I do need to be upfront here and declare that not all of the pictures taken at Niagara Falls were actually taken with Glass. Partially, because despite leaving New York with a fully charged up unit, it was running one of the battery sucking XE versions. By the time I got to the Falls 3 hours later I was down to 22%, despite not having used Glass at all on the way, but also because, in some places you get seriously wet and I didn’t want to risk killing my Glass for the sake of a few pictures.
I was really excited to find a day trip to Niagara Falls from New York online before we left home; I’ve always wanted to visit but didn’t know it was possible to do it in a day. Also, most of my previous trips have been in much colder weather, and spending a day getting wet in freezing temperatures just didn’t sound that appealing.
Much warmer weather, and a day trip that had the benefit of being on a private plane so you didn’t have to go through all the hassle of waiting around at airports and stripping virtually naked to go through security on the way there and back, made it a much more viable option! Plus, I really liked that this tour just dropped you at the Falls, where you did your own thing until they came back and picked you up that afternoon. There’s nothing I hate more than following a tour guide holding a ping pong ball on a stick, while spending the whole day waiting for the same people who inevitably are late to each check point.
Anyway, this tour had none of that, so Sascha and I happily skipped off with our passes, ready to explore the Falls from the US side on an absolutely beautiful sunny day.
We headed to the Maid of the Mist boat trip first, because we were keen to get this done early before the lines got too long. After donning very attractive long blue plastic ponchos, we got on the boat and sailed up close to the various waterfalls, (where we were very glad to be wearing the nasty blue ponchos!). I got some great pictures through glass with the hood of my poncho carefully positioned to protect it from the mist.
Next up, we headed for Cave of the Winds, where we got an early warning of just how wet we were going to get when you had to swap out your shoes for rubber sandals that made the ponchos look high fashion, before heading in. Glass stayed firmly tucked away in my bag, (under a yellow poncho this time) which ended up being a very smart move. Despite the name, there’s no cave (apparently there was once, but its now long gone) and you walk up a set of stairs right on the edge of the waterfall. This was a fantastic experience; the power of the water rushing past was incredible and the cascade of freezing water running over your feet quickly showed why the sandals were needed (note to all the people who kept them and wore them around the park for the rest of the day, yes you were supposed to hand them back at the end, and I have no idea why you wanted to continue wearing such ugly footwear even if you had ‘scored’ by keeping them!).
With the two major activities completed first up, we spent the rest of the time strolling around the beautiful park, had lunch in the Top of the Falls restaurant, which as the name suggests has incredible views looking out over the water, before watching the Niagara Legends of Adventure IMAX movie to finish off our visit. Despite having heard about the people who had survived trips over the Falls, watching these through IMAX had us on the edge of our seats. The 64-year-old school teacher who decided her best way of funding her retirement was by going over the falls in a barrel padded with a doona made me think a little more seriously about superannuation strategies!
I won’t talk too much about the trip home, because this was where the negatives of the day played out. Having to hang out in a souvenir shop for 30 minutes on the way back to the airport is never my favourite way to finish the day, but that paled into insignificance compared to the two hour wait at the airport when we got back to Long Island before the bus finally arrived to take us back into Manhattan. Needless to say, I’m not going to give the tour company any kind of plug here, but if you want to roll the dice you can find them pretty easily on Viator. Just know that the majority of the positive reviews don’t appear to be ‘valid’ in my opinion; the plane is far more flying school bus-style than private jet, and a sandwich doesn’t exactly qualify as a gourmet breakfast….
For all that, the star of the day was definitely the Falls, and Sascha and I had a great day exploring this beautiful part of the world. Plus, I got some pretty incredible pictures with Glass before my battery ran out, and the iPhone ones weren’t too shabby either.