As if the incredible view of the water wasn't enough, a rainbow and an eagle - that's right, an eagle - appeared as though from thin air when I pulled out my camera. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
They laughed. We laughed. We struck up a conversation while we waited.
They lived in Canada and had family visiting from India for the summer. We had just moved here from the States and my mom came from Florida to spend the week with us.
"No, no no!" we exclaimed. "We were kidding!"
It was another $60 added onto his already expensive bill. Why on earth would he offer to pay for a bunch of random people he didn't know?
He turned to us with a serious expression and said that he was happy to give us this gift if we would tell others about the Indians who showed a random act of kindness to an American family. Everyone in his family nodded in agreement.
I was stunned. I could also read between the lines. But then he said it: "We are not all bad, you know."
My heart broke for this man who seemed so jovial but was quietly dragging with him this terrible baggage. Even at Niagara Falls while celebrating a birthday he couldn't escape the feeling that he had to somehow prove that he wasn't a terrorist. What a thing to carry.
We protested some more but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He paid the clerk and we thanked them all from the bottom of our hearts, exchanged hugs and well-wishes and then parted ways.
What could we say that would make it all right?
What could we do?
Sadly, nothing. Except share this story as he wished.