Monday, August 27, 2018


Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Several friends suggested we plan a trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake in Ontario if we were anywhere near Niagara Falls.  Honestly, it's an extremely scenic trip and we are glad we took the time to visit what has been called "the loveliest town in Ontario".

Lake Ontario from Niagara-On-The-Lake

Niagara-On-The-Lake is situated on the south shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River, and it's definitely an easy and beautiful drive to and from Ontario.  Historically, this was the first temporary capital of the province and parliament was held here until 1796, when the capital was moved to Toronto (York).  Niagara-On-The-Lake is the only town in Canada that has a Lord Mayor.

Inniskillin - one of many vineyards in the area of

Side of the Road Country Markets area everywhere

Large Farms, Small Farms are prevalent everywhere

One of the Vineyards near Niagara-On-The-Lake

There's no mistake the land is rich and fertile with all the local wineries, pop-up side of the road fruit markets, and a wine country cooking school.  Tourists are drawn to the quaint colonial style buildings, British Fort George, and other 1812 landmarks.

Fort George - an 1812 Landmark

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-On-The-Lake - Lake Ontario, Canada

The Heritage District showcases the town's history and the buildings tell the story of the architecture of year's past.  
Shops in Heritage District - Niagara-On-The-Lake

Heritage District - Niagara-On-The-Lake

Heritage District and Clock Tower - Niagara-On-The-Lake

If you have time to stroll through town you definitely feel the old world charm.   The beautiful Prince Of Wales Hotel, a feature since 1854, is one of the first landmarks you see when you enter town.

The Prince Of Wales Hotel
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Flowers are everywhere!

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

You can't get lost if you walk through the beautiful neighborhoods which range from colonial to modern homes that line the neat side streets.
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

The Niagara Golf Club, a golf club since 1875, is the home of the oldest surviving golf course in North America.

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

While we enjoyed our visit to Niagara-On-The-Lake we also enjoyed seeing all the beautiful landscaped farms and yards throughout this part of Canada.  This was definitely a part of history we had not read much about and we felt fortunate to visit such a beautiful part of North America.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


Niagara Falls - In Latin cataracta means waterfall

Since 1830 Niagara Falls, has been known as one of the biggest tourist attractions of the world, as well as the "honeymoon capital of the world".  Some of the statistics say more than 8 million people visit Niagara Falls each year.  At one point in time there was so much industry and mills using Niagara Falls the flow of the water over the falls was physically affected. Niagara Falls, New York, is across the Niagara River from the city of Niagara Falls, Ontaio.

Since our campground in Grand Island was convenient to Niagara Falls in we devoted a couple of days to visit the Canadian side first, and then the American side.  American Falls lies far left of the Horseshoe Falls (also known as the Canadian Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, in the US State territory, New York, between Prospect Point and Luna Island.

View of Niagara Falls from Canadian Side

Several comparisons can be made.  The Canadian side shows the view of the falls from a busy street close to chain restaurants, hotels, casinos, souvenir and tour operators.

View of Niagara Falls from American Side

From Canada the views are spectacular and you want to try to see the falls from both sides if possible.  If you've come to see the waterfalls, the Canadian side is the place to do it, but you'll notice it is crowded all the time.  Fifty to seventy-five percent of the water flowing along the Niagara River is diverted from going over the Falls to hydroelectric power generating stations.

Niagara Falls from American Side
To see Niagara Falls from the U.S. side is more natural.  Niagara Falls is not a part of the U.S. national park system but it is a state park in New York, created in 1885, and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who incorporated more trees, more meandering paths and more scenic landscaping.

  The Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest continuing operating state park in the United States.

Maid Of The Mist that originates in Ontario, Canada 
This a picture of us getting "wetter than wet" on the
Maid Of The Mist that originated in Niagara Falls, NY
The Maid of the Mist boat tour (under the waterfalls boat) operates on both sides.  The Maid of the Mist has been in existence since 1846 when it was started as a ferry service to carry people across the river.  When a suspension bridge was built over the river the ferry was no longer needed so the boat tour came into existence.

Bridge that connects Canada and U.S. at Niagara Falls
The main highlight in the U.S. which is not found in Canada is the Prospect Point Observation Tower which peeks out over the falls with a 230' overlook and view of American Falls and Horseshoe Falls.  A very fast elevator delivers you to and from the observation area... little did I know all those people were out there!

Prospect Point Observation Tower
You actually feel the thunder at the adventurous Cave of the Winds and descend 175' to the Hurricane Deck at the base of Bridal Veil Falls.  The Cave Of The Winds is torn down and rebuilt every year.

