Playing Tourist In My Own Backyard

K.'s birthday was last month, and I told him I wanted to take him on the Maid of the Mist ride down at the Falls. He mentioned months and months ago how he'd never been on it, and of course, the light bulb in my head went off! So Tuesday evening when were on the phone, I mentioned that the weather was going to be nice yesterday and then not so much the rest of the week. He decided to take a half day off of work, and came here so I could take him downtown. I was very excited! I have been on the Maid of the Mist ride twice, but the last time I was on it was 18 years ago! So I was excited for both of us to be going!

I drove downtown and found a parking spot that was a bit of a walk from where we needed to go. I just didn't want to pay for the parking lots that surrounded so much of the area down there, and besides, I needed to walk! We got near the Observation Tower, which is where you have to go to take the long elevator down to the dock for the boat. Here are some views from the top of the Tower!

After taking the elevator down, you go near the ramps that lead to the Maid of the Mist boat, and you are handed a lovely blue Maid of the Mist poncho/raincoat that you wear while on the tour. Of course, I did see a few people who never put it on, but I knew how wet we'd be getting, so I put mine on!

Shortly after donning the raincoat, we began to board the boat!

Our particular boat ride wasn't totally jam-packed like it can be, but I think it may have just been the time of day and the fact we were on it in the middle of the week. We went up to the top of it, and found a nice spot to stand. Not too long after, we were off! Here are some shots of the American Falls! My camera ended up getting quite waterlogged since we were getting so wet from the mist and the water from the Falls, so some pics look a little blurry. Sorry about that, but there wasn't much I could do with the power of nature! lol

The American Falls really got us wet, I mean to the point where I couldn't open my eyes for a few minutes because water was dripping down my face!! But after we passed them, things started to get better. And then we were facing the Horseshoe Falls!! 

The boat actually stays right at the Horseshoe Falls for about 5 minutes or so, and it's just the most amazing feeling ever being so close to such a powerful display of nature. I'm sure I am not the first to ever feel this way, but whenever I am at the Falls, I just feel such a closeness to God. I am in awe of the beauty and the force of the Falls, and I know that the only way the Falls could be there is because of Him. To me, it's awe-inspiring!

Anyway, the boat eventually turned around and started heading back toward the dock. We passed by the American Falls again, but didn't get as wet this time. I think we weren't as close to it! But we did pass by another boat that was heading toward the Horseshoe Falls, and you realize exactly how close you get to the Falls by seeing the boat!
We got back to the dock and waited for most of the passengers to get off the boat before we went down the stairs and exited, too. It was a great ride, and such a wonderful experience! K. really loved it, and he was so surprised at how close we got to the Horseshoe Falls. I reminded him that I did say we get up close and personal!! lol  We walked around at the base of the Observation Tower, where there's a very long set of stairs you can climb to get right next to the American Falls. I didn't have the energy to go up all the steps, but I told K. to do so since we were right there! And he did! He said it was so much more windier and wetter than when we went by it on the boat. He was pretty amazed! 

After drying off a bit, and removing our raincoats (we both decided to keep them for later use!), we started going back into the Observation Tower to take the elevator back up. But before we did, K. took this very cool shot of the tower from below!
We walked around the park for a bit longer before heading back to the car. I also drove to Goat Island, another area to view the Falls, but we didn't pay for parking (I can't justify $10, I wish the locals didn't have to pay that much!!). I did find one area near what's called Three Sisters Island that I could park for 20 minutes, so we did that and explored for a short time before heading home! Here are some random pics from the rest of our experience in playing tourists!! lol


sunshine said…
How cool, brings back memories, I've been on the MOTM twice as well! Looks like you had a great time :)
N said…
Just a little tidbit, the other parking lot on goat island is always free :)
Teddybear said…
From your great pictures you took, it looks like you guys had a wonderful time. I am glad you and K got to enjoy this experience together.

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