The Beauty Around Us

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Three Night Getaway- Day 3: Niagara Falls Day Trip

We are back home, after a three-night getaway. We spent October 23 through October 26 at Airbnb “LaVida Cottage” in the town of Newfane. This blog post is about our third day at the cottage. You may read about our first and second day at the cottage here and here.

We left LaVida Cottage at 8:30 am en route Niagara Falls.  We stopped at Whirlpool State Park, before arriving at Niagara Falls.  At Whirlpool State Park we walked a short way to a scenic overlook.  

The Whirlpool at Whirlpool State Park

This was our first visit to Whirlpool State Park. Someday we would like to ride the Spanish Aero Car, seen in the top left portion of this picture, and see the whirlpools from that vantage point.

In Niagara Falls we parked at Niagara Falls State Park.  Our Empire Pass enabled us to park for free.   It had been 3 years since we last visited Niagara Falls.  This visit was a little confusing, as a new Welcome Center is under construction.  In the past we have walked through the Welcome Center to go to Prospect Point for our first view of the waterfalls. The old Welcome Center still stands but is blocked off by construction fencing. Once we got our bearings, all was good.  By the way, the new Welcome Center is expected to be completed in Spring 2023.

Prospect Point
American and Horseshoe Falls

In past visits to Niagara Falls we walk from Prospect Point to Goat Island to see Bridal Falls and Horseshoe Falls.  On this visit we drove to Goat Island, as my arthritic knee was hurting.  

Luna Island – Bob at the top of Bridal Falls
Luna Island
Bridal Falls and American Falls
Goat Island
Bridal Falls and American Falls
Horseshow Falls at Terrapin Point

I think we spent only an hour enjoying the falls, undoubtedly the less amount of time that we have spent in Niagara Falls.

We drove from Niagara Falls to Cafora’s Pizza and Pasteria in Newfane, where we enjoyed lunch.  Bob ordered baked ziti with meatball.  I ordered lasagna.  Salads and Italian bread accompanied our meals.

After lunch we returned to LaVida Cottage, where we stayed for rest of the afternoon and the evening.  Dinner was leftovers.

We returned home the next day around 11:30 am.

It was a very relaxing and enjoyable 3-night getaway.

Three Night Getaway – Day 2: A Day of Relaxation

We are back home, after a three-night getaway. We spent October 23 through October 26 at Airbnb “LaVida Cottage” in the town of Newfane. This blog post is about our second day at the cottage. You may read about our first day at the cottage here.

On the morning of our second day in Newfane we went for a walk through Krull Park to Lake Ontario.  Airbnb “LaVida Cottage” provides easy access to the park.  Directly across the street from the Airbnb is Park Lane.  A short walk on Park Lane takes you to the park.  I walked about 1 1/2 miles, before asking Bob to go get our car at the Airbnb.  My arthritic knee was hurting badly.  I sat outside Olcott Beach Carousel Park, while I awaited Bob’s return.  When Bob picked me up, he said it was another 1/2 mile walk to the Airbnb.

We decided to spend time at “LaVida Cottage” today. 

LaVida Cottage
Early morning light shining on the back yard
of LaVida Cottage.
The back yard ends at a cliff that drops to 18 Mile Creek.

Soon after our walk I took my kindle out to the fire pit and read. 

The fire pit at LaVida Cottage

Bob joined me and played his ukulele for a short while. 

Bob took this picture of me reading at the fire pit.

We met Michael, our Airbnb host.  He stopped by late morning to repair a pipe in the basement that was leaking.  He was a friendly and engaging person.

We ate leftovers for lunch.

We ate dinner at Gordie Harper’s Bazaar in Newfane.  Gordie’s is a family restaurant but also features individually owned shops featuring unique themes, antiques and collectibles.  We visited only the restaurant.

It was a wonderful day, relaxing at the cottage.

Three Night Getaway – Day 1: Warren PA to Newfane NY

We are back home, after a three-night getaway. We spent October 23 through October 26 at Airbnb “LaVida Cottage” in the town of Newfane. Newfane is a small Western New York town located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Niagara County.  If you look at the listing for LaVidaCottage, you will see that Burt NY is given as the location of the Airbnb. The town of Newfane includes the hamlets of Burt and Olcott, among others.

