So what's THIS picture doing in the Niagara Falls blog??? This is what happens when you get married 52 years ago and head to California ... you run your tires into the ground!!! Just kidding, but it really IS Barbara and Tom's 52nd Wedding Anniversary today and this is my favorite picture of them! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY YOU TWO!! Congrats on being married longer than I've been alive!! Ok ... Ok ... that's not true either ... but YES, 52 years today!!!! Congratulations!!
So it was kind of fitting that we went to Niagara Falls yesterday, honeymoon capital of the world. Supposedly that came about when Napoleon's brother Jerome brought his bride here in the early 1900's, which later the New York Central Railroad capitalized on as it brought hoards of people to view the three falls, two on the American side and the largest on the Canadian side.
This is Rainbow Bridge, connecting Canada with the United States via vehicles. On this Sunday, traffic was backed up as mostly Canadians headed for home.
These falls have had a varied past, draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario through the Niagara River. This is the American Falls side in 1901 where a power plant operated.
As you can see, erosion has taken it's toll and the power plants have been moved to other locations. We rode the Maid of the Mist past American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, skirting around most of the misty spray. Before you board the boat, everyone is given a pancho, but the force of the water creates so much wind and mist that you still get pretty wet!!
This is the second boat owned by Maid of the Mist, taking the next bunch of lambs to the slaughter ... I mean people to see the falls up close and personal!! At $17 per person, each boat carrying over 400 people, that's a lot of $$$$$. We all had blue ponchos ... the people on the Canadian tour boats had green ... I guess that's so if they find someone in the water, they know which side he came from.
At one time, this section frozen over completely and no water ran for about 40 hours. Now they have a huge ice boom that keeps the ice moving and the water flowing.
As we rounded the first waterfall and headed towards the second, the water began to churn and boil and the mist fell like rain.
At the base of Horseshoe Falls, the water swirls like a boiling pot and the Maid of the Mist is true to her name as everyone on the top deck got a shower. By now I had my camera wrapped in the poncho, but that didn't keep the lens from getting pretty wet, even though we are on the bottom level under cover.
As we backed off and headed back to shore, you can see part of Horseshoe Falls on the right, creating most of the misty mist!! We were probably only on the boat for 15 minutes, but it was a spectacular ride!!
In 1969 erosion was moving the falls back and debris at the base reducing the falls dramatically, so they diverted the water to the other wide while they bulldozed the rocks and stabilized the top. I don't know how that could be accomplished with four million cubic feet of water flowing over all three falls every minute. The erosion has caused some property line disputes and Horseshoe Falls not to be quite the same shape.
With hydroelectric power being important to both sides of the border, plants have been built close by, but agreements have been put in place to keep a continuous flow of water over the falls during the day. At night, some water is diverted to the power plants to keep electricity flowing in New York and Canada.
When you arrive, you walk across the bridge to the top of this building and take an elevator down to the bottom where I am standing. Aren't you glad you don't have to take the stairs?? You catch the boat at the bottom by the river, returning to the observation platform on the top left. You can also keep your poncho on and walk a little closer to American Falls if you don't mind taking another shower!! We opted out ...
but went to the platform for a few more pictures of this magnificent wall of water.
There is a trolley you can ride around the area for $2.00, which takes you over to Goat Island. I'm guessing people don't know they can drive over, because most of their parking lots had plenty of space. As you can imagine, parking is hard to find and runs $10 at the State Park.
On the way home we checked out YELP for some Italian food, but the first great place was closed on Sunday night. Molinero's in Lockport was the second choice, but turned out to be the best!! Not knowing I could order the same pizza in a small size, I went by the menu and ordered a medium Chicken Parmigiana Pizza. I almost fell off my chair when it arrived and was about 24" wide!! Barbara's mushroom and pineapple actually was a small, but 18" wide. We ate one piece each and boxed the rest up for the ride home. I have pizza for at least a week if I eat it at every meal!!!
Today we move on up the road toward Thousand Islands, but I'll always remember this New York area for their huge pizzas and beautiful falls!! Although Niagara Falls has never been at the top of my list of places to visit, I'm sure glad we stopped here. It was an amazingly beautiful site that everyone should see!!
And again .... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BARBARA AND TOM!!!!