The kind of travel I am normally about is the independent, backpacking sort of travel. This is great and all – I love it, to be blunt, yet it can get lonely once in a while. So, over the summer, I was quite happy when my friends, namely one Allie Feru, planned a weekend road trip with some of my other friends to Niagara Falls.
Two of my closest friends, Paolo and Allie, were both about to move back to Italy, whether they wanted to or not, unfortunately, and so we planned a group trip for the July 20th weekend while some of my other friends were away. Originally it was supposed to be just a three-hour drive to somewhere on Long Island, but Allie wanted to see the great Niagara Falls before she moved back home, and as the “boss” (lovingly applied), we complied.
On Friday night, July 20th, I drove home from my day job with a rented Jeep Liberty. At around 10:30 pm, we met up at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, all 6 of us: Paolo Cocco, Alessandra Feruglio, Ian Johnson, Gian Alberti, Jason Shah, and myself. We started the drive towards Niagara Falls, NY (we didn’t plan to go to the Canadian side, because many of my friends are international and have visa restrictions). The drive was wonderful; we blasted all of our favorite songs, sang at the top of our lungs, laughed, stopped wherever we wanted and danced, and took turns sleeping and driving. What should have been a 7.5 hour drive ended up being close to 10 hours, and we arrived in Niagara Falls, NY at dawn the next day.
After parking the car in a lot nearby the Niagara Falls State Park, we found a Starbucks first, where we all got coffees and a small breakfast. We washed up and brushed teeth in the restroom before heading out. Though the NF State Park is relatively big, with many trees obscuring views of the water, finding the Falls is easy, as there is a perpetual plume of thick, white mist that goes high into the sky from where the water hits the rocks below. Though I’ve been here almost a dozen times, I am always still awestruck by the beauty of it all.
First up on the official agenda was the Maid of the Mist, the quintessential Niagara Falls tour boar which takes you right up to the base of the Falls and gets you soaked. Paolo, Ian, and I, as the resident New Yorkers, had already been to the Falls and ridden on the Maid of the Mist, so we decided to nap on the grass while the other three went. When they arrived back, drenched and carrying that famous blue souvenir poncho each, we walked through some trails to get closer to the Horseshoe Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, two of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls (the third being the American Falls). Allie, who was the original organizer of this trip, wanted to visit the Canadian side, to complete her travels here, so I went with her; we had to leave the rest of the gang behind, as nobody else had their necessary documentation available to cross the land border to Canada.