“Blame Canada! Blame Canada! They’re not even a real country anyway.” – South Park
On our way to Niagara Falls a couple of weeks ago, Lucas and I were stopped at the border crossing and questioned thoroughly. We were then told to pull to the side so our vehicle could be searched. As we stepped out of the truck I began to feel nervous. I was concerned that my prescriptions would be a problem because they have a different name on them than what’s on my passport. And then if I had to explain that the name on my passport isn’t actually my name anymore … would they let me in?!
But no, they weren’t worried about my name. Or my klonopin.
When we heard the border patrol mention guns multiple times Lucas and I began to lighten up and laugh at the situation a little. This caused one especially serious guy to look over at us and snap “if you have any guns it would be a whole lot easier if you just told us now.” Um, yeah. Because if I had a gun I would be laughing at that very moment? No, I’d be hyperventilating on the pavement, confessing to everything and bawling my eyes out. I know it’s sad, but I would be a horrible criminal.
So why did they profile us as gun smugglers? Could it have been the Pennsylvania license plates? The big, white truck? Do Canadians hate redheads?
I think it’s because they’re just a bunch of assholes, eh?
Whatever it was, moments like that leave me feeling a bit violated even though I haven’t done anything wrong. If they wanted to scare us enough that I’d be reaching for my klonopin, they failed. I win! The most surprising part – and a wonderful tip for you wanna be gun smugglers – is that they didn’t even search us individually. It was quite chilly outside and we were wearing big coats. Could have easily been packin’ a gun.
Alas, they let us in to their (not real) country and we headed to what I’m now calling the “WTF Hilton”. You’d call it that too if you had to wait in a line 20 people deep just to check-in. But I digress. After finally getting our room key and heading up the elevator I was desperate to throw my stuff on the bed. I assumed that we would have a nice view from the 44th floor, but I was floored when I looked out the window. Lucas and I opened a bottle of wine and sat at the window, mesmerized by the panorama.
Eventually we decided go out and made our way down to the 34th floor for drinks at Myst Lounge. This was a pretty cool place! I ordered a martini and sipped on it, watching the snow fall and switching back and forth from one seat to another in an attempt to decide which view was best. It didn’t matter, each was different, but amazing. Watching the snow fall outside made me feel like I was inside a snow globe.
After munching on some calamari we made our way back to the room to set up the tripod. And no, that’s not code for some freaky sex toy. During the Winter Festival of Lights there is a fireworks display over American Falls. I watched the show from the floor, a glass of wine in hand, while Lucas snapped away. Each firework lit the sky with color and we were treated to our first clear view of American Falls.
When the fireworks were over we left our room again and walked across the street to grab dinner. At this point we didn’t care what we ate. We were just looking for a place to stop and fill up our bellies so we could continue our night of drinking at the casino without making complete asses of ourselves.
Now, I’ve never been a fan of casinos. I may as well just throw my money in the garbage, or better yet, use it as toilet paper. But Lucas was dead set on playing Roulette and I finally got into the spirit of things. We just kept placing our bet on … wait?! Why I am giving away our strategy? Instead I’m going to brag. We doubled the money we put down and because of that had a hell of a hard time getting out of there.
The next morning we got up – slowly – and after coffee and a quick breakfast drove to see the falls up close. I have wanted to see Niagara Falls ever since Lois Lane threw herself over in Superman. But you know what? She’s an idiot. I am amazed that anyone has ever survived a trip over the edge. They’re all idiots, too. The sheer force behind the water as it rushes down, down, down is just insane.
After taking pictures and walking around, soaking it all in, we stopped at Elements for something to drink. I lingered over my coffee spiked with Bailey’s and copious amounts of whipped cream, admiring the view of Horseshoe Falls. I highly recommend this spot if you find yourself at Niagara Falls in the winter or even on a hot summer day. It’s a great way to get out of the elements and still see the falls.
No, we didn’t do the Maid of the Mist. Or really anything else. December is a great time to visit Niagara Falls if you’re looking for a romantic getaway. Nothing was overly crowded, I don’t recall seeing many children and we were able to get much better shots without tons of people blocking the view. The downside, obviously, is that the weather forces a lot of things to shut down. Maybe someday I’ll go back to see the falls from below, but for now I’m exceptionally content with the trip that we had.