Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Traveling through New York state was surreal for me. It was not unlike much of rural Canada. Roads snaking through small towns with diners and farm equipment dealers. We did hear a really thick New Jersey accent emanating from a hair-slicked back gentleman in an older cadillac with his bouffant touting companion powdering her nose (who does that anymore??) and attempting to apply lipstick on the ferry jaunt to Essex. We wanted to record his voice as it sounded out of a movie.

We press on and now head north to Niagara Falls.

Nothing could have prepared me for Niagara. Well...actually - perhaps pictures of the city could have - because when we arrive at Clifton Hill parking lot the kitch began with the dinosaurs and putting green and continued through streets of Las Vegas like attractions. I had only ever seen the falls themselves in photos. They are breathtaking, spectacular and a wonder to behold. I had no idea they were part of the theme-park. The juxtaposition could not have been more apparent.

The mist rising on the rushing cascade...the immeasurable beauty of nature in sight and sound was magnificent. Built around this wonder are spectacles so wacky and absurd, like an amusement park, I am unsettled.

The discordance disturbs me. We sure know how to wreck a place. As if the falls themselves needed something else to lure tourists. Meanwhile Norman is enjoying this to the max. He loves the cheese and tucks into tourist shops and magic stores. Although bloated in the cheese, I should clarify the falls are the highlight for him too and the boat ride around them is perfect.

We stayed in Niagara on the Lake...very touristy and with just the right amount of trendy gluten-free bakeries, bistros and organic markets to entice the tap of the debit and visa cards.

The town itself is bustling with people and although we are minutes away from one of the most amazing wonders I have ever seen, most seem preoccupied with finding the right t-shirt or taking a selfie with the horse-drawn carriage or the manicured hanging baskets in the background.

We experience our second rain-storm on the way from the falls on our last night and I am grateful that we have not needed rain-gear after Calgary.

No more words needed. This is tucked in my heart and the last picture of the most amazing journey.

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