Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Never-Ending Waits

I woke up around 6:20 in the morning, only ten minutes before having to meet up in front of RPCC to head to Niagra Falls.  I've gotten in the bad habit of waking up ten minutes before I need to be somewhere.  I quickly threw on my clothes, brushed my teeth, put on my contacts, then headed to the RPCC, where the car was waiting.  Already inside was Stephen and Mr. Chan-Law.  Once the girls arrived, we headed to Collegetown Bagels, a staple in my weekend diet.  I ordered a breakfast sandwich and a cannoli, then grabbed an Arizona Arnold Palmer to go.  While grabbing the Arizona, I saw that the price was $1.95 for a 16-ounce bottle, which I found weird considering that 32-ounce cans are available for 99 cents in supermarkets.  Ah, capitalism.

The Beautiful Falls
We piled back into the car and began our journey to the illustrious Niagara Falls.  I wolfed down my food, then tried to find ways to pass the time during the three and a half hour trip.  Most of the time, my fellow cohort members were asleep so it was just me, Mr. Chan-Law, and whatever radio station we could find.  Trying to find a good station on the radio was an overly frustrating part of the trip.  I looked up popular radio stations in as we traveled from region-to-region, but I couldn't get away from the same radio stations that played the same five songs over and over again.  I was expecting the car to have an auxiliary cord, but, unfortunately, it did not, so I struggled to find quality music during the trip.  We arrived at the City of Niagara Falls around 10.  Upon arrival, we got our tickets and for a boat ride near the falls then walked to the back of an incredibly long line spanning hundreds of people.  The group was in the line for about 45 minutes until we finally made it to the front and checked in for the boat ride.  Unfortunately, we had to wait another 20 minutes just to go down the elevator and another 20 minutes on top of that to get on the boat.  For a majority of the journey, we found ourselves waiting in lines.  The boat ride itself was fun, but because I didn't bring my sunglasses, I was often blinded by the sun reflecting off of the falls, making it incredibly difficult to see.  I didn't get soaked too much on the trip, but when the water did hit me, it was nice and refreshing.

Following the boat ride, we headed up to a cafe to grab a lunch before going to the Cave of the Winds, an attraction where people got to go right in the middle of the splash zone near the falls.  The lunch itself let a lot to be desired.  I ordered a pre-made vegetarian wrap, which was dry and a little disgusting.  I tried washing it down with a strawberry smoothie, but the smoothie was also pre-made and tasted like sugar rather than a smoothie.  My savior was the water, which, fortunately was cold and in a slush-like form.

Slightly Upset at the Long Wait Times...Slightly
After eating, we headed over to the line for the Cave of the Winds.  This was probably the biggest mistake our cohort has made this whole trip.  In the baking hot sun, we waited in line for three long hours.  An employee told us that the wait wouldn't be more than an hour and a half, but boy was he wrong.  We moved at a snail-like pace for three hours and somewhere along the way, I started to feel a little sick, probably due to the combination of the veggie wrap and the smoothie.  Needless to say, the conditions didn't exactly make for an enjoyable wait.  After about three hours, we decided to put it to a vote as to whether we would stay or go.  At this point in time, we had at least two hours more in total waiting, considering the time to get to the elevator to go down to the falls, the time to get ponchos, and the time to get back out of the falls.  In a Survivor-like decision, we all wrote whether  or not we wanted to stay.  Due to my status, me, along with Shanti, Thao, and Helen voted to leave while Julie and Stephen voted to stay.  We walked out of the park a little disappointed with the result of how the trip turned out.  Right as we walked outside, we saw a little Fourth of July festival that the City of Niagara Falls was hosting.  To be completely honest, it looked a lot more fun than the waiting I wouldn't have had a problem with going to this festival.  That, or going to Toronto, which was about a five-minute drive to the falls.

The car-ride back to Cornell was similar to the car-ride going to Niagara Falls.  Most of the cohort was asleep except for me, which left me to mindlessly wander looking at the long and endless highway.  With a stroke of good luck, we found a quality radio station that played old school hip hop and rap, which we listened to all the way until we made it down to the Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant Friend or Pho.  The food was great, especially considering the only thing I'd eaten in the last seven hours was the veggie wrap.  After the meal, everyone was dropped back off at Cornell around nine and called it a day.  

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