Thursday, September 20, 2012

Niagara Falls Part 3

** Part 1 **
** Part 2 **

After dinner on Saturday, as evening drew on we headed back to the American side of Niagara Falls State Park. This time we crossed over the bridge onto Goat Island. There is also a pedestrian bridge to the Island as well as a pedestrian bridge to Three Sisters Islands beside it. Goat Island separates the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls from Horseshoe Falls.

We again walked along paved paths along a sloping grassy area surrounded by trees and bordered by the Niagara River rapids to head down to the viewing area of Horseshoe Falls.

This was a VERY misty/water spray area. It felt like it was raining. There were a lot of people pressing up against the railings and, really, the railings were not very child safe -- there were huge gaps between the bars and no other safety precautions to the raging water and enormous drop off to the bottom of the falls. So, Ryan took them off to another area nearby where he and the kids chased each other around.
From there we went back up the hill, passing the Top of the Falls Restaurant, to the overlook of the American Falls and Luna Island (separates American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls).
Luna Island was closed for the season and it looks like they are doing some pretty big renovations to it. This area is also where the entrance to the Cave of the Winds Trip. We did not do that either since it was unsafe for little ones. It brings you closest to the falls and you have to wear special sandals and yellow ponchos to walk along the wooden walkways to Hurricane Deck. The spray is intense and everything is wet!

Anyway, we were all in good spirits and headed into the souvenir shop where both kids picked out a stuff animal. By the time we got out the sun had set and we were just waiting for the Illumination to start up.

Illumination is fantastic and dynamic and I can only imagine how gorgeous it looks from the Canadian side. Every night they light up the falls in a variety of colors. It makes these beautiful falls look even more majestic. Absolutely fabulous! I wish our views were better, but I was content.
it's very hard to see because of the spray, but the other side of Horseshoe Falls is purple, red, and green
After gazing for some time we headed back to the car and returned to lodging for the night.

Sunday morning we packed up everything and began our 6-hour drive back to Ohio. The kids were great in the car and we didn't have to stop very much. There was no traffic to speak of either.
 The two best parts of the drive for me were the beautiful trees along the road and one specific rest stop.

Fall is coming on us like a freight train and the trees beginning to change color were a constant reminder. Coming from the Pacific Northwest where everything stays green and then New Mexico where things turn bright yellow/orange then fall off the trees... this was a lovely sight.
And that rest stop I spoke of was just over the border in Pennsylvania. It is surrounded by vineyards. Once I got out of the car I was immediately blessed with the scented breeze of sweet grapes. It was here we stopped and ate our lunch and Ryan ran the kids ragged, racing up and down a hill. The grape vines were growing along the fence so I showed the kids where grapes come from. We also had a view of Lake Erie from the top of the hill.
 
We finally returned home happy and tired.
It was a great trip and I'm so very glad we went on it. Turns out this was probably the best time of year to go as the huge crowds were gone, it was not hot and humid, and it had not turned cold yet. We experienced one afternoon of hard rain. Sweatshirts or a light jacket were all that was needed in the evening.

I feel very happy to have experienced one of our Nation's Treasures and would love to go again someday in the future.


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1 comment:

  1. Awesome pics Sierra specially i like kids sleeping one. Your blog reminds me my last year Niagara Falls trip, falling view of horseshoe water fall was really magical view i ever seen and Maid of the Mist boat ride was most adventurous for us.

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