Niagara Falls and beyond

Niagara Falls

On Saturday 18th August we set off to collect our second car from W34 St(near Penn Station) and drive to Buffalo NY.  Apart from needing to take a larger car (Kia Sorrento) due to no smaller cars being available getting out of Manhattan was relatively easy.

Within an hour the madness of NYC was well behind us and we were headed upstate New York. Sarah and Dan were spending their last few hours in NYC visiting ground zero before flying home. Charlie and Megs also left today for San Francisco before heading down to LA for their last week.

The day driving was pleasant it was nice to be out on the road again, we found a hotel in Rochester which would allow us to visit Niagara for the day and head towards Vermont. Hotels in the Niagara/Buffalo area are very expensive in the summer so we headed to Watertown for our next night.

Maple at Sugar Bush Farm

Niagara was just as beautiful and amazing as the last time I visited. Mum really enjoyed our day there with the Maid on the Mist ride under the falls being a highlight. After walking around the parklands and viewing both the American and the Horseshoe Falls we hit the road again. The weather was perfect for the visit not too hot and walking around the parks was pleasant.

Ben and Jerry’s  Ice-cream

After Watertown we headed further north to Plattsburgh NY were we overnighted before taking the ferry across to Burlington Vermont (VT) unfortunately we were too early for the fall colour but it was still very pretty and one can only imagine what the fall season would be like. After wandering around Burlington for a few hours we headed to Watertown to take the Ben and Jerry’s (Ice-cream Factory) tour which was okay and a good story. After the tour we checked in to our White River Junction hotel which near Sugar Bush Maple and Cheese Farm, we tried many cheeses and made purchases to bring home.

 It was a very pretty area and the farm was very authentic, and did not have the usual touristy shine to it. The drive is was worth the time in itself. One could imagine this place in winter with snow everywhere and the horses pulling the slay from tree to tree to collect the maple syrup.

After our tour we were Maine bound to experience all it had to offer. We drove up to Berlin Maine (ME) which is about 2 hours above Portland ME. After checking in we drove around to Penobscot Bay and took in the sights, dinner was at the best lobster place ever.

$17 for a great lobster dinner

We both had a whole lobster which set us back a whopping $17 each. Although probably not as good as our lobsters they were pretty close and the price is definitely right. After a restful night in our hotel overlooking the harbour we set off for Portland via the prettiest place in Maine, Camden. We booked a harbour tour of the Porland light Houses and a trolly tour of the district which included a visit to one the oldest still functioning light house. After yet another full lobster for dinner ($14 each this time) at XXXX we then set of in the evening for our hotel near the Kittery Outlet Mall where we planned to do our final shopping.

Camden Maine
Foggy Camden Maine

Our shopping done we headed to Boston where we planned to spend two days seeing the sights. We checked into the Bulfinch Hotel near TD Gardens in Boston. This was a great hotel and well within walking distance of everything that we needed including stop 4 of the ‘Old Town Trolley’ the hop on hop off tour which included a cruise around the Harbour.

We enjoyed both tours and got off at Stop 7 (near the Cheers Bar) and walked the freedom trail back to Quincy markets. Along the way we saw Mrs Mallard and her ducklings (the bronzes not the real ones), the swan boats and the frog pond (no frogs I am pleased to report).

The Floating Restaurent that saved
Portland Docks

The Boston common is a great place to spend time and there were many people spending time in the gardens playing sports, walking dogs and chasing children. All walked out we boarded our boat for a cruise around the harbour, this was made interesting by great guide who added good humour to his narration.

Oldest still operating Light House
Portland Maine

After the cruise it was time to head home neither of use were hungry so we picked up some bagels and coffee from Dunkin Donuts for a light dinner before turning exhausted from all the walking.

Bulfinch Hotel – Flatiron building
Our Hotel Boston

With only two nights before flying home and given that it was going to be a long flight(s) (including getting from NY to LA) then straight on (after 4 hour layover LA) to our long haul home we decided to spend the last two nights near JFK.

This gave me time to return the rental car and for us to reorganise all the bags to ensure they come in under the 23kg limit. This really turned out to be our only real rest day in the last month so it was certainly good to spend the day resting.

As I write this is our last night all the bags are packed and we are watch the hurricane (Isaac) in the Gulf on the weather channel. We will be in the clear by the time it sends heavy rain up the coast.

Tomorrow we wing our way home after a great trip that couldn’t have gone more smoothly for everyone. All other travellers are home and back at work and we look forward to joining them at home and catch our breath. This will be probably our last trip the USA for a while there is so much of the world left to see.

Mrs Mallard and her ducklings

Car One Kia Forte 1280 Miles
Car Two Kia Sorrento 1800 miles
Fuel- Between 3.33g(South) to 4.09g(North)
Stayed in many hotels including La Quinta, Best Western, Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn Express – all less $100 per night booked on (most time great breakfast included)
No one in the United States drives at the speed limit

The are only 10 states left in the USA that I have not visited, they may have to wait awhile but I am determined to visit them in next few years.

Frog Pond Boston Common

Thanks for following our journey and all the positive feedback you have sent me.

Only frogs at the frog pond

Apologies for any grammatical and spelling errors. No time on the road to proof posts, I may go back one day and correct any errors.

Boston Maine and on to Niagara Falls

On Tuesday 28th July we set off towards Boston after negotiating our way out of NYC. We decided to stay south of Boston and head in to see the sights of Boston.

We stayed at a place called Milford which will always be remembered for ‘The Duck’. We found a little Thai place (Thai Pepper) not far from the hotel, didn’t look much from the outside but it was very nice inside. Ian had the ‘Boston Duck’ which Ian has not stopped talking about since. My pad thai was excellent too but the duck was sensational, apparently. I will never know I couldn’t even get a little taste. Seriously I did get the smallest taste and agree it was very good.

Up early for a short run into Boston after parking we booked on a trolly tour (which included a cruise on the harbour). The tour was really good and we stayed on for the entire nineteen stops so that we could catch the lunchtime cruise on the harbour.

Hard to believe that so much of Boston is built on reclaimed land, the area around the harbour has been really well developed and caters to visitors. We went past Fenway Park where the Red Sox baseball team’s home ground. The trolly driver was really informative. Boston is a very organised and clean city with lots of historical significance for this country.

Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial “Capital of New England” for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. This link show all the trolly stops and what we saw at each stop.

The harbour cruise was very informative and gave us and opportunity to learn about the many historical locations along the foreshore. We were able to see the USS Constitution which is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel. Launched in 1797. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname of “Old Ironsides” and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping.

After a not so good lunch (all fried seafood, though the oysters were good) in the oldest restaurant in USA.

The Union Oyster House was established in 1826 and has been retained in its original state. Although the food was to our liking the trip back in time was worth the time. Union Street was laid out in 1636, but there are no municipal records documenting the Oyster House’s date of construction. All that is known is that the building has stood on Union Street as a major local landmark for more than 250 years.

After lunch we headed for Portland Maine, we decided that we would only have the one night here so that we could spend two days at Niagara.

After checking in to our hotel we headed up to Two Lights which is reported to be a must see spot as well as check out the Lobster Shack. We decided to head back to town for   dinner at the Old Port Sea Grill and thoroughly enjoyed our seafood platter.

Tomorrow we are setting off on our longest drive in a day this trip. We plan to be in Buffalo New York by tomorrow night. States visited along the way Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York 556 miles in 8 hours including three short stops.