We’ve been planning this trip for several years now. In fact, we were supposed to go last year, but Beth was in a “cry-about-absolutely-everything” phase and neither Eric nor I could bear the thought of being cooped up in a tiny little hotel room with her for days on end. So we postponed a year and I think it was the right decision since we had a great time. I am the only person who has been to Niagara Falls before, and that was the summer of 1986, I think. So it’s been almost 20 years.
We left home on Sun, June 14th, just two days after school ended. First stop was Mom & Dad’s. Since they are situated between our house and Niagara Falls, it made sense to break up the trip. So we spent a few days there, just relaxing. On Wed morning, we headed for the Falls. From Mom & Dad’s it’s only a 4 hours trip.
First stop: The Cave of the Winds Tour in Niagara Falls State park, on the American side. This tour is just amazing. I did it as a kid, and it’s still amazing. You get right down into the falls. First you go into the building and get your sandals and poncho. Then you take an elevator 175 feet down solid rock and then walk through a tunnel to get back outside. You then walk along a wooden walkway right up next to (& into) the Bridal Veil Falls. At first Jenna wasn’t going to go up on the Hurricane Deck with us, but she changed her mind. I will post pictures, but that’s going to be another post in itself. 🙂 (And I haven’t had time to upload the pictures yet.) Everyone loved this tour and was amazed by the size and force of the Falls.
After that we walked along some of the trails on Goat Island, and stood in the middle of the American Falls.
From there we took our soggy selves (because those ponchos definitely don’t catch all the water!) back into the van for the trip across the Rainbow Bridge and into Canada. I booked a hotel on the Canadian side just so we could all say we slept in another country. 🙂 Of course this also involved getting passports for 5 people all the same year! Before we left, I had heard that getting back and forth across that bridge can potentially take hours, so I didn’t want to do it more than we had to. Thus we hit the American side first. But it ended up taking us less than an hour to get from Goat Island to our hotel.
We relaxed for a little while, then headed for the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, which was attached to the hotel. I knew the kids would get bored with the sightseeing, so I booked a hotel with a waterpark so they we would have that as an option to kill time. Plus, if it rained one day (which it did), we had something to do. It turned out to be a really nice waterpark. They measured both kid’s height as soon as we got there, and gave them wristbands indicating what they were allowed to ride. Which turned out to be anything except the two mat slides. Alex actually was only about an inch short for those. He didn’t care. Beth did the wave pool and walked around the Beach House play area with me, while Alex went down the small waterslides in the play area and did the wave pool with Daddy. Jenna headed for the serenity of the outdoor pool (& sun!). We spent a couple of hours there.
I’m sure when I start reviewing pictures, I’ll remember more from that first day, but that’s all I’ve got for now.