It’s Erie Canal Week on my blog! For the second week in a row! Because why have one Erie Canal Week when you can have two?
Besides, last week, I didn’t even write anything about the actual, umm, you know, CANAL. Well, here it is folks: the post you’ve all been waiting for! (You have been waiting for this, RIGHT?) The one where I actually talk about the Canal. Or something.Prior to my trip to the Erie Canal and Lockport Locks last month, I have to say my knowledge of the Canal was pretty pathetic. Especially considering the fact that I practically grew up on the shores of the Canal. (Do canals have shores? Is that a thing? Or are shores only for natural bodies of water? See? I told you. PATHETIC.)
In fact, I’d say my entire working knowledge of the Erie Canal was based on “The Erie Canal Song” – a song which I only know the first two lyrics of and I kind of, totally hate.
Because, you guys, who names their donkey Sal? No one does that. Sal is not a good name for donkeys.
The same goes for naming your camel Sally.
Sal and Sally and any name sounding remotely like my own are only good for people – particularly beautiful, intelligent, cultured people like myself.
Any and all beasts of burden should be given an appropriately burdeny name like Bruce or Monster Jam 5000. (Excuse me, how awesome would it be to have a song called “Monster Jam 5000 the Camel”? Totally awesome, right?)After a very educational tour of the Underground Caves and an equally educational trip to Sweet Sixteen Café, where I learned that, yes, mini-cupcakes do make life infinitely better (not that I didn’t know that – but it always helps to be reminded), I showed up at the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruise dock ready for an equally educational cruise of the Canal and Locks.
I was not alone.
The place was crawling with school children on field trips.
As a teacher, I can say there is one thing that fills my heart with cold, dark dread: encountering large groups of school children while I’m on vacation.
Not that I don’t love children. I mean, yay, children! Children are our future! Teach them well and let them lead the way! And whatever else Whitney Houston said!
But when I’m on vacation, I’d rather not be surrounded by hoards of kids. It just makes me feel like I’m back at work. Especially when I see groups of students being all rowdy and obnoxious and doing things they probably shouldn’t be doing and DON’T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE AND PULL OUT MY TEACHER-VOICE ON YOU.
Luckily, the school groups and their chaperones were herded on to a large cruise boat, while I, along with a more mature group of folks, was ushered on to a small, very classy-looking, wooden boat. I was even informed there was a bar on board that sold booze because THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.After our boat left the dock, we headed towards the Locks.
At this point, I should probably explain to all of you what the heck the Locks are and what the heck they do — just like the boat captain explained to all of us.
But all I could understand was something-something-water-levels. And something-something-upstream. And something-something-elevation. And probably elves. I don’t know.
You see, I TRIED to listen to the captain.
And I TRIED to understand what he was talking about.
I really did.
But, you guys, it’s hard to learn stuff when you’re on a boat, and it’s a beautiful day, and the sun is shining, and the sky is this crazy color of blue, and you’re on vacation, and your brain is all like, “Forget learning! Learning is for suckers! I’m ON A BOAT!”
I really wanted to soak up as much Canal knowledge as I could, so I wouldn’t feel like such an Erie Canal dumbie any more, and so I could impress you all with my cool, new Canal facts.
But, honestly, guys, I’ve got nothing.
Well, not, nothing exactly.
I’ve got a lot of somethings.
Like, something-something-sun-shining. And something-something-blue-skies. And something-something-ON-A-BOAT!Have you ever taken a canal cruise? How was it? And were there locks? Because maybe you could explain all that to me now that my brain is no longer distracted by ON A BOAT.
Thank you to Niagara Tourism & Convention Center for sponsoring my trip and to Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises for a great boat ride. Even if my brain was too distracted to learn stuff.