Adventures in Ontario

Written in Toronto Airport, today. 6:30 AM.

Wakening to a cold hostel room Thursday morning, which I was lucky to have all to myself once more, was more refreshing than annoying in Niagara Falls, Canada. Autumn is here, and it certainly feels like that in Canada. Later Wednesday night, after the tiramisu, I walked with the New Zealander and a retired photographer from Holland to the Falls once more. From 9pm to midnight every night, lights are projected from across the river onto the beautiful Niagara. It’s quite amazing to see really. Thanks to my new friend from Holland, I was able to capture some decent night shots there.

We walked for a bit, and I found myself actually walking faster than these two men. It wa smarvelous. There aren’t many times I can say that, but in this case it was true. These men were in no hurry to get anywhere, or to get anything done. Neither was I m but the hectic way in which Americans seem to carry on their day-to-day lives definitely left a dent in the way I walked next to my new friends. We wandered up and down the main road, up and down Niagara Falls, and around a bowling alley.

The next morning, as I said, was cold. But the smell of muffins got me up early enough to enjoy the “Maid of the Mist”, a tour boat that goes up to the waterfalls. Until then, we had only seen the falls from above. I say “we” because this day (which proved to be one of the most carefree days of my life), I was not alone on this journey. New Zealand got up with me early, and we tarried down, took some more photos, got our tickets for the boat, and waited in line. Apparently, I need to hand out with New Zealanders much more often! There were absolutely no cares, no worries all day — at least until I dropped him off at his hostel in Toronto and missed my flight. No worries, mom. I’m sitting in the airport right now about to get on a plane. I just didn’t have to spend the night in the St. John’s airport. Keep reading.

He was the only one on a boat of dozens of people that chose not to wear his raincoat. I chose not to put the hood on. You see, this particular New Zealander happens to specialize in sky diving, emergency rescue, and much more. A little Niagara shower was nothing to him. It made me very wet and cold. But it was worth it.

Seeing the Falls from below was breathtaking. If we had imagined them pounding their beautiful majesty in mighty ways from views above, we had only begun to grasp what a vast understatement that would have been.We all rocked, all nearly fell over several times, and I could barely speak. It was time to put my camera away and just watch. And I’m glad I did. Plus, New Zealand took photos that he’s going to send. Soaked, we walked further down than we had gone the previous day. We went to where the Falls were falling. Like the “Maid of the Mist”, this was breathtaking.

I don’t even know how to begin to explain these things on here.

We had lunch, said goodbye to our hostel workers, and went to see the world’s largest whirlpool. Then we drove to Toronto where New Zealand joined me in seeing the Peter Pan statue. The statue was different in many ways than the New Jersey version. It was in the middle of a playground. Which was wonderful and perfect. The entire atmosphere was carefree and playful — in perfect keeping with my day.

When New Zealand had been dropped off at the hostel, I headed straight for the airport. The drive took at least an hour to drive when it should have taken 20 minutes. So in between the delay, enjoying myself too much, figuring out which terminal to enter, and finding a parking spot, I missed boarding my flight by a few minutes. It was adventurous though. And a great story for later.

I am now on the plane — 8:05 AM. It’s beautiful. Maybe it’s because I’ve just come from Niagara, but the clouds look a bit like waterfalls. Either that or white cotton candy.

But probably more like waterfalls.

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