Scenic byways and a natural wonder

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Niagara Falls, New York, United States
After getting our tire fixed yesterday we headed out to Niagara Falls (although our ultimate destination last night was my niece, Danielle Dwyer's house). As we headed north we noticed the toll road, so we quickly got on Google maps to see if there was another route that wouldn't charge tolls and wouldn't add too much extra time, enter route 5. According to Google, it was only an extra 20 minutes (it turned out to be faster because of traffic backups on 90). We ended up driving through downtown Erie, PA, a place neither Lewis or I had been before. It was neat to see the old buildings filled with funky shops. It has that old village feel, minus the charm.

Taking route 5 (an official Scenic Byway that follows the outline of Lake Erie) was really great, and kind of what this trip is all about . We got to see stunning views of the lake (did you know Lake Erie had cliffs?! I didn't), pretty little creeks meandering to the lake, and more vineyards than I have seen in a long time. The speed limit is 55 most of the way, so you can still get where you're going pretty quickly, but you actually get to see how beautiful the United States really can be. We switched over to highway when we got to Buffalo (did you know Buffalo was a pretty city? Again, I didn't). Buffalo was surprisingly pretty as you enter on I190; old canneries, locks, and other industry line the way. Usually industrial areas are sad and depressing to me, but there was something very hopeful about the area we drove through.

We finally made it to Niagara Falls (the city itself is a little sad, and when the sign says welcome to Little Italy, it lied). We made it to the park, and lucky us, got free parking because we were coming so late in the day. I should have hopped on the last trolley down to the falls, but I wavered, and then my arms got too tired from the hike from the parking lot. For our next stop we'll know to have Lew drop me off as close as possible, and if available, always take the trolley. I missed Lew's first glimpse of the Falls, but I'm glad he got to see them. We'll have to come back some time and go to the Canadian side, I love me some poutine and the Falls are gorgeous from that side.

We finally made it to Danielle and Chris's place around 10:00pm (3.5 hours later than anticipated -- yikes) after missing our exit and having to backtrack thirty minutes. They had dinner and an extraordinarily comfortable reclining couch waiting for us. This road trip is off to a grand start.
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2017-11-25