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

VERMONT

On July 28th, we got up and discussed our plans for the day. On a whim, we decided to do something TOTALLY UNEXPECTED. I won’t tell you exactly what we are doing, but I will tell you this: We had planned to drive over to Vermont just to see some of it, but we drove all the way across Vermont instead. Vermont is one GORGEOUS state!!

Our first stop was just inside the Vermont state line at a rest stop/welcome center. It was a nice facility staffed with a very kind, helpful man. Outside it had an “unusual” piece of American history as you will see in the pics below.

Could this be the phone booth that Superman changed in?

We drove through the countryside until we reached the capital of Vermont, Montpelier. It is a lovely small town with some very interesting buildings and houses, and the capitol building is stunning.

Montpelier has SOOOO many unique looking houses like these!
A view of the capitol from the bridge as we crossed the river.

We wanted to eat lunch in Montpelier at one of the street side outdoor eating places, but it was so busy and there were NO places available in which to park. After driving around, back and forth, for quite some time, we gave up. Instead, we drove down the highway a little further and found a town called Waterbury. In that quaint little town, we found a little place called Park Row Cafe. The cafe didn’t look like much, BUT they had THE BEST hamburgers we have eaten in a very long time! We got our order “to go” and walked across the street and ate in the town park. It was a lovely day and a beautiful park right by the old train station.

After lunch we headed west towards Lake Champlain. There are several places to cross the lake. Several of them require a ferry ride across the lake. We decided to drive north along the lake and cross at the northern most crossing. Here we could cross via two bridges.

In the middle of the second bridge is this sign.

Welcome to the state of New York! The first intersection we came to after getting off the bridge had this sign.

When we looked right, we could see the Canadian border crossing!

We spent the night in Malone, New York. Tomorrow we go to our destination to visit an historic site.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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