Gumbo night was followed by sausage and biscuit and scrambled egg and milk gravy morning, courtesy of FiveCat. We had plans to go to Niagara Falls, all of us except Script, who has seen the falls more times than she cares to count, and Westie, who has a grudge against Buffalo (and no, i'm not going to dig for details on that one), so we needed to eat and run.
This brings me to a place where i must apologize to Ally. On the previous morning, she had made some incredible home made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. She had even made them with whole wheat flour for those who couldn't use regular flour and made a vegan version. She's incredible with baking, and i've been so overwhelmed by doing so many things that it's starting to blur.
Unfortunately, late nights do not make for early mornings, and of course we were much later than we expected leaving to head to the Falls. Then, of course, getting 11 people coordinated in four cars to make an over 2 hour drive is like herding cats, and never goes as planned.
We did make it out of the house, and somehow stayed together until we met up with Peppermint, who was accompanied by both Hairy, Sr., and Hairy, Jr., at one of the service stops along the toll road. In talking over the plan of attack, Grace said she wanted to make the lunch that day her treat, and she had the address of a Thai restaurant in the town of Niagara Falls. Since it would be lunchtime by the time we got there, it was determined that we would eat first, and then go to the Falls.
Hairy, Sr., knows this area, as he has lived here all of his life, and gone to the falls many times. So he led the way, stalwart man as he is, escorting all of these crazy women in their travels.
It proved harder to find the street with the Thai restaurant than we had thought, because while Hairy, Sr., knows his way to the falls, he expected the street to be in one spot but it was actually a couple of blocks over. Thank heaven for GPS, we finally did find it, and a parking space nearby enough to walk to it. It was a blast from the past, walking with Hairy, Jr., as i'm no longer used to having a small child to look after. He is a very well behaved young man, and waited patiently with us to cross streets with the lights and sat nicely most of the time we waited to eat.
The food was luscious, and i was glad they had extra spice on the table.
By the time we reached the entrance to Niagara Falls, paid to park, and herded ourselves in we were really running much later than any of us had anticipated. As i was to find out, to see this place fully you need to come the moment the gates open, buy a full day pass, and not leave until the sun sets. Then, the next day, if you have a passport, you need to go over to the Canadian side and do the same thing again!
We began with Cave of the Winds, which is a misnomer on the American side of the Falls. You buy your ticket and get in line to get your plastic bag, and then your shoes. Yes, you take your shoes off, put them in the bag, and wear the Niagara Sandal equivalent of bowling shoes, so you won't slip. Then you go outside in these and to the elevators. Once there, you are given a yellow rain slicker, which you will need, and down to the "Cave."
It's actually an outdoor scaffolding you climb to stand almost under the portion of the falls called the Bridal Veil. It's so beautiful with a fixed rainbow, the first i've ever seen at the edge of a falls.. The highest portion of this scaffolding is called the Hurricane Deck. As we stood there under the Falls, the water from the river splashing over me, i couldn't do anything but smile and shed tears of joy. It's an amazing feeling. At one point, i reached in and touched the very hardy algae that actually grows with that water flowing right over it.
While i didn't want to leave the area, we did have to get a move on. We walked past the containers where they recycle the shoes and the rain coats if you want (i kept the rain poncho, heaven knows i live in a swamp and can use one), and then some of us walked and some of us rode the tram to go on the Maid of the Mist.
The Maid from the American side starts in the observation tower, the only place from which you can see the whole falls on that side. An elevator takes you down to get your blue rain poncho, and then you get on one of the boats. You then sail straight up toward the Horseshoe Falls, the biggest and most beautiful part of the Niagara Falls. The boat pitches and sways as the water roars in your ears and you can barely see because the mist rising surrounds you and drenches any part of you that you weren't smart enough to cover, and many parts that you were smart enough to cover. It was again so beautiful to be in there as the boat turned and see the whole falls from that level.
Walking through the island, we saw two just married couples, and it's so beautiful i know why they chose the location. As we were leaving, i also ran as fast as i could to stand at the top of the Bridal Veil Falls, because as i had seen it from the bottom, i wanted to see it from the top, too.
