Usually when people use the term "elope" they're talking about running away to be married, and although Kyle and I are now almost five years past that point, we did decide a day and a half before we left that it'd be fun to take a quick road trip together to do some exploring. So in the true spirit of elopement, we packed up our car with a suitcase and Emery and took off like the young lovers do to literally one of the most "wonder"-ful places in the world - Niagara Falls!
Niagara Falls is without a doubt one of those types of places where pictures do not do it justice at all, and I think it's because one of the things that made seeing The Falls so incredible was the fact that when you're right there in front of them you're doing so much more than just looking. At any point while we were close to the waterfalls, you could see, hear, smell, and even feel the mist from the falling water on your face, and that combination of senses made it so easy to see why this place is considered one of the great wonders of the world.
One thing that surprised me about Niagara Falls was that outside of the actual waterfall area, the National Park itself is fairly small. Being from Utah, I think when I heard the term "national park" I was expecting something along the size of the Grand Canyon, and totally overpacked us with hiking gear and supplies for the experience. It turned out that Niagara Falls State Park is actually more of a little city (they even have their own downtown area right outside the park), the entire park is sidewalk paved, and with the exception of one hike that ended up being closed when we were visiting (Cave of the Winds I think?), you can take a stroller or wheelchair literally anywhere in the park without any problem. It ended up being the perfect spot to take a super high energy toddler, and honestly felt like a family stroll through a regular park with the exception of the incredible waterfalls right next to us for enjoying the entire time.
Kyle and I agreed that our favorite part of the Niagara Falls experience was the "Maid of the Mist" boat tour. It's a little pricey (about $20 a person - kids under 5 are free though) but was SO worth it for the experience of getting that close to the falls, and actual entry into the state park is free so we figured if there was an activity to splurge on that this would be it. Kyle snapped a picture of one of the boat tours before ours (above) to try and show how close the boat takes you up to the falls, and once we were actually down on the boat it took us even closer than we'd originally thought, easily making this the highlight of our trip!
Every time our family takes one of these last minute trips together, it always goes down in the books as an experience to remember. More than anything I love the memories that we're all making together, and doing it in neat places like this is just sprinkles on top of the cake. It was really weird thinking that this last May break will literally be the last one that we'll have in our dental school journey, and sending off this last graduating class has me feeling incredibly nostalgic. We've got one more year of dental school before we're officially through with the "student life", and intend to enjoy it to it's fullest extent before moving on to our next adventure!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.