Saturday, July 07, 2007

Trip Day the fourth: in which weather changes faster then my mind.

The mourning dove is following me.
All around my jog.
Outside my window.
Wretched thing...

"I'm sorry, we don't accept Interac."
"What? But, you're a Tim Horten's!"
After obtaining breakfast elsewhere, we depart for Niagara Falls.

It's a long trip there, but full of fabulous scenery; an "inconvenience store", old barns, animals, forest. Our first stop, Lake Colbourne, is so rainy the windshield wipers can't even keep up. I wonder, vaguely, if we'll be flooded. Then, in the blink of an eye, it stops. Halfway up a hill, we break into clear skies, with only the soaked car to remind us of the deluge. The water and sandy beach are soothing and there's even a honest-to-goodness lighthouse, with a sign showing "No diving, no swimming," and a blank "No" circle which I assume means, "No nothing". Never the less, we terrorize some seagulls, glad to be out and running. After trying, warily, some "Perch burgers" we drive along the Niagara river to the falls. The buildings along the trail are huge, some so old they still have places for carriages to park. Donna drops us at a point near the falls, and leaves to find parking, so Mike and I get to wander up to the falls, really appreciating the way it abruptly turns nasty, and stops. I take so many photos, I wonder how much room I'll have left for England and Rome. Apparently, as well, the roar of the falls is only a few notes higher then the lowest audible note for humans. There's rainbows everywhere, the mist cool and relaxing. I'm half marveling at the incredible height, the power of mother nature, and half marveling at all the foreign people! It seems people from every corner of the globe are here, dressing in authentic costumes, speaking new languages! I consciously close my mouth, and try to remember not to stare. Surely half the show is the earth, half the show is who's here!
The city nearby, itself, is just as fascinating. Neons, lights, signs, restaurants, extravagant colors, everything crowding for your attention all at once! A huge ferris wheel over looking the falls, a giant "hulk" figure staring you down menacingly! This must be what a true market is like! I wonder if I've fallen into a cheesy comic book; Dick Tracy designed by M.C. Escher, with Tim Burton leaning over his shoulder. The sidewalk is such a crazy angle, sometimes I feel like I'm spinning out of the book!
I drag Mike into the Ripley's believe it or not museum, a fascination of mine since I started reading the comics. For 13 bucks each, it was totally worth it, a singular treasure! Dozens of my photos will likely only be lit by it's neons.
After a point, the commercialism disturbs us, and we leave for more historical fare. We fit in Fort George (the site of the Canadian's bunker in the war of 1812. Donna tells us the Canadians and Americans would just trade pot-shots across the river), the statue of General Brock (shame we didn't have time to climb the massive staircase, or time to push down a slinky!), lake Ontario (3 of the 5 great lakes seen now!) as well as the Laura Secord homestead (what an incredible woman!) and the town of Niagara-on-the-lake (I want to retire here; so opulent!) before night fell and darkness rendered sightseeing difficult.
Donna tells us how she biked this trail with a friend, camping on the woods surrounding the road. She points out the "Prince of Wales hotel", where the Queen stays when she's in Niagara, and a gazebo where a famous horror movie was shot (couldn't remember which one, tho).
Even the trip home is eventful, seeing the lights of Hamilton and Toronto before finally making it home at 1:30.
I'm starting to become acutely aware of my impending England and Rome trip.
I'm still not convinced it was a good idea.
But every thing's booked, so, Carpe Diem, I suppose!


Anonymous said...

"I'm still not convinced it was a good idea" ?! Where did that come from? You'll be fine, you know that. You're a self-reliant person with a healthy sense of self-preservation, which will do you fine no matter where you are.
If you want my advice, and I guess you're going to get it if you keep reading, want it or not ;-) it would be to avoid the singles night-life or at least be very wary. Keep any drinks in front of you at all times, etc. Do you remember the girl that we gave a lift to on our Alaska trip? The one from Germany who had been all over the world by herself? One of her rules was that if she needed a hand, she always asked someone with their family. Probably a good rule of thumb and I'm sure Donna can give you lots of other good tips.
Funny about the Tim Horton's ... I had just read something about some of them starting to accept interac. Apparently they hadn't before because it slows down the service!
Grab your luggage and go girl!
LOL mapa

Michelle Ernst said...

Hehe, Thanks guys!
'fraid I don't remember the girl, tho. Where did we pick her up at?

Slows down their service, eh? Well so do I! Blarg! COffee!!!

Anyway, it's so hot here (expected to hit 34ish) I can barely think.
Talk to you guys from (hopefully) rainy London!
Love you!