How did a natural beauty like Niagara Falls become so tacky? And how is it that despite that tackiness it still holds a charm?

Driving our minivan down Clifton Hill, Canada’s first tourist trap after the American border, I’m cringing at the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks (a knock-off of the knock-off) and the giant Frankenstein holding a burger. What I see is carnival craziness. What I’d rather see is a national park with picnic tables, a few deer, and maybe a parking lot where families can pile out of their cars and take a photograph of the falls.

But – driving our minivan down Clifton Hill, Canada’s famous street in the Niagara region, I hear a chorus of "ohhs" and "ahhs" coming from my Hungarian in-laws who are stuffed into the passenger seats behind me. They’re saying things like "wow," and "beautiful" in Hungarian while the cameras are snapping and the DVD recorder rolling.  It’s excitement compressed into a small family vehicle.

And it’s contagious. An hour later, my new husband and I are walking down Clifton Hill with his parents. Muscle cars are parading past, lights are blinking and spinning with color, and we’re laughing at the camera while posing beside the world’s tallest man…and even though I still think it’s one of the tackiest places on Earth, I also can feel the excitement and fun that thousands of couples may have felt on their honeymoon.

I suppose Niagara depends on the eye of the beholder. It isn’t my first choice (or my second, or my third, or even my twentieth) – but it has been fun to share in the excitement of others.  It seems that despite myself, I might actually enjoy my honeymoon.

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