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.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

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