The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘Canada’ category

Surprise Day Trip to Niagara Falls

Bob played hooky from work on Monday, April 10, and surprised me with a day trip to Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada)! He says we need to get one more use of my passport before it expires! That was a surprise too, as I didn’t realize that my passport was expiring in a few days!

We departed home, en route Niagara Falls, around 8:15 am. We made a fuel stop at Mobil in Jamestown on Route 60 at 8:50 am. Fuel, at $2.49/gallon, was $0.20/gallon less in NY than at home.

We made another stop at Tim Hortons in Fredonia NY for steeped tea…so much better than a tea bag in a cup! Then we hopped onto the New York State Thruway.

We arrived in Canada at 10:25 am via the Peace Bridge. The Canadian border guard questioned Bob at length about guns…are there any guns in the car…do we have guns at home…did he have a concealed weapon permit…why do you have a concealed weapon permit and no concealed weapon. It was the first time that we encountered this line of questioning, when entering Canada.

We followed Niagara Parkway into Niagara Falls. We didn’t make any stops along the way.

In Niagara Falls we paid CA$10 to park along Niagara Parkway for an hour. We walked partway to Horseshoe Falls, stopping often for photo opportunities.

_LG20812Horseshoe Falls

Bob and I in front of the American and Bridal Falls

Before leaving Canada we stopped at the Duty Free shop, where we purchased two 1 liter Jim Beam Black bourbon and two boxes of Maple Cream Cookies.

Monday was one of the best days ever! I am happy that Bob took off work and surprised me with a trip to Niagara Falls.  Our daycation was not yet over either.  We spent some time in Niagara Falls, NY as well, before returning home.  I will share details and photographs of our visit to the American side of the falls in another blog post.

On This Day in 2007 – Niagara Falls Day Trip

The date was May 5, 2007.  We spent the day in Niagara Falls.

After parking the car in Niagara Falls State Park’s Prospect Parking Lot, we walked to Prospect Point for a quick close-up peek of the American Falls.

NiagaraFalls200705_115American Falls

NiagaraFalls200705_117Bob at Prospect Point

After our quick look at the American Falls, we walked across the Rainbow Bridge into Canada.  Our first stop was at the casino, where we quickly lost $65.00 (I lost $40.00; Bob lost $25.00.).  Bob did win back his $25.00 but lost it again.  We walked from the casino to Horseshoe Falls and back (zigzagging along the way so I could see this flower or that statue or a different view of the falls).

NiagaraFalls200705_127Canadian view of American Falls

NiagaraFalls200705_129Daffodils and the American Falls

NiagaraFalls200705_137Horseshoe Falls

King George VI

This statue of Britain’s King George VI,
located in Queen Victoria Park, stands 10′ high.

UntitledKing George VI gazes upon the American Falls.

NiagaraFalls200705_138Carriage rolls by the American Falls

We ate a late lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Bob ordered a Hickory Smoked Pulled-Pork Sandwich; I ordered a Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger.  Our meals were good.  We have never had a meal at Hard Rock Cafe that we didn’t like!  After lunch we walked across the Rainbow Bridge and back into the USA.

NiagaraFalls200705_157One last view of Niagara Falls, as we walk across the Rainbow Bridge back into the USA.

This is one of many day trips that we have made to Niagara Falls over the years.  I hope one day to share the falls with our granddaughters.

60th Birthday Celebration (Part 2 of 2)

We spent approximately 24 hours in Niagara Falls, Canada, as a continuation for my 60th birthday celebration.  You may read about the first part of my birthday celebration by clicking here.


We awakened early the morning of Saturday, February 27, after a good night’s sleep. How soothing it is to fall asleep to the sound of falling water! Bob got up around 4:00 am, which is usual for him. I got up at 5:00 am.

We watched the sun rise around 7:00 am.

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We watched the sun rise from our hotel room at Embassy Suites Niagara.
We were on the 28th floor, room 2801.

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The sun was a pink glow and lasted for only a short time, as it was quite cloudy at sunrise.

