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Niagara Falls: NOT Your Grandmother’s Niagara Falls Experience

- Brianna Nema

When you think about Niagara Falls what comes to mind is peaceful scenery of cascading water. But when you get to experience the Falls head-on, that peaceful scenery is washed away. When my family and I first arrived in upstate New York at the Falls it was nothing like I had expected. Honestly, I had anticipated plainly looking out at the Falls gushing with water, taking some nice photographs, and then heading home. Of course I did do what I had originally planned; however it was twice as exciting than what I had imagined!

Upon arrival the first thing that caught my attention was the raging water. Fast and furious, this massive stream gushing with water was preparing for its voyage down over the steep cliffs. It was the sign that called out, “You are here!”

Alongside the stream was a well kept park. I had assumed that a weddings had just occurred, since I spied a group of women wearing matching white dresses. A wide road split the park with a merchandise jurisdiction. My family and I decided to stop by quickly for a bite to eat. Ignoring the Hard Rock Café, we went straight into the mall-like food court. Surprisingly, there was a potent aroma of Indian food. Personally, I love Indian cuisine and I found it humorous and memorable that so much of the food for sale was ethnically from the sub-continent.

After eating, we made our way towards the park. We went through a circular building, where we purchased our Niagara Falls “Maid of the Mist” boat ride tickets. Then, within seconds, I raced my younger brother down the hill to boat. It only took a couple of minutes for us to be ushered into the boat with the other tourists. Each one of us were given an over-sized blue poncho. I wondered why we needed this. I would find out soon enough.

Initially, the boat moved slowly. We saw spectacular scenery with the Falls in the approaching distance, beneath bright blue skies that matched the cerulean water, and I was grateful that I had brought along binoculars. I looked through to see all the details of the water spray and overhanging trees up-close. Nevertheless, as the motor chug-a-chugged on, we drove closer and closer to the Falls. The sky disappeared, replaced by mist and fog, and the rushing water roared louder than the boat itself. Cold droplets suddenly splashed everywhere, and the wind whipped.

I felt as if I was in an exciting storm. My brother, with drenched hair, water-spotted glasses, and sour-puss face, was crouched down in a tight ball. It was so foggy that the postcard image of the Falls could no longer be seen at all. Then, just as abruptly as the water-fall rains appeared, they vanished, as the boat returned to the dock and the brilliantly sunny skies.  We went back up to high ground via elevator, with our drenched hair, and we took more photos of the Falls from above.

All in all, it was a thrill to witness first-hand and take my own photographs of the energy and magnificence of Niagara Falls!

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