Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chasing Waterfalls: Niagara Edition

I have a fair bit of catch-up blogging to do from my various activities this summer (including a trip to an airplane mecca) but I thought I would start by bringing back a popular installment here at Airplanes I Have Known - Chasing Waterfalls. (See installment one and two.)

A good friend and former colleague of mine was married in August in Olean, NY. By the way, I think it is important to know that Olean is only about 20 miles closer to Albany than it is to Toledo, OH.

Given that we were practically going to be in the Rust Belt, we decided to make a long weekend out of the journey. So we left Albany on Friday and headed towards Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region. Diane had planned a trip to four wineries, all of which were spectacular. We visited Hunts, Dr. Frank's, Blue Heron, and Bully Hill. All were spectacular. By the way, there is no fee to do a wine tasting at Dr. Frank's. Just sayin'.We stayed in Bath, NY that night, which is a very ironic name for a Western New York town. When we went out looking for a place to eat that night, we stumbled across the Bath Town Fair. And it had all the glitz and glamour of a Town Fair. There were of course the rides, fried things to eat in the shape of a stick or a ball, and mullets. Note to my cautious readers: Do not be tricked to ride "The Scrambler." Trust me, it will nauseate you.
We decided that it was probably not a good idea to eat carnival food, since we were going to be on the road for the next few days. We ended up finding an old hotel in the town which was still open and serving food. We walked in to a near empty establishment with an older lady sitting at a table, a lone traveler at the bar, and an older gentleman (who we later learned was the owner) behind the bar. My burger at this joint cost me a cool $3.75.

This meal was actually a very underrated part of the trip. The owner of the hotel (the Old Northern) had that folksy charm that I thought only existed in 1980's movies. A traveler who had been sent over by the Super 8 came in while we were eating and asked if there were any rooms available for him and his wife. The owner told him, "The bridal suite is available." The traveler paused and asked, "What is it going to cost me?" " It's $67 if you pay cash, $70 credit." Diane and I smirked at this point. First of all, this guy had just probably filled his most expensive room, and second of all, his most expensive room costs $67. He was, by the way, very proud of himself for having let that room out - he exclaimed as much to the lady sitting at the table by herself. When I went to pay for the check, he said, "Give me a $100 and we'll call it even." The meal, plus the very generous tip was a $32 American.

From there we made our way to Olean. On the way we stopped at Allegany State Park for a picnic so that Diane could show me around. We ended up having a nice picnic by the lake in the park, and it was so nice that we didn't leave the park for the wedding until 3pm. The problem, you see, is that the ceremony started at 3:30pm and Olean was about 18 miles away. But we made it by the skin of our teeth. It was a beautiful ceremony in what was an old library that has been converted to a restaurant. The food was great, the newlyweds were stunning, and I even danced without the assistance of alcohol.From there, it was onward and upward towards the greater Buffalo/Niagara area. We had planned to visit the falls and stay on the Canadian side the last night before heading home. So on Sunday afternoon we walked around the American side of the Falls. That night we had dinner at Margaritaville to celebrate my birthday (and where we coincidentally ran into - or rather, were run into - by the newlyweds!) and afterwards we walked around the Canadian side of the Falls before turning in for the night.
On Monday morning we had one last hurrah at the Falls - we went on the Maid of the Mist. I highly recommend this if you have the opportunity. I have an affinity for bodies of water, and you get such a close up feeling for the power of water at the Falls. I don't know how one cannot be impressed by the sound of the Falls. Truly remarkable.As a side note, I think Diane wanted to do this because apparently some characters from The Office named Jim and Pam also went on this ride. Whatever.

After that, it was time to head home to see the Maid of the Misty Cat as I call her.That concludes this installment of Chasing Waterfalls. Please tune in for the next installment sometime after our October/November visit to Iguazu Falls.


Christine said...

Maid of the Mist, well-played. I'm disappointed ADB didn't make you get secretly married onboard... or did she?


Sparticus said...

There were no such shenanigans, CHH, although the tax break would be nice.

Brianna said...

"some characters named Jim and Pam from the office did this..."

uh, didn't they also get engaged over their lunch break?

Sparticus said...


We must be on some Jim and Pam reality tour or something.

Micheal Ken said...

Crazy idea for a post. I really liked it :D