Cross Country Day 1

All day I have been thinking about what clever things I can write to you about the first day of our family’s cross country road trip. Yet here I am with one thing to say: I am exhausted. Completely, totally, bone-deep exhausted. I am not complaining, but just telling the honest truth. Planning for this trip has taken over a year, although most of the credit for that goes to my husband, Doug. The last 2 months, however, have been a life lived at maximum capacity for all of us. Who knew how difficult it would be to prepare four lives for a 32 day road trip? Not me.

Exhausted or not, the train (actually, our 2000 Toyota Avalon) left today – packed full of, well, whatever we could fit,really. We drove 7 hours and 400 some-odd miles to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. After checking into our hotel – which is, of course, under construction and, unless you want to pay $20/day plus tip for valet parking, you must park across the street and wheel/carry all your luggage the long way around the construction zone – we walked down the big hill to the falls. And oh are they amazing! Doug and I were here 17 years ago, when I was pregnant with Jacquelyn, but the girls have never seen the falls before. What a treat to watch their eyes widen as they ran up to the fence and leaned over the edge to get a better view. For about $50.00, we took a walk behind the waterfall. To do this we took an elevator down several stories into the earth until we reached waterfall level. Then we walked through various tunnels to experience different aspects of the waterfall. The first one took us out onto a deck of sorts, just below and to the right of horseshoe falls. We were so close to the cascading water that they passed out ponchos in the elevator to keep us dry – and yes, everyone put them on..together…in the crowded elevator. The next two tunnel took us to different viewing portals which were about 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide, and through it we could see the waterfall from the inside. Raging, white water so thick you could see nothing else. Pretty awesome!

The wildest part for me was the noise. As we walked through the tunnels, there was no escaping the reality that we were underneath millions upon millions of gallons of water fiercly eroding the very earth we were walking through. In fact, at one of the portals the front edge of the wall had lost about a foot of stone and there was loose rock in the tunnel. Yeah. I give myself a gold medal for not having a panic attack.

Well, that was the highlight of our day for sure. Oh, and we did get to see the Niagara Falls rainbow which happens when the sun shines on the mist over horseshoe falls! We then walked back up the hill (the smartest of you saw that coming) to have dinner and go for a swim. (I took a nap, Doug and the kids swam.) Only to walk back down the hill at 9:30 to see the falls illuminated in a rainbow of color and walk back up one last time. The colors were pretty but you are right, Mom, it’s not the same as colored water!

Now it is time for bed. Love and miss you all. Nichole

© Nichole Liza Q.

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