Life Is Meant To Be Lived
By Alex Fafara
Everyone I’ve asked can tell me his or her favorite family vacation, the one that
they remember the most. The location, the time of year, what their crazy brother did that
they laughed about for months following. The vacation I remember most has a different
inflection. I was twelve years old, the first week of August 2003. My family and I were
on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, at the summer convention of my father’s fraternity.
The vacation started out amazingly. I had never been outside of the country
before. Of course, I was looking forward to this, in part, because it was the convention. It
was a look into my dad’s life. I know all, if not most, of the alumni who attend, even call
them “Uncle” this, or “Uncle” that. They are my extended family, which I see on
occasion throughout the year.
One of the first nights that we stayed, there were rolling blackouts across Canada.
I know this because my family, the fraternity alumni, their families, and I, were sitting
comfortably in the hospitality room that we had rented from the hotel, watching the
weatherman on television show us the vast darkness on the map, surrounding the one
particular town in which we were staying. The adult’s would be all serious one minute,
then laugh and look at “the young’uns,” namely my sisters and me, and ask, “Uh oh, what
did you guys touch?”
Over the next few days, we took a boat tour around the bottom of the falls, saw
the local wine making vineyard (adults only of course), and did ordinary foreign tourism
things like hitting up as many gift shops as possible, and taking pictures with the most
mundane of things just because we were in Canada baby!
But I don’t remember the trip