NEW WEEK; ANOTHER WHIRLWIND!

On Thursday, August 19th, we took our granddaughter, Kylee, to the Buffalo airport at 5:30 a.m., so she could go home (see the blog post before this one). At 9:30 that same night, we went back to the airport to pick up our grandson, Jackson, for the start of his week with us. Even though it was late, he still wanted to play one game of Dice 10,000 with us (Jax is an avid game player). And, that is how our whirlwind week with Jackson started.

Jackson had planned three days of outside activities, so we really had to plan according to weather forecasts. The only indoor activity on his list was the Buffalo Museum of Science. I knew he would not be like Kylee and be happy shopping if we had a rainy week!

The day after he arrived, we let him sleep in a little because he had a long travel day, and we were up late playing games. However, today Jack was taking him to The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, so when we told him it was time to get up, he was fairly eager to get going. I don’t know much about what was in these pics because I was staying home with the dogs, so Jax could spend as much time there as he wanted (all day if he wanted).

Now the submarine …
On top of the sub – they built a platform so it would be safe for tourists to walk to the entry point of the sub.
… I canNOT picture my 6 foot grandson serving on a submarine!
Jackson and Papa Jack. All in all, I think they had a great day!

The very next day, Jax wanted us all to go to the Buffalo Zoo. Since he wanted us to all go, we told him there would be a time limit because we would have to be back at the RV to let the dogs out. He was fine with that because that would give us more time to play games.

The white chicken in the center of photo was the FLUFFIEST chicken I have EVER seen. It was so pretty! The photo does NOT do the beauty of the chicken justice.
A baby kangaroo!
I cannot believe I caught this Komodo Dragon with its tongue out! That tongue is SO fast.
What a bright yellowish orange color for frogs!
What species of animal is this?! 🤣
Mama was under a canopy, in the shade …..
Babies were in the shade of the building getting a drink or eating.
It was a hot day, and I’m sure this polar bear was REALLY hot. From this position, he would lift himself up a bit then take a backwards dive into the water. Then he would come up, swim back to this position and do it again.

This was a nice zoo, and very typical for a city the size of Buffalo (my favorite zoo is the St. Louis Zoo because I grew up there; it really is the BEST zoo I have ever been to). Buffalo Zoo has the usual array of animals. However, they did have something unique that I had never seen before; they had baby lion cubs along with their momma and daddy all in the same habitat! It was fun to watch them interact with one another.

These are the two cubs playing with the wiring on the tree trunk and each other.
There is plexiglass between us and the lion habitat on this side of the hill. Sorry about the glare in the photos.
This is daddy lion taking a little nap down the hill from the cubs.
There is momma lion watching her cubs closely while she lays in the same corner with daddy lion. Can you see one cub peeking around the trunk of the tree?
The male lion got up, walked around to the lioness, and apparently did something she didn’t like. In a split second …..
….. the lioness jumps ups, turns around, swipes a paw at him, and chases him off! Then she walks off to another section of the habitat.
There is one of the cubs peeking around the tree at momma; or is he looking at daddy wondering what he did to get chastised so roughly from momma.
This is the only photo of us at the zoo, and it’s in front of the geese! We certainly could have picked a more interesting animal to take a selfie in front of.
On the way home from the zoo, we found this great little ice cream shop called ROSIE’S HANDCRAFTED ICE CREAM in East Aurora, New York. This place makes its own ice cream and has its own unique flavors. OMGosh! The ice cream was AWESOME!!!

On Sunday we took Jax to Niagara Falls. This time Jack took Jackson on the Maid of the Mist. The dogs and I (the dogs were in their double stroller) walked around a little to see the falls from different angles.

Do you think he hates the plastic rain coat? 😉
American Falls.
American Falls.
American Falls.
Horseshoe Falls.
I kind of think he is happy to be out of the plastic raincoat.

There was a pedestrian bridge across the river to Goat Island. I was going to walk around Goat Island, but after looking at the map, I was afraid it was bigger than I thought, and I wouldn’t be back when the boys were finished with their boat ride. So, I took some pics from the bridge and then walked around on my side of the river. Here are a couple of photos I took from the bridge and while walking around the park.

Looking up river from the bridge.
Looking down river from the bridge towards the American Falls.
Looking down river from the path along the river.
Looking down river from the path along the river.
Looking down river from the path along the river.
Looking down river from the path.
Look what I found as I approached the edge of the American Falls!
As I walked around the edge, I saw a DOUBLE rainbow!
The American and the Horseshoe Falls from the path.
The American and the Horseshoe Falls from the path.
From a littler further down the path, and another double rainbow appears.

