On the Road to Niagara Falls With My Family, Fiancée, and Reggaeton
For Juan, nothing beats the drive to “one of the most amazing and beautiful places on Earth.”
When you’re headed to your favorite place, hitting the road can feel just as good as reaching your destination. And for Juan, nothing beats the drive to Niagara Falls. A Waze Map Editor from the Toronto area, Juan has turned the 80-minute drive into a tradition for him and his dad, and now, for him and his new fiancée, Nicole. Learn how his trips to “one of the most amazing and beautiful places on Earth” have become filled with a little bit reggaeton, a touch of reroutes, and a whole lot of love.
The return of a father–son road trip
My dad’s name is Juan, just like me and my grandfather. He’s my copilot — we spend tons of time together in the car; he’s with me all the time when I’m driving.
We usually visit Niagara Falls once a month, but this was our first time back in more than a year. It’s one of the most amazing and beautiful places on Earth.
It was a fun trip, talking with my dad about our family, listening to Colombian music, and enjoying our special time together. Although, when Waze told us to get off the highway, he started questioning our route. He couldn’t believe this would be faster…but I reminded him: “sometimes the longest route turns into the fastest route.” [Editor’s note: That’s a pretty good metaphor for life, right?]
Thanks to our reroute, the drive was a smooth one. And when we arrived, the weather was perfect; we had a fantastic view of Niagara Falls. I didn’t want to leave! The power of that water — it’s incredible to witness. If you get the opportunity, you have to go.
A dream mini-moon in Niagara Falls
The next time I went to Niagara Falls was with my new fiancée, Nicole. It was the first time she had ever gone to the falls, and it was also our first big night out as future husband and wife.
It’s funny; it was a much different drive than the one I took to ask Nicole to marry me. That day, I did as much as I could ahead of time — I got the flowers, picked up the ring, went to get my hair cut, and planned my drive with Waze — but I was still super nervous. The whole time I was driving to her house I was thinking, What am I going to say? I kept rehearsing, just trying to make it as perfect as possible. It felt like the longest drive ever!
But once I arrived, I just went for it. I’m from Colombia, where it’s customary to ask the father first when you propose, so when I walked in, I called Nicole and her dad into the living room. I told him I wanted to marry his daughter, then I got down on my knee, and I asked her if she wanted to be my wife. After a few minutes of crying — the longest two minutes of my life — she said yes!
So the trip to Niagara Falls was like the mini-moon before our future honeymoon. The drive out there was another easy one, this time because the highway wasn’t too busy. Nicole controlled the music, so we listened to our favorite reggaeton songs, and I took her to my father’s and my classic roadside restaurant for our Niagara Falls trips: Casablanca. It’s the place where everybody — really, everybody — stops to eat and grab coffee.
We spent the night in a hotel that’s directly over the falls, so when we got there, we ran straight up to our room to see the view from the window. It’s stunning to see Niagara Falls from high up — definitely a sight I will never forget.
When we drove home the next morning, we talked the whole way back about the future, our wedding, and what it will be like living together when we’re married. It was a perfect trip.
For Juan, and for a lot of us, times on the road are special times for ourselves to reflect and build new memories with those most important in our lives. From the destinations to the conversations to the snacks to the surprise stops, these details stick with us.
Know where you want to go next? Plan your drive with Waze.