Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baseball, Niagara Falls, Etc.

I guess I will try to rekindle my efforts of keeping this blog going by telling you about our most recent vacation.

Last week, we decided to take a road trip to see one of The Seven Forgotten Natural Wonders of the World, Niagara Falls.  According to MapQuest, the trip would require about 12 hours in the car just to get there, so we thought it would be best to break the trip up a bit and enjoy some other activities along the way.

Since our planned route went through some larger cities in Ohio, we decided to make stops in Cincinnati and Cleveland to catch a couple of baseball games on the way. We spent our first night in Cincinnati and watched the Reds get pounded by the Nationals.  Our hotel was close enough to the stadium (2 miles) that we took advantage of the proximity and walked through town to get to the stadium.  We also walked most of the way to Cock and Bull English Pub to eat supper and even got a "War Eagle" along the way... nearly brought a tear to my eye.  

The next morning we attempted to make it all the way to Niagara Falls, New York in order to see the falls before sunset.  Unbeknownst to us, the Maxima didn't have the same travel plans.  After stopping just a few minutes outside of Cincinnati to get gas, the starter went out in the car.  Luckily, we broke down at a gas station next to a PepBoys, which I would assume is one of very few places employing fairly legitimate mechanics that is open on a Sunday.  The PepBoys was only next door, but you had to move the car uphill to get it there.  My attempt to push it up the hill was unsuccessful, so we used our newest toy, a Garmin nuvi 1300, to help us find a tow truck to pull it there.

Break:  I hear Ann Coulter's voice on the television in the living room.  Be right back!

On with the story... 

With more good fortune, the tow truck driver was on his way to move another automobile and said he would be passing our location on the way.  Since it was convenient, he said he would move it for $20 as long as I wouldn't tell his boss, but I let him keep a nice tip for helping us out so much.  PepBoys was able to put us on the list and we were able to get away far cheaper, but not quicker, than I had hoped.

We did finally make it to the Elizabeth House just before 10:00 that night where our hosts informed us that we could take a short walk down the street to make it just in time to see fireworks over the waterfall.  Since we skipped supper in order to make better time, we then dined at the Hard Rock Cafe since it was the only place open that late at night.

The next morning, we were finally able to witness the true beauty that is Niagara Falls.  Regardless of our location at the park, the scenery was continuously breathtaking.  We even got the chance to take the Cave of Winds Tour, which allowed us to view the falls from the bottom up.  If you ever go to Niagara, this is one attraction you should not pass up.

After our morning at the falls, we drove back down to Erie, Pennsylvania and stayed at theGeorge Carroll House.  (Can you tell we've become fans of the Bed and Breakfast option?)  We spent the next morning at Presque Isle State Park where you have an impressive view of Lake Erie.  It was really hard for me to comprehend the fact that this body of water was merely a lake and not an entire ocean.  The waves crashing on the shore were actually larger than the ones I saw at Gulf Shores back in June.

When the rain began to come down on us at Presque Isle, we decided to pack our belongings and make the next part of our drive down to Cleveland.  We arrived earlier than we had planned, so we spent a couple of hours touring downtown.  I would have loved to have been able to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but we didn't have quite enough time for it before the Indians game.  The game at Progressive Field also proved to be much more entertaining than the blowout at Great American Ball Park a few days earlier.  I also found it extremely impressive to see just how hard Vladimir Guerrero can hit a baseball.

The game in Cleveland was almost the final part of our trip.  On our drive back to Nashville on Wednesday morning, we made a short detour to Covington, Kentucky to locate the childhood homes of my maternal grandparents.  It was rather fascinating to see these houses, and I took several pictures to pass on to them since my mother informed me that they hadn't seen them in a while.  (The Garmin really displayed its worth with this mission.)

I also must mention that I added New York and Pennsylvania to my collection of "State Rocks."

Now, I'll leave you with some pictures from our excursion.  Enjoy!

Great American Ball Park

Holding my "New York Rock" I pulled out of the Niagara River

A rainbow... Duh

View from the Observation Tower

View from the Cave of Winds Tour

Betty Clair on the Cave of Winds Tour

Presque Isle/Lake Erie

Progressive Field

Mama Lue's Childhood Home

Papa Bene's Childhood Home


Nikki & Wes said...

Ya'll take the coolest trips! My husband and I should try a trip like that! He LOVES baseball. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't hate on the Reds.