Friday, July 5, 2013


Amish families passed us in their buggies as we drove to Niagara Falls. The drive was three hours long and we started to wonder whether we were going in circles. The whole way there, Tomi, Rochelle, and I named every company that each hotel we passed belonged to. Reneta warned us that this would probably happen for the rest of our lives. When we finally arrived, we were pleased with the sunny weather. It didn't look really busy until we walked closer to the park. We stopped by Hard Rock Cafe before entering the park.
Different hand-made items in the park
The line for Maid of the Mist was over an hour long! The queue was folded over and over and lead us up an elevator, across a bridge, and into another line. We were given blue rain ponchos because we were sailing right next to the waterfalls. Everyone scrambled to get a good spot for pictures. I couldn't take a lot of pictures because my camera wasn't waterproof, but when I did,  it was through my poncho.

We became surrounded with beauty. Water came rushing down and onto the boat. The wind would push more water all over us. I came to Niagara Falls with my family at the age of four, but I was too young to remember the scenery. Ironically, I visited Harvard back then and this time I'm studying at Cornell. Nonetheless, the waterfall was still gorgeous and worth the wait. It was refreshing to take a deep breath in the crisp air as opposed to the humid air in Ithaca.

Yes, this is real!
 I wish we got to spend as much time on the boat as the line to the attraction itself, but it was time to go. As a final farewell to the waterfall, we walked up flights of stairs paved into the mountain. It was extremely slippery and covered in rocks. The seven of us ended up getting even more soaked!
A gorgeous view of Niagara Falls from the top of the mountain

We wanted a picture with the waterfall, but ended up covering it
There were a lot of attractions, so we went to the aquarium! It was pretty far and the trolley line was too long. They had sea lions, exhibits about oceanic food chains, and a cute gift shop.Throughout the trip, we started to see so many different people. There were Amish, Chinese, Italian, Indian, American, and many other people from all over the world and different lifestyles. We really wondered what life would be like without all of the electronics we use everyday. What if we didn't buy clothes from the mall or drive to places? And what was it like for the people that work at Niagara Falls? At first I thought they were so lucky because they got to see the beautiful view everyday, but then again, they might be so used to it that it's boring. We ended up going to the Discovery Center before officially leaving.

The drive back consisted of rain, lightning, and rainbows. The weather was so inconsistent that we weren't sure what was going on. We didn't make it back on time for dinner so we ate out. Mr. Chan-Law took us to a Vietnamese restaurant. I have a Chinese and Vietnamese background, so this was my first time eating something familiar since leaving home. It wasn't the most authentic, but close enough! I started to reminisce the dinner at Les Nomades. 
My banh hoi dinner! It's noodles mixed with fish sauce and grilled meat.
With so much talk about graduation, I'm starting to realize that there's only a week before going back home.  I already miss all the people we've met, the outings we shared, and the lessons we've learned. I've completely fallen for the East Coast. I didn't like the humid weather or small dorm room, but I'm used to it now. I feel like I've already settled in and I'm ready to call this place "home", yet we're leaving in one week. I don't want to think about graduation or the plane ride back. This trip has been so amazing and I know that it's become more than a trip. 

My building was hosting girly activities in the lounge, so an RCA gave me a henna tattoo! She told me that she's done it at weddings too. It was so hot that it melted, dried, and then cracked, but it left a pretty orange pattern on my hand. 

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