niagara falls

Oh, hello. It’s been a while.

For our second wedding anniversary, rather than go out to a nice dinner as we had originally intended, Geoff and I decided to go to Niagara Falls. I love places like Niagara Falls, which to me is such a multi-faceted place: an astonishing natural wonder, tacky, always full of tourists; a bit trashy, with a definite seedy side, as well as a melancholy one (I recently heard that many of the motels are temporary living spaces for people waiting on immigration). Images of Marilyn Monroe perched on the stone fence along the lookout points. Since it’s only an hour and a half away, I spent my childhood visiting whenever relatives or family friends were in town, and I was so fascinated by it and by stories of daredevils going over in barrels. And it really is so beautiful.

Whenever we told our friends we were going to Niagara Falls they would ask, oh you mean Niagara on the Lake? And we would say, no! Niagara Falls! No, no wineries! Haunted houses and wax museums!

It was so corny, and I loved it all. We booked a hotel room with a heart-shaped jacuzzi tub in it, of course, and bought Clifton Hill passes. We ate at a diner shaped like a flying saucer. We went to a movie-themed wax museum and took pictures of their Fatal Attraction diorama, we rode a giant Ferris wheel at dusk, we played glow-in-the-dark Wizard-themed mini putt. We ate ice cream and posed for photos next to a giant Hershey’s Kiss with a face (eyelashes and lipstick even). We walked across the Rainbow Bridge with our passports and into the United States for about an hour, mostly for the novelty of it, and partially to visit the Twist O’ The Mist ice cream shop shaped like a giant ice cream cone and the Niagara Falls State Park. We had a view of Hooters from our hotel room, the hotel lobby had a funny smell and a swimming pool that no one ever used, we snorted at cheesy (sometimes misogynist) t-shirts in souvenir shop windows, we noted that motels don’t advertise heart-shaped jacuzzis anymore (now simply “jacuzzis”: more family-friendly?). We waited in a crowd for a half an hour to watch ten minutes of fireworks (Canada’s longest running fireworks series, you guys!).

We also went to the Butterfly Conservatory and it was so magical. It feels rare to see butterflies fluttering about in the wild these days, which is sad, so it was nice to see them living a pampered life with all the oranges and bananas they could eat. The blue morphos were my favourites.

And then of course we did what we always do, which is take film photos that make it seem as though we were the only people in the world visiting these fairly busy places. I am already planning our next visit.

The one sign for heart-shaped jacuzzis that we saw. I visited with some friends in the late nineties and I remember squealing HEART SHAPED LOVE TUBS YOU GUYS as we drove by a sign advertising them. No one was as amused as I was, strangely. That same visit we went to an alien-themed haunted house, and it was actually so scary and so hilarious. RIP Alien Encounter, which is now (you guessed it) a souvenir t-shirt shop.

We actually didn’t eat any ice cream here, although I am curious about this Perry’s ice cream. This shop only took cards and we didn’t have any cash on us because that’s just what we do.

This one was taken from the American side. Hi, Canada.

The Clifton Hill Fun Pass comes with TWO rides on the Sky Wheel. It was great!

This is the Spanish Aerocar that goes above a part of the river called The Whirlpool. It looks pretty cool but I have a feeling that I would get bored a quarter of the way through. Lots of people taking selfies on it, which is always fun to watch.

It is really difficult to take pictures of butterflies with a manual focus.


  1. Looks like it was a fun trip!
    We were in Niagara Falls for July 4 and the fireworks were also only 10 minutes long. Sure, it's Canada, but those fireworks are popular on both sides of the border. 'Was expecting something more.

  2. While all of the photos are beautiful, I think I fell in love with the butterflies.

  3. Beautiful photos Anabela. Happy Anniversary

  4. Oh my god, this sounds like my dream trip - heart shaped jacuzzi, butterflies, icecream, neon mini golf and film photos *died and gone to heaven*

  5. I love the 5th butterfly picture down! And the butterfly shirt one. Very nice!

  6. This sounds like a really awesome trip and that butterfly conservatory looks…AMAZING!!! xx

    Alix // Oui Je T'aime Aussi

  7. Love all the butterfly pics, so pretty :)

  8. I would love to go there one day and pretend that I'm marilyn monroe in Niagara haha. Looks like you had a brilliant anniversary.