Tag Archives: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

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We’re in Buffalo, staying with a lifelong friend of mine. Yesterday we planned to visited Niagara Falls around lunchtime. It was snowy and grey. We were running a little late because we had just discovered the supermarket Wegmans and the first healthy food options since arriving. It also stocked Barry’s tea and Marmite so Rob and I were in high spirits and feeling really positive, despite ongoing frustration with our hire car.

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Major excitement over Barry’s Tea on the European isle

The problem with the lease had been sorted out by a really lovely lady at the Buffalo office, the polar opposite of the horrid man at JFK. But the car was still a little disappointing, a bit tatty and old and not as big as we had hoped (or need). Rob’s kind of squished into a tight driving position and there isn’t a lot of boot with the seating arrangement we need to fit the three kids in.

So we pulled up to pick up our friend who was coming to Niagara with us and discovered a nail in the tire and a hissing of air as it slowly deflated. By this stage we were thinking we would need to write the falls off for the day and have a boring afternoon waiting for the tire to be sorted out… But it’s funny how things work out…

We headed back to the Airport rental office and low and behold were given a brand new version of the car to drive off in. It’s still a little on the small side but it’s a far better model, and Rob is much more comfy. So we’re going to buy a roof box for it and all will be fine.

It was such a swift transition that we still had plenty of time to get to the falls and… The sun had come out and the sky was blue, it was beautiful.

At this time of year there is hardly anyone there and the ice adds an addition level of mind blowing beauty to the falls. The wind was freezing in a way which is hard to explain… the picture of Patrick’s face kind of explains better than words though.

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Mummy, it’s a little chilly out here!

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Me and Rob at Niagara. Spray on the camera is hard to avoid!

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Lucy at Niagara

Itinerary planning

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It’s 2014 – the year the Deans take off!

Christmas was a very practical affair when it came to presents this year, consisting of items such as base layers, binoculars, a survival kit for Alfie, head torches, winter coats and stuff sacks! Without a TV we are relatively free from the bulk of the “but I wanted a super-spiderman-hi-fi-ds-wii-pod-thingy” and our children are easily pleased.

I got Adobe Photoshop Elements for Christmas which I am now beginning to find the time to play around with… as demonstrated above! Expect some fairly random photos for now though as I’m just enjoying taking them. They’ll be more topical once we are State side I promise.

Since Christmas our planning activity has revved up a notch and I now have a rough itinerary for the first few weeks of adventure.

Before we even leave the UK we are planning 12 days for visiting family and friends so on the 1st Feb we leave our lovely Cornish farm and head to Wales. From there we will visit Derby and Nottingham before a few days in London and the South East. We fly from Heathrow on 12th February and that’s where the adventure really begins!

After three days in New York we’ll be picking up our hire car and heading North West into Pennsylvania. Woodstock in the Catskill Mountains sounds like an interesting place so we may stop there for a night – unless anyone has other suggestions?

Pressing on through the Catskill Mountain Range we’ll then head towards Skaneatles by The Finger Lakes, which sound geologically interesting. The Finger Lakes are narrow channels gorged out by glaciers resulting in drumlins, waterfalls and deep gorges to admire.

By the middle of that week we’ll have made it to Buffalo where a life long friend of mine now lives. She also happens to be an archaeologist and currently works in conservation. From Buffalo we can make a day trip to Niagara Falls on the Wednesday and then press South to West Virginia via the Allegheny National Forest for a bit of bird and wildlife watching.

We are due at our first WWOOF placement on the Saturday in West Virgina. New Vrindaban, which I talked about in an earlier post.

A week or so settled at New Vrindaban will be a nice time to rest with the children, enjoy some physical work and catch up with the home schooling before we set off for Washington the following week.

This journey will take us through the Allegheny Mountains and onto the Shenandoah National Park, where we hope to explore the Luray Caves. Recommendations of places to visit on this leg are very welcome please!

We are visiting friends in Washington and I can’t wait to see them. While there we plan to visit the Capital and see the big sights. Our focus here will be on learning about American history and politics.

After that we’ll head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and stay there a while to explore before heading way south to the Everglades in Florida.

That’s about as far as we’ve got with planning for now and takes us to about the end of March. We are trying to keep pretty flexible on the plan as we just don’t know how it will all go and how the kids will adapt to the long journeys. It may be that after 5 weeks of travel we want to stay put in the mountains for a while or we might be keen to get to the warmer southern climate to rest for a while.

Either way, we are open minded about how it will go and prepared for the inevitable exhaustion we’ll experience at times but we’re a pretty laid back family and our kids are easy going.

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Base-Layer me up baby! My kids love the base layers from Muddy Puddles.