What happens in Niagara stays in Niagara

by littlebatchbotanicals

A couple of weeks ago, to celebrate this joyful news, Joe and I took a mini-trip to Niagara Falls and the Erie Canal.

Any Office fans out there? OK, remember the hotel where Jim & Pam had their pre-wedding dinner and where their guests stayed? We got a room there!

The name was changed for the show, and the interior shots were done on a sound stage, but it was cool to stay there anyway. Imagined Kevin Malone putting his feet in the ice machine! We had a view of the rapids from our 3rd floor room, and could hear the water. It was pretty awesome.

As soon as we got there, we went to the falls, rode the Maid if the Mist, and got soaked. It was very surreal, and the power of the falls is palpable in the air all around it. When we were closest to the falls, in the middle if all that mist, and all we could hear was all that water, I had my moment. I thanked god, buddha, the dalai lama, gaia – all the big players – for saving my life. It was very moving, and big sap that I am now, cried like a baby. I’m not going to put up a picture from the boat, I’m going to keep that for myself. But, this is me looking pretty happy on the observation deck afterwards… I became quite adept at taking pictures of myself on this vacation!

It's good to be here.

Up there on the deck, I got a great shot of everything… the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls in the background. The stairs at the bottom of the pic are part of the Maid of the Mist tour; after you’re already soaked from the boat ride, you climb all those stairs and get pelted with even more water. At the very top you’re standing right next to the American Falls. I highly recommend doing this should you ever visit.

The falls

The next day we hiked all around the American side of Niagara, which is all National / State Park System, so it’s preserved and open to the public.

You can get right next to the water! That's Canada in the background. The Canadian side is much more developed... it's full of casinos and hotels.

There are trails all through the park system. I got in my first hike of the year, yippee!

Enjoying fall in Niagara.

The other leg of the trip was all about the Erie Canal. Before exploring the canal, we ate breakfast at one of the best diners ever: Tom’s Diner in Lockport. We sat at a counter at the very back and were pleasantly surprised with an awesome view of the canal locks.

View from the best seats in the house at Tom's Diner.

In Lockport, we braved the rain and enjoyed a two-hour ride atop a tour boat. Joe and I were the only ones to stay up there in the cold and rain for the whole two hours!

One of my favorite pictures... Joe as we go under one of the canal bridges.

During the boat tour, we got to go through two of the canal locks. It was really cool to see the locks fill up and empty out to allow for the changes in elevation on the canal.

Closed lock on the Erie Canal.

On the last day of vacation, we drove north to Olcott, which is right on the edge of Lake Ontario. I couldn’t get that close to a Great Lake without seeing it! We found a fishing pier that the locals use, and walked all the way out. It was very windy, and walking out to the end of the pier was a little scary. But it was very, very awesome nonetheless.

Lake Ontario! Canada is behind me somewhere...

The trip was well-needed. We returned home refreshed, relaxed, and feeling like we had an adventure. The next trip: hoping to go cross-country in the spring!

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