Thursday, October 15, 2015

From Orchard Prairie to Orchard Beach

From the time I read City of Light by Lauren Belfer, I began actually wanting to go to Buffalo, New York and Niagara Falls. Before that, Niagara Falls had always been 'the place newlyweds went on their honeymoon'. (I must have been impressed that one of the neighborhood girls I'd grown up with really did go there on her honeymoon.) I'd seen enough pictures of the Falls to not care one way or the other if I ever saw them in person.
But when we seriously began talking about the trip that would take us to those last few states we needed to visit in order to fill in our lower forty-eight map as well as visiting our youngest on Long Island, Niagara Falls via Buffalo became for me our first major stop.
A long first day of driving with no touristy stops would make the second day with stops easier. This was the view out the window of our hotel in Warsaw, IN. Something about these three tree stumps spoke to me.
Second day: Cleveland Indians Stadium, Progressive Field, as seen from the interstate. Glad it wasn't my turn to drive - even on a Sunday the traffic was bad; road construction didn't help matters.
Time to walk on one of the Lake Erie beaches. This was Orchard Beach near North East, PA. (No relation to a little girl named North West.) I was looking at rocks when I found a little piece of light blue sea glass. My lucky day.
I can imagine living in that house in the background - EXCEPT in the cold weather months. The wind off the lake must be frigid. The beach was more shingle than sand. At the very bottom of this picture can you see the line of stones someone laid out? They were placed all the way from the shoreline to the parking lot.

My navigational skills were rusty or the roads weren't marked very well or both, but I got us turned around in Buffalo....
.....which is how we managed to go near the Buffalo Bills, Ralph Wilson Stadium as well as....
...passing by the very beautiful Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica.

Shortly before leaving on our trip I was reading about Victorian Botanical Gardens and their elaborate green houses. This is a picture of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens:
At the time I was looking at the photos I thought how nice it would be to see it since we were going to be in the area. But our focus was Niagara Falls, so I knew I wouldn't get to see the botanical gardens.
Guess what? That same serendipitous mix-up in directions that took us past the Buffalo Bills stadium and the Lackawanna Basilica also took us past the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. And no, I did not do it on purpose.

On to Canada: to Niagara Falls, a full blood harvest moon and its supermoon eclipse and more adventures.

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