Where to start? I’ve been in several states since I wrote at the beginning of my trip and am now settled in at my sister’s and brother-in-law’s house with their black cat. This trip has taken me along the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario, so now I’ve seen all of the Great Lakes, plus I’ve added a couple of New York’s Finger Lakes, along with getting to know Buffalo and Rochester, New York. All while dealing with a stomach bug.
Since there’s too much for one post, I’ll start with Buffalo.
My drive on Wednesday took me north through Charleston, West Virginia up across the Ohio River into Ohio, through Akron (where I saw the Pro Football Hall of Fame from the interstate) to the shore of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes look like the ocean to me, though they look cold (as a Southerner who grew up near Savannah, I don’t usually think of the ocean as cold this time of year). That blueness on the horizon of a Great Lake plus the angle of the sun of a northern latitude convey “cold” to me. I drove along the lake (a northeasterly route not close enough really to see the lake shore) through Erie, Pennsylvania into New York State. I drove past acres and acres and acres of vineyards that are near the Lake Erie. Western New York is a big wine area. The stomach bug hit me in the afternoon when I was only about 40 minutes from my destination of Buffalo, New York. I spent a couple of hours in Fredonia, New York, hanging around bathrooms near the New York State Thruway (I-90 to us non-New Yorkers). When I felt okay for driving, I got back on the Thruway.
I managed to make it to Buffalo where I checked into the cool hotel Karla had booked for us. I felt so crampy and bad that I didn’t even make it to the airport to pick her up that evening. She took a cab and came in to nurse her big sister again just as she had done at the toughest times of my breast cancer treatments. Because we were in downtown Buffalo, she could get out on foot and explore the next day while I was snuggled in bed hoping to feel better soon and join her. Buffalo has some beautiful architecture which reminds me a lot of Chattanooga. Many of the downtown buildings in both places were built in the early 1900s. Our hotel was built earlier than that, in 1870. It was a nice place for a sick room. I did feel well enough to get out on Thursday afternoon in the gorgeous weather and walk a few blocks with Karla.
Trinity Episcopal Church was just down the street. It was closed, so I didn’t get to see the Tiffany and LeFarge stained glass windows that Karla saw earlier in the day and said are so beautiful. I did get to see the pretty exterior. We also went into Ani DiFranco’s place. She converted an old church into a concert hall, record studio, art gallery, and bar/lounge. After the short walk, we drove around downtown to get a feel of the city. Both of us really like downtown Buffalo. We had a good dinner at Betty’s (where I had some comfort food that I hoped wouldn’t irritate my tummy), just a couple of blocks from our hotel, and we settled in for the night.
Niagara Falls would be next. But that’s for another post.