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

THE FINAL STOP ON MY LAURA INGALLS WILDER TOUR!

We started full time RVing September 1, 2017. A little less than year later, in the summer of 2018, we were in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.

I have been a lifelong fan of the author Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote the Little House On the Prairie series of books (and I’m a HUGE fan of the television show!). When I discovered how many of the places were near where we were staying in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa where Laura was born and the family lived, I just KNEW I had to visit each place! Therefore, in the summer of 2018, I started my quest of visiting all locations that had anything to do with Laura or the Ingalls family.

If you are interested in reading those previous posts, you can search this site and find the year 2018. You should be able to find all my posts on this topic between 2018 to 2019. If you are a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan like me, you might really enjoy reading those posts.

This final stop was near Malone, New York. If you’re not familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder, she married Almanzo Wilder from upstate New York. Well, here is a hint as to where we went:

Yep! If you guessed Almanzo Wilder’s boyhood home, you are correct.

This is the site of the original Wilder family homestead. Almanzo’s father, James Mason Wilder, purchased the property in 1840, cleared the land, and built the buildings. James Wilder and his wife, Angeline, raised six children: Laura (dob: 1844; not to be confused with Laura Ingalls), Royal (1847), Eliza Jane (1850), Alice (1853), Almanzo (1857), and Perley (1869).

Almanzo’s family was considered a wealthy family back in the mid 1800s. I won’t bore you with a lot of narrative about Almanzo’s life (although I did learn a lot from our tour guide!). I will just share some of my photos and add captions when needed.

This is the restored original Wilder house. Those giant trees to the left and the right of the house are over 200 years old, so they were there when the Wilders lived here.
There are several barns, a chicken coup, and a corn crib all surrounding the barn lot. They built the barns this way to provide protection for the animals during inclement weather and winter storms. These are not the original barns (originals were destroyed in a fire), but they are replicas of the barns Almanzo described for his wife, Laura Ingalls Wilder, when she was writing the book Farmer Boy.
Corn crib.
South barn which is quite large houses sheep, cattle, hogs, and a feed room. The small building in the back is the pump house.
View of the barn lot from the south barn.

From this point on, this set of pictures are from the other various barns. I didn’t write down any of the information from our tour guide, so I don’t remember which pics were in which barn. 😬

View of the barn lot from the barn on the other side (from the picture above).

Next we toured the house. This is the original house in which the Wilders lived. It had to have quite a bit of restoration done to it. Dorothy Belle Smith was the person responsible for the discovery and preservation of the Wilder Homestead. This site is dedicated to her.

Again, our tour guide was very knowledgeable about about the Wilders’ lives while living in this house, as well as the extent of the restoration. It was interesting to learn that during the restoration another well was found underneath the pantry. Again, I will just share my photos of the house with an occasional caption.

Kitchen.
Pantry.
Dining room.
Between the dining room and the front parlor was the wood stove used to heat the house. There was a cutout in the wall so the heat would easily disperse between the rooms. This is the view from the dining room.
This is the view from the parlor.
Parlor.
This is Almanzo’s parents’ “master bedroom” which is just off the dining room. One can barely turn around in this tiny room. That blue quilt on the bed is actually Almanzo’s mother’s (it’s only half of the quilt; the other half is at Mansfield, Missouri, in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum)
This is the guest room, birthing room, or the room for an ill family member.
Next, we went upstairs (basically an attic) to the boys’ room. The boys’ room was the open room into which one walked after climbing the stairs. That opening on the right side of the picture is the stairs which were VERY narrow and VERY steep.
This is the bed in which Almanzo AND his brother slept!
To the left of the boys’ room was the unfinished part of the attic where father and the boys would do their woodworking making shingles and other things for the house and barns.
To the right of the boys’ room is the girls’ room. This was a large room with two beds (one on each side of the room), two closets, and a huge weaving loom in the center.
The loom between the two girls’ beds.
There was a replica of a schoolhouse on the property but it was NOT the schoolhouse that Almanzo attended.

The original schoolhouse where Almanzo attended school was located about a mile away from the Wilder homestead. It was in too bad of shape to even try to move it over to the homestead, so they built the replica. Since I have seen so many schoolhouses from this time period of history, I decided to drop out of the group and tour. We had a really long drive back to the RV, and I knew my husband was getting a little anxious to get “on the road” back to the RV.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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