Guerillas in the Mist

I don't mean soldiers...I mean tourists in blue, wispy ponchos at Niagara Falls' "Maid of the Mist."

It was around 7AM when we arrived at Niagara Falls State Park in upstate New York. The parking lot was virtually empty, and we ate the egg sandwiches we brought for breakfast, with coffee from a nearby McDonald's. Nourished and more awake, we then took photos by the raging waterfalls. I photographed my godmother/aunt and her husband.

Everytime he would hold the camera, though, he'd yell these awkward commands: "OK...mas masaya!" (OK, happier!) My mouth hurt trying to smile wider. But I know that my godmother was truly happy being there, one of the highlights of their first U.S. tour in the East Coast--a major vacation after their marriage a couple of years ago. The 6-hour journey to Niagara Falls was all worth it.

An Asian girl was strolling along the railing with her luggage, admiring the falls. I saw her prop her suitcase, look behind her, then hold her camera in front of her to take a self-portrait...with a peace sign, of course. Seeing myself in her state of self-photography in a touristy place, I walked up to her and offered to take her photo. I made sure that the Canadian side was visible in the background when I did it. She was very happy with her photo. I felt this warm glow being a Good Samaritan photographer.

A few minutes later, she ran up to me and asked what time the "Maid of the Mist" would open. I told her it's going to be around 9AM and pointed to where the ticket booths were. I then asked her where she was from, and she excitedly replied, "Japan!" She then carefully explained in English how she's on this Canadian-U.S. tour by herself, how she's already been to Vancouver, Boston and New York City. I was impressed with her intrepid attitude towards traveling solo across North America, with her belongings cramped inside one small suitcase.

I wish I could just fly off to somewhere far, far away, where nobody knew me. And then I'd have a sketchbook and all my cameras, digital and lomo alike, and document my daily experience in a strange, foreign land. And then I'd struggle to take my own photo (because my gorillapod broke) at some famous landmark and then a handsome, kind local would come up to me and ask, with a sexy, heavy accent, "Would you like me to take your picture?" And of course, I'd smile and say yes, please. And he would know how to capture the light in the most flattering way as he snapped my photographic memento away.

One can dream, right? I choose not to continue this reverie because, I might get carried away!

So anyway, here are the the rest of our Niagara Falls photos:

It started to get cloudy and the light drizzle added to the misty shower that the falls were already giving us. The boat moved steadily along and had only a few wavy moments as we neared the Horse Shoe Falls (Canadian side). The people all crowded the railings of the boat, eager to get a good view. Our heads got some massive spraying from the mist, including our cameras, so I kept wiping the lens to get decent photos on the boat. I also had to really keep my balance to avoid slipping on the already wet floor.

Here comes the bride! I mean, the Bridal Veil Falls (New York side). Did you know that Niagara Falls is a favorite wedding venue by some people?

My sister had this grand idea of turning our blue ponchos into a wind balloon. She demanded that I take her photo holding her poncho lobo. I obliged. She was so proud.

I've posted some other Niagara Falls not too long ago here. I will never grow tired at the majesty of Niagara Falls, whether I'm on its New York or Canada persona.

6 vandalized my wall:

RedLan said...

ganda tlaga ng niagra falls, breathtaking!

witsandnuts said...

I'm mesmerized especially by the first photo! The poncho lobo is a cute idea. =)

Jasper said...

i've been to niagara falls twice but never on the american side, only from canada. niagara falls state park - i'd keep that in mind.

ghee said...

what a nice adventure!hindi talaga nakakasawang tingnan ang niagara falls.i wish i can visit one day din!!

musta na faery?its been a while ;) hope all is well with you!!

Sidney said...

Hahahaha... funny post ! I am sure your dreams will come true....and end in a fairy tale !

Ferdz said...

Such a nice story! I also struggle with taking self portaits when I travel alone. Am scared to leave it off a tripod as someone might run away with it :P But I do admire that Jap girl. I'm hoping to visit the US and Canada as well sometime next year :D

Love that veil photo. Hope I can visit this too

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