I fall for you

I’ve only got a dial-up connection here at Susanne’s folks’ house, so no pictures in this post today, but no worries, I’ll get those caughts up Sunday night. Hopefully my way with words will paint the picture adequately enough.

It took some time yesterday night, after pulling into the garish yet luxurious casino to figure out that we actually wanted to get out of our hotel room and take a walk around the hotel. Stretching my legs, even with my bum knee, was too rife with promise to stay put, and the shoddy WiFi connection too frustrating to endure. (Actually, I think the Hampton Inn chain has had the best free WiFi of any hotel I’ve visited.)

It had been a long time since I’d been anywhere near a casino, unless you count the two times I was in the Las Vegas airport in 2005, and I wouldn’t call a bank of slot machines a “casino” per se. But I certainly clocked in my time as a kid when we made regular trips to Atlantic City–even though most of my time was spent in the video game arcades, or having lunch on a comp ticket, I still walked through on occassion with my parents, even bumping into Ivana Trump once. Literally. I still think about suing her for damages sometimes. Damn statutes of limitations!

This walk was no different. I had forgotten the way that cigarette smoke clings to one’s clothes, hair, and skin like an old man at the end of visiting hours in the nursing home, all desperate to be attached to something, any passing swatch of fabric. You have to hit every inch of yourself with soap in the shower because all of the gaps will still reek of lit tobacco. It’s so entirely unappealing to me. The sounds of the slots are almost deafening in their intensity, and irritating in their insistancy that you pay attention to this machine, no that machine, no that other shiny sparkling machine. There were only a few blackjack tables, one roulette wheel (always the worst odds in the house), and one craps table. Though many of the one-armed bandits will give you a pull for twenty-five cents you now must use a bill of some denomination to play. Trickery! I suppose I could assuage myself that at least some of what I would plunk in would benefit the residents of the reservation, but although I feel for their troubled history, I also have no real interest in gambling. And looking around at the people who were sparsely populating the facilty, they seemed to have no passion in it, either.

Despite these depressing surroundings, we were excited to be on our way and making progress. I personally was excited to see the falls the next day. We satisfied ourselves with some late night sweet potato fries–the bar was closed at midnight, which I found unbelievable–and turned in.

This morning the air was crisp like fall, but I wasn’t sure how long it would hold out. I got a groggy Dr. B in the shower and we made our way to the Niagara Falls park where after 3,289 steps (my knee loved every second of the climbing) we lurched onto the Maid of the Mist III, donned our souvenir parkas, and boated gaily forward–into a stinky haze of seagull excrement and whatever the Great Lakes had thrown over the side of the precipice. Seriously, it was incredible! The American side of the falls, while 20m taller than the Canadian side, cascaded more gracefully and quietly, so turning into the horseshoe  falls in Canada was breathtaking. The falls pounded away in a wide, encompassing curtain of froth and fury, twinkling near the top in the early morning sun like strings of blue-green crystals, then seeming angry in the middle as water morphed into foam, and finally thundering at the bottom, the loudest bass I’d ever heard outside the 9:30 Club in DC. Hell, it was louder than the 9:30 Club. It was wet and wild and I enjoyed thoroughly every second of it. We got some German tourists to take our picture. We climbed back into the car, making our way into Canada, across Ontario (they have more farms than I realized), and back into the US. Coming across the Rainbow Bridge took an hour — I never thought I’d curse a bridge more than I’ve hexed the Delaware Memorial Bridge or the GW Bridge, but now I have — and then we arrived at the ‘rents. Reception to follow at 2 tomorrow. More pictures to come.

I miss you all. We just tripped 1,006 miles getting here. Feels longer already, and I still feel like I’m just going on some crazy extended vacation.

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One Comment on “I fall for you”

  1. jody
    August 16, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    I miss you too, Ev! Thanks for keeping the blog updated! It is great to be able to keep up with your trip this way. And your posts are very entertaining!

    Let’s start a campaign to make casinos smoke-free!

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