable to witness.
With no difficulty at all we crossed back into America.
Once we were back on the American side we went for more tourist stuff... but we were running out of time before they closed. We stopped at the Discovery Center first. There was construction all around it and kind of hectic at the front. Trying to overhear other people I assumed this linked to the Aquarium too. So we paid our $6 and headed for a bathroom break. Then we began to walk through only to see that it was all about fossils and dirt and that sort of stuff... and it was then we learned that the Aquarium was not here, it was over a land bridge behind the building, and would be closing in about 25 minutes. Ugh. We hurried out and over the bridge and paid to get into the Aquarium.

The final Sea Lion Show was about to start so we browsed some of the tanks and watched the Sea Lions perform. In reality the Aquarium was not very big or spectacular, but the kids had fun there.
From there we went back into the town of Niagara Falls to have dinner before exploring our final leg of Niagara Falls -- Goat Island and Illumination!


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2 comments:

  1. Your pictures are glorious! I love them! I really want to visit Niagara Falls now. I am so glad you got to see this majestic part of God's creation. Miss you!

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  2. Very beautiful pics Sierra, your blog reminds me my last year Niagara Falls trip. its really one of worlds best tourist destination. Maid of the Mist boat ride was really adventurous experience for me.

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