It's like a nice walking path with an excellent park on one side of it and an amazing series of waterfalls on the other side. What could be better?
Our only annoyance was that Man v. Food happened to be filming an episode just as we were there, and they kept doing every single thing that we were doing (sightseeing, ticket buying, Maid of the Mist, etc.) at the exact same time that we were doing it. At first, obviously, I was SUPER excited to see the Man v. Food guy--we had cable for a few months last year, and I loved that show, in which the Man v. Food guy goes somewhere cool, sightsees, and then eats a lot of food--and there they were, filming right where we were, and so I was all, "Matt! Take a picture!"
Here's Matt's picture:
In the back you can see the Man versus Food guy checking his mark, and then there's the camera guy and the sound guy, and in the front are these two people who just stand there and act mean to tourists. Just after Matt took that photo, that woman on the left actually walked over to him and told him that he had to stop taking pictures immediately.
Now, Matt's a nice guy, so he was nice and conciliatory, but his stance was the same as my stance would have been if it had been me with the camera getting all redneck up on her instead of being all California cool: it's unfortunate, for her, that she doesn't want us to take photos, because she has no power to stop us. We're American taxpayers in a state park. As Americans, we're according certain freedoms, and pinnacle among these freedoms is the right to take amateur photographs of celebrities. And not even celebrities enjoying Niagara Falls on their downtime with their families, because I wouldn't photograph that, but celebrities actually on the clock being celebrities. Filming not on a closed set, or even inside a barracade, or even near a sign that says "Quiet" or "No photographs," but right smack in the middle of the walking path at Niagara, making use of, if I'm not mistaken, uncredited appearances by the dozens and dozens of random tourists walking by. I think I was one of those tourists, and you didn't hear me being all, "You can't take photos of me," even though I not only don't make a living by having my photo taken, but I don't even like it, because I'm a good sport. You want me to stop taking photos somewhere that I have a legal right to be and a legal right to photograph at, and there's no "No Photography" signs around, and it's Niagara Falls, for Pete's sake, and I paid TEN DOLLARS to be there? Then you have to look like you could arrest me or at least beat me up, and even then I'll throw a big redneck fit and make a huge scene.
In other words--you want me to stop taking pictures? Make me.
Mind you, I wasn't even that interested in taking photographs of the Man v. Food guy--we were at Niagara Falls, you know?--but after that I did make a point of taking (or pretending to take, because it wasn't worth blowing through my CF card) tons of photos every time we were around them, and since we basically did everything together, I basically took photos of the Man v. Food guy for half the day--I might as well be his mom, or maybe I should make him a crazy-fan scrapbook. Mr. Man v. Food guy basically ignored all the tourists that his camerapeople were getting lots of free shots of, which is fine by me because I'm down with keeping your mind on your job, but lots of unhappy tourists were complaining and saying sad things about how the Man v. Food people had been mean to them, so I considered myself doing it for the people.
Everyone needs a hobby.
--and a VERY exciting trip on the Maid of the Mist:
The Maid of the Mist has an observation deck that is very high and offers grand vistas:
And the chance to get up very, VERY close to the base of waterfalls?
Very, VERY exciting:
Even for the adults, it turns out:
I was, of course, planning to wrap my fancy camera up nice and tight at the last possible minute, but as soon as we so much as turn the corner to the Horseshoe Falls--
--the camera is all, "Is that a hint of moisture that I sense in the air? ABORT! ABORT!"
And it crapped out for the rest of the day and refused to behave until Matt gave in later that day and took it to an actual camera shop. Mind you, all the clerk guy did was futz with it like we'd been doing, and that camera shop didn't even sell Canons so what more could he know than us, but at least it gave my little Rebel the feeling that we cared, and so it recovered.
And that's why instead of hundreds of glorious photoscapes from the observation deck later, instead I have grainy video from my trusty and sturdy ipod!
I know, you're welcome.
Our Priceline hotel in Buffalo ruled pretty well, as well (which is great since we're getting screwed at this Fairfield Inn outside of Albany), with one of our top ten hotel swimming pools EVER:
Seriously, check out that vista!
You bet it was a top-ten day.