We checked into the hotel desk at Niagara Falls Canada only to discover that our reservations were for Niagara Falls New York. The booking site had switched us over from Canada to New York and I hadn’t noticed. True, the GPS could not locate the street address as we closed in on the city, which was odd, but I have never upgraded the software, so I thought perhaps some street names or something had changed.
The Canadian concierge at the hotel said – she actually said – ‘I feel sorry for you.’ Had she read a certain look of dismay on my face? Or was it said in all innocence? Or was it a reaction to Trump, who lately had said unkind things about the Canadian Prime Minister?
They offered to switch hotel branches for me,
but when I saw the price difference, I had a heart attack. They took me to the hospital, patched me up, and because I was in Canada, I left still solvent. The concierge one level up had said – he actually said – while the Canadian hotel had some rooms, they were “crappy” rooms that didn’t face the Falls. ‘How crappy can they be?’ I asked. ‘Do janitors store their mops there?’ He said they did not. The rooms just faced the city, which would not have been such a huge put-off for me. But, as stated, they were too pricy.
We drove across the bridge back to New York to take our booked room. Then we walked to the falls. The kid at the ticket booth said – he actually said – that if you are looking for things to do, Canada Niagara Falls wins hands down. But if you are looking for natural attractions and interactions with the falls, the American side wins hands down. The Canadian Cave of the Winds, for example, is vastly inferior to its American counterpart, where you get to clamber around on winding pathways just feet from the base of the falls. On the other hand, Canada has all the wax museums, far more restaurants, and even a ferris wheel.
I told the kid at the booth, and he laughed heartily, of a visiting couple I had overheard. Maybe they were from India or thereabouts, but they were not North American. Discussing how you could look across the river and see the Falls of the other country, the wife said – she actually said – that maybe Trump would build a wall.
The Falls is also the best place I know to practice one of the greatest gestures of goodwill there is, and it costs nothing. Offer to take a family's photograph with their camera. That way, they are not stuck with a beachball-sized selfie head surrounded by several heads half-sized. They will love you for it, even if they decline.