NIAGARA FALLS —
”Mommy ... there’s a BOAT down there.”
It was the Maid of the Mist, of course. He watched in awe as it nearly vanished within the spray of the falls, and I watched him.
”Do you want to go on that sometime?”
For all his adventurous spirit, I can see the trepidation. That boat was going under a waterfall. But the sense of adventure won.
That’s how we found ourselves, several weeks later, strolling through Niagara Falls State Park hand-in-hand, purchasing a ticket (for me; children 5 and younger are free) and heading up the stop to the observation area.
That would come later. We loaded onto the elevator with other passengers (Sam was thrilled when the operator let him “drive” it) and emerged many feet below. He stopped dead in his tracks, head tilted to see the American Falls, the deck high above, then the boat just casting off ahead of us. (I had to reassure him there would be another.)
”This is an adventure,” he said, as if to remind himself. I acknowledged that it was.
We stood in line for our blue ponchos, donning them when the line settled for the next boat. Very soon, it was our turn.
While Sam would have liked to head immediately to the top deck, maternal caution dictated we stay below, just in case Mr. Adventure wasn’t as enthralled as I hoped he would be. We took a place near the front side; he held my hand as the boat cast off.
It didn’t take long for the spray from the American Falls to douse us. Sam chattered away as we passed the base, pulling on the hood of his poncho and wanting to peer over the railing at the gulls and assorted fowl in the river while I kept a grip on him. Then we headed for the basin of the Horseshoe Falls.