One of the best parts of tour are the unplanned moments; unwritten, if you will. You may remember me talking about our friendship with Paul Lintern. Well, today Paul was helping add to the mission of tour all the way out here in Buffalo. He worked out a deal with some connections he has at St. Lukes mission for us to perform “flash mob” style for the folks standing in line to get lunch at the food kitchen they run. We creeped the buses up beside the church as stealthily as you can with two giant tour buses and the funneled 52 singers around the corner and got into our typical singing formation. We sang “The Song Is Alive” a capella outside, and then went into beautiful sanctuary (there are a lot of those out east) where we sang “The New 23rd”. It was a short, but remarkably moving, performance.

Today was actually intended to be a well-deserved day of rest from performing. And for all intents and purposes, it was. The singing at the mission was pretty low key. From there we took the thirty-minute drive from Buffalo to Niagara. We landed about lunch time and took an important first step in what I like to call “tour freedom”. Which, of course, is freedom inside some pretty (ok, very) strict boundaries. The kids split up into groups of at least four singers and were released to roam in the little tourist shopping area that had tons of little souvenir shops, food trucks and sit-down restaurants.  This is an important test, because when we are in places like New York City and Cedar Point, we will do some very similar things and we will have to trust the kids to keep accountability of themselves inside the parameters that Bemo sets.

They did great!

After we gathered back up, we had a short hike of about half a mile down to the Falls.  Man, if you have never been, you really should make the time if you can. It is truly a wonder. The sheer power you can feel as the water rushes over the cliff is breathtaking. When you arrive in the park you are up on top of the cliff beside the river, and you can see the water running to its fateful drop. To get to the bottom of the falls you have to walk out on a bridge that only extends about a quarter of the way across the gorge that separates the U.S. and Canada. At the end of the bridge is a giant elevator that takes you o the storied Maid of the Mist.

They give you a blue poncho as you are getting ready to get on the boat which does a decent job of keeping the stuff in your pockets dry, but that’s about it. Once you get on the boat, it’s about a five-minute float up the Canadian side of the falls, and then you begin to feel a powerful wind created by the falls, and you are getting doused by thousands of gallons of water coming off the falls. To look up to the top of the falls from the boat is a surreal and absolutely beautiful sight to behold.

It was a wonderful day that was capped off by dinner at Cracker Barrell and card games and swimming back at the hotel.

Tomorrow, we are off to a tour favorite, Oasis of Love in Huntingdon, PA., where we will give our sixth performance in as many days.  I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.

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Pictures are from your singers! 

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