Magnificant Niagara Falls

Welcome to the travelogue of our pre-baby trip. There are far too many pictures to put in one post so I will spread the content out into a few episodes. Baby Li will be a character in the stories; afterall, I did feel movement for the first time at my uncle and aunt’s house in Toronto. Unlike the previous few posts, however, baby and my pregnancy will not be the main star or challenge in the show. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break. There were moments when we didn’t know if the plane would have to leave without us while I had an IV stuck in my arm (see previous posts) or if our plane would be rerouted due to ice storms. If we had planned our trip one or two weeks earlier that would have been the case. Thank God we made it and as I am writing this we are flying to New York with sunny puke-free days in Ontario happily in our history.

One day after we arrived in Toronto, hugged family and had a delicious dinner in Cabbagetown, Forest and I hopped on a bus to Niagara Falls. I was saved from vomiting on the two hour trip by sucking on sour keys. (Thanks for the tip Heather!) I have to admit it felt quite pleasurable to actually need candy like medicine.

I have learned not to have too high expectations of experiences for risk of being disappointed. While the Falls were not the most mind blowing beauty I have seen (especially the American side- O 🇨🇦) they certainly were magnificent… and we had one day to see them before the fog descended. I lay on our bed in the hotel and just stared out the window.

The ice storm that hit Ontario did not stop our trip but it did delay the opening of the Maid of the Mist boat extravaganza journey up to and behind the falls. I have never embarked on such a journey so I didn’t really know what I was missing. Forest had experienced the cruise and did know what he was missing. It wasn’t until we scored $25 passes for the behind-the-Falls tunnels, the butterfly place, a 4d Falls simulation and bus pass that his sunny smile returned. It was a plan B but a good one. We will just have to go back for the boat. The boat that saved a little kid’s life. A 6 or 7 year old kid who was the only survivor to fall over the falls and he managed to get away without major injuries. He fell from his boat at the top of the falls with only his swim suit and a life jacket and the maid of the mist crew happened to see him at the bottom and pick him up. That was one of the many story signs along the tunnels.

In my ideal world, the falls would still be surrounded by nature protected by Park rights and have a camp site nearby. Seeing this wonder of nature surrounded by a glut of hotels, casinos and souvenir shops reminded me of seeing a caged animal in a zoo. Something just wasn’t right. Of course, I enjoyed the luxury of my hotel jacuzzi tub, picture window view and Starbucks smoothie but I also would have enjoyed listening to the roar of the falls while sitting by a campfire beside my tent or trailer. In the summer sometime.

Since getting married, I have been to Hawaii, Shanghai and now am adding two more major destinations to the list. My city girl heart loves the lights and bustle and fancy food and cushy beds and airline movies. I will have tales to tell about Broadway and the CN tower. And I feel incredibly blessed to have these opportunities. Living the dream as one friend said.

My island girl heart is already anticipating CFO camp on Vancouver island this summer. Swimming in the river and walking barefoot in the grass. And I am pretty sure that I will be telling my friends there how wonderful and exciting my city trips were. One world helps me appreciate the other. Niagara Falls has a bit of both. My hope and prayer is that in building up one we will be wise enough to preserve and protect the other for generations to come.

Next post: Beautiful Butterflies…

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