Did you think I ran away, ever to return to the blogosphere? Not quite...I've just been enjoying my summer vacation. Among other things, we recently took a looooong road trip, which included a stop at Niagara Falls. We were there for about two hours, which was not quite long enough to really do much except to ride the Maid of the Mist, and snap lots of quick pictures. You know, the kind you to take to prove that you've actually been there. The problem is, none of the pictures turned out the way I had visualized them in my internal scrapbook layout.
First of all, the girls hated the boat. It was crowded with tourists, many of whom were international (read: have different ideas of personal space than the folks we are used to riding boats with). Second, it was wet. "Mist" is a bit of an understatement. They give you these cute blue rain ponchos, which basically keep your shirt dry, but do very little to help your head, legs, or shoes.
I negotiated with a Norwegian family for this place by the railing for Hannah, hoping that she would be able to see something. This is the view over the top of her head, so presumably, she could have watched as we sailed by the falls. But when I questioned her later, asking what she saw, she simply said, "Water."
"You mean the waterfalls?" I asked.
"No. The water under the boat."
"Oh. Well...what was your favorite part, then?"
"When we got off the boat."
In spite of all this, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I thought the view was magnificent. And in spite of getting wet and having a freaked-out toddler clinging to me for dear life, I did snap one picture of the scenery that I'm quite happy about.
And the Norwegian family offered to take a group picture, so here we are!
Back on land, I decided we needed another family shot, this one drier - for the scrapbook page I was formulating in my mind.
We started out like this:
Then was the whole "let's find someone to take our picture" conversation. You know: what about him? No...he doesn't look like he could take a picture to save his life. Well, that woman has a camera, do you think she'd do it? No...she just answered a phone call. Aha! There's a guy with a big camera. I'll bet he knows what he's doing.
So I handed over my camera to yet another international traveler. But before we knew it, the guy was taking pictures, not of our family, but of us WITH his traveling companions!
This is Jonathan trying to tell the guy to get out of our shot.
This is Lydia and Hannah trying to figure out who these random guys are. Notice that the falls are framed (relatively nicely) in the background.
Finally, the man took a picture of just us. But he did not get the falls in the picture. We might as well have been standing by the railing at the upstairs of the mall.
So we took back our camera, said thank you, and asked an American for a retake. Jonathan explained that we wanted a family shot with both sides of the falls visible behind us.
Well, as you can see, we struck out again. The kids were frazzled, our parking meter was about to run out, and we just decided to call it a day. It's times like these when I have to remind myself that I don't need a perfect picture to create a good memory.