Friday morning. Our last full day in Niagara.
Trevor’s agenda for the day, which we are never fully privvy to until after the fact, was to see the Falls from all remaining vantage points we had not already been to.
My agenda for the day was to find a nice little coffee shop on the Canadian side in which to have a snack and spend our 17 Canadian dollars. (Loons, they call them. See how authentically Canadian I am after spending two days there?) My tastes run simple.
We spent the morning on the American side having a better look around Goat Island. Trevor read every single word of every single informative sign. He does this; it’s why he’s so clever. But it was getting a little old for the girls. We did get super close to the Falls, and that was pretty cool.
After a picnic lunch that was slightly plagued by bees and a little girl who was beside herself because the band-aid on her toe had become “fluffy” (also a Bea, come to think of it, but we did find her a new band-aid, and all was well after that), we embarked across the bridge once again for another Canadian adventure. Little did we know…
It was the hottest day we had had in Niagara, and so when, after walking for a while on the Canadian side, the sky started looking a bit like rain, I casually remarked to Trevor that “I actually wouldn’t mind a little rain.” I regretted it the moment it came out of my mouth. I tried to take it back. It didn’t work.
The early drizzle did actually feel nice. Refreshing. Cooling. We weren’t at all jealous at first that every single other person we saw was whipping out a rain poncho they had saved from their boat tour. We, of course, had opted not to do the boat tour, since Romilly’s freak-out-noise-level-threshold is far exceeded even by flushing a public toilet (don’t get me started on these new XLerator hand-dryers: she would sooner hold it for a whole day than be in the same room with one), so we were utterly unprepared for any level of rain beyond the pleasant drizzle.
As we continued walking along the Canadian side toward the Falls themselves (about two miles from where we were parked), two things became clear: 1. that the rain was getting heavier rather than letting up, and 2. that Trevor’s plan was to make it to the Falls, come what may.
There was really nowhere to easily hide anyway, but continuing to walk farther and farther away from our car and from the little cluster of shops we had passed a while back still didn’t quite seem like the right move. I’m not sure at what point it started to feel like we really ought to just run for some shelter and wait it out, but for whatever reason, we both let that moment come and go and we were quickly into Well-It-Hardly-Matters-Now-It’s-Not-Like-We-Could-Get-Any-Wetter territory. Incidentally, we were wrong about that, too.
A kind soul gave us two spare ponchos. (We wondered later whether she was an angel, but I reckoned an angel would have had six.) We draped one over the three girls crammed into the double stroller, one little head through each hole, and Pippa got the other to herself. This created the illusion that we were reasonably good parents, though in fact the girls were soaked to the bone underneath their ponchos.
Eventually, after what had to be a good mile of walking in torrential rain, we arrived at a little shopping plaza, complete with coffee shop: one of the happiest sights I have ever seen. Inside, we were greeted by stares and pointing and giggles and “awww”s all around. It was clear we could not comfortably walk into a coffee shop in our current condition, looking as though we had just walked under the Falls fully clothed. So we waited, and dripped, and paper-towelled, and used the restrooms, including the noisy hand-dryers (thankfully, not the *really* noisy ones, in this case.)
Finally, after fifteen minutes or so and now looking only reasonably rained-on, I walked into Tim Hortons and spent 13.78 loons (remembering the three to get home this time!) on tea, coffee, smoothies and donuts. My day was complete. Mission accomplished. Trevor, I daresay, got more than he bargained for out of his agenda for the day, but was happy to have a photo of us *right* in front of the Canadian Falls. The girls, as children usually do as long as their parents can maintain at least the appearance of cheerfulness in a crisis, took the whole thing in their stride as a marvelous adventure in which they were actually allowed to jump in puddles. Everyone was happy.
The rain had more or less stopped by the time we finished our little snack, and we were more than ready to make our way back to the car. We bid a fond farewell to the Falls and returned to our tent for one final installment of dinner/play area/sunset-over-Lake-Ontario/campfire/bed.
Once the girls were all tucked in and we had a few quiet moments to ourselves, Trevor paid me a compliment that I know represents his very highest praise and esteem: “Thanks for being a trouper.” Better than a dozen roses any day.