Shortly after sunrise, we went to breakfast. Our Embassy Suites Niagara hotel deal provided for a complimentary hot breakfast. One of the many choices for breakfast was a made-to-order omelet. Sides includes sausage, home fries, French toast, coffee and tea, juices, cereals, fruit, and pastries. It is impossible to go away hungry from breakfast!

At 10:00 am Bob telephoned the Valet and asked that our car be brought up from the parking garage. Within 15 minutes the car had been brought up; we had loaded it with our overnight bag, my tripod and our Internet devices; and we had checked out of the hotel. Valet parking costs CA$35 but is very convenient. The valet will bring your car to you any number of times during your stay, plus it can remain parked at the hotel from arrival until 4:00 pm on the day that you check out of the hotel.

At 10:22 am we hopped onto one of the WEGO Blue Line buses, which stopped in front of our hotel and rode it to the Sheraton on the Falls bus stop on Falls Avenue. From there we walked to Bird Kingdom. According to its website, Bird Kingdom is the “largest indoor free-flying aviary in the world.” This was our second visit to Bird Kingdom.  Our first visit was a number of years ago, in November 2008.  As we did in 2008, we enjoyed our visit very much.

We began our tour of the Bird Kingdom by walking through the Old Museum.  We didn’t spend much time in the museum, in which the history of the Bird Kingdom building is told via displayed photographs.

IMG_20160227_105038 4x6This photo opportunity was provided in the Old Museum.
I don’t know what the Daredevil Barrel had to do with the history of the Bird Kingdom building.
It did, though, provide a good photo opportunity!

 The Explorer Base Camp allows the visitor to get up close and personal with exotic birds, animals and reptiles from around the world.

_LG10036 4x6This is a Chinese Softshell Turtle.

(Bob took this video)

_LG10038 4x6A White Cockatoo greets visitors.

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Yellow-Headed Amazon

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Green-winged macaw

_LG10044 4x6The Blue-and-Gold Macaw waved hello to us.

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Blue-fronted Amazon

In the Small Bird Aviary we saw small birds that flew freely about us.

_LG10050 4x6a Zebra Finch in the Small Bird Aviary

In the Night Jungle we saw bats, owls and some non-flying creatures of the night.

_LG10055 4x6a Boobook Owl

_LG10057 4x6an Egyptian fruit bat

The Main Aviary features a 50,000 square foot tropical rainforest and a 40 foot waterfall.  The Main Aviary is home to a diverse collection of birds from around the world.

IMG_20160227_112102~2 4x6Our visit to the Main Aviary started at the top level.
(Bob took this picture.)

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Scarlet Ibis

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We walked behind the 40 ft. waterfall and down to the jungle floor.

_LG10063 4x6Pied Crow

_LG10065 4x6Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

_LG10069 4x6Victoria Crowned Pigeon

_LG10072 4x6Pied Imperial Pigeon

_LG10073 4x6Guinea Turaco

_LG10077 4x6Swainson’s Lorikeet

_LG10079 4x6Nicobar Pigeon

_LG10084 4x6Golden Pheasant

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Eastern Rosella

_LG10087 4x6Giant Wood Rail

_LG10089 4x6Ring Teal Duck

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Silver Pheasant

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From Bird Kingdom we hopped onto one of the WEGO Green Line buses and rode it to Table Rock.   A WEGO Green Line bus stop is just outside the front door of Bird Kingdom. We had close to a 30-minute wait, so we walked to the next stop (Niagara Parkway/Victoria Park) along the Green Line bus route.

IMG_20160227_115941 4x6As we were walking to the bus stop, Bob took this picture of River Road to show the lack of traffic.

At Table Rock I photographed Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.

_LG10099 4x6Horseshoe Falls at Table Rock

IMG_20160227_122810 4x6Bob took this picture of me, while photographing Horseshoe Falls.

_LG10101 4x6American Falls

Also, at Table Rock, we walked through one of the gift shops, looking but not buying anything.

