After two unbelievable months traveling up the East Coast, it was time to move west. We said good-bye to the magnificent Maine coastline and headed toward our next stop, Burlington, Vermont. We only had a couple of days scheduled here and the weather didn’t really cooperate (it was hot and humid), but we saw some cool things. Our first stop was to the Ben and Jerry’s Ice-Cream Factory of course.
It is such a feel-good story and they give free samples!! Not to be missed. Next we went in search of maple syrup. We found a local farm that offered a self guided tour. They are called Sugar Shacks which is cool all by itself.
We learned that syrup is only harvested for about a one month period in the spring. We also walked through the trees to see all the plastic tubing which is connected to the trees.
If you were picturing the plastic bucket under the tree with a tap in the tree and then get that image out of your mind. In reality there are hundreds of feet of plastic tubing strung between trees all leading to a giant tank that gets picked up by the truck when full. But it makes a lot more sense this way and we could still reap the benefits from the gift shop. We bought a jug of maple syrup and then treated ourselves to a “Maple Creemee” (a soft serve maple flavored cone). Finally, we headed out in search of a covered bridge and found two.
They really make for a picturesque setting. Our trip to Vermont was too short but we will definitely put it on our list for a revisit–especially in the fall.
Our next stop was the beautiful Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York. We stay in Ithaca which is most known as the location of Cornell University. This entire area is rolling fields with old barns, trees and a lot of open space. Oh yes, there is a lot of water too. We were closest to Cayuga Lake which has an amazing state park with a nearby boat launch and wonderful beach area.
Since it was the Fourth of July, we stayed for quite a while people and dog watching. It was all very relaxing. On our way out of town we went through a community where many Mennonite families lived. We were a bit thrown at first to see the horse and buggy coming toward our large pick-up and trailer on the road. Then we saw their beautiful farms with men and women working the fields with horses. I wish we would have had a bit more time to stop in the community and learned more. Instead we kept moving on our way to Niagara Falls.
This would be our last stop in New York and it was worth it. Niagara Falls are spectacular and well worth a look from the US side and the Canadian side.
Although very crowded, there was always room on the rail to catch a glimpse of the sight that could be heard before it is seen. Wow–that is a lot of water all in one place. We walked around most of the US side and then walked across the bridge to the Canadian side.
The falls can be seen better from Canada and so this is where we ended up for sunset and the lights that they turn on the falls at night. The next day we decided to take the tour that lets you get below the falls to really feel and see the power of the water. We waited in line to ride the elevator down 175 feet, get our water sandals, yellow rain slicker, and let the adventure begin. It is a series of platforms that get closer and closer to the falls.
On the last platform (called Hurricane Platform) you get the full effect of being at the bottom of a waterfall which they say is the same sensation as being in a hurricane. It is exciting, windy, wet, and powerful!
Next stop–Cleveland, Ohio. Just a quick stop but long enough for us to enjoy about six hours in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and then take in a baseball game in the evening. The Hall of Fame is super fun.
It is filled with memorabilia, pictures, and videos of so many musicians you just lose track of time. They take you through the roots of the beginnings of rock music all the way to today. They share with you its struggles with people and institutions which were against it and they show the power of the music. But the best part of all is all the theaters and videos you can watch. So many performances you can get so wrapped up that time slips away. Of course we couldn’t stay forever, we had a baseball game to go to. The Cleveland Indians were playing the Cincinnati Reds so the atmosphere was great. Another stadium off our list! Okay–next stop Hannah and John’s house in Canton, Michigan–woohoo. Of course we will post pictures, stay tuned.