Frozen Falls

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our next stop for the trip was to see Niagara Falls.  Rick had been here before, as with most of the USA trip, but it was great to see them again, this time twenty odd years older.
Arriving at the bus station we put our stuff into storage and headed out into the snow.  Downstream from the falls are the Whirlpools so we trudged through the snow and eventually arrived to see a great view of the river with little icebergs floating everywhere.  The place was pretty much closed with only the food outlet open as it is the middle of winter and freezing cold.
Over the years it appears Niagara has become a big tourist town with casinos and all types of places to eat and spend your money.  It seems most of the tourist attractions in the US have the same places - Planet Hollywood, a Casino, always a Starbucks and it seems the M&M shop too.  It becomes a little boring when it's repeated all the time to be honest.  We grabbed some lunch in this precinct and then wandered along the river to see both the American and horse-shoe shaped Canadian falls.  It was snowing for most of the day and we were amazed to realize that snowflakes actually look like cartoon snowflakes.  Since we had never really seen snow falling before we were astounded at this and took heaps of photos.  Speaking of photos we wanted to get one of the three of us with the falls in the background.  Rick found a lady by herself and asked if she would take a photo.  It was clear she didn't speak English when she gave him a strange look and shrugged her shoulders and reached for the camera like it was a bomb.  She looked at this obviously foreign piece of equipment then bought it to her eye wrong side round and proceeded to look into the lens.  "No No No" we cried and quickly showed her the right way.  The resulting photo is priceless.  For starters we could be standing in front of absolutely anything as you can't see the background at all.  Carlie and Megan are captured beautifully but Rick?  Well Rick looks really good from the shoulders down as she managed to completely chop his head off.  We took the camera back, reviewed it and all gushed excitedly about how good it was for the lady then walked off the find another person to take a photo of the three of us.
After eating some dinner it was time to head back to the bus station.  Unfortunately the station closed at 10PM on the dot ("NO exceptions!" the sign said inside) but of course our bus wasn't scheduled to arrive until 11.15PM.  How dumb is that to have a station that closes before the buses are due, when its sub-zero outside and snowing!  Anyway we stayed warm by walking around and trying to make the best of it.  Carlie even made a little snowman to keep us entertained.  Eventually the bus showed up and we headed off to its first stop, Buffalo.  At Buffalo pretty much everyone got off, so we moved seats and it looked like Rick would have two to himself.  Alas at the last minute a huge fat guy got on and plonked himself down next to Rick.  Rick spent most of the night crushed against the side of the bus, the guy's fat legs and flabby arms all over him.  To top this off the guy had some strange leg twitch and shook his legs (in his sleep) every ten seconds.  This was enough to keep Rick awake most of the night. Have we ever mentioned we're not fans of over night bus trips?
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