We ate breakfast at Wendy’s in North Warren, before leaving Warren.  Bob ordered a Big Breakfast (3 scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries and toast) with coffee and orange juice.  I ordered one scrambled egg, one chocolate chip pancake and tea.  Bob gave me two pieces of his bacon.  It seems Wendy’s is becoming our go-to place for breakfast, whenever we travel north. Breakfast was good, as usual.  

En route Newfane we made a brief stop at The Canalway Trail: Lockport.

Map of The Canalway Trail: Lockport
The Canalway Trail: Lockport

This bicycle trail being only 12 miles (a 19-minute drive) from Airbnb “LaVida Cottage” makes it probable that we will make a return trip one day to Newfane NY.

We arrived in Newfane around 12:30 pm. Check-in at Airbnb “LaVida Cottage” wasn’t until 3:00 pm, so we drove past the Airbnb and visited the Lakeview Village Shoppes, Krull Park, the East Pier, and the Harbor Overlook in Olcott. The Lakeview Village Shoppes were less than 1/2 mile from our Airbnb. 

Lakeview Village Shoppes overlooks Lake Ontario.
Lakeview Village Shoppes is home to a unique mix of specialty gift, clothing,
antique, and food shoppes on a boardwalk.
Lakeview Village Shoppes
Beautiful bouquet of flowers!
Lakeview Village Shoppes Autumn Decorations
Lakeview Village Shoppes is adjacent to the Olcott Lighthouse.

It was a short walk from Lakeview Village Shoppes to Krull Park.

Lake Ontario at Krull Park
Krull Park
Ye Olde Log Cabin in Krull Park is a replica of the log cabin built by
the Pioneers Association of Niagara County in 1888.
The cabin functions as a Niagara Pioneer and Olcott Beach history museum.
Unfortunately, the cabin was closed for the season.
I think it would have been interesting to take a peek inside.

Ever since we arrived in Olcott I noticed that Autumn was in its glory. Back home we are past peak, and many leaves have fallen off our trees. Olcott appeared to be at peak.

Krull Park
Look at the size of that leaf!
Krull Park
Perfect Autumn Leaf
We exited via this Entrance to Krull Park

We ate lunch (two hot dogs and curly fries) at Park Place Restaurant. We sat at the counter and ate our lunch.

This was our view, as we ate lunch, at Park Place Restaurant

We walked back to, and past, Lakeside Village Shoppes to the East Pier. Oh, I forgot to mention earlier. We mainly just window shopped, as we walked by Lakeside Village Shoppes. However, we did make one purchase — a bag of coffee that was marked down 50%.

We passed by the Olcott Lighthouse.
East Pier
The 18 Mile Creek enters Lake Ontario between the West and East Piers
View of Lakeside Village Shoppes and houses from the East Pier
Bob and I on the East Pier

From the East Pier we walked to an overlook of the Olcott Harbor.

Olcott Harbor Overlook

As we walked back from the harbor overlook to where we had parked our car, I stopped briefly to take a picture of a memorial that stands at the Lockport-East Main Street intersection.

This Civil War Memorial commemorates the residents of Olcott Beach who served in the Union and gave their lives
in the American Civil War (1861-1865).

We checked into our Airbnb, LaVida Cottage, around 3:30 pm after a grocery stop at Tops Market. We spent rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing at the cottage.  

More Leaf Peeping

We enjoyed another day of leaf peeping.  Tuesday, October 11, was a sunny and warm Autumn day. We drove to Wellsboro PA, where we enjoyed the scenic vistas at both Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Point State Park

The following photographs were taken at Leonard Harrison State Park. Leonard Harrison State Park is on the east rim of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. 

From Leonard Harrison State Park we drove into Wellsboro. We parked on the street in front of The Green. We walked across the street to The Native Bagel for bagels. My bagel was cinnamon and raisin with cream cheese.  Bob’s bagel was Asiago cheese with butter.  Both bagels were toasted and delicious.  We also had a cup of tea (me) and a cup of coffee (Bob).  We try to go to The Native Bagel, whenever we are in Wellsboro because we went there on our honeymoon.

After eating our bagels, we walked across the street once again and strolled through The Green.

The Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Statue is the centerpiece of The Green.

Leaving Wellsboro, we drove to Colton Point State Park. Colton Point State Park is on the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge. The following photographs were taken at Colton Point State Park.

