Posted in Freedom Friday, Photo Opportunities

Autumn in Niagara

As you may know, my book released this week and things have been rather surreal around Casa Flacco. My sleep cycle has left me and I’ve been functioning on pure adrenalin. It’s a good thing. At least, I think it is. Yes, it is a good thing.

Autumn in full bloom
Autumn in full bloom

Last weekend, three days before release, on impulse my wife and I packed, loaded the kids in the car, and scooted to Niagara Falls for a weekend away from it all. I’ve described in a previous post for Freedom Friday how Niagara Falls is one of those enchanting places on earth where my wife and I relax, let time stand still, and come back with new and exciting decisions about our life together. Last weekend was no different.

We’d left late Friday afternoon, arrived at the hotel just before sunset, quickly unpacked, and headed straight for a restaurant. The big thing here in Canada is Boston Pizza. And Niagara Falls has one we enjoy going to whenever we visit.

You know, sitting there in the lounge area as dusk settled, I thought of how wonderful a family I have that we’re able to enjoy each other’s company without worrying about tomorrow, of what is and what will be. The notion came and went, as if a fleeting thought that passes through the mind and makes a quick exit through the door.

Soon after devouring the chicken wrap, washing it down with a soda and lime twist, we took a walk on Clifton Hill. If you’ve never been to the Niagara Falls’ Clifton Hill strip, I highly recommend it. It’s one thing to see the area during the day, but the night is something to behold. I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but the whole area lights up like fireworks on Canada DayFourth of July to my American friends.

The SkyWheel
The SkyWheel
One of the many sights on Clifton Hill
One of the many sights on Clifton Hill

The evening was ideal. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfect fall weather. During the whole time, I thought, oh, how our family’s changed. I have grown children ready to take on the world. How fast did it happen? What happened to those days when I’d purchased our first DVD player so we could watch Titanic in pristine digital? Oh my, how has time flown so fast?

The next day, Saturday morning, we headed to the continental breakfast table downstairs in the dining area. From there, we landed at the IMAX theater enjoying a tale about Niagara Falls’ myths and legends. I’d seen the movie before but had forgotten Rocky composer Bill Conti had written the score. Boy, talk about a step back in time. The music moved me to remember my youth and how I’d wanted to take on the world. Goodness, how things have changed.

We ate Mexican for lunch, then spent some time in our hotel room reading. The kids had brought a load of books to consume, and my wife and I had our tablets to keep us entertained. Here is where I have to tip my hat to the folks working in the tech department of our hotel who gave us access to the internet via free wi-fi. While some establishments implement pay-per-use, our hotel was kind enough to offer the service without spending a dime in fees.

When evening approached, our goal for the night consisted of having fun at the Guinness World Records Museum. Somehow, lists of who made more money posthumously, and of which spider had the longest leg span made us curious. I know the kids got a kick out of the freakish exhibits.

Guinness World Records Museum
Guinness World Records Museum

From there we enjoyed the nightlife, taking in some ice cream and walking in the rain. Trust me when I say, eating ice cream in the rain is something to experience first hand.

We didn’t leave Niagara until late Sunday afternoon, once we’d completed our tour of The Falls. In your lifetime, if you ever want to experience anything wondrous and exciting, Niagara Falls is the place to go. The sheer volume and magnitude of this watery beast is enough to send shivers throughout the body.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

On our way back home, all I could hear are the rushing waves, the thundering crashes, and the surging currents of Niagara. The Falls certainly leave an impression.

Skylon Tower
Skylon Tower
Scenic fall photo
Scenic fall photo
Beautiful stream by Niagara Falls
Beautiful stream by Niagara Falls

Oh, which reminds me—our life decision this year has to do with helping our kids as much as we can. So, if you don’t see me around as much, I’m probably either helping my kids with their homework or spending some time with them in an effort to build a lasting relationship. Corny, yeah, I know. But it’s true.


