I am hesitant. The day inviting, the view unparalleled, but winter imminent.
The grounded leaves are in a kerfuffle, blustering about, looking for a limb to hold on to. Isn’t that the way it’s always been; since inception?
But I, on the other hand, am grounded, plodding, peaceful despite the knowledge of the inevitable, as I trod the path beneath my feet. Beauty has a way of doing that. It humbles us, rescues us, lifts above the mundane to exaggerated and exalting heights.
In this case, beauty comes from beyond and below, enhanced by above. Sunlight flickers between yet attached and gloriously attired leaves. The water, away down, perpetual and exhausting in it’s permanent purposefulness, resonates on canyon walls.
I, small. Alone. Individual. I among the many and the few. Many trees, many leaves…clouds, colors, grasses, pebbles on the ground. Few travelers, tree stumps, forks in the path, the earth.
I am here to revel. Admire. Be invigorated. Soar.
You are here to absorb, imbibe, share in our journey and enjoy.
We invite your presence with pleasure and send warm, sun set, color-filled greetings your way.
Remember us, those ‘neath the white, frosted earth…
All photos taken one November afternoon, Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls, New York.
A calm weekday evening, a few people milling about, but mostly quiet, nature, silence and beauty. A heron flies low and lands just out of reach. I wonder what else is happening out of our view? The sun is getting tired from a long day’s work, but still has some show left in her. “Do you mind if I take a picture of a smidge of your work, oh sunshine, fair”?
Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina, Mentor, Ohio
There is a corner, on an island, among the trees. You can hear the rushing waters of the rapids, and the thunderous roar from beyond your view, and if the wind is blowing just right, the mist may kiss your face. The place is Three Sister’s Islands, set above the mighty cataract. And if you’ve heard of Niagara ~ you may very well never have heard of these Islands, nor of the girls they are named after: Asenath, Angeline, Celinda Eliza and their little brother Solon. These are three daughters and a son, long gone, yet there are four islands, above the Horseshoe Falls, that are called by their names. (*See bottom of page).
Refreshing and relentless, on it’s way to a hefty plunge.
There are those of us who remember, in the not-so distant past, when we could still run free, and stick our toes in the dangerous rush of rapid, before the fences were placed solid, and the pristine paths were poured. But we made room for you, the far off soul, not familiar with our slippery and sultry siren, who called out our names, but we would not heed.
The water’s changing color beckons, cool and clear, deceptively calm in places…
…brash and bold in others.
Seagulls remain unaffected by the water’s impatience, and sit placidly in place, hopeful of a meal.
Well-worn paths, from years of use, will soon be overgrown, set behind wire and stone.
Even rock is eroded by the relentless power of the water’s downward trek to the gorge, creating miniature islands in the river.
Billows of white, like crashing waves, plummet, repeatedly as the land declines toward the great drop.
Each and every step offers another facet of their personality, as if the islands are mimicking the sisters, themselves.
And then we emerge, past the protection of the crannies and the coves, to face a full on onslaught, a deluge of froth and foam; an International border clothed in lacy white.
And if we turn our heads to the right, towards the sound of a torrent, we can see the rising cloud as the Sisters saw…
…and the Alabaster City as they could not see…
And back at the beginning…a pretty path…
…and a trolley car…
…and a gleaming trolley stop…
…But we can still see the flowers beneath the ancient stones…
…and the bridge…
…and we all have a place to picnic…
For we are sharing of our beautiful bounty, and we have made a place for all to see, and enjoy…
Rochester, New York, is an easy thruway drive of under two hours from Niagara Falls. It has a different vibe than Northern Buffalo and the Niagara area, including the hilly terrain, and it’s a great place for a very doable day trip.
This weekend was a fun one for the 2chicks. We had a family wedding in Rochester, New York, so we went a bit early to do some exploring! One of the ‘chicks’ was in the wedding party, so the other one took the ‘rooster’ to do some of that sight-seeing… feel free to tag along…
Our favorite stop was the Sonnenberg Garden and Mansion, State Historic Site. Located in Canandaigua, about a half hour from where we were staying, this is definitely a worthwhile place to spend a half-day. A Victorian Era Private Home, we found it to be very tourist-friendly, with guides available with historic information and tid-bits, and encouraging people to take photos inside (not oft the case). There’s more ‘wiggle-room’ for exploration than some places allow as well. http://www.sonnenberg.org/
Back in Fairport (a village/suburb of east of Rochester) we went to Chakara Restaurant. They are rated the number one restaurant in Fairport, and perhaps they deserve that rating…at least our tastebuds thought so.
