Upstate New York and Niagara Falls

American Falls Long View

I took a little time off this summer, prompted by my cousin’s wedding in upstate New York.  Since hubby had never been in the area, I felt that this would be an excellent opportunity to do a little sightseeing.

One leg of our journey was in this small plane.  I don’t mind flying, but Mr. Lucky Lass was not too happy.  I will say, I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden in a commercial plane this small, with propellers…

Small plane

Small plane

The flights went fine, no problems.  Everything was even on time.

First order of business, drive to Niagara Falls.

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara

I have been here about half a dozen times.  I am always amazed and awed by the size of the falls, and how powerful water can be.

I wanted a great view of the falls, so we stayed on the Canadian side at Embassy Suites.

Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

When we checked in, the hotel clerk upgraded our room for free to a Presidential suite!  So we had one of those big corner rooms.  Our view was spectacular:

View from the Presidential Suite, Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

View from a Presidential Suite, Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

The room was nice, too.  There was an electric (no heat) fireplace, a lounge area, a separate sitting room with a fold-out couch, and a giant whirlpool tub with shutters that open into the main area for a view of the falls.  By the window, you could also view the American falls.

View of American Falls from room

View of American Falls from room

We ate at “The Keg” which is a chain steakhouse restaurant, found in the hotel.  It was excellent.  The breakfast the next morning however, not so good.  It was free, but because they were making so much food for so many people, it was pretty gross (i.e. not very good quality).

While there, we had to do the Maid of the Mist.

Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist boat tour

Everyone gets a poncho and you get a real close up of the falls.

American Falls from the Maid

American Falls from the Maid

It was really hard to get a decent shot between all the mist and other people on the boat.  We were surrounded by a group of teenage girls discussing their plans for the day, “Shopping, shopping, eat something, and then more shopping.”

There is a lot of different activities to do in Niagara, Ontario.  There were plenty of places to shop, eat, to entertain kids, things like wax museums and Guinness world records.  There are also much quieter or prettier places to see too, like the Horticulture school, and if you go for a short drive, cute little towns further up the river like Niagara-on-the-Lake.  With our short time however, we contented ourselves with views of the falls.

Horseshoe Falls Closeup

Horseshoe Falls Closeup

American Falls Long View

American Falls Long View

After spending a good day at Niagara, we jumped back over the border, and headed to the Martin House in Buffalo, New York.  It’s an architectural gem.  I loved the lines and proportions of the house.  It was raining when we first arrived, but by the time we left it was beautiful out.

Darwin Martin House

Darwin Martin House

Our next stop was Rochester.  I found a boutique hotel called the Inn on Broadway, and it was beautiful!  It started out life as the University Club, and has recently been transformed into the Inn.  For less money than it was to stay at the falls, we had a beautifully appointed room with furniture from Arhaus.  Luxurious robes, a Keurig coffee maker, flat screen tv, and multi-headed shower were features of this room.  I could tell that someone was hired to carefully decorate the room.  Here’s an overall shot:

Room at the Inn on Broadway

Room at the Inn on Broadway

And yes, that’s a step stool at the foot of the bed.

For dinner, we walked about two blocks away to “2 Vine” and had an excellent Italian inspired meal.  It was crowded with locals who all knew each other, always a good sign.

The next morning we met up with family and toured the George Eastman house, the founder of the Kodak company.  The house and grounds are amazing, and I thought it was really interesting how many of the interiors are still somewhat fashionable today.  It looked like a current spread from Architectural Digest.  The gardens are very nice.  I love all sorts of gardens, but prefer those with some architectural planning.

Garden at the Eastman House

Garden at the Eastman House

George Eastman was an exceptional man, who did a lot for his community.  The museum also had a fascinating exhibit on Norman Rockwell.  I had no idea he painted from photographs that he took of his models!

We spent the last few days near Lake Canandaigua, with family.  The wedding was wonderful and fun.  My cousin and his bride are very creative and had a number of fun touches throughout the day.  Both being science teachers, they poured two colorless liquids together as a symbol of their unity, and the color in the resulting beaker was bright pink.  They had a number of games for people to play throughout the reception to encourage mingling and conversation.  And there was a fantastic choreographed dance by four students to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Lake Canandaigua

Lake Canandaigua

The next day we headed home, exhausted from our whirlwind adventure in upstate New York.  We had a great time, and there is so much more we would like to do!  We’ll definitely be going back.