My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Niagara, NY and Lockport, NY

We left Canada early this morning and headed to Niagara Falls on the US side. The trip across the border was quick and painless because there were no lines and no hassles. We even found free parking along the side of the road and walked across to Goat Island. Then we decided Don was feeling well enough to do the trip to the Cave of the Winds ($10 per person) and it was awesome. Of course, we got drenched. I thought we got wet on the Maid of the Mist, but that was nothing compared to this. They give you little sandals to wear and you take off your shoes and put them in plastic bags. Then they give you this long yellow rain poncho to wear that helps somewhat. Of course the wind got so strong I thought it would blow me off the platform and it tour my hood right off my head. But it was awesome and I’d recommend this to anyone going there. Then we walked around the park and finally to Hard Rock Café for lunch. We are collecting bottle openers/magnets from every Hard Rock we visit but some of the places don’t carry them or they are sold out.

When we left there we headed up the road to Whirlpool State Park where we hiked on a trail along the rim of the gorge. Then we stopped at the Robert Moses Power Plant that we saw in the distance on our hike. The power plant was a neat place to bring students on a field trip and there was a self guided tour with a short video.

After we left there, we drove to Lockport which was about 30 minutes away and bought tickets for the 5pm cruise down the Erie Canal. We stopped at Denny’s to eat dinner and found a hotel room at the Lockport Inn and Suites, which is a really super place to stay. Check out the pictures in the gallery on their web page! First of all, the man at the desk was very friendly and welcoming, which makes a huge difference when I’m deciding where to stay. Sometimes I’ve met some really rude people and told my husband to drive on because I’d rather pay more than have to deal with a rude person. The room was only $72 which included a queen bed, table with comfortable chairs and a newspaper, cable TV/some movie channels, desk and chair, refrigerator, coffee maker and clean bathroom. There were chairs outside each room if you wanted to sit outside. Even the décor of the room was welcoming and cozy. When we got back from the canal cruise, someone had come in the room and left a vase full of beautiful pink roses. Wow! That simple gesture made me feel like I was staying at some expensive bed and breakfast. All around the buildings were hanging plants and flower beds full of flowers. You can tell someone really enjoys gardening and the entire place is well taken care of and loved. I expected this place to be out of our price range when I checked if they had a room available and was surprised at how reasonable it was. The Holiday Inn Express down the road was asking $89 with a coupon but I think we lucked out on finding this treasure. Another feature we really liked is that it was family owned because we feel that if a place is family owned, it is usually safer and better cared for. Besides that, these big franchises get enough money, and in today’s economic times, we need to take care of family owned businesses. (No, I’m not getting paid to advertise for them and they don’t even know that I’m writing this!) But if you ever get a chance to do the canal cruise, consider staying here for the night.

The cruise down the Erie Canal was really great too! With our AAA card, it cost $26 for both of us and it lasted 2 hours. There were only 11 of us on the 5pm cruise and the boat pilot gave a narrated tour which was great. They also served soft drinks, wine, and beer. It was really neat going through those locks and hearing him explain how it worked. We even heard the song about the Erie Canal that I learned when I was in elementary school (a gazillion years ago). This was magical for me because I remember studying about the Erie Canal in school but never imagined that over 40 years later, I would get to ride down it and see the locks.

Not sure where we will head tomorrow and it all depends on the weather. We might head for Pittsburgh to go to the zoo and the aviary. But of course all that is up in the air.

1 comment:

Nedra said...

I've been looking forward to your thoughts on Lockport. We've passed through there and thought it looked like a nice spot to check out. My son goes to school in Brockport which is a little east of there. I think this fall when our daughter wants to go spend the weekend with him we'll drop her off and continue on to Lockport. I think the cruise will be really pretty when the leaves start to turn.

My husband likes supporting the family run hotels as well, I'll admit I like the Holiday Inn Express better because of consistent quality. But I will definitely check out the Lockport Inn and Suites. When we're traveling we also try to eat at local restaurants. We like small diners for breakfast and brew pubs for dinner. We look for brew pubs because they tend to be in the heart of the more historic parts of the towns.

Looking forward to your next post to see what you end up doing today.