Do you take any time away from it all? Any “unplanned” vacation heading your way?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

25 thoughts on “Autumn in Niagara

  1. I haven’t been to Niagara Falls since I was a child, but I remember the enormity of it all. Being there certainly did leave a lasting impression. Good luck with helping the kiddos more. I don’t believe there is a more fulfilling work on earth than loving and leading little people to happiness and higher learning and loving! All the best! (& I’m so excited at how well your book is doing!)

  2. Hey Jack! Couple more hours south and you could have come visited us! 🙂
    My bff and I took off in one day while I was in high school and did Clifton Hill. That was back when it was so easy to cross the border. Your post brought back some memories…crazy fun time we had there. We did a haunted house and I was so scared I made my bestie go first and I was frightened the whole walk through. We got out, looked at each and said, We’re going again, and I went first the second time 😀
    Beautiful pictures. Ontario was sooo pretty, especially in Autumn, just like down here in western NY. While we were up there, we drove on the QEW. I was so amazed at how green it was and all the green houses. That day we drove as far as we dared(she had her dad’s credit card, so we could have gone just about anywhere).
    Have you had snow yet?
    Thanks for this post! I loved it!

  3. There is nothing corny about making family a priority. A divided family is one that does not share their day around the dinner table at night, parents don’t show up to school plays, graduations, or sports events, and holidays without any traditions other than television or silence.

    Our kids are all in their 30’s and 40’s. we are frequently asked “Do you remember when….” and get to see the light in their eyes as they fondly remember their youth.

    We can wait for the next installment of a Jack Flacco post knowing that it will be well with the read.


  4. I just want to say that where you visited probably smells better than Vegas, and has a more comfortable temperature.

    Also, helping your kids is always a good venture.

  5. Nice tour. I was there back in the 60’s and have not been back. I do remember how much noise the falls made. Oh and to your question? I never go anywhere any more. Spent 40 years on Boeings around the world. Want to rest.

  6. “our life decision this year has to do with helping our kids as much as we can.” I love that! Your kids are lucky to have you and your wife as their parents. I try to do that myself. Hard work raising kids.

    And congratulations on your book launch!

  7. Sounds like an awesome getaway for you and your family! It’s so good that you all are able to spend time together just relaxing. That’s a bigger feat than many people realize!
    Not corny at all. What should we invest in more than our kids? They’re the future and it’s a privilege to be their parents.

    We don’t have any impromptu vacations coming up…but I may need to change that.

    1. Those getaways plans drawn on a whim are the best! Things seem to fall into place whenever we don’t have to do things ’cause we have to, it’s one of life’s little mysteries!


  8. what a great vacation! And sounds like you ate very well 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Not corny at all, your pledge to be there for your kids. Funny thing: Just last night I was resting next to my sleeping 11-year-old daughter and felt I had a bit of a revelation in that my focus–what I should be working on more than anything (including career) is being the best mom I can. Which, yes, will mean letting work take a bit of a hit. But how can we not give the parenting thing our very best shot RIGHT NOW? When it matters most? Totally get that. Now the trick will be putting it into practice. Sounds like you have a great start.

    And congrats on the success of your book launch. Thrilled for you–yay!

  9. I am a Pacific Northwest native and have never been to the east coast, but your description of Niagara was wonderful. I am so glad you were able to have such a relaxing and centering weekend. I cherish those times.

    Oh, and building relationships with your kids is not corny, it is beautiful. Don’t feel bad for abandoning us all once in a while 😉

  10. Gorgeous pictures! No Maid of the Mist? I haven’t been to the falls in five years… I should go back some time soon. 🙂
    Oh! Has the boat at the top of the falls gone over yet? They said last time I was there that it wasn’t going to stay put for much longer.

  11. Beautiful photos, and I really like the idea of a yearly decision. If we don’t see you around as much, it’s not corny at all! It’s awesome because you are helping your kids! Best wishes!

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