Revisiting the Wedding Roadtrip: Maid of the Mist

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Our road trip across the country on the way to our daughter’s wedding has begun! We’re taking the slow roads, avoiding the interstates, stopping to walk through the little towns we pass through if they catch our eye. For the next few weeks, we will be footloose and fancy free. And then we will be parents of the bride. So, please welcome my husband, Jim, to the blog. Jim is the photographer in the family, and he will be taking pictures and giving updates on the trip from his perspective.

Maid of the Mist is Misnomer – More Like Maid of the Sluice

Day 4 – July 18, 2012

I woke up at the Holiday Inn in Waterloo, NY and Kelly was gone! She left a note saying she was getting caffeinated. I took this opportunity, after a few sips of hotel coffee to revisit the fitness room (Kelly used it after our swim last night. I chose instead to sit in the Jacuzzi and a few minutes in the sauna), the usual cardio but also a Universal machine.  Got a few sets in. Moving weight does feel different than my usual BowFlex workout.

Kelly and Yelp identified a good breakfast place called Connie’s. The only downside was it was cash only.  The place is a diner and fairly busy, We had timed it to be a big rush that came in a bit after we did. We both had big and fantastic omelets.  I had Rye toast and Kelly had wheat.  Bill was only 13.02 then back on the road.

Took Rte. 20 most of the day. Driving not as much fun as the day before.  Together we picked todays destination, Niagara Falls and Maid of the Mist.

We arrived in Niagara later than we planned, about 2.  I have been to the Falls 3 previous times. The second time we were returning from my stint with NASA in Ohio near Christmas.  I inadvertently drove over the bridge and entered Canada. While this was pre 9/11 we didn’t have anything but drivers license for the adults so we turned right around and were readmitted to the USA. Second time was three years ago when I was on my way to Kent State to work on some experiments. We got totally confused and drove around and around, unable to find the Falls and intent on not going to Canada.   We mistakenly wound up on Goat Island, with a $10 parking fee. It was a great mistake as we got a great view of the Canadian Falls as well as the US ones.  Reminiscing complete.

The parking lot was filled but there was a garage with $5 parking all day (it was late in the day and all the open pay lots were $10. A short walk got us to the Falls and a sprint to Maid of the Mist. We  were sure we would have to wait hours to get onboard.  4 entrances with a line of about 3 people so we quickly got the observation deck and opted tp go straight to the Maid. ($15.50 each for observation deck and Maid). No line whatsoever. We picked up our fashionable blue ponchos and walked right onto the boat.  We climbed to the observation deck and made our way to the stern and within 3 minutes we were off.  First “stop” was the American Falls with Horseshoe Falls in the distance on the right.  Soon we were face on the Falls and I understood why we needed the ponchos!  I made the good decision to not bring the new camera so was relegated to snapping with the cell phone.  The wetness or fast clicking caused the app to fail and the phone to lock up (I couldn’t read the display in the light and mist). Removed battery, rebooted and took some more.  Google Goggles later showed I did get some good shots but I haven’t looked to see if they were from land or see.  We then moved to a closer look at the much more magnificent Canadian Falls.

After disembarking we found some steps winding halfway or so up the American Falls so we climbed and did a mini version of Cave of the Winds. Any of you do Cave of the Winds and Maid before? Should we have done Cave as well?

After many more pictures we descended then reascended via elevator and walked out on the observation deck.

Hungry (no lunch again) we walked a bit and decided to get out of Dodge so we retrieved the car and asked GPS to plot a route to Cleveland.  We are doing a mostly “blue road” trip so we told gps to avoid freeways.  I didn’t like the route it picked so looked at its map and picked my own.  Kelly was helpful with her IPad as were looking for 62 and I was having a hard time making sure I was on it. Turns out there are 3 62’s all parallel to each other one block away, the merge when we leave town.

Kelly and Yelp, with my navigation ignoring the annoying gps telling me to take a U turn  found the French Pub. It’s name must derive from a family name as it is as American as French Fries (which we new via Yelp).  Very nice and very reasonable. I had a steak sandwich while Kelly had a huge vegitable lasagna (plus soup and salad bar). Unlike the steak sandwiches invented by the gods in Philadelphia this was a real steak on a roll.  I ended up using a fork and knife. The French Fries were too good to pass up so Kelly and I shared them.

Car continuing to deliver about 45 mpg indicated, gas gauge fixed itself.  We did have a stretch on day 3, with the gauge problems where I was down to 38 mpg or so.  Gas is 3.55 to 3.60’s. I miss the 3.20’s in Bangor a few weeks before out trip.

We finally got close enough to see Lake Erie. Pulled off at some town beach, open only to town residents. The water was closed due to pollution however. Wind turbines lined the shore with Buffalo in the distance.

Finally arrived in PA near Erie. Kelly and Yelp identified a Quality in near Erie for only 69 so that became our destination, arriving about 9:30 pm.  I was re-hungry so Kelly offered to stand me to an appetizer and a drink.  The hotel had a restaurant that closed right after we ordered. Appetizers didn’t delight me so I went for an Angus burger and a rum and diet coke. Kelly went for beer battered mushrooms and a Corona. She did not like the mushroom and picked some steak fires off my plate.

Too tired to write up the days adventures, will wait for morning of Day 5.







About Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.