From Table Rock we rode the Niagara Falls Incline back to Embassy Suites. We could have hopped back on a blue line WEGO bus and saved CA$2.75 each. The incline is a fun experience and was a much faster choice to return to the hotel.

_LG10104 4x6Approach to Falls Incline from Table Rock

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Falls Incline

Back at Embassy Suites (at top of incline) we asked that our car be brought up from the parking garage. Within 15 minutes of our request we were on our way back home. We made two stops on our way home.

Our first stop was at the duty free shop. We used some of our casino winnings from the day before to purchase the following: a 1-liter bottle of Bulleit bourbon, two boxes of maple cream cookies, a bag of biscuits and wafers and two kits to grow crystals at home. We plan to give each of our granddaughters a crystal growing kit as part of their Easter present.

Our second stop was for lunch at Aunt Millie’s in Irving, NY. Bob ordered a beef on weck with French fries for his lunch. I ordered a small meatloaf dinner. For dessert I ordered a slice of peanut butter chocolate pie, and Bob ordered a Brownie Tower. We took home a small piece of my peanut butter chocolate pie and half of the Brownie Tower. That Brownie Tower was huge!

We returned home at 5:00 pm. What was for dinner? Bob finished my peanut butter chocolate pie, and I ate about half of what was left of the Brownie Tower.

This was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday.  It was a good time, too, to go to Canada.  My friend, Lorraina, left a comment on yesterday’s blog post.  She wrote that I “didn’t mention the great rate and the extra money [we] got for [our] U.S. money… did notice that didn’t you?”  Yes, Lorraina, we did notice how strong the U.S. Dollar is compared to the Canadian dollar.  The currency rate for one Canadian dollar was approximately $0.74 U.S. dollars during our visit.  The favorable exchange rate and the promotional hotel rate made our overnight stay in Niagara Falls quite affordable.



60th Birthday Celebration (Part 1 of 2)

I celebrated my 60th birthday on Tuesday, February 23.  On that day my Facebook news feed exploded with birthday wishes. I can honestly say that my most enjoyable day on Facebook is on my birthday. I counted over 250 birthday wishes from Facebook friends.  When I mentioned to a friend that I didn’t know how I felt about entering this new decade in my life, he told me “You are entering a new decade many have not been able to achieve. Accidents and other life events have kept many from experiencing a day like yours. Celebrate!!” A little while later, I stumbled upon this picture.


I decided to embrace the new decade and live it well, to the best of my ability.

We went to Red Lobster for my birthday dinner, which turned out to be the first of THREE birthday dinners. On our way home from Red Lobster we stopped at Dairy Queen for dessert. We ordered Blizzards, buy one get one free.


My birthday celebration continued on Friday and Saturday. We spent approximately 24 hours in Niagara Falls, Canada. We departed our home in Warren PA at approximately 12:30 pm on Friday and arrived at the Embassy Suites hotel around 3:00 pm. Our hotel room was on the 28th floor, room 2801. We had a corner suite. Our hotel room was comfortable, but it was the smallest suite that we have stayed in at Embassy Suites Niagara.


Our hotel room floor plan
(photo obtained from Embassy Suites Niagara website)


This is the floor plan of my preferred suite, which we reserve when the room rate is affordable.

Preferred hotel room floor plan


Our hotel room had a city view, as well as a view of both the American and Canadian waterfalls.

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City View

_LG10002-1 4x6Falls View

At 4:00 pm we attended Embassy Suite’s complimentary evening reception. Light snacks (pickles, raw carrots, pretzels, potato chips and a Cajun Mix) and beverages were provided. Soft drinks were unlimited and free of charge. One alcoholic beverage each was provided free of charge. Bob ordered a double Scotch, using his and my free alcoholic beverage voucher. The manager’s reception was held in the lobby from 4:00-6:00 pm.

