It was the Fourth of July 2008, and I have my face squished up against the car window. My dad, brother, aunt, uncle, my two cousins, and myself are on our way to crossing the border into Canada. I rarely ever get to see my dad, my cousins, or my aunt and uncle seeing as I live in Florida and they live up North, so this trip was a huge deal for everyone. Just imagine seven people in a van for 6 hours straight, and the excitement we all felt as we were nearing the border. I can still remember being half way asleep, and suddenly being shaken awake vigorously by my cousin, Tyler, as he screamed “We’re here! We’re here!””. The moments before we entered Canada felt like Christmas Eve to me. Just the thought of being in another country made my heart race. As my uncle moved forward, I could not help but take pictures of everyone and everything I saw. I took pictures of trees, buildings, and even the currency exchange building.
As we moved into Toronto, we got settled into our hotel rooms and by the time we finished it was almost time for the big show. Seeing as it was the Fourth of July, we were going to go watch the fireworks from Niagara Falls as they were being set off in New York. As we began our trip down the streets of Toronto we came across a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, a 3D adventure ride featuring Indiana Jones, and there was even a WWF store! The attractions were not on everyone’s mind however. My family and I were cutting it close to show time, and as we started running down the street towards the Falls, so did many others. The entire street was covered by people, not a single car could get through the hoard of bodies. The fireworks were worth the running, if I do say so myself. If a person were to have been in a helicopter and had been flying over Toronto at that precise minute, I bet anything, that their view was magnificent. Having the ability to look down upon thousands of people standing in the middle of a street, gathered together for one solo, shared purpose…it must have been breathtaking.
The following day was one of the most thrilling days of my life. My family and I were going to actually go underneath Niagara Falls! The wait to go through the cave was a long one, yet it was completely worth it. We had to watch where we walked, and had to make sure not to let go of the railings, because the water was crashing down upon us. At one point, my dad decided to be daring, and managed to take a picture of my cousins, brother and I getting drenched by Niagara Fall’s icy cold water. No matter how hot it was outside that water would cool you down in a heartbeat.
Many exciting and eye opening things happened to me while I was in Canada. I learned more about my family’s history. I got to visit the Church of Notre-Dame, and even climbed 233 steps on my knees at St. Joseph’s oratory of Mount Royal’s, because it is said that miracles and healing powers occur for those who complete the climb on their knees. I got to walk around Montreal completely lost with my family, and in the end I gained more knowledge about who I am and what my family history is based upon. Life changing has a whole new meaning.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.