The Beauty Around Us

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A Canadian Daycation: Lunch at Walker’s Country Market and Niagara Falls, ON

This blog post continues our daycation to Canada this past Saturday.  In my previous blog post I wrote about our visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

We departed Niagara-on-the-Lake around 11:30 am and began our drive on Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls.

About half way between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls we stopped for lunch.  We ate lunch at Walker’s Country Market. This is a great little lunch place, off the Niagara Parkway, right next to the Living Waters Wayside Chapel. We purchased two turkey sandwiches (Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with cranberry orange sauce, mayo, walnuts, and romaine lettuce on multigrain whole wheat bread) and two peanut butter ganache brownies for lunch. We sat outside on bistro-style seating and ate our lunch. We would definitely return here for lunch, if in the area. I give Walker’s 5 stars! Next time I would hope that we would do a bit of browsing at the market. There was also fresh produce, jams, maple syrup, ice cream and more available for purchase.  Note to self: box lunches can be purchased at Walker’s Country Market.  A picnic-style lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake would have been nice!

After lunch we took a few pictures of the Living Water Wayside Chapel.

Living Water Wayside Chapel

According to Internet sources, the Living Water Wayside Chapel is the smallest chapel in the world.

Living Water Wayside Chapel (interior view)

We were back on the road at 12:14 pm and arrived in Niagara Falls at 12:45 pm.

We parked in the Bird Kingdom parking lot ($3.99 for 2 hours).  We walked from there, just past the Hornblower Niagara Cruises entrance.  On hindsight I wish we had parked closer to the falls, as I may have been able to walk all the way down to Horseshoe Falls and back.  My arthritic knee was not very cooperative, while in Niagara Falls.

The Falls at Niagara Falls
the American and Bridal Falls
People, People EVERYWHERE!
Horseshoe Falls
MistRider Zipline to the Falls
MistRider Zipline to the Falls

We would have had a good vantage point to watch riders on the zipline.  We stayed at this location for a while and stood alongside the cliff (where all the people are), waiting for someone to ride the zipline.  No one rode the zipline, while we waited.  When I asked if anyone would be riding the zipline soon, I was told that the tailwinds were too strong.

On the way back to our car, we walked through Oakes Garden Theatre.

Oakes Garden Theatre
This spotted seagull posed for me.
Oh look … a wedding party!

We found a fish pond.

Goldfish at Oakes Garden Theatre
This bridge crosses over the fish pond.
What a tranquil setting!

We stopped at the duty free store before crossing the Rainbow Bridge into New York. We made our purchases at the duty free store, namely bourbon and maple filled cookies. We returned to the USA at 2:30 pm. The U.S. Border control guard asked Bob to remove his sunglasses, asked him how tall he is and how much he weighs. She said our last name is a common name, and some people with that name have done very bad things.

Niagara Falls, NY was too crowded for a pleasant visit.  We will visit Niagara Falls, NY at a later date.

We decided to drive to Erie PA for dinner. We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We had a 15-25 minute wait to be seated. It was worth the wait. Our dinners were good, although we brought enough home with us for another meal for each of us. Neither of us were as hungry as we thought we were.

We were back on the road at 7:50 pm.

We chased Saturday night’s sunset. We saw the setting sun, as we drove over the Interstate 86 bridge that crosses over Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, NY. We exited Interstate 86 at Bemus Point. We couldn’t find anywhere to park, as the Bemus Pops Concert series was happening that evening.

Sunset at Bemus Point, NY
I snapped this sunset picture from inside our car.

Bob thought he could make it to the Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area before the sun set. We made it there in the nick of time.

Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area
Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area

I posted these three sunset pictures on Facebook, while on our way home from the rest area.  My Facebook friend Christi C. said it best, when she made the comment “You chased the sun till it dipped below the world and said good bye for the final time today!”

It was a very long day.  We departed home at 6:00 am and returned home around 9:30 pm.  We drove 340 miles.   It was a long day, but what a wonderful day we had!

A Canadian Daycation: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Our daycation began at 6:00 am on Saturday, July 29. We spent the day traveling to Niagara-on-the-Lake and back home.

Our first stop was a fuel stop at Mobil in Jamestown, NY. Bob attempted to use the Plenti Speedpass app to make a fuel purchase. He received an error “try again later”. Needing fuel, Bob used his Plenti card for the fuel purchase and received regular points rather than the promotional points offered via the Plenti Speedpass. We have until the end of August to purchase at least 10 gallons of gas two more times to receive enough points for $20.00 in free gas. As long as the Plenti Speedpass works properly for our next two fill ups, we shouldn’t have any difficulty meeting the requirement.

Our second stop was for breakfast at Bob Evans, located across the street from the Mobil station. We had a couple minutes of excitement, before entering the restaurant. After stepping out of the car in the parking lot, a hawk in pursuit of a crow nearly took me out as they both swooped by my head! Bob saw the hawk and crow swoop by my head. I didn’t see the birds, until they had flown past me. I did hear a loud screech close to my ear, though, which startled me. The hawk and crow proceeded to a nearby tree, where they took a brief intermission. Soon the crow took off with the hawk continuing pursuit. A second crow entered in the chase as backup. Both crows escaped, last we saw.

