I woke up a few times in the wee hours of the morning today to hear Milly laughing and playing with her toys. She ended up not getting up until we got her up at 8:45 though.

Mom was up working at 5:00 and still had work to do when we left the house around 9, maybe a little after. Aunt Robbie, Amanda, Milly and I had breakfast at a diner where the ladies there, particularly our waitress, loved Milly. The waitress brought a coloring book and asked Milly if she wanted to “keller.” Milly understood that about as well as I did at first. The lady definitely had some kind of New England accent. She also called everyone “Honey” in every sentence she spoke to anyone. It was a great experience though, and as we left they gave Milly a little plastic heart-shaped ring.

We made our way to Niagra Falls with a slight detour. When setting the GPS I accidentally told it to avoid toll roads. We didn’t realize that at first so we thought it was odd when we were directed to get off the interstate and go through the small town of Batavia. I looked on my phone and saw that there was a highway that intersected the interstate so I had us go that way, but it turned out there were no on ramps and we ended up going through Batavia anyway.

So we had about a half hour detour, but we got there around 12:30 or so anyway. We didn’t know exactly what it was at the time, but you could see the spray from Niagra Falls from way off when going over a bridge. You couldn’t tell the river ended off to the west, but the spray went up higher than any buildings we could see around it.

I can’t imagine what it would have been like for explorers to see that.

“Hey, what the hell is that mist flying up into the sky up there?”

“I don’t know, let’s go check it out.”

“Okay. Here we go.”

“Wait a sec, is that a– Oh crap!”

Yeah, it must have gone something like that.

Anyway, we got our passes to all the stuff there and went down to look at the Falls. The park area was very pretty, with some sparse woods and nice grassy area running alongside the river, then it suddenly drops off and there are the Falls!

Everyone’s seen pictures and videos of Niagra Falls, but it’s really one of those things that you could never describe enough to give credit to the grandeur of really being there and seeing it. I mean there’s just SO MUCH water! When someone asks me what it’s like, all I’ll be able to say is that it’s amazing and words can’t give it credit, and that’ll be the end of the conversation. Which again, doesn’t come close to doing justice.

We took a bunch of pictures at the top of the falls then went out on an overlook. Aunt Robbie, who is very afraid of heights, comported herself well.

We decided to check out the aquarium next. The map we were given made it look like it was just past the bridge to Canada, but it was actually a few blocks back and a couple over. We found a path through the park on the way back, but on the way there we walked through a kind of sketchy area. The houses were really cool but very run down. There was loud music coming from one and we heard someone scream from inside it. Like I said, sketchy.

The aquarium wasn’t like the one at Fort Fisher, but it was alright. There were rescued seals in a pool out front and a large display of penguins right after you come in. The whole thing centers around a sea lion tank. Milly got to see some dart frogs colored like ones Karen recently bought her. Upstairs she saw some sea horses. One of them floated to the top of its tank then came back down, which stuck with her because when I was down next to the pack & play as she was going to sleep she was telling me about the sea horse and how it fell down.

The walk back along the park’s trail was all along the river and offered some very nice views. There was a stone outcropping built at one point that I felt compelled to check out. It was the only time I felt a little unsteady because I didn’t know what the base of it was, but after I got off and looked I saw that it seemed to be a solid stone structure all the way down to the riverside area a couple hundred feet below.

We decided to go ahead and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe across the street from the park. I discovered that Milly was pretty wet, so Amanda went to get her supplies and changed her. She (Milly) was starting to show signs of wearing down, but meltdown was averted by keeping her occupied by walking around, sipping Aunt Robbie’s chocolate shake and sucking on food. I say sucking because she sucked on a cherry then some French fries and chicken fingers while trying to just get ranch or honey mustard off of them. She did actually eat some though.

We got a few things from the store then decided to take our boat ride. We didn’t realize how late in the day it was and ended up being on the last boat that was going out for the day.

This was Milly’s first boat ride, and she seemed to enjoy it. She talked about that when going to bed too. Seeing one of the Falls up close was one thing, but riding out and getting to see them all, especially being in the boat as it turned around near the Horseshoe Falls, was really something. Again, can’t describe how awesome it is so I’m not going to bother trying.

There was a lot of picture taking and I offered or was asked to take pictures for a few groups. As we were waiting for the boat to clear off some, an Asian guy and his wife were smiling at Milly and took her picture. Milly smiled for them. It was slightly odd, but everyone does say What a pretty baby she is.

To get to the boat you go down an elevator from the observation tower. In line on the way back up I told Milly to say hi to a lady who was smiling at her next to us. The lady said “Nihao” to Milly, so I knew she was Chinese and had Milly say it back to her.

A little bit of milling about in a gift shop later, it was time to start heading home. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have time to et my passport stamped for Canada. I guess we were technically in Canadian territory in the river, but I still wanted it official, ya know?

Our departure ended up a little delayed as it turned out that AR had forgotten to turn the CRV’s lights off. In Delaware, where she’s from, you’re supposed to keep your lights on when driving, and the “lights on” alert on my mom’s Honda CRV isn’t working.

Anyway, we had two people try to jump the car to no avail. The second was a guy, probably around my age, who was there from Texas with his family: a wife and three young kids. He’s a yound preacher preparing to do missionary work in Mexico. We talked to him for a bit, but the jump ultimately didn’t work. They were about to go to Canada, but he offered to take the battery somewhere. Really super nice guy. He kept apologizing for the jump not working and offering to do whatever he could.

Aunt Robbie called AAA, but they said it might be two hours before they got there.

I asked the people at the parking lot gate if they could jump us, but apparently someone sued the parks department and they weren’t allowed to do it anymore. How crappy is that? They said they could call a cab company, but we’d be charged $20.

I went across the street to an information/welcoming/souvenir center and asked the guy behind the counter if he knew of someone we could contact to get a jump. Before I finished talking he had turned his back to me and picked up a portable charging kit.

Of course, he got flooded with customers then. One of the things he told the people about was the Cave of the Winds or some such. It was where you get to go down to the area by the bottom of the Falls. We didn’t have time for that either, but he said that was probably the best thing there. I think we could easily have done a second day at Niagra Falls.

After selling some tickets to some people he got someone else to take the kit over and give it a try. That, to our great delight, did the trick!

The ride back was pretty uneventful. Milly watched Silly Songs and Tangled on the iPad and kept looking like she might fall asleep, but she never did.

We got home around 8:15. Mom was in the shower and there want much to eat so Aunt Robbie and I went to a Wegman’s, not nearly as big or as cool as the one we went to last night, and picked up a couple things. Amanda told me while we were on the way back that Milly was making (pretend) spaghetti for Mum Mum.

We’d decided to let Milly stay up a little late since she hadn’t had a chance to see her grandma pretty much all day, but we put her to bed when Aunt Robbie and I got back. She was a bit wound up, but we didn’t have trouble getting her down.

We all hung out for a bit in the living room watching HG and a marathon of that show where people with way more money than I’ve got decide what houses they want to buy. I chose the same house as the people on the show all but once, and that once I would have picked the same but I didn’t think they’d to so far outside of their budget.

I’m in bed now, looking forward to another fun day. This time my mom will vet to participate, which will be great.

Zach Dotsey