Sunday, July 12, 2009

A New Look for Dave and Peg

Niagara Falls, NY to Eden, NY 51 miles

Pictures: Us with cousins Brad and Joie in New York; The Niagara River above the falls; Peg in the water at Three Sisters Islands

You gotta love Hannah! Normally the route she takes us on is fine…mostly through out of the way places, but today her route left much to be desired…

As we were leaving the hotel, we saw the sign for Goat Island, which is the big island on the river between the American and Horseshoe Falls. We headed that way and drove around the island (we were too cheap to pay $10 for parking), and then stopped for a bit to walk over the bridge to three sisters, another grouping of very small islands, between Goat Island and Horseshoe Falls. From this point, you could actually walk down among the rocks to the shoreline—you just want to be careful not to fall in…The water was actually pretty warm, but it was still moving very fast.

Back in Baby, we headed south along the Niagara River and stopped at a river side park for a picnic lunch. This was nice…the air temp was nice, and there was a cool breeze blowing off the water. A lot of ski boats on the river. We were speculating on whether or not there is any kind of barrier down river before the fall and rapids got going to fast…we never did see one.

Hannah continued directing us south, and we were soon in Buffalo…or should I say driving through, because we didn’t stop at this point…the route she had us on took us through the old, downtown “grittier” part of town (as my cousin David would say)…it felt much like the downtown getto area of Los Angeles. The white lane lines were gone from the highway, and it was difficult to tell for sure if it was a two lane road, or one lane, because other drivers kept weaving in and out depending on other cars turning left, or parked along the right side—in “no standing” zones, or sometimes even taking up the middle. Once we made it past the railroad yards, the lines were once again present, and we were feeling much more comfortable.

Just as we came into Hamburg, NY, a neat, busy village, we passed another Model A—a beautiful cream colored 30 or 31 pickup. We ah-oo-ghad at each other, but didn’t stop to talk as we were maneuvering through this town’s main street round-abouts. We finally made it to Brad and Joie’s in Eden and visited for a bit, until talk rolled around to Brad’s “collection” of Harley Davidson motorcycles. (This collection “sickness” must be genetic with the Gill’s!) We have noticed that motorcycle riding is big here in the northeast, especially New York. Maybe the terrain is just more conducive to it…or we’re just traveling on the same back roads in the A! Anyway, in borrowed jackets and helmets, we rode the bikes to dinner (Dave driving, me on the back—and yes, Dave does have a license to drive!) where we had some fabulous Buffalo Wings (did you know they were first “invented” at The Anchor Bar here in Buffalo?) and a Beef on Weck sandwich—both very good…then for ice cream before taking a short ride through the countryside in this part of NY. It was exhilarating…especially going faster than 45 mph for the first time in a long time! It was actually a lot of fun, and I can understand why there is such a big Harley following…but I will be blaming Brad and Joie if Dave takes up a new hobby…

11 July 2009 Eden, NY

Caught in a Thunderstorm

Rain was predicted today, but not until later in the afternoon. Aunt Ruth came over for breakfast—homemade breakfast burritos—with homemade flour tortillas, yummmm...and shortly after that we went for a hike. Out in back of Brad and Joie’s 2 acre property, is a corn field, and beyond the corn field is open land. This land is forested, and the creek that goes by their home cuts through a deep gorge. This area is stunning, and we felt like we were out in the middle of nowhere. Someone has tied a knotted rope down the gorge (about 80 feet down), "The Gill Grand Canyon" and we made our way to the bottom, going backwards, holding on hand over hand…not quite repelling, but close, with a lot of slippage. Just about the time we all got down, the thunder started rolling in. We were soon being drenched in the rain, as the lightening and thunder boomed around us. We were contemplating whether or not to try and go back up the rope, or continue on the long way home—neither direction was a good choice, but staying out in this weather wasn’t either. We sloshed our way along the bottom of the gorge—with the idea that the gorge was at least low ground in case of lightening, (the whole time I’m thinking…not a good place to be for a flash flood!) and made our way eventually up to higher ground. With the rain continuing to fall, we did eventually make it back to the house where we had to peel our wet—not just damp, but drippy—clothes directly into the washer.

After we were clean and dry, we found that this area is under severe storm watch for lightening, rain, thunder, flash floods. It continued to rain for about another 2 hours or so, and some areas even lost power. Dave always says God watches out for idiots and small children, and we are certainly not small children…

We went to visit with Aunt Ruth, and later in the evening when to Falletta’s for dinner—Carl (Dave’s previous boss from ABC) had assured us we would not be disappointed with his family’s establishment, and he was SOooo right! Carl (from California) is a native of Buffalo, and this is his family’s restaurant, currently run by his uncle, Carl. Falletta’s is located at 8255 Clarence Center Road, in East Amherst, NY. This restaurant is nestled in what looks like a residential area. At first, we were thinking we had the wrong address—the ambiance is casual elegance, the service first class, and the food better than some four-star restaurants we’ve eaten at. Everything is prepared fresh on site, including the salad dressings and desserts. We had eggplant parmigana, the best we’ve ever tasted; our cousins had the lasagna, and Joie is still raving about it. If you go, save room for dessert…the cannoli was amazing. Unfortunately, we had gotten one to share, which in retrospect, was very fortunate because I would have eaten the whole thing. Overall, an amazing meal. It was kind of nice to show the locals (our cousins) somewhere new in their town! Thanks for the tip Carl…

12 July 2009

Just hangin' out at Brad and Joie's.



  2. With no one asking "Are we there yet; are we there yet; are we there yet?"

    There's a book in here. Peggy's writing is so very descriptive.

    Let me know when it's time to find an agent.