Saturday, July 4, 2015

Nikola Tesla and Niagara Falls

Waking up this morning was hard because I didn’t get a good night sleep last night. My roommate was in and out until around 2 AM – slamming doors, talking on the phone, generally not being a quiet roommate. This bugs me a little bit because I am so quiet when I get up early in the morning and make sure not to make a sound.

Oh well. This morning I got up (silently) at 6:00 AM and gathered my backpack (which was already packed to minimize noise…) and headed out the door to go get Thao. Thao was not as prepared as I was and had just woken up when I came by, but she got ready quickly and before 6:45 AM everyone met Chan-Law for the start of our trip.

The first stop was Collegetown Bagels for breakfast. Of course I got the Round House bagel, and inhaled it quickly in the car along with a smoothie. The smoothie was a little sour but it was still very good.

The ride to Niagara Falls was a little more than three hours. Our first stop at the park was Maid of the Mist, which is the boat ride which takes you to the base of all three major water falls. The line was insane, more than two hours when it was all said and done. However, the 10-15 minute boat ride was amazing. I was on the front of the boat on the top deck, and it was a good thing we all got complementary rain ponchos because we got wet! The mist coming off of the waterfalls was like rain, and if you looked up at the sun you could barely even see it! The noise was deafening too, thousands of gallons of water just pouring over the edges of cliffs. The water was bright blue, like ice, and cold, judging by the mist.

Was the boat ride worth the crazy long line? I think so, but just barely. I’m glad I waited to see the falls though, it’s definitely not something I’m going to forget anytime soon.

While we were taking our lunch break, I ran into Evan who is also at the Cornell Summer Program who I know through ultimate frisbee, which was really cool and strange because what are the odds? He was there with his older brother, while I was stuck babysitting five other kids (just kidding..). 

Then we headed over to the Cave of the Winds, which is a walking trip where you walk near the base of the falls. The first line we waited in was about 40 minutes, where we got sandals and a plastic bag to protect our stuff. Then we waited in another line to go through a gate, which was about an hour. We finally reached the gate, and were stunned when we heard it was at least an hour to wait to get through the next gate section. Halfway through this line, everyone voted on whether or not we wanted to stay or go. The vote was 4-2 to go, because even once we got through that particular line, there was going to be another line to get ponchos and then go onto the boardwalk itself.

Although it would have been a really cool experience to walk near the base of one of the waterfalls, it was not worth a 4 hour ordeal for five minutes of excitement. It was also getting a bit late at this point, and we still had another three hour drive to get back to Cornell! 

At the Niagara Falls State Park however, there was a statue of Nikola Tesla which delighted me way more than it should have. I had to explain to the cohort why he is so awesome and why Thomas Edison is a terrible person. Basically, Tesla invented the alternating current electrical system (look it up), which was way better than Edison's direct current system, and then Edison ripped Tesla apart and became famous for something he didn't even create. (Also, Edison didn't create the lightbulb.) Tesla basically created the radio, radar, x-rays, and the first hydroelectric plant (at Niagara Falls!). He also tested around with cryogenic engineering, recorded radio waves from outer space, and he even discovered the resonant frequency of the Earth!!! Also, have you ever heard of ball lightning? (look it up) Tesla created it in his laboratory, and since then only a few scientists have even managed to create ball lightning. Tesla died alone and unknown, while that obnoxious Edison still is famous today. Ugh.

Anyway, the drive home was long, and at about 8:15 PM we stopped at a pho noodle place for dinner. Readers of my blog know that I don't usually go into detail about food I eat,  and I still won't today, but the name of this restaurant is beautiful, especially to someone like me who likes puns.
Get it? Friends and Pho? Like Friends and Foe? Ah it's hilarious you guys can admit it. 

That wrapped up a crazy fun day filled with endless lines and waiting, and experiences I hope I'll never forget. All of this wouldn't have ever happened if it weren't for the Ivy League Connection, and for that I would like to thank everyone who made it possible once again, because it truly wouldn't happen without you. 

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