During our many years in Detroit, we visited Niagara Falls several times, maybe 10 or 12 times. It was a half day drive and a great place for a long weekend stay. As we were traveling into Western New York State, we decided we would spend a week in the Falls area. This time there was one major difference, we stayed on the US side. We had always stayed on the Canadian side on every other trip. We always traveled over to Niagara through Canada – that was the shortest drive from Detroit. Further, the view of the Falls is better from the Canadian side and there is more to do on the Canadian side as well.
This time is was just far easier to stay on the US side and it proved to be a interesting change of pace as well. Our campground was at a New York State Park on the shore of Lake Ontario. But it wasn’t the typical State Park. Actually, it was a State Campground. There wasn’t a beach, pool, trails, or any other activities. It was just a campground, but a darn nice one at that. The sites were 50 feet wide and even more than 50 feet deep. On clear days you could see the Toronto skyline across the lake.
We had a huge surprise while camped there. Gary rode his bike over to the shower house one day and on his way back he rode by the motor home that was immediately behind ours. He got off his bike and sat down. He said that the woman at the motor home behind us looked like someone who we knew from our winter RV park in Florida. He asked me to kind of walk by and see what I thought. As I walked by it looked enough like her that I called out, “Betty?”. Sure enough, she responded. Four months and a thousand miles removed from where we camped in Florida we run into a person we knew there.
We went to another State Park along the Lake Ontario lake shore where Gary was able to accomplish a traveling milestone. He took a dip in the lake and it marked the time that he had swum in all five of the Great Lakes. Yes, he even swam in Lake Superior a few years ago, and was lucky to get a warm and calm day to do it.
We did many of our favorite things in the Niagara region yet again. We walked across the Rainbow Bridge and saw the Falls lit up at night. We passed through all the kitsch of Clifton Hill and I didn’t even whine this time to go to a wax museum. We drove to the town of Niagara on the Lake and ate at our favorite British-style pub, the Olde Angel Inn which is purportedly haunted by the ghost of Captain Swayze of the Canadian militia killed in the basement of the pub during the War of 1812. It has all the classics such as shepherd's pie and steak and kidney pie. The main street of Niagara on the Lake is always adorned with such beautiful planters and hanging baskets.
We also tried our luck at the Seneca casino on the New York side but didn’t have much luck. Gary was able to play in some poker tournaments but didn’t get to any final tables.
It likely will be quite awhile before we ever get back to Niagara, a place that we have enjoyed so much. We are glad we took it in yet another time as we were chugging toward the Midwest.