Friday, July 16, 2010

Niagara Falls: The New York Side

The new (to me) rules at the border crossing made it unfeasible to go back-and-forth between Canada and the US when we were visiting Niagara Falls recently, staying on the Canadian side. We all agreed we'd stop briefly on the US side on the way home.

We crossed the border with my questionable booty in the trunk, and found, a mere feet away, the entrance to the Niagara Falls State Park in New York. It couldn't have been easier. Flaggers were directing people into parking facilities, which were everywhere. I had passed a small space on the street, but wasn't sure about its legality. So before pulling into my selected lot, I asked the park ranger nearby about parking. It's $10 in all these lots, and yes, parking is available on the street, but only between those poles, she explained, gesturing.

What about that space, there, between the poles? Is it okay to park there? (It was about 6 car lengths in back of me.) Sure, she said, if you can get into it.

I may be weak in the math department, and I may have forgotten every word of Japanese I ever learned, and I may not be the most efficient housekeeper ever to walk on this earth, but by golly, can I ever parallel park.

So I threw that baby into reverse, waived an oncoming car around me, and backed into that spot, turned the wheel, straightened out the tires, shut the ignition and was done. You don't see parallel parking like that in a minivan very often.

The guy supervising the lot across from the space on the street had the best view of my action. He may have lost my business, but I think he appreciated the perfection he had just witnessed, and gave me a thumbs up and a whistle when he saw the job I did.

We had two hours at Niagara Falls, and saved ourselves one cool Hamilton. Tom would have been so pleased.

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