On the edge

American Falls and bridge


For someone so afraid of heights, you wouldn’t take me for a crazy waterfall fanatic.

But something about cascading water — plummeting, falling, twirling, twisting — always holds me captive. And of all the cataracts I’ve had the pleasure of seeing? Well, Niagara Falls stands alone. (Until I see the Devil’s Throat, anyway.)

My first visit was in 2004 on a family trip with my sister and parents; we hit Buffalo, Toronto and surrounding areas one muggy week in July. I had my first “legal” beer at a bar on the Canadian side of the falls, my dad teaching me how to tip the bartender as I tried not to gag on the light-colored brew. (Pretty sure it was Labatt Blue. Kind of a thing up north.)

My husband grew up in New York south of the famous sight, so they’re a wee bit “old hat” to him. On my first-ever trip to meet his family, we detoured from Buffalo to see Niagara — my second visit ever, and my first on the American side. I was captivated, especially when we donned ponchos to see American Falls from below. We got soaked; we smiled and laughed; I felt far away and happy.


Niagara 2010

American Falls from below


When I think of Niagara, I think of looking over the precipice with Spencer. Wind in our eyes and our hair; mist gathering around my shoulders. I remember our romance and how exciting it was to visit when everything was bright and bold and Technicolor. We were with the kind, wonderful woman who has become my mother-in-law, and the very dear friend who would someday serve as the best man at our wedding. The sun was shining, the roar was pounding in my ears . . . and I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so happy.

Because of the company, of course.

And because of the giant, exhilarating waterfalls.


Niagara II


When I stand at the edge of Niagara, I have that free-falling, free-floating feeling — like my feet have gone out from under me. My toes tingle. My stomach flips. It’s like I’ve been dropped into a barrel and that barrel is ricocheting toward the edge. Like I can’t be righted, as though I’ve lost my balance; everything is topsy-turvy and uncontrollable.

It’s a strange sensation, an odd stomach-gripping feeling; it’s like I really do need to grip the railing and hold on.

Just a little like love, perhaps.


Niagara I


Though I’m many years out of school, it’s spring break!
And I’m breaking to enjoy time up north with our family.
I’ll see you back here on April 21! Happy Easter, friends.


Advertisements

Remembering some (warmer) times

Outer Banks


This is never-ending winter is enough to make anyone stir-crazy. Just when I thought we were out of the doldrums and heading into cherry blossom season, one of my most favorite times of year, I got wind that we were looking at more snow on Monday. It’s currently 18 degrees.

Whut?

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I’ve been flipping through some of my favorite vacation photos in recent years. Though we tend to favor mountainous areas over beachy scenes, we have spent our fair share of time in the sand at my family’s annual Outer Banks vacations. We baked outside Westminster Abbey during our April 2011 trip to England, and also soaked up the sunshine at a mission in San Juan Bautista in California.

Let’s daydream on a chilly Friday, shall we?

And perhaps brighter days will be here soon.


Sunset

Battery Park

Redwoods

Grasmere

San Francisco

English countryside

San Juan Bautista


P.S. Though our plans aren’t completely finalized yet, we will be returning to several of these places this summer. Can you guess which ones?