By the time we all managed to get back together (the walkers had done their Maid tour earlier than the tram riders as we got there first), it was more than time that we be heading back to the lake, as Script was going to have an Italian dinner ready for us. That's when the long day got too long and things sort of fell apart. The head of our caravan wanted to stop for coffee, some of the cars needed gas, it was already 6pm and it was a more than two hour drive back to the lake house even if we didn't stop. Every stop takes forever with that many people, too.
Thus, Peppermint and Hairy, Sr., decided not to come back to the house for dinner with us, as Hairy, Jr., was already asleep. When we all got home, well after dark, poor Script, who had put so much work into the meal, had been forced to throw some of it away as it's only good fresh, and she had gone to bed. It was a quiet meal, as we were all quite upset over the way it turned out. Her food was delicious, but None of us wanted to be gone that long, and yet it's so hard to get everyone to get up and get an early start.
Agricultural Reform Day -- Sao Tome and Principe
Ask A Stupid Question Day -- teachers wanted to get students asking more questions, so they did, even if the questions were stupid; now, it's a holiday on the last school day of September each year!
Celtic Tree Month Gort begins (Ivy)
Day of Liberation of the Republic of Abkhazia -- Abkhazia (disputed territory on the Black Sea)
Do Something Wacky With A Grandparent Day -- just not the monkey bars, please; old bones don't knit fast enough
Eleusinian Mysteries -- Ancient Greek Calendar (the Greater Mystery Rites, date approximate; mystery rites of Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis, one of the most sacred times of their year)
Family and Community Day -- ACT, Australia
Independence Day -- Botswana
International Translation Day -- International Federation of Translators
Kokkeisetsu -- Chinatown, Yokohama, Japan (Chinese National Founding Day in the largest Chinatown in Japan; through tomorrow)
Medetrinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival fruits offer to the goddess of medicine)
Monkey Bars Day -- a day to go see if you can still do tricks on the monkey bars, because the internet wants to kill us and let the machines that would never do anything so silly take over
National Mud Pack Day -- give yourself a facial
National Hot Mulled Cider Day
Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival -- Walden, Cabot, Plainfield, Peacham, Barnet and Groton, VT, US (all 6 towns welcome visitors during the famous fall foliage season, with local food, music, culture, and more; through Saturday)
Queen's Birthday Holiday -- WA, Australia
St. Gregory the Enlightener (or Illuminator; Patron of Armenia)
St. Jerome's Day (Patron of archaeologists, archivists, Biblical scholars, librarians, libraries, school children, students, translators; Saint-Jerome, Quebec)
also an Apache celebration of Geronimo, the Native American who was named after this saint
Eric Stoltz, 1961
Fran Drescher, 1957
Marilyn McCoo, 1943
Z.Z. Hill, 1935
Johnny Mathis, 1935
Angie Dickinson, 1931
Truman Capote, 1924
Deborah Kerr, 1921
Buddy Rich, 1917
Today in History:
Rambam (Maimonides) authorizes Samuel Ibn Tibbon to translate the Guide of the Perplexed from Arabic into Hebrew, 1199
Mozart's last opera, The Magic Flute, premiers, 1791
Anesthetic ether is used for the first time by Dr. William Morton, who extracted a tooth, 1846
German scientist Hermann von Meyer announces the discovery of the first fossil of an archaeopteryx, 1861
The first Portuguese immigrants arrive in Hawai'i, 1878
The world's first commercial hydroelectric power plant begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, United States, 1882
Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner, 1901
The first manned rocket plane flight, made by auto maker Fritz von Opel, 1929
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Yemen join the United Nations, 1947
The World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, is televised for the first time, 1947
The U.S. Navy submarine USS Nautilus is commissioned as the world's first nuclear reactor powered vessel, 1954
James Dean is killed in a road accident, 1955
Mexican-American labor leader César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers, 1962
James Meredith enters the University of Mississippi, defying segregation, 1962
General Suharto rises to power in Indonesia after an alleged coup by communists, and massacres over a million Indonesian people suspected of belonging to the Communist Party, 1965
BBC Radio 1 is launched and Tony Blackburn presents its first show, 1967
Ethernet specifications are published by Xerox working with Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation, 1980
The Dalai Lama unveils the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights in Canada's capital city of Ottawa, 1990
The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo, 2004
The controversial drawings of Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, 2005
Slipping Into Shorter Days
9 hours ago