Sometime before 5:00 pm we stopped at the concierge desk and purchased two WEGO 24-hour passes for bus transportation throughout the city. The passes cost CA$7.50 each. Also we picked up two CA$25 vouchers for free slot play at either Fallsview Casino or Casino Niagara (Embassy Suites promotional item).  Another promotional item included with our stay at Embassy Suites was a CA$30 voucher for two dinner entrees at TGI Fridays or The Keg Steakhouse or Outback Steakhouse (two locations: across the street from our hotel or on Victoria Avenue).

We decided to eat dinner at the Outback Steakhouse on Victorian Avenue and to use the free slot play at Casino Niagara. We hopped onto one of the Blue Line buses, which stopped in front of our hotel and rode it to the Victoria Ave/Clifton Hill stop. It was a short walk from that stop to Outback Steakhouse. Dinner was excellent. Bob ordered the 11 oz Sirloin Steak dinner entree, and I ordered the Alice Springs Chicken dinner entree. I drank water with my dinner; Bob drank coffee with his dinner. The cost of my SECOND birthday dinner, after the $30 discount, was approximately CA$45.

It was about a 10-minute walk from the Outback Steakhouse to Casino Niagara. It was an entertaining walk, as we walked past several Clifton Hill attractions. Just before arriving at Casino Niagara we came upon the Upside Down House attraction. I said to Bob “Look at that! It’s an upside down house!”

IMG_20160226_180826Bob took this selfie of us in front of the upside down house.

Bob and I didn’t visit any of the Clifton Hill attractions, including the Upside Down house.  Bob says that he visited Clifton Hill attractions many, many years ago.  I haven’t ever visited any of the attractions.  I do enjoy the sights and sounds, while walking Clifton Hill. Perhaps one day I will visit some Clifton Hill attractions.

We soon reached Casino Niagara.  After a stop at the Players Advantage Club desk to add our free slot play to our casino cards, we went in search of slot machines to try our luck. We found penny slot machines and luck was on our side. We walked out of the casino a little richer. Bob won CA$31.90 and I won CA$24.95.

When we left the casino, we just missed the bus back to our hotel. We had a 40-minute wait. Rather than stand at the bus stop, we went for a walk. We caught the bus at the Sheraton On the Falls stop on Falls Avenue.

Back at the hotel, I photographed the waterfalls illuminated by colored lights.

_LG10016-1 4x6Falls Illumination

I sat in front of the window for a while just watching the changing of the colors and listening to the falling water.  We went to bed around 10:00 pm, and I fell asleep to the sound of the falling water.

My birthday celebration will continue in my next blog post.

A Mini Getaway

We spent the night of Sunday, December 6th, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We departed Warren PA at approximately 10:00 am. We drove to Niagara Falls via NY Route 5. We crossed the Peace Bridge into Canada and followed the Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls. We arrived at our hotel, Embassy Suites, around 1:00 pm. The regular check-in time is 4:00 pm. When I made our hotel reservation, I requested an early check in. The hotel was able to check us in upon our arrival.

Our spacious, luxurious two-room suite was on the 23rd floor (room 2316), with a view of Horseshoe Falls.

20151206_183836470_iOS 4x6Horseshoe Falls
(view from our hotel room)

Soon after checking in, we ate a picnic lunch in our hotel room.  We had picked up the grocery items for a picnic lunch at a grocery store, en route Niagara Falls.

We stayed in our room, relaxing, until 4:00 pm at which time we rode the elevator down to the 9th floor to The Keg Steakhouse for dinner.  Our hotel accommodation included a $30 (Canadian $) dinner credit for The Keg Steakhouse.  Bob and I both ordered chicken entrees. My dinner was Supreme Chicken Breast, which was pan seared and roasted.  My dinner was served with twice baked potato and broccolini. Bob’s dinner was Seafood Chicken Deluxe, which was boneless chicken breast accompanied by scallops, shrimp, and crab meat, and served on garlic mashed potato and steamed asparagus.  As we ate dinner, we admired the view of the American and Horseshoe Falls as the sun set.

20151206_213114733_iOS 4x6This was our view, while eating dinner at The Keg Steakhouse.

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We watched the sky change color, as the sun set, while we were eating dinner.

