1655 Trip Miles, Part 1: Shufflin’ Off

Just got back from a major road trip family vacation. Great to change your mode of living every once in a while. The last couple of years we’d taken flights to faraway lands, but this year, between having a new car and a desire to avoid any Imperial entanglements at airports, we opted for a car trip.

We started with a drive up to Buffalo a few ago Friday. The kids were already up there with my Mum, having all kinds of adventures of their own. Meanwhile Jeannie and I had a week to catch up on our work and our rest. So it was just the two of us for the drive up. Got an early start; it was smooth and mellow. Made great time and explored the satellite radio stations.

We spent a few days in Buffalo. It was a very chill scene. The kids went swimming at the local lake. I put new wheels on my rollerblades. Jeannie and the girls did some shopping. Went out to see the new Harry Potter movie one night. It was probably the best of the bunch. We hooked up with Larry and Jackie at a beach bar on the Lake Erie waterfront; it was a good time and good to catch up. Larry had the good fortune to see the circus elephant walk last time he was in NYC. Sunday we went out to Rochester for my niece’s birthday and swam in Denis and Sara’s pool. Sara made me a Jayne hat for my birthday. Awesome thanks!

Monday we went up to Old Fort Niagara, which is now a very cool living museum. It was established by the French in pre-revolutionary times, and subsequently captured by the British in the 1751, handed over to the Americans in 1783, re-captured by the British in 1813, and returned to the Americans a year later. Lots of history, old stone buildings and wooden furniture, cannons, muskets and bayonets. Re-enactors really brought the experience to life, garbed as colonial soldiers in layers of hot wool on sweltering summer day. They put on demos and answered questions about weapons, food, and lifestyle from back in the day, and were knowledgeable and friendly. The high point was the drum and fife exhibition by two lovely ladies in colonial military drag, followed by firing a cannon into Lake Ontario by a group of more veridical soldiers.

After that we headed down to the falls. Hadn’t been there in a few years and it was great to walk around and take in the views. We took the tour of the Cave of the Winds. It takes you down an elevator carved into the rock of the falls. At the bottom you can walk around on some boardwalks and get the view from the bottom. They give you sandals and ponchos because it’s really wet down there. The kids got completely soaked. It was an awesome experience.

Tuesday we lit out for part 2 of our trip, a tour that included several destinations in Ontario and upstate New York.

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