“The Falls”

I have come to find that there are very few moments in which one can experience true happiness. For me, no other summer was filled with more cheer than the summer of ’09, when my family and I drove up to Buffalo, NY to witness, first-hand, the power of one of Canada and New York's most famous tourist attractions ; Niagara Falls.

It had been years since we had had a real family vacation. My family and I had gone through so many personal tragedies; we decided that we were going to get away from all the suffering. I recall driving for hours in a small Toyota Prius my father had rented just for the occasion. As my nineteen-year–old self sat in the back with my seven-year-old sister at the time, I was feeling all sorts of emotions, the main one being excitement. I had always wanted to go to Niagara Falls, but it never seemed like the “right” time to go. This year, however, everything seemed possible. We rode in our rented Toyota and passed through most, if not all, of New York. Once we got to our destination, I could hear and even feel some of the mist that was sprayed by the immense power of the waterfalls. It was roughly three o’clock in the afternoon when we were able to see the great “Niagara Falls” in all its magnificent glory. More glorious still was the experience of the "Maid of the Mist" boat ride, which allowed us to get even closer to this natural splendor. I remember that at one point we were so far into the falls we couldn't see anything except white mist. Moreover, the roar of the water rushing down the cliffs was so powerful we could barely hear what anyone was saying. Then at night, we crossed the Canadian border into Ontario and saw the great falls from the other side. Different colored lights were being projected onto Niagara Falls from various angles. It was one of the most powerful and magnificent views I had ever witnessed in my entire life. The best part was that my entire family was there to share the experience with me. Now when I visit the Paterson Great Falls, I remember a time when my summer meant so much more than just tourism.