Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pretty NOTL and Majestic NF

Here it is Sunday afternoon and I'm just about a week late with this post.   No one says I have to post everyday or even every few days, its just been my choice because my brain is a bit of a sieve and if I don't post regularly, things leak away.

So....Monday Dave and I drove Pam and John (now in their last week with us) north and west to Niagara Falls (Canada - passports please...) and the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.   Geneva was able to come up to the farm and stay with Lewis and Sasha so we had the entire day free - Thanks Geneva!

Instead of the normal, faster route of the NYS Thruway (I-90) we decided to take a leisurely drive along route 104 through many small towns, cobblestone houses and fruit orchards roughly following the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario.  Around here we just call it Ridge Road, it traces the ridge that was the ancient southern shoreline of Glacial Lake Iroquois, 13,000 years ago.  My facts may not be exact, but that's basically the story.      John is the history guy, its interesting to read his post about this same trip.   Reading both will give you the best picture of our day together!

We stopped at a tiny driveway stand to buy some beautiful purple asparagus but passed up numerous cherry stands along the way.  The day was just beginning and we feared it was to hot for them to hold up in the car.    (We did, however, succumb to a farm stand in NOTL and bought cherries, raw honey and a rather nasty cherry pie)

It was lunchtime when we arrived at NOTL so we found free parking (a rarity) in front of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Country Club (North America's Oldest Course if the ball vending machine is to believed....)   We sat outside on the patio beside the lake at the mouth of the Niagara River and enjoyed the view and a decent lunch.

After lunch we walked a few blocks away from the lake and onto the main street to stroll, window shop and people watch.

I hope flower picking isn't an international felony.....

Old Fort Niagara across the Niagara River in New York State

Canadians are justifiably proud of their flowers

Prince of Wales Hotel

John waits patiently for his friend to finish 

stylish dog water dishes outside an antique shop

something for everyone

When John tired of passing all the beautiful flowers, we walked back to the jeep and headed for Niagara Falls, Ontario.    We followed the Niagara River cataract passed the Lewiston bridge (the one we'd crossed to enter Canada earlier in the day), passed the huge power generating plants, the Butterfly Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and right into the unbelievably touristy attraction that is Niagara Falls, Canada.  (The US side isn't much less ridiculous, but the view from the Canadian side is so much better that they take full advantage of their position).  

Yes, John, I see you

The American Falls, with the Maid of the Mist in the foreground
I struggle to tell you about Niagara Falls and its surrounding attractions.   Dave and I grew up not far away and to us it is all very ordinary - been there, done that.   In fact, we even became engaged in one of the beautiful botanical gardens on the Canadian side.    The power of the falls is undeniable but, to me, it is overshadowed by the traffic, the throngs of people from all over the world, the casinos, the ice cream vendors, wax museums, IMAX Theater, etc.    You can walk for a long time along the promenade and rarely hear English being spoken, so people watching is prime.

Again, John and Pam's blog ( will give you much more information than I have.   I find it difficult to see it through "new eyes" this time.   Perhaps I'm just tired.

The Canadian Horseshoe Falls 

Rainbow, Canadian tour boat and mist from the Horseshoe falls

Pam on the edge

I never tire of watching the clear aquamarine water plunge over the drop-off.
That's one thing that man can't "enhance".....
We drove home along the River, across the Peace Bridge,  into downtown Buffalo and back home the "quick" way, I-90.    Dinner on the porch at the Big Tree Inn in "downtown" Geneseo capped our busy day.


  1. We had a wonderful day:) Thanks, Dave and Sue! And Geneva for watching the dogs!!

  2. I'm both looking forward to and dreading our visits to the Falls and the Grand Canyon and a few other spots just because of the crowds......but alas I must share too I guess :-). The flowers are so beautiful in that little town. Love the antique water bowls for the doggies passing by. The pic of the Japanese maple by the old window is wonderful.

  3. It's a shame that so many fantastic places in North America are over run with tourists! I love searching out the fabulous unknowns!

  4. Sure wish we had taken the side trip to NOTL as you so wisely suggested. Our Jeep was in the service shop almost the whole time we were there, so transportation was a challenge.

    Niagara Falls itself was a big disappointment to me. I had no idea it was so touristy. However, I loved the Botanical Garden and Butterfly Conservatory.

  5. That's the joy of reading blogs of the same place from different perspectives. We learn something from a different angle. We enjoyed our days at NF and NOTL despite the crowd as we visited them first thing in the morning before the droves of tourist arrived. Our only beef there is the border crossing and the long/slow traffic it created.

    And I thought a retired teacher is suppose to slap our wrist for picking flowers, especially in a foreign country :)

    Sue I like your shots and storytelling.