Friday, July 13, 2007

Live from the Falls!

by Susan Helene Gottfried

As you're reading this, I'm in Canada, hopefully far from any of my computers, although I suspect we'll have at least one laptop with us. Yesterday was, after all, Thursday, and any of my regular groupies can tell you how important Thursdays are in my world.

I chose to travel on a Thursday because it's been two-and-a-half years since my family's last vacation. I'm overdue, to make a gross understatement.

I love to travel. I love to explore new places, see how other people live, learn new things. I love the possibilities that overload my brain.

The Tour Manager will refute this until he turns shades of blue, but for someone named after a job that you only do when you travel, he's a homebody. Maybe it's that he doesn't like to plan; I don't know. All I know for certain is that I'm the one who sat down three weeks ago and started showing the kids pictures of Niagara Falls. The Tour Manager, upon hearing us, fired up one of our other five computers and joined the effort.

Which is why, as you're reading this, I am running around Canada, reveling in the sights. I was here as a kid, myself; my memories are vague. Something about not being allowed to do something, a blue sky, and a little teepee my parents bought me in the souvenir shop. Of the Falls themselves, I remember virtually nothing.

My dad gave me a CD-ROM with all of his old pictures on it, including pictures of my own first time in Niagara. I dug it out in the hopes that the pictures would invoke more memories.

Lo and behold, my dad -- a man who takes amazing quantities of pictures for no good reason -- had taken exactly FIVE pictures: three were of the falls themselves. One was of my sisters with the falls in the background, badly backlit so that you can't see their faces. And the last one? My dad, in the same setting and equally as backlit.

Not much help in the memory department, I'm afraid. In fact, the pictures were useless in that regard. I'm not even sure they'll scrapbook well.

Even before I made scrapbooks and had kids to fill the books with, I'd become quite the photographer -- probably because it was a way to be closer to my dad. I expect I'll take lots of pictures while we're in Niagara. None of that posed stuff for me, either; I like it candid.

Even if my kids come home with only vague images that'll carry into their adult years, I'll have the pictorial supplements I lack of my fist visit to the Falls. Memories may exist only in our brains, but having a slew of pictures sure helps flesh out those memories and keep them real.

And maybe, just maybe, they'll help remind the Tour Manager how much fun it is when the family heads out on the road.


Annette said...

We went to Niagara Falls three years ago. Absolutely breathtaking. Photos are great, but they don't capture the magnitude of the place.

Have a terrific time, Susan!

Anonymous said...

I love the falls, too. All that water, pouring over the edge. There's no words for it!

So, now I'm curious. Why are Thursdays "not to be missed?"

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Thursdays, Tory, are Thursday Thirteen days, a meme that's so much fun (and work), I hate to miss it.

And HUGE thanks to Annette for doing some of the Tour Manager's duties for me!!

Best news of all: I've written two pages while the Tour Manager's been in the shower. Woo hoo! The trip's already provided inspiration! (a lot of it, actually, and I have yet to see the Falls themselves from anything other than my hotel room window)

Amy Ruttan said...

I hope you're enjoying the Falls and Canada. I wish I was there with you, if you had of post poned your trip till next week I'm on holidays!!!

Enjoy our friendly country eh!!

Don't forget to make the Tour Manager go on the Maid in the Mist with you.

Tilly Greene said...

Tell the Tour Manager he'd better have fun or the holiday will become synonymous with the Griswald's Family Vacation :-)

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I hope you're having fun! I've never been that far north, myself. It must be heaven, this time of year!

Wylie Kinson said...

Hope you're having a FABULOUS time at the Falls, Susan. You must check out the Falls View Casino. They have some great acts playing there, too.

carmilevy said...

Canada, eh? You're not that far from my neck of the woods: about 2.5 hours by road. We're hoping to make it to Niagra Falls later this summer: the kids have never been, and they'd love to see what the fuss is all about.

Can't wait to read your perspectives on this place. I hope the Canadians you encounter are polite!

Rhian said...

have a grand time Susan. Mr. BP was just telling me this past week about his recent family trip to the Falls during Canada Day. He wasn't expecting to share the visit with 5 million others but still enjoyed the experience. Take pics pretty please.

Anonymous said...

yeah! you're visiting Canada - out East I suspect. I'm on the (usually) wet coast - the heat wave has thrown us all for a loop. Looking forward to learning more about your family adventures during this well-deserved outing.

Pat said...

One of our memorable trips - before flying was out for my husband, and myself by proxy, was from Calgary to Vancouver and various points en route. I loved the crystal clear air, the humming birds, the bears, the whales and being able to see the top ot a mountain three times the height of Ben Nevis. It should be the law that everybody has a vacation at least once a year. Victoria and the gardens were great also. Michele says hi!