A Niagara Falls state of mind

Call it cheesy, call it trite, but I spend the summers recreating the classic vacations of the 1960s. My parents were broke, and my father didn’t like to travel, so I never saw the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Niagara Falls until now.

Just a taste of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls

I wonder, where did I develop such affection for these? Was it the classic The Parent Trap (1961) and The Parent Trap II (1986): 2-Movie Collection (2-Disc Set) which I saw as a child? Was it all those Wonderful World of Disney films shown on Sunday nights during the now non-existent “family hour?” I’m not sure, but something instilled a love in me for our entire park system, both National and state.

A couple of years ago I saw the Grand Canyon, and now, I can say I’ve been to Canada (if only for a little while). Then, we were fortunate to see both sides of Niagara Falls.

Two dreams come true.

We first went to the Canadian side which has lovely gardens near the falls, but I didn’t take any photos of flora and fauna. I know, it’s shocking, but the falls far outweighed our frail human offerings. On the Canadian side, the falls are much larger, but . . . ,

Our little group from left to right: Leslie, Elizabeth, Carol, Cindy, Robin, Kathy and Helen. I hope I didn't leave anyone out.

We then went to the American side, and for me, it was better, not due to it being in the U.S., but because Frederick Law Olmsted designed the park surrounding the falls. According to our guide, Elizabeth of Garden Rant and Gardening While Intoxicated, it was the first state park in the U.S.

As Bear would say, “Cool-i-o.

I found the rapids to be as enchanting as the falls, and the bridge built during Olmsted’s time was classic. It reminded me of his work in Central Park. I also loved the large trees and the shaded walk to the Bridal Veil where we were able to stand between Canada and America. It was magical.

Olmstead bridge spanning the rapids on the American side

Gotta say I love Buffalo. It is charming, full of wonderful restaurants and beautiful architecture. Our hosts are already doing a fabulous job by booking us into the Embassy Suites.

Will post photos of gardens tomorrow, but right now, I’m still in a Niagara state of mind.

Please forgive me.


  1. Doug Green says:

    You’re right Dee – the falls are magical as are the gardens surrounding them on both sides of the border. From that Olmstead garden to the Niagara Parks Gardens on the Canadian side, it is indeed a gardeners visual delight.

    And for the record, what’s wrong with doing classic vacations? Road trip!! LOL

  2. eliz says:

    I am so glad that you liked the American side as I do, Dee! It made me very proud and happy and in fact I resolved to take some hikes along the gorge (in somewhat cooler weather) soon.

    I am hoping to post some of my pictures on GWI tonight.

    Eliz, I so hope you do. I wanna see it from your perspective.~~Dee

  3. DL says:

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for the nod to Niagara Falls. As a born and bred Pennsylvanian, I am not originally from here but have resided in Niagara Falls since 1985. People underestimate and often overlook the beauty found on the American side of the falls. Like you have experienced, I too love the rapids and famously designed park. I can walk to the falls and do it quite often. Both sides too. The Canadian side is beautiful, but so is Niagara Falls, USA.

    DL, you are so welcome. After I posted about Niagara, I had another Buff resident tell me he loved the Canadian side best because of the gardens. I just think the town fathers/mothers of Niagara need to keep working on restoring Olmsted’s park. I like the idea of at least seeing something of what the Native Americans and settlers saw. There are plenty of casinos. ;)~~Dee

  4. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    I’ve boated through the Grand Canyon but have yet to see Niagara Falls. I would love to. You’re making me feel real sorry that I didn’t make it to Spring Fling 3.

    MSS, I’m so sorry you didn’t make it. Would love to see you again.~~Dee

  5. Hi, Dee! Congratulations for living your vacation dreams! My grandparents took me to Niagara Falls when I was a little girl and I bet it’s not hard to imagine how impressively large and dynamic those falls look to a little bitty girl! AWESOME memory! Glad you have one, too!

  6. Randy says:

    I’m the second from the youngest of 9 kids so by the time I came along my parents were older and tired and my baby sister and I didn’t get to go on vacations like the older siblings. I look forward to seeing these places one day too.

    Randy, that’s interesting. In my husband’s family of seven kids, they didn’t have any money until the older ones grew up so he didn’t go on any vacations. He is second oldest.~~Dee

  7. Rose says:

    Beautiful, Dee! I did get to see Niagra Falls on a camping trip with my parents back in the 60’s. I remember, even as a jaded teenager, being in awe of this magnificent display. So glad you got to see it–what fun to see some familiar faces in the group photo!

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Not a thing cheezy about loving nature. I am glad you got to see the Falls. They are incredible. It is good seeing part of the group.

  9. It’s great to see those teenage dreams become reality, Dee! My sister & I were teenagers when my dad decided to drive the family through Indiana, Michigan and Ontario to Niagara Falls…think he was hoping it would be cooler if he drove North… we had a wonderful time.

    So good to see everyone together, having fun!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. Nothing wrong with seeing both our great countries, including the falls, Dee. I’d be doing it too if I could. Glad you had a great time at the Falls. They truly are amazing, despite all the cheesiness of Clifton Hill and other tourist tripes. Have a great time!

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