Recently, I had a phone call conversation with my folks about our travels. Now that they have retired (yay, finally!), they are on the prowl to check out some of America’s national treasures. Do you know where their first choice is?
My grandfather was the same way. Koreans love seeing nature, especially waterfalls. There’s something to be said about the grand view of creation making men and women feel at peace and harmony. My grandfather had said nothing was as pristine and clear as those falls in Niagara. The only exception my grandfather could think of was the natural landscapes of South Korea that he held dear in his childhood memories. In my youth, I still remember the souvenir he brought back for me – a set of bookends in purple rock formations. It was probably the heaviest item he could have brought back, but he thought it was perfectly suited for me. Niagara Falls would be the last vacation he took in his life, and I remember his voice expressing the joy of seeing Niagara Falls with his own eyes.
While we ventured to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, we thought we should show our boys this monumental waterfall. After all, their great grandfather had seen it before them, and it was only right to share this moment with them.
Seeing Niagara Falls
Little does Piano Man know this, but Prof and I had seen Niagara Falls when he was in my belly. But he could “feel” the essence of the falls. This time, it would be with his 20/20 vision.
So many people strolled along the falls.
Almost everyone took the obligatory selfie in front of the falls, and one very large extended family took a family portrait. For a moment, I thought I heard the photographer speak in modern Greek to the family. (It was music to my ears.)
Who could not love this view?
Eating in Niagara Falls
Apparently, there is a Korean restaurant in Niagara Falls; but alas, we missed our chance as the kids were exhausted from a day at the pool. You win some; you lose some.
Prof chose a little Greek restaurant called KouTouki Greek Cuisine. Having forgotten most of my Greek, Prof ordered these dishes. While using his knowledge of modern Greek, our waiter didn’t have one clue as to what Prof said. But we received our meal with enjoyment, though our kids slept-ate through the meal.
I enjoyed most of the meal, except for this calamari appetizer. The calamari was too chewy for my taste.
To treat them for eating through a Greek meal, they ate dessert at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Chocolate milkshakes are a popular choice, and Linus picked something up at the Coca Cola Store next door. Hershey’s was a busy place, even in the last few minutes before closing time. People kept walking through the door at 8:30, 8:45, and 8:50 pm. The Hershey’s milk shake was a a favorite.
Niagara Falls’ Night Life
Thanks to their naps, we had a chance to walk the streets, which allowed us to see the glowing lights, busy pedestrians, and lively street entertainment. It was so new to the boys because when night falls, usually, they are in bed. But we thought it would be a treat, since Great Wolf Lodge’s indoor waterpark was closed in the evening hours. And sometimes when you are on vacation, you gotta let your kids stay up past their bedtimes.
The streets of Niagara Falls was busy with tons of amusement park-styled venues. One such place intrigued Linus so much that he just stared at Jack Sparrow and Taylor Swift (a likely pairing, of course) doing their robotic dance moves.
One random girl walked by, quickly shoving a plastic Superman figurine in my hand. She said, “Here, I don’t need this.” I had no time to turn around, assess what had happened, or to thank the stranger who essentially game a toy to Linus, as we watched more of Jack Sparrow.
The evening light quickly faded.
Though the sunlight left us, Niagara Falls’ night life quickly picked up pace.
I wonder if my grandfather walked this path when he visited over 30 years ago. It must certainly look different now. But then again, maybe some things never change.