I took this picture, after parking at the first overlook.
First Overlook
This was the view from the parking lot, looking away from the first overlook.
Fiery Foliage
This was the second overlook. Look toward the sky underneath the bare tree branches. You can see the overlook at Leonard Harrison State Park.

On our drive back home we stopped in Coudersport at Cream ‘n Sugar.  Bob got a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  I got a small peanut butter cup ice cream.  The ice cream was from Penn State Berkey Creamery. We were aware that ice cream was available on the Penn State campus and that it was a well known creamery. The ice cream was smooth and creamy … delicious. Bob wished afterward that he would have gotten ice cream instead of the cake, although the cake was good too.

We enjoyed our day trip very much so.  It looks like we chose the day well to make the trip, as Wednesday was cloudy and today (Thursday, October 13), it is raining.

Lunch and Leaf Peeping at Letchworth State Park

We enjoyed a daycation on Friday, October 7th.  We drove to Wellsville NY (an approximate 2-hour drive) to go to lunch with Cynthia and Larry, Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law.  Wellsville is the approximate halfway point from our house and where they are vacationing at Cayuga Lake NY.  We arrived at our agreed-upon meeting place — the Beef Haus — about 30 minutes before Cynthia and Larry did, which allowed us time to drive by one point of interest — the Pink House.  The Pink House is a pink Victorian mansion nestled on the corner of West State Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Wellsville.

The Pink House

According to a Wellsville Sun article, “Edwin Bradford Hall had this home built in 1866–it was finished in 1868 and has remained in his family ever since. E.B. Hall was a well known, highly successful pharmacist in Wellsville, had eclectic tastes and it is believed this grand residence was modeled after one that Hall took a liking to in Lake Como, Italy. He liked the color pink, had the paint mixed in his pharmacy and it has remained that way for generations.” 

From the Pink House we returned to the Beef Haus and found metered parking in front of the restaurant.  We inserted four quarters in the meter for 2 hours of parking.  We would need to insert a couple more quarters in the meter before our time in Wellsville was over. 

Bob and I went inside the Beef Haus and obtained seating for the four of us.  Cynthia and Larry arrived a few minutes later.  Everyone except me ordered a beef dish.  I ordered a Beef Haus Club with Ham, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, American Cheese on Wheat Bread.  Bob ordered a Bleu Bayou Burger (Cajun Spiced, topped with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Side of Buffalo Ranch dressing).  Both of our meals included chips and a pickle.  Larry ordered French Onion Soup, a salad and Beef on Weck sandwich.  Cynthia ordered Bay and Beef (Hand Carved Beef with Lemon Butter Broiled Scallops) accompanied by a salad and red skin mashed potatoes.  Cynthia and I ordered dessert, Peanut Butter Pie, which we shared with our husbands.  By the way I ate only one quarter of my Beef Haus Club and chips and three bites of the Peanut butter pie.  Since I started taking Trulicity for diabetes, I don’t have the appetite I used to have (which is a good thing). I boxed the leftover club sandwich; Bob finished the pie.  Our lunches were delicious,  and the service was very good.

After an enjoyable lunch, we walked a couple blocks down North Main Street.  We went window shopping, going inside the Wellsville Creative Arts Center.  We admired some of the pottery items, two unique ukuleles and a beautiful but very expensive tile inlaid coffee table ($4,800.00).  

At the end of North Main Street, we crossed over West Fassett Street and checked out the Fassett GreenSpace.   According to an article in the Olean Times Herald, the “Fassett GreenSpace consists of a 74-foot diameter meditation labyrinth, more than 1,500 square feet of raised flower and vegetable gardens. A bronze fountain is in the middle while metal musical instruments are on the side. The public is invited to harvest the garden and play the instruments.

We enjoyed playing the musical instruments.
The sound of the musical instruments is beautiful. Bob played a small clip from an actual song. Do you recognize the song?

We walked back the way we came, on the opposite side of North Main Street.  We parted ways in Wellsville.  Cynthia and Larry headed east to their vacation home at Cayuga Lake.  Bob and I headed north to Mount Morris NY (another 1 hour drive).  

