Today was all about family and Niagara Falls. Last night Cindy, Katie and Sarah arrived in Buffalo a little before midnight. It’s so nice for Matt and I to have our families here with the noticeable exception of our boys Shane and Eric. A couple of months ago Shane graduated from Arizona and is currently living in NYC working at an internship for World Team Tennis. Eric graduated from Oregon and is living in Tahoe and working at the West Shore Cafe as he looks for more permanent work. Both boys are missed tremendously, but we’re proud father’s that they’re out tackling the world.
After not crawling into bed until around 1am after our airport run nobody was anxious to move quickly this morning. We finally rounded up the troops at 11a and piled into a couple of cars and drove over to Canada to see the Falls. If you’ve never been here before the way it works is you can walk to the islands in the middle of the Falls from the American side but the best view is from the Canadian side. We had a nice outdoor lunch overlooking the Falls although it was a little chilly (who would have guessed its August). It has cooled down quite a bit and the temps were in the high 60’s most of the day. We all enjoyed strolling along the walkway and looking at Falls from Canada.
When you arrive in Niagara Falls it’s easy to be quickly jaded. The New York side appears a little old, rundown and overbuilt. The Canadian side while cleaner has numerous high-rise hotels and stores. Before seeing the Falls, you feel you’re in the heart of overcommerialzation…which frankly you are. Fortunately though they can’t ruin the beauty and power of the Falls. Sure it would be nice if it weren’t so built up but you have to set that aside and enjoy how magnificent the Falls are. We all enjoyed them quite a bit and I had hundreds of photos to choose from for today’s blog. Also, much to my relief, after days without being in a world capital of something we arrived in Niagara Falls the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”. We have a family connection to the world capital as Brenda’s parents Bob and Marilyn (our SAG crew earlier in the trip) honeymooned here in 1957.
We then headed back to the American side and walked out to Goat Island to go on the Cave of the Winds tour which takes you to the bottom of the Falls. As we stood in line we found out it was going to be a 1.5 hour wait. At this point it was 4p and suddenly the little voice in my head spoke up and said “Chris, you have 270 miles to ride the next three days…you need to go rest on your rest day!”. So being a little protective of my body I decided to head back to the hotel. I give Matt a lot of credit for hanging in there (of course he is 3 years younger than me) and taking the tour with the group. I can tell you that although the wait was long, Matt, Cindy, Katie, Brenda, Amy and Sarah loved the Cave of the Winds tour and got drenched. They were able to put their head in the Falls at one point and even though there is not actual Cave they had a blast.
Afterwards we all reconvened at the hotel and then went to a wonderful Italian dinner. After dinner Mary Anna and Cindy presented us all with commemorative shirts they had made for our trip. The shirts are similar to one’s they had made for Dick’s cross-country cycling trip 18 years ago. Now it’s time for me to say goodbye to Amy who flies back to LA tomorrow and start the last 8 days of our trip. It was special for me to have Amy be part of the trip and her professional cowbell ringing will be missed.
Here’s a few photos from today:
Dick and Mary Anna