In the summer of 2002, me and my only friend in Boston braved a trip to Niagara Falls. We boarded a Sunshine Travel tour bus that left from Boston’s Chinatown, and we were the only non-Asians on the luxury bus. But we did not care because we were ready to latch on to a new adventure!
My traveling companion had told me months earlier that she had dreamt that we went to New York together. I had dismissed it as being far-fetched for I had no plans of going to NYC at that time. Little did I know that the gods had accurately sprinkled angel dust into her dreams. We did indeed go to New York together; just not New York City.
The bus was quite nice with all of the special amenities. She slept and I took in every sight as we traveled into new territory. We stopped and ate at an Applebee’s Restaurant in Waterford, New York. We later stopped somewhere else and enjoyed a hefty feast. I remember that a huge baked fish sat in at the center of the table along with other delicious side dishes. It was quite apparent that a lot of planning had gone into organizing this trip.
We further ventured into upper state New York and our first stop was the 1000 Islands where we watched several boaters celebrate Pirates Days. We even crossed the historic St. Lawrence Seaway on our open boat ride and later stayed over at the Knights Inn in Liverpool, New York. After heading back out, we rested on the bus as were looked forward to the main event – Niagara Falls!
At one point after dozing off, I woke up and noticed these huge rainbows as I looked out the window of the bus. I was amazed and wondered what was happening. As we got closer, I saw that we were actually approaching the Falls. I guess the water created the prism-like reflections in the sky.
I don’t recall the actual order of things, but I remember that once we were in the Niagara Falls State Park area, we decided to take a ride on the Maid of the Mist. During the time on the boat, we were so close to actual Falls that I thought that it was my last day on earth. It was terrifying and we were quite soaked before it was all over.
Yet, that did not deter us from testing our nerves nor verve. We later had to put plastic on over our shoes to experience The Cave of the Winds, as we walked along side of the mountain-like steps or wooden decks. Spectators from the top were looking down at us as if to say, “Wow! Why would you take that chance?” as we maneuvered the slippery walkways. Years later, I saw the movie Niagara with Joseph Cotton and Marilyn Monroe and I was reminded of those dangerous wet, scary redwood walkways.
Once we were back on dry land and had left the park area, we had another great meal at a Chinese restaurant. Our bus then headed back towards Boston, my temporary home. Helen Keller said it best when she wrote, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!”
January 8, 2022