“So, you are going to Niagara Falls. Are you going to go over in a barrel?” was the question posed by almost everyone I told of my upcoming adventure.  Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old Michigan school teacher, was the first to do it in 1901, but only after testing the waters (and the barrel) by sending her cat over first. Both survived and since then 14 more people have gone barreling over the rim.

Niagara Falls was never on my barrel list, but I found myself flying into Buffalo, New York so, why not? And yes, the two falls, American and Horsehoe, are massive and impressive. But they are also also mesmerizing. Staring into their thundering and flowing waters and the mists that rise from them is trance-inducing, like staring at a lava lamp. I allowed my video camera to stare.

Our visit was brief, an overnight on the Canadian side, but we did plan our trip to take advantage of the view, first a late lunch at Elements on The Falls, directly across from The Falls, then dinner at Watermark, high atop the Hilton, overlooking the late night light and fireworks display. Both were quite good and our US dollars made both quite affordable.