Travelogue Part 5: Niagara Falls

img_5373Canada, eh? Alrighty then, now I’ve seen what that’s all aboot.

Well, I haven’t seen all of it but I have now added Canada to my short but growing list of countries visited as Scott and I took a drive from the Western shores of Lake Erie to the Eastern end where it drains down into Lake Ontario. And when we got there it was the Canadian side we stayed at, in the Embassy Suites hotel situated, unsurprisingly, on Fallsview Boulevard. And let me tell you, when you’re on the thirty-fourth floor and your window looks down upon all three of the falls it is breathtaking, even at night when you can only see the tumbling waters courtesy of an ever changing kaleidoscope of lighting projected onto what is one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

We ate an evening meal at an Outback just across the street from our hotel and took to our beds with contented bellies and excited brains. Those beds, by the way, were twin queen sized beauties situated in a room which is pretty much the size of my apartment back home if my kitchen were stripped out and knocked into the bathroom to accommodate a hot tub as well as the shower. My own shower does not have a setting that equates to napalming the flesh from your body, though. If you’re into that sort of skin-searing agony you might just tolerate it for more than the three milliseconds I managed before finding the turning the temperature way down option.

Having set no alarm we somehow both woke before dawn and were treated to possibly the most fantastic sunrise I’ve seen in my entire life. To attempt to do justice to that spectacle I have to resort to what I wrote in my journal later in the day:

Purple red and orange hues streaked the sky, kissed the waters and illuminated the constant clouds of spray, this time all lit up by Mother Nature, not from artificial lights. It’s an amazing sight, one I will remember my whole life and an amazing way to share birthday time with my best buddy in the world for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.*

Yes, it was Scott’s birthday and yes, because he’s spent over half his life living in America this is, I believe, the first time I’ve been able to be in his company on his birthday since we shared a house together in the late 1980s. We went down to the falls after a delightful breakfast, took some photographs, marvelled at the sheer scale of the phenomenon of this wondrous sight before us, then headed for the car before my silly lungs decided to freeze up in the cold air of what was actually a mild day for February in Ontario.

The whole trip was a blast, a blessing and yet another tonic for my soul, one which saw me double the amount of America states I’ve been in now with Pennsylvania and New York State being part of the route. I am fortunate indeed to be here having my old man’s adventure, to be doing so with my greatest friend, and to also be bathed in the company of his giant-hearted wife, Kari, who was prepared to sacrifice much of her husband’s birthday in order for him to road trip out of the country for a day with me. We did go out for a meal in the evening so she had some time with her man, but what a special human being she is – the entire trip was her suggestion in the first place.

I love these people. Just thinking about how kind and welcoming they are to this wayward soul who has come to stay with them twice now brings tears of joy to my eyes as I write. So I’ll stop writing for now and let the happiness leak out of me some more.

*slightly tweaked to make it seem like my journal contains better grammar than it sometimes does.

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