Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Exception To That Rule You Learned In Sixth Grade

It's said that familiarity breeds contempt. I'm not sure what mere proximity breeds--complacency? nonchalance? Something, anyway, so that when you live very near a wonderful place--even a Seven-Natural-Wonders-of-North-America level wonderful place, you have a tendency to not just take it for granted, but kind of forget it exists a little bit.

Which is how, despite living less than two hours away for more than twenty years, we never went to Niagara Falls as a family until my mother-in-law's visit in the summer of 2010. (It's amazing what you can find right under your nose when you're trying desperately to entertain an out-of-town visitor!) We spent the day at the park, wandering from stunning view to stunning view, picnicking together in the shade of mulberry trees with the roar of the falls in the background, feeding practically tame squirrels our leftovers.

It was a fantastic day that we commemorated with lots of great photos. Perhaps none that truly captures the spirit of our family more than this one:

You can pick your nose. You can pick your friends. But you can't pick your friend's nose, unless, of course, your friend is Nikola Tesla.


  1. In this same vein, I am often surprised when I learn of people who have lived in California for years but have never been to Yosemite. It has got to be one of the most stunning places on the planet and yet Bay area residents don't always get there. I would love to see Niagara Falls someday.

  2. Ha, love it! I often feel the same way. Not that we haven't seen the big sights near us, but we moved to a totally different area over a year ago and have yet to explore much of the area. Part of it has to do with the kids being so young this past summer, and still settling into our new house, etc, but I have this fear that if we wait too long we just won't...ever. Probably irrational, and I do intend to explore...but you're right, there is a certain nonchalance associated with proximity.

  3. Hahaha!
    I miss Niagara..I've never been to the US side of it. One day.

  4. Yeah, we're the same way. I saw more of my home town when we came back there to visit on vacation then I did when I lived there. Sad, that.

  5. I regret never driving down to Washington DC when we were stationed in New Jersey. It felt too overwhelming with a baby, but I wish I'd done it! We did drive north when our son was 13 months to visit Prince Edward Island, and stopped everywhere we could along the way. That was a great trip!

  6. LOVE that pic!

    We live 15 minutes from downtown Chicago and rarely go into the city. I'm sure that there are gazillions of tourists who've seen more of the downtown stuff than I have, and I've lived here for most of my life.

  7. What fun! I want to go on vacation with your family. I am a great big sucker tourist at heart.

  8. I think I'd fit right in. When I first got to see the Fremont St Troll in Seattle, I took eleventy-billion pictures of his nostrils.

    1. He does have magnificent nostrils.

  9. Cool, I just read about novel where the main character was obsessed with Nikola Tesla; I'd never heard of him before (my ignorance) and lo! There is a statue!