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After dinner, we dropped by the complimentary evening reception (held across the hall from The Keg Steakhouse) to pick up a double Scotch and pickles (for Bob) and a snack mixture for me to take to our room.

Around 5:45 pm we left the hotel for a walk alongside the falls. We rode the nearby Falls Incline Railway to Table Rock.

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Falls Incline

We timed our visit to Niagara Falls to coincide the Winter Festival of Lights.  The Winter Festival of Lights is an annual event.  This year’s event began on November 21 and will continue until January 31, 2016.   The principle lighting area for the Winter Festival of Lights is a five-kilometer route stretching from Queen Victoria Park at the base of Clifton Hill along the Niagara Parkway to Dufferin Islands.  We saw only a small fraction of the illuminated displays, as we walked along Niagara Parkway from Table Rock to Murray Street.

_LG19299 4x6Illuminated display at Falls Incline Railway

_LG19307 4x6Illumination of Horseshoe Falls

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Skylon Tower
Illuminated Displays

_LG19321 4x6Illumination of American Falls

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Skylon Tower
Illuminated Displays

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Murray Street
Illuminated American Falls

_LG19326 4x6Murray Street Pedestrian Bridge
I loved the snowflakes and big horn sheep displays along Murray Street!

It was very nice to walk alongside the falls in December and not get cold and not get wet! We climbed Murray Street and then walked back to Embassy Suites via a walkway between our hotel and the Fallsview Casino Resort.

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Fallsview Casino and Galleria
The casino lights changed colors, from green to blue to red to red and green.

We returned to the hotel around 7:15 pm.  Back at the hotel we made use of the Jacuzzi and spent the remainder of the evening in our room.

At 7:00 the next morning we took the elevator to the 9th floor, where we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast.  In addition to breakfast items that we are accustomed to when staying at Best Western Plus hotels, Embassy Suites provided made-to-order omelets as well.  Bob and I ordered omelets for breakfast.

We walked to the Fallsview Casino a little later in the morning to play the $25 (Canadian $) free slot play that we had received as a promotional item from the hotel.  We played and lost.  We departed the hotel, en route home, soon after our return from the casino.

Our mini getaway was a very relaxing time.  Perhaps we will have an opportunity to return to Niagara Falls before the Winter Festival of Lights ends.


Lots of Miles for a Lunch and Dinner Date

Bob and I spent the day, Saturday (8/29), mainly on the road. We left home (Warren, PA) around 8:30 am.  We drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. We crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge and followed the QEW to Niagara-on-the-Lake.  We had a picnic for two at Paradise Grove, located just south of Niagara-on-the-Lake along the Niagara River.

20150829_155951240_iOSOur picnic table

We found this picnic area by driving south on Queen’s Parade, turning left onto Ricardo Street. The picnic area was on the right.

After lunch we drove a little farther down Ricardo Street and parked at the Navy Hall, just down the hill from Fort George. We had just gotten out of the car, when a Canadian man approached us to ask if we had jumper cables. His motorcycle wouldn’t start. We did have jumper cables with us. This man and another pushed the motorcycle over to our car. Bob connected the cables to our battery, and the rider connected the cables to his motorcycle battery. The rider turned on his ignition, pressed the starter button and the motorcycle roared to life immediately. Afterward, the rider made the comment that he just realized that we were from the States…not that it mattered.

After Bob had jumped the motorcycle, we checked out the Navy Hall.

_LG17745 4x6Navy Hall

According to a Wikipedia article, “Navy Hall is a wooden structure encased within a stone structure that was the site of …Ontario’s…first provincial parliament, from 1792–1796. It is a unit of Fort George National Historic Site…  It sits on Ricardo Street near the shore of the Niagara River, near Fort George, and across the river from Fort Niagara. …After Parliament left, the building was used as a dining hall by officers from nearby Fort George. Destroyed by U.S. artillery fire in the War of 1812, some of the fort’s buildings were re-built by the British, and today’s Navy Hall is the only one remaining of that reconstruction. It…became.a barracks for British troops in 1838, during the Rebellion of 1837-38. It served as a medical commissary during World War I for Canadian troops… During the 1930s, it was moved to its present site by the Niagara Parks Commission and encased in stone…”


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Simcoe Memorial on the grounds of Navy Hall

John Graves Simcoe was the First Governor of Ontario from 1791 to 1796.  On September 17, 1792 he presided over the first provincial parliament.  You may read more about Simcoe and his wife by clicking here.