About this time, I hear a text notification sound on my phone. I pull out my phone and the text reads, “We have boarded.” In a couple of minutes, I see the boat from the American side and call Jack. He answers and I ask him if they are on the American side of the boat. He says yes. I tell him to look up at the people on the cliff right before the falls. I immediately start jumping up and down, waving my arms wildly, and ask him if he sees me jumping up and down. They did!

There is the boat they are on! They were on the lower deck where they had a roof over there heads. I told him that Kylee and I were on the top deck and he was a chicken. 🤣
That is their boat heading to the Horseshoe Falls. It looks pretty small at this distance, doesn’t it.

Monday we took Jackson to Letchworth State Park. It was the same park we went to with Kylee (see post before this one), but Jackson said he wanted to go there also. We had fun hiking to see the lower, middle, and upper falls, as well as all the beautiful overlooks. We even ate at the same snack bar, had the chicken tenders, and, of course, ice cream for dessert.

Lower falls after Jack and Jackson took the 127 stairs down.
Lower falls from my view point which was the “easier” path than the 127 stairs!
Middle falls in the foreground; upper falls in the background under the bridge.
Middle falls.
Upper falls.
Upper falls.
Upper falls.
I don’t think he ever knew I took this pic of him taking a pic. ☺️

Tuesday, August 17th, we were all pretty tired, so we had a “chill out” day at the RV. We slept in pretty late, and I caught Jackson in a really relaxed state. 😌

Man! I wish I could sleep in such a relaxed position!! 🛌 😴 💤

I did some laundry that day and a few household chores. We also played a lot of games! Jax is a great competitor, and he wins often. We played Dice 10,000, Three Thirteen, and three handed Spades (that was really different!). We also taught him how to play Rummikub, and he beat us every game!

The next day was Wednesday, our last day with Jax. We saved going to the Buffalo Museum of Science for this day because it was supposed to be rainy. It was a miserable, rainy day all day, so this worked out great. It was just Jax and I going while Jack stayed at the RV with the dogs. We had a great time, and Jax really enjoyed all the hands on exhibits.

The moose and the bison were reminding us to wear our masks.
Don’t touch that! He is STILL a little kid at heart.
Tornado velocity winds would be the ONLY time Jackson’s hair would be straight.
This was Jackson’s favorite hands on activity, and he was really good at it.

After we had seen and done all we wanted to do, it was time to head back to the RV. We had supper to fix and eat, games to still play, and suitcases to pack because Jax was going home the next morning. He also had a 5:30 a.m. flight back to Oklahoma City.

We had a wonderful time this week with Jackson. We can’t wait to have the grandkids come visit us again.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

A WHIRLWIND WEEK!

This past week has been an exciting whirlwind of activities! On Thursday, August 5th, our granddaughter, Kylee, flew from Oklahoma City to Buffalo, New York, to spend a week with us.

Waiting to board flight to New York.
Lined up and ready to get on that plane!

Before she came, I asked her to make a list of things in the Buffalo area that she might like to do while here. Kylee and her mom found several things in which she might be interested after googling “things to do in Buffalo, New York.

Needless to say, seeing Niagara Falls was on that list (whether she put it there or not!). The very next day (Fri., Aug. 6) we loaded up the dogs and their stroller and took off for the falls.

My husband and I saw Niagara Falls about ten years ago and stayed on the Canadian side. Nowadays, because of COVID, we could only see and do things on the American side. It was great, and Kylee thoroughly enjoyed it.

The view waiting in line to go down the elevator to ride Maid of the Mist.
We came down the elevator in that building. There is a spacious observation deck on top of the building.
Looking down river.
There’s our boat ride to the base of the falls.
First close up look of the American Falls.
American Falls.
Our Canadian friends on their Maid of the Mist from the Canada side. Those trees and hotels are in Canada. 🇨🇦
There is Horseshoe Falls, and we’re getting closer!
Getting serious about approaching the Horseshoe Falls.
There was a lot of blowing mist that day, so the horseshoe bend in the falls was hard to see.
When you get RIGHT by the base of the falls, it is “mist” at all; it is more like a downpour of rain! Kyle and I both put our cell phones away so they wouldn’t get drenched.
Here you can see both the American Falls (foreground) and the Horseshoe Falls, background). You can also see one of the Canadian Maid of the Mist boats taking tourists on their trip. This photo was taken from the very top of the observation deck (see earlier comment). From this angle, the falls dwarf the boat considerably!

