Niagra Falls

I took the family (or the ‘fam’ as my comic buddy Steve Patterson calls it) to Niagra Falls which is a great experience if you want to show your kids what Vegas would be like if it was run by carnies.

Niagra Falls was formed at the end of the last ice age when the water in the Great Lakes carved a path though the Niagra Escarpment to the Atlantic ocean. So naturally, it’s the perfect place to have casinos, haunted houses, wax museums and countless restaurants where kids eat free. (which is code for parent meals are overpriced).

Our first day we walked down to the falls, which are spectacular to look at even when they are partly frozen over. They are spectacular for one minuted and thirty seconds, then you kind of move on. The kids were disappointed because they could not ride the falls. My nine year old son, Ronin, asked me if there were caves under the falls. I said I didn’t think so but he insisted that there probably are. So if you’re ever there, check the caves under the falls. Ronin says they exist. He’s ‘pretty sure’

We stayed at an Inn. I believe it was once a motel with courtyards that are now roofed to make it an Inn. Our room had a view of the roofed courtyard where families order pizza to avoid going to places where kids eat free.

We felt like spending money so we went to one of the restaurants where kids eat free. My wife, Jess, ordered a greek salad and they brought what they insisted was one. It had no feta or olives, which for me is the part that makes it a greek salad.

My wife doesn’t like conflict so very gently asked the waiter if there was any feta in the salad. He assured us it was ‘ under the rest’ of the salad. We’d never heard of a hidden greek salad but we went along with that for about a minute. After mixing the salad over we came to the conclusion that the waiter had never actually looked under the salad himself.

My wife will let a lot of things go, but a key ingredient in an overpriced salad is not one of them. She was about to deal with it in a really Jess way. She would call out “excuse me,,,” while he ignored her a few minutes and then this would be followed by an apology for ordering and overpaying for an item they listed on their menu but didn’t know how to make. Luckily for everyone involved, I am what my comic buddy Steve would call ‘an arsehole’. So I just blurted out, across the restaurant “Hey, there’s no feta in the greek salad”.

They brought a bowl of feta to go with her house salad. In fairness, Ronin’s corn dog was fried to perfection.

They had a water park which my kids loved. It sits on top of a four storey parking garage and under a big tent. I’ll stop short of calling it an engineering wonder but it is kind of cool to look at. Ronin loved it. He is now over 48 inches tall and can do every ride. I feel for any 47 inch 9 year old who goes to the Water Park.

What I don’t get is why Mackenzie, my six year old daughter, liked it. At 42 inches, she could do most of the rides, but instead she just floated in a tube in the main pool for the entire time. (It was supposed to be a wave pool but the parking lot tides must have been weak that day) She also liked being dragged in the tube across the water while I made monster noises. She insisted that I be a friendly monster so I had to say nice things in a monster voice.

“Grrr, I’m going to get you and you ice cream?”

The monster (I’m using third person because I was in character) would pretend to be frustrated by his inability to be a mean monster. This part she loved.

“Now monster, pretend to cry

I did improv for years and this is what we call railroading. One improviser controlling the other improvisers and steamrolling the scene. I hated being railroaded as an improviser. It’s not so bad when you’re playing monster.

By the end of the weekend we started finding cheaper ways of doing things. We order pizza and found a diner with reasonable prices.. I totally recommend driving to Niagra Falls for the diner. Just drive down Lundy’s Lane and look for the giant Space Ship.