En route Mount Morris we drove through Belmont.  Bob saw a waterfall, as we crossed over the Belmont Bridge.  He pulled off on the other side of the bridge, and we walked to the bridge to check out the waterfall.  We saw the waterfall from the bridge, as well as from underneath the bridge.

Belmont Waterfall
Belmont Waterfall from under the bridge
This storefront was in Mount Morris.

The reason that we drove to Mount Morris was to enter Letchworth State Park from the north and to drive south through the park. 

Letchworth State Park Dam Overlook
Letchworth State Park Wolf Creek Falls

We sat at a picnic table at Wolf Creek and finished my leftover club sandwich from our earlier lunch.

Letchworth State Park Great Bend Overlook
Letchworth State Park Inspiration Point
Bob took this picture of me at
Letchworth State Park Upper Falls
Letchworth State Park Upper Falls
with Train on Railroad
Letchworth State Park Middle Falls

Although it was overcast, we enjoyed looking at the beauty of the fall colors throughout the park.  

It took another 2-hour drive to go home, after leaving the park.   We were gone from home at least 10 hours. It was a very enjoyable day.

Leaf Peeping at Kinzua Bridge State Park and Allegany State Park

Wednesday, October 5th, was sunny and a typical fall weather day.  We decided to go on a leaf peeping drive. We left home around 8:30 am and returned home at 2:00 pm. 

Our first stop was at Kinzua Bridge State Park near Mt. Jewett PA.

The Viaduct, or Kinzua Bridge, once was the longest and tallest railroad structure at 2,053 feet long and 301 feet high.
The Viaduct was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003.
The Viaduct was reinvented as a pedestrian walkway in 2011.
Stroll 600 feet out on the remaining support towers,
peer miles out into the Kinzua Gorge, and
gaze down through the partial glass platform
at the end of the walkway.
The foliage color is really nice this year!
Looking down, way down, from the bridge
The support towers taken down by the tornado still remain on the forest floor 19 years later.
Proof that Bob and I were at Kinzua Bridge State Park 🙂

Our second stop was at Allegany State Park, which we entered via Limestone Road near Bradford PA.  It has been more than 5 years since we used that entrance point to the park.  We used to enter the park via Limestone Road, when we wanted to avoid the park fee (not every visit but sometimes).  We have purchased the NYS Park Empire Pass for the past several years and will continue to do so. We no longer concern ourselves with the cost to enter a New York State Park. The Limestone Road was just as rugged as we remembered it. We didn’t drive all over Allegany State Park, as we usually do when we visit the park. Instead we visited only Science Lake and Quaker Lake.

Science Lake at Allegany State Park
This tree by the fishing pier at Science Lake was quite vivid. This picture doesn’t even come close to the brilliance that my eye saw.

During our many visits to Allegany State Park, I take photographs mainly at the northern end of Quaker Lake near the Spillway Overlook. The lighting wasn’t good at that end of the lake, so I concentrated on the southern end of the lake.

Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park
Quaker Lake, looking north
Quaker Lake

From Allegany State Park we drove along part of the Allegheny Reservoir, past Kinzua Dam,  and then home.  The leaves are definitely changing colors, but neither Kinzua Bridge State Park nor Allegany State Park have reached their peak color. If time permits, we may make a return visit in a week to one or both of the parks.

Bemus Point’s Fall Fest

We attended Bemus Point’s Fall Fest this afternoon. The Fall Fest began yesterday and continues tomorrow.


We parked along Sunnyside Avenue and walked to the Village Casino, window shopping at vendor booths along the way.

A portion of our walk was along Chautauqua Lake.
The Fall Fest included a classic car cruise-in.
We saw several classic cars being driven in Bemus Point.
We ate lunch outside at the Village Casino.
The Stow-Bemus Point ferry
made several crossings, while we ate lunch.
I ordered Chicken Lips and fries.
Bob ordered a Buffalo Chicken Wrap with potato tots.

Both meals were delicious.

After lunch, we walked from the Village Casino to the Bemus Point Golf Club. We found more vendor booths for window shopping. Several vendor items caught my eye, but no purchases were made.

We enjoy the walk alongside Chautauqua Lake so much.
What a beautiful day for a walk!
Beautiful flowers!
Scarecrows adorn the streets of Bemus Point.
I found a friend …

There was a classic car Cruise-In at the Bemus Point Golf Club. We strolled through the field of parked cars and trucks.

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