For breakfast, Bob ordered a Border Omelet with rye toast and hash browns. I ordered a Western Omelet with wheat toast and home fries. Breakfast was delicious and filling.  We were back on the road shortly after 7:00 am.

At approximately 8:30 am we crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge. The Canadian border control guard asked Bob questions about guns e.g., does he have a concealed carrying permit (yes), are there any guns in the car (no), what guns does he own. This is the second time this year that Bob has had questions posed to him regarding his concealed carrying permit and guns, when crossing the border into Canada.

We drove to Niagara on the Lake, via the Niagara Parkway.  We parked at Queen’s Royal Park, where we paid for two hours of parking (cost $3.22).  We checked out the view of Old Fort Niagara from Queen’s Royal Park.  We walked a couple blocks to Queen Street and then through Simcoe Park.

Bob took this picture of me photographing the flowers at Simcoe Park.
Simcoe Park Flowers
Vendors were setting up for a jazz festival in Simcoe Park.

According to this web page, the jazz festival is an annual event.  This year marks its fourth year.

Leaving Simcoe Park, we continued our walk along Queen Street.  We made several photo stops.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful city.
In the summertime, everywhere you look are flowers and more flowers!
Prince of Wales Hotel
The banner that reads “150” is to commemorate
the province of Ontario’s 150th anniversary.
A horse and carriage crosses Queen Street.
The Memorial Clock Tower is seen in the background.
the Memorial Clock Tower

The Memorial Clock Tower, or Cenotaph, has stood in the center of Queen Street since June 3, 1922.  The Clock Tower was built as a memorial to the town residents who were killed in action during the first World War.

the Memorial Bell Tower
More pretty flowers along Queen Street
Viking Shop

We stopped in The Viking Shop, where we purchased a solar lighthouse bird feeder.  This is the third lighthouse bird feeder that I have owned since 2012.  The other two bird feeders were destroyed by bears!  For now, at least, I plan to use my new lighthouse bird feeder as a decorative piece in our yard. My new lighthouse bird feeder has two light options: white or multi colored.

Statue of George Bernard Shaw

You might be wondering why there is a statue of George Bernard Shaw in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The city is the home of the Shaw Festival.

We made our way back to Queen’s Royal Park, which is located along the bank of the Niagara River, where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario.  We spent 30 minutes or so enjoying the view from Queen’s Royal Park.

Queen’s Royal Park; Old Fort Niagara in the background.
Lots of people were enjoying the trail at Queen’s Royal Park.

I captured some very nice photographs of Fort Niagara with my Olympus 40-150mm and 300mm camera lenses.

Old Fort Niagara (NY)

Here are close-up pictures of some of the fort structures that you see in the above photograph.

Old Fort Niagara
Old Fort Niagara

We saw lots of boats from our vantage point at Queen’s Royal Park.

Sailboats on Lake Ontario
Some of the sailboats were very colorful!
Colorful Sailboats

From Queen’s Royal Park the Toronto skyline across Lake Ontario can be seen on a clear day.

Toronto Skyline

We arrived in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 9:50 am and departed the town, en route Niagara Falls, around 11:30 am.

TO BE CONTINUED

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.

Horseshoe 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.

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.

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

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.

This 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.

This is a Chinese Softshell Turtle.

A White Cockatoo greets visitors.

Kookaburra

Yellow-Headed Amazon

Green-winged macaw

The Blue-and-Gold Macaw waved hello to us.

Blue-fronted Amazon

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

a Zebra Finch in the Small Bird Aviary

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

a Boobook Owl

an 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.

Our visit to the Main Aviary started at the top level.
(Bob took this picture.)

Scarlet Ibis

 

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

Pied Crow

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Pied Imperial Pigeon

Guinea Turaco

Swainson’s Lorikeet

Nicobar Pigeon

Golden Pheasant

 

Eastern Rosella

Giant Wood Rail

Ring Teal Duck

Silver Pheasant

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.

As 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.

Horseshoe Falls at Table Rock

Bob took this picture of me, while photographing Horseshoe Falls.

American 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.

Approach to Falls Incline from Table Rock

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…..you 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!!”  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 Falls.

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

City View

Falls 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!”

Bob 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.

Falls 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.

Horseshoe 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.

This was our view, while eating dinner at The Keg Steakhouse.

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

 

 

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.

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.

Illuminated display at Falls Incline Railway

Illumination of Horseshoe Falls

Skylon Tower
and
Illuminated Displays

Illumination of American Falls

Skylon Tower
and
Illuminated Displays

Murray Street
and
Illuminated American Falls

Murray 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.

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.

Our 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.

Navy 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…”

 

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.

Fort 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.

A 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.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club Marina

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

Across 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,

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.

Old 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.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Queens Street
Clock Tower

Niagara-on-the-Lake Queens Street
Prince of Wales Hotel

Queens 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.

the 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!

 

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