We typically shy away from touristy types of attractions, mostly because it means having to deal with large crowds of people. That's not always easy for someone with high-functioning anxiety.
But having the chance to touch Niagara Falls was something we just could not pass up.
So we paid $70 for four tickets to the Cave of the Winds. We looked into Maid of the Mist (the other big attraction at Niagara Falls) but they don't allow dogs, and little miss Stella is not the type that you can just leave behind in the RV while you explore.
Funny enough, Cave of the Winds was also not dog friendly, or so we thought. We had planned to do the thing in two passes; me with the kids, and Brandi has the dog, then her with the kids, and I have the dog. We've done this a few times with a few other places and it's worked out well. It takes more time, but we all get to do something, the dog is out, and the kids get to experience things twice!
Anyway, we're buying tickets the morning of and I happen to ask and she said we could take the dog! There was also another family there with a larger dog and they got to take theirs too.
Anyway, you start off in this cool museum that shows the history of the falls, and of the old power plant that failed long ago. You're there for less than ten minutes until you're whisked away to a presentation of The World Changed Here.
This was a rather impressive "movie" that tied in lighting effects in the room. It showed the history of the falls, and the role that Nikola Tesla played in the development of A/C power.
After that you're off to get your stylish souvenir sandals! Not only are they butt-ugly, but they actually function REALLY well! After a quick fit, you're off to the elevator that takes you 17 stories down in the gorge! This uses an existing shaft that was hand dug more than 90 years ago.
I was most apprehensive about this, but it was 30 seconds and then it was done.
You exit into a long, rather dim, and very damp hall way, then you are in the bottom of the gorge! Pick up your yellow poncho, and you're off to explore the falls.
It's entirely a go at your own pace type of thing. Once you get your poncho you get out onto the bottom of the falls, the lowest part.
Here you can see the falls crashing over the giant boulders as it makes it's way down to the river.
Then you walk a few stairs up while the water from the falls is crashing over your feet!
From there your next stop is Hurricane Deck. Here, the water from the falls, crashes on the deck, and at some points the wind reaches speeds of 70mph (hence the name).
It's falling so fast, from so high up, that some pieces feel like pieces of ice.
It's an amazing and exhilaration feeling to be THAT close to something so powerful.
And the entire time Stella is attached to the front of me, protected by the poncho.
The entire experience was well worth the money, and the fact that we got to take the dog with us just made it that much more enjoyable. Plus the fact that you can go around that deck multiples times and spend as much time as you want down there makes it totally worth it.
And the whole area around Cave of the Winds and Niagara Falls in general were just amazing!
And this footage, you have to just watch!