Monday, November 21, 2005

vegas falls

Not too long ago HWWLLB and I took a wonderful trip to Maine, and at the Portland Museum of Art saw an exhibit of paintings by the early 20th century American Artist Rockwell Kent, including a stunning view of a wild and majestic Niagara Falls. So I was very very excited to visit the falls during my trip to Buffalo - and the conference organizers were nice enough to arrange a bus trip to the falls Saturday night. I couldn't wait to be awed and humbled by a massive natural wonder.

But, um... it wasn't quite like that. In fact, it was less majestic than tacky, not unlike a very cold Dollywood, but, you know, with a big waterfall. I'm sure the falls are actually prety amazing, but the overall feeling I got was dissapointment. The falls were tarted up with multicolored lights (look - it's green! now it's blue! now it's red!) and dwarfed by the twenty-story casinos and hotels rising above it on the Canadian side.

This picture I swiped off the web makes Niagara Falls at night look kind of classy. It wasn't.

And then there was the town of Niagara Falls, Ontario's annual Festival of Lights. Hoo boy! What a showstopper. As we drove the traffic-clogged road along the Niagara River, falls to the left, all along the right were 8-foot high displays such as this Beauty and the Beast tribute in the "Enchantment of Disney" section. Our bus driver/tour guide (who knew in detail the story of everyone who has ever gone over the falls, whether daredevil or suicide, including exactly what kind of cocktails they'd had before jumping in, and their shoe sizes, bless her heart) accidentally turned into the Dufferin Nature Park, a U-shaped traffic jam disguised as a light show.

The nature park was a horseshoe drive about 1/2 mile long, circling a small pond. On the banks of the pond, and all across the water, stood more or less "nature" themed animated light displays, including a beaver chewing down a tree, Bambi and Thumper scampering around each other, two rams bashing heads between pine trees, complete with "ouch" marks radiating from their heads on impact, and this sacred show of Noah releasing the dove from his ark:

This photo shows the path of the animated dove from Noah's hand to where it disappears off-stage.

The half-mile drive should have taken all of two minutes, but instead we spent about 30 minutes in a line of cars who must have driven miles from all across southern Canada to gawk at the light show. Look kids! It's a deer!

Back at the conference, I was making excellent progress on the secret xmas project, despite frogging large sections twice (I didn't gauge swatch. why? WHY???!), upside-down cables and one or two backwards cable twists. All in all, it's coming along nicely. I love the staghorn cable - knitting it makes me feel so traditional and celtic. This is a quick peek at a tiny piece of the project, because, you know, it's top secret and all. But I can't resist showing off my natural-born celtic cabling skills, not to mention the pretty pretty super natural Peace Fleece yarn:


  1. Did you get to see the Falls during the day! It's usually better to see them in the daylight.

    Love the celtic cable. Where did you find Peace Fleece? I have only ever seen it online.

  2. Online, of course. Kpixie, those sicko pushers, sold it to me. But the yardage is great - it's good sweater yarn at a good price. Not all soft and girly, though, if that's what you're looking for.

    I didn't see the falls during the day - I wish I could have. My mom told me I was being too cynical about it.


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