After walking the Navy Hall grounds, we walked up the hill and to the right to the entrance of Fort George.

_LG17752 4x6Fort George

The official website for the Fort George National Historic Site provides the following short summary about Fort George: “Overlooking the Niagara River, Fort George was built between 1796 and 1802. This fortification served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army during the War of 1812, and played a pivotal role in the defence of [Ontario]. Fort George saw action during the Battle of Queenston Heights, was destroyed and captured by the Americans during the Battle of Fort George, and was reclaimed by the British seven months later.” We have passed by Fort George on past visits to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Saturday was the first time we went as far as the entrance to the fort.  It would have been a good day to visit Fort George on Saturday, as over 200 years of Niagara’s military history was being commemorated.

_LG17753 4x6A tank approached, while we were standing near the entrance to Fort George!

Inside the fort were displays featuring uniforms, weaponry and period military vehicles from the War of 1812, First and Second World Wars, and more. Demonstrations were being held throughout the day. The demonstrations included fife & drum, artillery and tactical.  Neither of us were willing to part with the C$11.70 each to step foot into the fort. Perhaps another day …

From the Navy Hall we drove a short distance along Ricardo Street, where we found parking near Nelson Street. We put 5 quarters into a parking meter for 50 minutes. Later we found that we could have parked on Nelson Street for free, as the parking meters were broken! We walked down Nelson Street, alongside the Niagara-on-the-Lake sailing club marina, to the Niagara River and a waterfront trail.

_LG17754 4x6Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club Marina

_LG17755 4x6Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club Marina,
as seen from gazebo near waterfront trail.

_LG17756 4x6Across the Niagara River is Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY.

The waterfront trail was entered via a gate that had a sign that read “no exit”. The Niagara River was to our left and a residential area to our right. Private property signs were posted everywhere, except on the trail. We walked to the end of the trail, which was quite short,

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We could see a lighthouse at the end of the waterfront trail.

We turned around at the location where we saw the lighthouse and took the trail back to Ricardo Street.

We still had time on the parking meter, so we walked the short distance to Melville Street, at the base of which is the whirlpool jet dock. Just past the dock, there was a nice view across the Niagara River of Old Fort Niagara.

_LG17762 4x6Old Fort Niagara

We returned to our car (18 minutes still remaining on the meter) and continued our drive along Ricardo Street. We passed by Queens Royal Park, from where we had seen Old Fort Niagara in past visits, and turned left to make our way back to Queens Street. We turned left onto Queens Street and followed it to the Niagara Parkway, passing by the clock tower, the Prince of Wales hotel and lots and lots of flowers along the way.

_LG17764 4x6Niagara-on-the-Lake Queens Street
Clock Tower

_LG17766 4x6Niagara-on-the-Lake Queens Street
Prince of Wales Hotel

_LG17768 4x6Queens Street
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a very lovely town!

We followed the Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls, not making one stop along the way.

In Niagara Falls we stopped at the duty-free shop, where Bob purchased two bottles of whiskey. I took one picture of the falls from the parking lot.

_LG17772 4x6the American Falls,
as seen from the parking lot of the duty-free shop

We crossed into New York via the Rainbow Bridge. We didn’t stop in Niagara Falls, NY. Once on I-190, I asked Bob if he would like to go to Erie, PA for dinner (and to check out the Once Upon a Child store for vintage Fisher Price Little People accessories to go with a play house that I purchased recently at a garage sale). Bob readily agreed.

