May 23-24, 2017
Niagara Falls was on my must-see list for this loop around the country, so we planned to spend one night in the area just to check out the world famous attraction. All of the campgrounds in the area were (not-surprisingly) very expensive, and since we just wanted to make a quick over-night stop here to see the falls, it seemed like the perfect chance to try sleeping in overnight parking for the first time. We were thrilled to find a large casino parking lot for busses & RVs, at no cost, and within walking distance of the waterfalls.
It’s definitely not how we would like to camp all the time, but it was a perfect, large, free spot. We felt plenty safe as there were security guards strolling through the parking areas, and we immediately became friends with the people parked next to us in a large motor home from Texas. (They told us they wouldn’t be trying to take their RV across the border because when Canadian border patrol spots license plates from Texas, they do a thorough search and take all of your guns.) The main surprise about this casino parking lot was that it wasn’t more crowded, because it made a perfect spot for a one night stay.
From our home sweet parking lot, we walked over to see the American side of the falls. It’s so funny to visit a place that you’ve known about for years and pictured a certain way in your mind. The whole time we were walking around I found myself surprised by the layout of the land because it was different that I had always imagined. It felt like watching a movie made from a book you love and thinking, “This isn’t what the characters look like!”
We returned to the Casino long enough to pop some popcorn and hop in our truck, and we drove across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada as the sun was setting. We found a quiet spot on a side walk across the road from the falls which was the perfect vantage point to watch the lightshow on the falls. We sat and watched the falls turn from red to blue to white to pictures of the American & Canadian flags, munching on warm salty popcorn as the laser lights beamed out across the tops of our heads. Coral danced around, her mouth full of popcorn, exclaiming “This is the best day of my life!”