Honeymoon at Niagara Falls

IMG_1893 Linda and Mike at Niagara Falls

There isn’t a time limit on when you can go on your honeymoon, is there?  We’ve traveled to some pretty fabulous places around the world, but Niagara Falls seemed to say “honeymoon” to us.  So, after almost 22 years of marriage, we went on our honeymoon!

P1150802 Niagara Falls on cloudy day

There are multiple waterfalls in Niagara Falls.  The American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls.  Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side is the largest of the three and is the most powerful waterfall in North America.  This is the waterfall that people attempt to go over in barrels, etc.  Some survive, some don’t.   The American Falls are too rocky at the bottom to attempt one of those stunts.  We walked around the Niagara Falls State Park and over to Goat Island, and then over the little foot bridges to the Three Sisters Islands.  The “Maid of the Mist” boat ride to the bottom of the falls was a dramatic way to view the incredible force of the waterfalls.  I loved it!  We crossed the bridge and visited the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to get a different view.  It was all amazing.

P1150852 P1150857 Mike and Linda on Maid in the Mist P1150806 water approaching American Falls IMG_1920 Maid in the Mist aerial viewIMG_1925 Horseshoe Falls IMG_1880 American Falls from Maid in the Mist

I had to start off this blog post with our “honeymoon” pics.  But now I must back up and share with you our trip from New Hampshire to get to Niagara Falls.  First of all, it rained pretty hard for a couple of days.  In fact, one of the campgrounds we had a reservation at called to cancel us because they were flooded.  We eventually made our way to Beckett, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires and got a campsite at Bonny Rigg RV Resort.  It continued to rain throughout out first evening there, but the sun came out the next day and we had a beautiful few days in the Berkshires!  We did a 20-mile bike ride on the Ashuwillticook Trail which was one of the prettiest bicycle trails I’ve ever seen.   The trail passed by a roadside organic market and we couldn’t resist stopping to pick up some produce for our ‘greenie’ juice drink.  Yes, believe it or not, Mike is still faithfully juicing vegetables and fruit every morning and he’s been at for months now!  It is a major ordeal, because we shop for fresh spinach, kale, ginger, parsley, mint, lemon, lime, carrots, celery, cucumber, apples and pineapple every couple of days.  We finally sat down and calculated the nutrients in our drink, and … horrors … the calories!!  No wonder I’ve been gaining weight!  I couldn’t figure out why my waist was getting bigger, especially with all the walking and biking that we do.  Well, duh!  I can’t add that many calories to my regular diet and not suffer the consequences.  So we re-worked the recipe for me, eliminating the pineapple (Mike still has the pineapple in his).  I also now treat it as my breakfast, rather than having my drink and my cereal.  Since I love my whole grain cereal, I now have breakfast for lunch which also lets me avoid the bread calories in a sandwich.  Win win!  Anyway, I got sidetracked there talking about my diet.  I was telling you about how we stopped in the roadside market to buy the veggies.  But I absolutely couldn’t resist the lure of the fresh raspberry pie!  OMG!  Diet out the window.  Yummmmm.  I’ll start over tomorrow.  (Ever hear that before?)

P1150717 Rail Trail in BerkshiresP1150760 Raspberry Pie from Whitneys Farm

So after leaving our campground in Beckett, MA, we headed for Niagara Falls.  To avoid the outrageously priced toll roads, we decided to take State Route 20 across New York and we’re so glad we did.  What an easy, beautiful drive.  I guess I just didn’t realize that much of New York is open, rolling hills, farms, and lots of green.  We drove through cute little villages separated by miles and miles of open road.  I loved this drive and I would recommend it over the toll road.  Due to the change in our travel schedule, we ended up spending the night in the Walmart parking lot in Rochester, NY.  And that’s OK with us.  We actually find it easier just to stop for the night, do any shopping we need to do, without unhooking the car, and without going through the big set-up, pop-out process.   We buy what we need, take Lucy for a walk, fix something for dinner, play a little cribbage with a glass of wine, check email, get some sleep, and take off in the morning without a big to-do.

P1150779 scenic Route 20 NY P1150789 hay bales on truck IMG_4007 Route 20 scenic IMG_4006 scenic route 20 NY

We checked in for a week at Four Mile Creek State Park near Niagara Falls.  It is a beautiful park on Lake Ontario and it is all grass.  The sites were all grass.  And while that makes it visually appealing, we were a little concerned about our jacks sinking into the earth, especially after all the rain.  We always put wood blocks under our jacks anyway, but still … we were a bit concerned, but shrugged it off because the park looked beautiful.  If previous visitors sunk in, wouldn’t it have messed up the sites?  Turns out that after a week in one spot, as heavy as we are, we did settle in a little.  The wood beams under our jacks sank in a couple of inches.  Mike has pull-cords attached to his wood blocks, so he usually just grabs the cord and pulls the block out after the jacks are up.  This time he couldn’t slide them out without giving them a yank up first.   And our wheels had settled into a bit of a groove.  So he had to rock the Bear in reverse gear and then forward to get her out of the rut.  Still, we loved this park.  I think the settling issue had to do with all the previous week’s rain.