Cave Of The Winds - an opportunity to get
up close and personal with Niagara Falls
The sheer power of the water is amazing and frightening
at the same time!

One of the many opportunities to get soaking wet at
Cave of the Winds - Niagara Falls

One of the last areas to visit while you are at Niagara Falls is the Niagara River Gorge to see churning waters of the Niagara Falls carved out to be an unforgettable spectacle.  Four of the five Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie), before emptying into Lake Ontario.

After seeing all of this, it is unimaginable that someone would ever want to take part in some of the many daredevil stunts that have originated in Niagara Falls.

A bunch of daredevils who haven't considered what's going
to happen if that zip line breaks!

Zip Line over Niagara Falls
Yes, you can even go on a zip line over the Falls near the Gorge area.  In the photo it appears there are a few too many daredevils in the cabin of the zip line?   We were content to be spectators of this joy ride!  We enjoyed this part of northern New York State; however, there was one other area we were told to visit before we left this region.  Although it is in Canada, we will spend the day in Niagara-On-The Lake and our adventure will be chronicled in our next post. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Exit to Downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls
I-190 North

We departed Cleveland, OH and drove northeast approximately 200 miles, or about 4 hours to the Buffalo, NY area.  Our home for the next week would be on Grand Island, about 10 miles from Niagara Falls.

Grand Island, New York

We arrived in Buffalo just in time for some delicious and genuine BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS with traditional bleu cheese and celery, served at the original and undisputed home of the "Buffalo Chicken Wing", THE Anchor Bar (est. 1935), located on Main Street in Buffalo, NY. 

ANCHOR BAR - Home of the Original
Buffalo Chicken Wings
Buffalo, New York

Back in 1964 Dominic Bellissimo, aka The Rooster, and his mother and father, Frank and Teressa Bellissimo, took the part of the chicken that usually went into the stock pot for soup and flavored them with a secret sauce.  The rest is history!!
Anchor Bar - Buffalo, New York

The closely guarded secret is what makes these wings the "Best Wings in the World".   The Anchor Bar in Buffalo has received so many awards too numerous to festivals, wing fests, cook-offs and more.
Order of Anchor Bar Buffalo Chicken Wings
with Bleu Cheese and Celery

Stylin' Sunglasses
Anchor Bar - Buffalo, New York

Today, "Buffalo Wings" are served in smokey bars, classy cafes, bustling bistros and ritzy restaurants all over the world.    If you're interested in buying the sauce, you can find it just about anywhere in the world now, or at your favorite grocery store...most likely for less than you'll pay at the Anchor Bar, but genuine as well.  It was worth the trip, but Buffalo is not just about the "wing"!
View from Buffalo, New York across Niagara River to Ontario, Canada

While we were in downtown Buffalo we rode along the beautiful waterfront on the Niagara River close to the source where it meets Lake Erie, and close to the Peace Bridge which leads from the USA to Canada, and discovered a real gem...Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse.

Fontana Boathouse
Frank Lloyd Wright Boathouse - Buffalo, NY

The hospitable caretaker of the property was nice enough to give us the grand tour, and led us upstairs to the upper floor as well as the lower area which is the home for dozens of beautifully stacked sculls (boats).
Scull Storage - Fontana Boathouse
Buffalo, NY

The area is now leased from the City of Buffalo and used by the Westside Rowing Club and is named The Fontana Boathouse.

Charles and Marie Fontana Boathouse
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - 1905
Built 2007  -  Buffalo, NY

Upstairs - Fontana Boathouse
Buffalo, NY

The beautiful boathouse is perfect to be used for weddings, public and private events.

Watercolor Rendering of Fontana Boathouse
Frank Lloyd Wright Design - Buffalo, NY

Original Architectural Designs
Frank Lloyd Wright Boathouse - 1905
for University of Wisconsin

The original 1905 boathouse renderings are displayed on the beautifully maintained upper floor.  Frank Lloyd Wright never saw or used the boathouse which was built exactly to his specifications and designed to be used by the University of Wisconsin, although the boathouse was never built until 2007.  The view was spectacular and looked directly across to the Ontario, Canada side to the Ft. Erie area.

Hope you'll follow us to our next blog where we cross through Canadian Customs via the Peace Bridge and enter Ontario, Canada, and enjoy a spectacular drive along the shores of the Niagara River to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side - looking across to Niagara Falls at the spectacular view of the American side.