Friday, July 5, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

Today I was actually excited to wake up early in the morning at 7AM to get ready for the Cornell cohort's trip to Niagara Falls. I had to wait in a long line for my morning omelet, but it was worth it and soon the six of us were on our way to Niagara. The three hour long car ride was long, and most of the others slept to catch up on much needed sleep but I stayed awake for the whole trip to snap photographs of the green scenery. The Bay Area may have more mild weather, but the East Coast thrives with vegetation. Along the way we passed by many farms with cattle, geese, and crops, and we also saw a surprising number of Amish people. It was an interesting experience seeing an Amish man and woman trotting along the road in an authentic horse-drawn carriage, and was surprised to see a family in the city as well as a whole group of Amish women at Niagara Falls. 

We had a satisfying lunch at Hard Rock Cafe before entering the park. The line to the Maid of the Mist ride was long but went by in a reasonable amount of time thanks to the multiple double-decker boats the park owned. We endured long lines to go up a bridge only to descend down a large elevator, and after receiving "souvenir raincoats" as the park described, we boarded the boat and sailed up the Niagara River toward the waterfalls. The raincoats helped to keep off much of the water, but the spray from the majestic waterfalls buffeted boat riders and I was glad I had brought a waterproof camera to take pictures. Unfortunately, I was running low on memory as well as battery, but I was still able to take many pictures of the beautiful waterfalls and the rainbow bridge which connects Niagara Falls, New York, United States to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. 

After experiencing the might of the falls, we trekked to the aquarium, which was located a fifteen minute's walk from the main park. There were many interesting and beautiful fish, but I was greatly peeved that many of the visitors blatantly ignored the "No Flash Photography" signs posted throughout the interior of the building, and asked many of the offenders to refrain from harming the marine animals with the bright bursts of life. I was further horrified when I saw grown adults tapping and even smacking the exhibit glass, scaring away the fish. I was shocked by the level of ignorance in many of the adults, but I suppose not everyone has been to an aquarium in their early lives and been taught to not disturb the animals. I was relieved to see that there were only a few cases of tapping, and left the aquarium feeling slightly accomplished that I had spoken out against the careless people. 

The temperatures were soaring in the eighties, and after being soaked in the falls and exploring the aquarium and small discovery center where we learned about Niagara's history and watched the surrounding area through movable cameras. It was 5:45PM when we finished our Niagara adventure and Mr. Chan-Law drove us back to Ithaca and we all had dinner at a small Pho place. 

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