P1150848 Four Mile Creek State Park campsite IMG_4022 Lake Ontario from campground IMG_4038 Fourmile Creek State Park NY

We also got in another bike ride while we were in Niagara Falls.  We took the Erie Canalway Trail for about 20 miles.  The trail was made of limestone dust which made it more of an effort because it is a little bit soft.  I take that as a positive thing, because I’m trying to work out harder to burn off those extra lbs.  We found ourselves stopping every couple of miles to wait for the geese to cross the path.  This is obviously a major geese housing zone because they left behind lots of evidence.  Goose poop all over the trail.  Whenever we came across a flock in the path, the dominant male would squawk and hiss at us.  It was alternately amusing and frightening.

P1150880 Geese on the trailP1150900 Erie Canal Bike TrailP1150887 Eric Canal lock

On our final day in the area, we learned of a Blues, Brews and BBQ at a nearly brewery.  What a fun way to spend the final day of our honeymoon!  We had a blast sampling the brews and listening to great music all afternoon.

IMG_4056 Blues Brews Ques

We’re headed to Kentucky so Mike can tour the Wild Turkey Factory.  We’ll be stopping at a couple of places in Ohio on the way down.  So, til my next posting … Cheers!

Hiking, Biking, Eating, Drinking, Family and Friends

I kind of feel like all my blog posts are starting to sound the same.  Campgrounds with trees, lakes, and fire rings, trails for hiking and biking, meet ups with old friends, tours around charming towns and historic places, and always eating and drinking.  Our life is pretty much the same agenda, but in a new place each time.  And we LOVE it!  So, here is the latest version of our semi-groundhog-day-scripted life.

IMG_3963 Wompatuck State Park in Massachusetts

We moved from the Cape Cod Canal a bit further north to Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, Massachusetts, which is close to Quincy where Mike grew up.  Even though his mom and sis now live in Phoenix AZ, he has aunts and cousins in this area.  We had a mini-reunion with a houseful at Auntie Cleta’s, but didn’t take any pictures out of respect to her.  It’s hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have pictures taken, but she has always felt that way.  So no one takes pictures around her.  Ever.  I really felt like sneaking some because I don’t know if we will ever get back this way to see her and the others again.  But that would have been wrong to disrespect her wishes, so I didn’t.  In any event, we had a great visit with lots of laughter.  She has maintained her sense of humor even though she has been recuperating from hip surgery this year, which has certainly slowed her down.

Mike’s cousin Gary invited us to his new house in Kittery Point, Maine, which was so beautiful!  They recently ‘downsized’ from their 20-acre 5,000 sq. ft. home with stables to this fantastic ‘little’ home nestled in the woods on only 1 acre.  Their horses are now boarded nearby at a spectacular ranch on the coast with endless acres of green grass and white picket fences.  They are only minutes from Portsmouth, New Hampshire where Darlene works, minutes from all the shopping outlets of Miracle Mile in Kittery, minutes from the water, and yet you feel like you are deep in the beech wood tree forest with total solitude.  So, so pretty.

P1150709 Darlene, Gary, Linda, Mike, Betty, DanteP1150646 Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery MaineP1150637 Portsmouth, NH P1150632 Portsmouth, NH

Mike’s best friend throughout grade school and high school, Jimmy Wilson, married his high school sweetheart and has lived in Quincy his whole life.  There are so many people here with such deep roots!  Jimmy and Cindy are retired and talk about moving to Florida, but with grown kids and grandkids and aging parents here, it doesn’t seem likely.  It was nice to visit and catch up with them.  Cindy has been battling the big “C” for years and we admire her so.  Sending our love and positive energy to her.

P1150513 Linda, Mike, Cindy, JimP1150542 Tony's Clam Shop

We moved to the Saddleback Campground in Northwood, New Hampshire, where we camped next to a pond with frogs, turtles, geese, and fish.  The camp host warned us that the frogs were quite loud at nights, but I liked it.  And it truly was loud.   I guess I like the sounds of nature.  I also like listening to crickets and birds.IMG_1845 Saddleback Campground pond IMG_1839 frog IMG_1837 geese family IMG_1820 Snapping Turtle

We carry our bicycles on the back of the Bear which has limited us to bicycling only around the campgrounds we stay at.  So we broke down and bought a car bicycle rack so we can drive to some of the great bike trails that aren’t right there at the campground.  So far, it’s working great and has given us more flexibility.

P1150662 New Bike Rack P1150657 Bicycling in Northwoods P1150613 me and Mike hiking at Lake Winnipesaukee P1150556 Lucy goggles

We read about some local wineries and decided to spend an afternoon doing a little tasting.  We went to one winery that had a free tasting room (with a heavy pour on the tastings), and serving a load of appetizers.  In addition to the bar itself, the large upstairs room had conversational seating areas with sofas and chairs and coffee tables.  It was more like a cocktail party!  We had fun visiting with the other ‘tasters’.  Such fun!

P1150627 Uncork the Love P1150620 Sweet Baby Winery P1150621 Sweet Baby Winery

Came across a museum with a large collection of World War II military vehicles, and artifacts and memorabilia focused on America from 1939 to 1945.P1150604 Wright WWII Museum P1150595 Wright Museum WWII

We pack up and leave here in the morning.  We’ll be heading toward Niagara Falls.  Cheers!