Oh, my, we just happened to be passing (sort of) through Niagara Falls on our way from Pittsburgh to upstate New York, so of course I had to visit the Aquarium of Niagara. Do make time to see it instead of just staring at the Falls. Such a gem! And although it is small when you think of the Baltimore Aquarium or the Aquarium of the Pacific, it is a gem. I was there on a weekday, a school day, a quiet day, in the late afternoon, and so I was able to "commune" with the fishes quietly, at my own pace, without crowds. I swear I felt some of the fishes were glad to see me-just staring and staring and admiring them. The exhibits are varied and well-labelled. There is a lot to enjoy, and yes, there is a really nice gift shop. Guess what? There is a seal pond outside.
There is a lot to see, but what made this day special for me was the seal show. Okay-it was the last show of the day on a quiet weekday-there is a 100,000 gallon tank for them to perform and plenty of seating-but it was now 4 or 4:30. There were perhaps 8-10 people there. I had a never-before and probably never-again experience. The trainer said that one of the seals would come up to the second floor and perform in front of us, not in the "theater/pool" . Oh, my! This lovely seal came up in the elevator with the knowledgeable lady trainer—this lovely seal did "tricks" one foot in front of us (we were sitting on a bench) and then the seal kissed our cheeks, patiently, one by one, where we, ecstatic, received her kisses on the cheek (slightly fishy breath), and took photos of each other. What a great afternoon!