The dogs could not go on the boat ride, so Jack hung out in the park with them while Kylee and I took the “close up” water tour of the falls. Needless to say, we were pretty drenched when we got off the boat, but the views were well worth it!

We walked around the park awhile. Then we found a little outside eating place and ordered a couple of slices of pizza each. Afterwards, we just had to get some ice cream at the shop that was next door to the pizza shop!

Saturday, Kylee and I decided to go to the Broadway Market. When we looked at it on the internet, it looked really interesting and fun. However, when we arrived, we discovered it was a market in a large building. We didn’t see many cars parked around the building, it didn’t seem like a very good neighborhood, we didn’t have Jack with us, and we both just felt very uncomfortable with our surroundings. So, we decided to go find a coffee shop (Kylee LOVES coffee shops!) for something to drink and a little snack, and then we would go shopping at a TJ Maxx. There are no pictures of the Broadway Market, but we sure had fun! I do have this one of Kylee outside of SPoT Coffee in Buffalo.

The inside of SPoT Coffee was really cute!

On the way home from shopping, we were so close that I suggested we go just a little further west to the shore of Lake Erie. Kylee was up for anything, and she had never seen any of the Great Lakes. I do have a couple of pics of this! We had a great day.

Lake Erie with the Buffalo skyline in the distance.

Sunday we loaded the dogs, packed some snacks and water, and drove to Letchworth State Park. This park is one of the best state parks! It is beautiful, has a huge canyon/gorge, has three different falls (upper, middle, and lower falls), is meticulously maintained, and has A LOT of space for family activities. And, did I mention the falls? They were gorgeous!

Our first look at the gorge.
You can zoom in and read some interesting information about the falls.
At the bottom of this photo is the very beginning of the Lower falls. You can see the Middle falls clearly. The Upper falls are near the top of the photo at the base of the bridge.
Middle falls in the foreground and Upper falls in the background.
Upper falls.
Middle falls.
One of the falls had a good amount of mist, so we discovered this rainbow.
I took the “easier” path to view the lower falls. I would have loved to take the 127 stairway steps for a closer look, but they went down first, and I knew I’d have to climb back up them. 😂
Lower falls.
We found a little snack bar in the state park and ate some lunch. Kylee and I took a selfie while waiting on our food.

On Monday Kylee and I went to see the Japanese Garden in Buffalo. I’m not sure what we expected, but it was lovely. The garden was just very small. We took a few pictures then walked around the park area for a while.

After we left the Japanese Garden, we found another coffee shop and had a caramel latte and shared the most delicious chocolate chip muffin. It was so rich and decadent!

She misses her friends back home, but once I said I was going to eat the WHOLE muffin, she put that phone down.
Well, THAT got her attention!

From the coffee shop, we decided to drive just a little further north to see Lake Ontario. It was a gorgeous day and the drive was lovely. What we didn’t know was the place we chose to go to only had a pier and a rocky shoreline; no beach. The view of Lake Ontario was great, though.

Lake Ontario

Our last little day trip was to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. It was another lovely, sunny day (a little warm). The gardens had all kinds of plants and flowers from all over the world.

The thousand origami cranes.
The thousand origami cranes.
A unique sculpture for a water fall.

It was pretty hot by the time we got out of the conservatory tri-domed building, so we decided not to walk around the whole building. All in all, we had a great day at the Botanical Gardens.

All too soon, it was time for Kylee to pack her things and head back home. It was a sad and happy day; sad because Kylee was leaving, but happy because our grandson, Jackson, was coming to visit us next. We took Kyle to the airport at 3:30 a.m. Yes! THAT early! She had a flight leaving at 5:30 a.m.

She’s not too talkative at 4:30 in the morning. Well, most of us aren’t! 🤣
There she is in line waiting to board.
Oh, no! She sees me taking her picture! Zoom in and look at the expression in her eyes. She doesn’t look too happy with me.
Going …
… going …
… GONE!

I am NOT a morning person, so I seldom see the sunrise. However, on my way back from the airport, I just had to stop and take a picture of God’s artistry!

I just sat there for several minutes enjoying the beauty and serenity of this early morning painting in the sky.

We went back to the airport at 9:30 p.m. the same day Kylee left to pick up Jackson to start our week with him. You will hear about his adventures in about a week.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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