The most mind-blowing part of this vacation was, of course, the Falls themselves. There are actually three Falls – the Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side, and the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, both on the American side. They are spectacularly powerful – there can be 750,000 gallons of water per second going over the Falls, and you can feel it.
The power, volume, and intensity of the water are absolutely astounding. You can feel the pummeling, pounding, rushing water deep into your core. It is dynamic – and feels as though the water is breathing, pulsating, alive. And we become part of the intense, thundering roar.
So exhilarating, electrifying, and thrilling that we could feel the hair on our necks stand up, and we stood there, transfixed, our mouths hanging open. We could not even think – we were completely and fully present in front of that power.
It felt cleansing, as though the water was washing away all the extra layers and leaving us naked and raw and exposed, our spirits vibrant and glowing and one with the force of nature. I felt so alive in that presence.
In addition to the spectacular, mind-blowing power of the Falls themselves, there were quite a few other reasons why this was my favorite vacation.
First, it was one time when I didn’t skimp on the hotel, one of the few times that I didn’t say it’s only a place to sleep, so why spend extra money. We stayed at the Hilton on the Canadian side, with a room on the top floor, facing the Falls. It had a clear, unobstructed view of all three Falls. It was so spectacular and breathtaking, we sat by the windows and simply gazed out at the view for what seemed like forever. That view alone was priceless.
Another huge plus was that our hotel was within walking distance of the Falls. Each morning we took a tour – Maid of the Mist®, Cave of the Winds, a hike behind the Falls, an open boat ride through the rapids, or a gondola over the river… And each afternoon we walked the short distance from our hotel to the Falls, where we leisurely strolled around, with no deadlines or timetable. Simply being present with the power of the rushing, tumbling, falling water. Feeling it, seeing it, hearing it, breathing it for as long as we wanted. And we never got tired of it.
Another thing we loved was that our hotel had a three-story spiraling slide into their huge indoor pool. And like silly, carefree, giddy kids, each afternoon before dinner, my husband and I went flying down that slide, whooping and hollering, happily splashing into the warm water, without a care in the world, way too many times to count. Pure carefree child-like fun.
Another big reason that I loved this trip was that it was one year after my open-heart surgery. And for the first time in a very long time, I was able to walk the distance to the Falls, up and down stairs, and up the short but steep hill back to our hotel. It didn’t matter that I needed to stop and catch my breath half-way up that hill on the way back, I could still do it. I felt triumphantly strong and alive, and I could walk. That alone was a thrill.
This was such an amazing vacation for so many reasons. Feeling so present and alive in the face of the pounding, living, breathing power of nature was like being in another world, where we were cleansed, washed, uplifted, and exhilarated.
Other vacations were nice, but this one broke through all barriers of ego and thought.
Niagara Falls was absolutely my favorite vacation.
Copyright © 2014 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.