By Robin Kaye
Last week I went to Niagara Falls with my family--my husband, his mother, sister, aunt, niece, and my three teenagers. Okay, two teenagers and one very moody preteen. The nine of us climbed into two cars and headed up to the Falls from my husband’s family home outside of Buffalo, NY in search of the honeymoon capital of the world and one of the world’s seven natural wonders.
The natural wonder worked for me. The sheer size of the Falls just on the American side was spectacular, and if you take into account the Canadian Falls as well, it was truly awe inspiring. The force of the water threw up mist that covered everything for what seemed like miles. The raw power is tangible as it swirls through the air and stings the skin when it hits you.
Growing up, I always imagined Niagara Falls to be the most romantic place on earth; probably because my grandparents honeymooned there in the 1930’s.
I remember this picture in an elaborate frame setting on my grandmother’s dresser until she died. Now I stare at it every day just beyond my computer in my office. I’ve gazed upon it all my life and the three things I always thought were how romantic it seemed, what a beautiful couple they made, and how handsome my Grandfather always looked. I can still hear my grandfather telling me in his broken English, “I’m’a so beautiful, I shoulda been a movie star.” He was right. After smiling through over 90 years of life, the man still didn’t have one wrinkle.
When I went to Niagara Falls, I expected to find the romance I had always seen in that picture. My imagination usually doesn’t let a little thing like my mother-in-law and kids stop me from picturing a swoon-worthy scene; but that day any and all romance was elusive.
Niagara Falls was beautiful, but where was the romance? Had it become such a tourist attraction all the little romantic spots I imagined honeymooners canoodling in had disappeared? I went looking for a little romance and all I found were crowds of people. Granted, most of them I brought with me, but I thought my husband and I could have stolen away for a moment. Unfortunately, even my romantic eye came up empty. I saw nothing the least bit romantic and I have to say, I was crushed. I thought I’d find a little of the same romance my grandparents found and that I’d somehow connect with them again. I did neither.
Do you think romance is getting harder to find? Do you think it’s something we can look for or do we carry it with us?