Rochester is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. At the Northern end of the city lies a lovely park: Ontario Beach Park. There is a fishing pier, a public boat launch, an historic operating carousel, public beach picnicking facilities and more. We enjoyed strolling and relaxing there after the wedding festivities. http://www.cityofrochester.gov/ontariobeachpark/
One of only fourteen operating antique menagerie carousels in America, “The Duchess” Dentzel carousel is accompanied by a Wurlitzer Military Band Organ. http://rocwiki.org/Dentzel_Carousel
Back in the city, downtown Rochester, we met up with the other chick and her rooster, for a lovely Sunday Brunch. The Owl House is a hidden gem, but known to those on the lookout for that unique spot to eat fresh made-from scratch foods. It has a varied menu including a good selection of gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian dishes. We would highly recommend it! http://www.owlhouserochester.com/
Lovely flowers are placed around the park, especially by the entrance to Hoyt Lake, by the art gallery, and the beautiful rose garden as well. Japanese gardens are on the other side of the park. (Another post, yet to come).
Shakespeare in the Park, a summertime Buffalo tradition.
Weeping willows are an art unto themselves.
Olmsted’s glorious vision.
The end of the park gives way to less manicured gardens, and more natural growth.
Silver light slicing through sky and water as the sun begins its descent.
The sun setting over the statue of David.
A stunning replica of Michaelangelo’s classical statue of David. It stands 17ft high x 5.17ft wide x 3.5ft of depth, not including the base. http://buffalovr.com/david/
Arriving again at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
The sun getting low over the museum.
The Buffalo History Museum ‘bookends’ the Albright-Knox on the other half of Delaware Park.
Autumn is a wonderful season no matter where you are. If you live in an area where they refer to “autumn”, chances are you experience the changes of the four seasons. We all love the cooler temperatures, and refreshment from the summer’s heat. The variation of foliage brings an array of colors and salutes the majesty of creation.
Having traveled and lived in various area through our lives, we just happen to think that Niagara likes to show off a bit.
Niagara loves to grow an abundant harvest. It loves to party. It loves to dress up to the hilt. It loves to share all of this with you!
Winter is a season of controversy. Many folks either love it or hate it. There is no doubt that living near Buffalo, NY has given Niagara a bad rap from January through March. Yet actually, there is much awe and inspiring beauty during these cold winter months.
Christmas decorates the malls. The holidays celebrate December. Icicles dance in sparkling shows of glitter and glam, while people sing and celebrate you home through New Years.
Indoors we dine and civilize in the warmth of each others company and class.
There are cleared paths and trails for walking, and places for skating and nearby skiing.
We all look forward to spring, with the hope of new life and regeneration.
“crocuses show their little heads, gracefully leading the way.
The blossoms sprout, the lilies sing, in a dazzling, joyful floral array.”
See… Just thinking about it makes us wax poetic (Mom’s the corny one.)
To visit Niagara in the spring is to see a tumbling and effervescent declaration of life!
The ice is let out of the Lake Erie boom and jostles its way over the abrupt precipice.
And then there’s summer. we all love summer, as long as the temperature doesn’t spike!
And summer is the Niagara we all know and love. Cool refreshing breezes blow in from the Great Lakes and the many trees provide ample shade. Oh yes, we have our heat too, but what a refreshing way to cool down, standing by the edge of the abyss, immersed in the spray stirred up by the crashing turquoise waters.
The Jet Boat and the Maid of the Mist are two ways of getting right down into the turbulence and rapids, experiencing the water like no other! But even in the rush of the summer season, there are gentle times and places that allow for lingering ruminations.
Hawks, buzzards and varied bird life soar high above the gorge, while the great outdoors is just waiting to be experienced. Festivals, music, concerts, and such soar in their own way as well!
So pick, your favorite season and come on by. We’d love to have you!
Welcome to our blog. We are the two chicks! Jennifer and Sherrie, Daughter and Mom. We live in Niagara Falls, NY.
During our travels, people always ask “where are you from?” and we say “we’re from Niagara Falls.” Inevitably. they know just where that is, with their only question being, “which side of the border?” because Niagara Falls is the “world’s most famous address.” And the second question is “living in a tourist area, where do YOU go for vacation?”
So, we thought that we would answer those questions and more in the form of a blog. First of all, for those coming to visit our world famous attraction, we will happily give insider information, tips, and tell you what we like to do.
Secondly, for those of us that live in the Western New York area, you know we’re sitting on a treasure. Wouldn’t it be nice to have consolidated where-to information, schedules and reviews at your finger tips? We would also like to share our enjoyment of local fare, markets, restaurants, and the wine trail. Jennifer and Sherrie also enjoy cooking- we will contribute some recipes of the bountiful produce that Western New York has to offer here on our blog.
Living in such a centrally-located area, we have access to so much. World class events, dining, entertainment, hiking and scenery. For people that are visiting our area, they may not be aware of how this hub can lend to an exciting extended vacation and for locals to enjoy day trips. As anative born Canadian, Sherrie has a unique perspective of both sides of the border.
That brings us to where we like to vacation. Sherrie has traveled extensively across most of North America, where as Jennifer has traveled abroad on several different occasions. We would also like to share some of these experiences with you.
So put on your yellow rain slicker, and lets get ready 2 go.