And I don’t know if I should start this story with the morning fire, the 30,000 photos, or my immigration problems…
The butter was frozen. And that’s a problem when you’re trying to make toast. So, after marveling at the incredible conveyer-belt-bread-toaster at the Historic Hotel Utica, a member of our party put the frozen butter on their bread and placed it on the conveyor belt.
It ignited. It caught on fire. Smoke began to billow out of the toaster. The diners next to us began to snicker. And the fiery toast conveyer-ed itself out of sight, as it continued it’s toasty journey… I’m not sure what Miss Manners would say about this situation. How do you stop a toast conveyor belt? There is no large, shiny, red button that says “Emergency Stop.”
Somehow, the fire put itself out and a black piece of toast deposited itself on the plate. A helpful person, who was standing next to us, said, “You know, people USUALLY put the butter on AFTER the bread is toasted…”
So, that was breakfast.
Afterwards, we wandered around Historic Downtown Utica and looked at stuff. They have a replica of the cracked Liberty Bell. Of course, what we really wanted to see was, “What the heck was that guy throwing his plastic bottle at?”
Well… it was a brick wall. There was no obvious significance, other than it was a brick wall in a low density area. And there were some large blocks of granite laying about on the ground. Maybe he hates rocks?
Later, we drove through beautiful upstate New York. The Eerie Canal is amazing!
During the drive, and listening to Vivaldi, we watched a Port-O-Potty dance on the precipice of disaster, while driving down the highway at 65 miles an hour. J composed a lyrical Opera dedicated to the inevitable crash of the Port-O-Potty and the probability of the splashes of effluence ON our windshield! The darn thing wasn’t on a trailer, or in the back of the pick up truck… it was on a platform that you would normally store a cooler on!! It was NOT RATED for a hazardous waste transportation scenario!! After taking a few photos, I safely passed the wobbling outhouse and changed the radio station. The things one sees on the road can be quite unexpected!
It is stupendous. It is magnificent! It is worthy of a page full of adjectives and exclamation points. Photos don’t do it justice! It is actually 3 waterfalls, rather than just one. And it is big and loud and truly an amazing experience! You can see the mist from the Falls from miles away.
After ogling the Falls, we walked to Goat Island (heh-heh… and laughed at the name), and payed homage to the Nicolai Tesla statue and touched his toes. But we didn’t sit on him, even though it’s the thing to do.
A plan, a man, a waterfall
After some analysis, J figured out that the best thing Niagara could do is schedule an hourly show of sending something over the falls. Whether it’s an inflatable boat, or a barrel, or a random piece of flotsam… you just want to watch something fall over the edge of the falls! And not in a morbid way, just in a “OMG! Did you SEE that!!” kind of way. You just want to see what would happen if a barrel went over…
We sat there for awhile, waiting for a tree trunk to get caught by the current and swept over. But it did not happen, which is why we need an hourly show!
Walking Talking Stereotypes
While in the mostly deserted International Food Court at the park, we were… enchanted by encountering a pack of pursed lipped, sun glass wearing, popped-collared, orange Americans!
“Um… was that real or performance art?” J asked.
“It is totally performance art!” I replied.
“Ah… I don’t think so… I think we just saw a walking, talking stereo type!” He concluded. They reminded me of caricatures from reality t.v. shows – it was astonishing!
Yes, they let us BACK into Canada!
After a wonderful time on the American side of Niagara Falls, it was time to wait in a long line and drive across the Rainbow Bridge into Canada. Obviously, I blew the behavioral interview by the Customs guy. He said, “Immigration wants to talk to you.” Then, they searched the car and did a background check while asking more questions. I guess crossing into Canada at 3 different points in less than 2 weeks makes one noticable.
But we made it across and checked into the hotel. The hotel was chosen because of its location next to the Falls. So, we walked outside and went to take photos of the Falls at night. Little did we know that Niagara Falls is a CASINO TOWN!!!
And it is a crazy, neon-soaked, lazer-maze, multiple wax museum, loud music, extravaganza!!!
“So, what’s the story on the giant fire ball that ignites every 5 minutes, by the ferris wheel?” I asked the hotel employee. She said, “I don’t know, I think it’s part of the putt-putt golf course…”
Ha! Right! Whatever… and it actually WAS part of the golf course!! Along with giant dinosaurs and a volcano… and there was a Crystal Maze, and a million unbelievable sights and sounds!! … Like the fake tight rope walker, and the animatronic Sphinx… etc.
It was hilarious and unexpected!
And there were hundreds of families with little kids, celebrating Thanksgiving in Canadian Vegas!
Niagara Falls was an amazing fondue pot of cultures. I heard so many different languages today, that my brain almost exploded! It was more international than that airport in New York City!!
As you can see, it was quite a busy day.
- What is a “Weed & Seed Community?” Niagara has a neighborhood with this official sign
- What is a Special Indian Breakfast? There are signs for it all over Niagara.
- Niagara has BLACK squirrels!! They are very neat, and very distinctive.
- Niagara Falls and Niagara are two separate places!
- On the American side, you EXPERIENCE the Falls. On the Canadian side, you SEE the Falls!! Both experiences are needed.
- I did not gamble, as I will only gamble if I know I’m going to win!