On the road, Northeast trip: #3 Niagara Falls and beyond

My body is saying, “Take another slow day,” so I’m catching up with my blog of my travels in getting here to New Hampshire.

Mist from the falls as we drive into Niagara Falls, NY

Friday was another gorgeous day, crystal clear and in the 60s as we left Buffalo for Niagara Falls.   Karla drove so I could look around.  As we approached the town of Niagara Falls, New York, Karla pointed out the mist from the falls.  I zoomed in some for this photo as we were driving.  You know the falls are BIG when you can see the mist from miles away.  We drove through part of Niagara Falls State Park first.  It’s a pretty park with trails and views of the river and falls and access to islands,  but I wasn’t up to walking much.  Karla did a great job of finding close parking so that I could get a view of the falls and not have to walk far.  I don’t have much stamina yet after my breast cancer treatments, and I can’t stand or walk for very long.  But the falls area has lots of benches.  Perfect for me to sit and rest often.  Which I did.

My first view of Niagara Falls, American side

We saw the river rapids first and saw the mist and heard the roar, so I knew that the falls were close.  This photo was my first view of Niagara Falls.  The tall buildings are on the Canadian side, which has the best view of all of the falls.  But my passport has expired, and you have to have one to get into Canada.  So I was content to see the falls from right next to them instead of across from them.  We had the company of other tourists that day, many of whom were international – Japanese, French, Eastern European, Indian.  We took photos for people.  They took photos for us.  It was a wonderful mix of friendly people from around the world, happy to be out on a spring day, gathered to a powerful place of nature.  I think the falls give off a good energy that makes people smile and be generous with each other.  At least they did on Friday when we were there.

I’d thought we’d take the Maid of the Mist to see the falls up close, but I just didn’t feel up to it.  It was still fun to see the boats fill up with people wearing blue raincoats and chug out into the water and the spray.  We took our time, seeing the falls from the various vantage points – above and below.  I’m sure Niagara Falls is crowded in the summer, but on this May day, there were no lines, and it was easy to get to the railing to take photos or just watch the water pound over the falls.

After getting satiated with the falls, we headed downtown and had a lunch at Lola’s and then left town for a drive on the scenic route along the shore of Lake Ontario on our way to Rochester.  A nice slow route of small towns and groves and groves of blooming apple trees.

Enjoying the bouquet of a New York chardonnay

This drive was a part of the Niagara Wine Trail, so since both Karla and I enjoy wine, we stopped for a couple of tastings.  Though the wineries had some dry or semi-dry wines, they seemed to specialize in the sweeter ones.  It was fun to meander along the shore for a whole afternoon with no mission.  No place we had to be, no specific plans.  Taking our time and enjoying the day.  Two sisters on a vacation, happy to be together on a warm, sunny day in New York wine and apple country.  We could see how the sun warms and feeds the grape vines and apple blossoms and gradually and oh-so-carefully works with the plants and the soil and the farmers to create grapes and apples.  Which we enjoy in various forms.  Crunchy apples, sweet grapes, mellow wines, smooth apple sauce, and the other manifestations of food and drink that come from these New York vineyards and orchards.

A bright spring day with my sister.  Waterfalls and apple blossoms and a Great Lake and a slow drive and comfortable, easy companionship.  A wonderful celebration of my returning health.

Next to the American Falls with Horseshoe Falls in the distance

With Karla at Niagara Falls, Horseshoe Falls over my shoulder

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