We arrived in Erie around 4:30 pm. We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse. After dinner, we went to the Once Upon a Child store. We didn’t find any Little People accessories. We fueled up at the Sam’s Club and headed back home. Upon arriving home, I checked the trip odometer.  The odometer showed that we had driven 327 miles for a lunch and dinner date 🙂  What a great husband and a wonderful life we have!


Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday

On Saturday, May 23, we spent the day riding. We left home at 8:30 am. I had put the liner back in my leather jacket and dressed in layer, as it was only 36 degrees when we left home en route Niagara Falls.

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We crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge. We had no delay crossing into Canada; however, the border crossing guard was a bit brusque. After we (and others) had entered the lane to his booth, he closed the lane.  I believe his brusqueness was due to his desire to take a break or to end his work shift.  The guard had us remove our helmets, not an easy task when one hand is holding passports. He could see I was having a little trouble handling my helmet and handing over the passports to him. He made no effort to help ( e.g. he did not step closer to reach the passports). I had trouble putting my helmet back on.  I was wearing a doo rag that came off, as I removed my helmet.  I needed two hands to put the doo rag back on, so I just put on my helmet.  I stuffed our passports in my jacket pocket.  We stopped soon after getting on Niagara Parkway so that I could put on my helmet properly, with doo rag underneath it. Bob placed our passports in a locked cubicle on the dashboard.

We drove along Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls, enjoying the beautiful views of Niagara River along the way.


We drove through Niagara Falls to Rainbow Bridge  Please click on the image above to watch a drive-by video of Niagara Falls, as we rode along Niagara Parkway and over the Rainbow Bridge.

The crossing into the United States was more hectic than the crossing into Canada. There were cars and people EVERYWHERE! Niagara Falls State Park’s parking Lot 1, located near the Niagara Falls Visitor Center, was full. Niagara Falls State Park’s parking Lot 2, located on Goat Island near the entrance to the Cave of the Winds tour and Top of the Falls Restaurant, was full as well.  We were directed to another parking lot somewhere on Goat Island, but the line was very long entering that parking lot.  We decided not to go for a walk in Niagara Falls this trip.  I much prefer visiting Niagara Falls off season, or at least not on a holiday weekend!

We began our ride back home.  We traveled by way of Route 219.  We made a fuel stop in Springville, NY and ate lunch at the nearby Ponderosa Steakhouse.

Prior to arriving in Ellicottville, NY we stopped at Griffis Sculpture Park–the largest outdoor sculpture park in the United States. For over 42 years, the steel sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr. and other international artists have been residing in the woods, fields, and even ponds of Griffis Sculpture Park. The 400 acre park is located eight miles outside of Ellicottville near Ashford Hollow, NY (Cattaraugus County). Griffis Sculpture Park is split into two sections, the Rohr Hill Road Site and the Mill Valley Road Site. We visited the Rohr Hill Road Site, where a majority of the sculptures are visible from the road.

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We wandered about the meadow and the woods of the Rohr Hill section of the park, while I snapped pictures of some of the sculptures.

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Who would have thought that you could find something so beautiful in a meadow in the middle of nowhere!

Rather than take Interstate 86 home, we drove through the Allegany State Park via ASP Route 1.  Our Empire Passport provided free entry to the park.  We made two brief stops, while in the park.

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We stopped at the Red House Administration Building, where we purchased a bottle of water at the Gift Shop.

_LG15469 4x6We stopped alongside Quaker Lake.

From Allegany State Park we took Routes 280, 321 and 59 home.

We returned home at 5:45 pm. Our trip odometer indicated that we put approximately 280 miles on the motorcycle.  By the way, it began to reach a comfortable temperature around 3:30 pm!

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Amputee Travel... let the adventures begin!

Viewing nature with Eileen

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Deep Thoughts

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Rambling On

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

This Abundant Life

A Space for Authentic Living

Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog



Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Linda's Peaceful Place

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Life's Funny Like That

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

I'll give you a piece of my mind

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Hospitality Lane

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Gretchen's Traveling

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog