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#MMGYTravels: Up Close and Personal with an American Icon

Tara Yantis

TRAVEL FACTS
The Trip: Niagara USA Tourism, NTCC
Locations: Niagara Falls and Niagara County, USA
Destination Highlight: My top three are: The Maid of the Mist trip to the foot of the Falls, Speed jet boating over the rapids in the Niagara Gorge, and touring Niagara Fort on the coast of Lake Ontario
Miles Traveled: 2,020 miles round trip

As we got closer, the boat began to rock back and forth at the power of the water rushing around it. The bell at the top of our boat rang out a few times as mist began to land on our faces and we huddled together, complete strangers, in anticipation of this perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Honestly, it was a perfect day had it been written in adventurous literary terms; a bit dark and foreboding. The air was heavy and the sky was dark and clouded—the kind of day that promises adventure without even having to say a word.

As our boat waded through the water, the sound of the sheer force of 3,160 tons of water per second racing from the top of the Falls to the base, hitting at 280 tons of force, could be felt—yes, felt—through the mist on our skin, the wind pushing us back and the thumping of our hearts. Almost instantly, the mist parted and there we were, at the foot of the Falls. Stunned both by its force and beauty.

I had the unique pleasure of experiencing that feeling in person this past autumn while visiting a true American icon—Niagara Falls. We all know about the Falls, and I’m sure it’s on America’s collective bucket list. But experiencing it in person; I just wish these words did it any amount of justice. I’ve never felt so small and in such awe of something before.

Encountering the Falls up close and personal is something every American just has to do. But beyond that, the full destination is quite an incredible experience as well. We raced across Niagara River on a speed jet boat tour, zipping through and over class 5 rapids as we straddled the line between the United States and Canada. Another highlight was a tour of Fort Niagara. The 300-year-old fort is situated at the mouth of Niagara River and looks onto Lake Ontario, so the views are breathtaking. The fort itself has been preserved to impressive detail. Guides dressed in period-attire and a live musket demonstration made for an adventure that took us back three centuries.

It was truly the experience of a lifetime and I won’t soon forget it!

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