07.22.16 Goat Island at Niagara Falls, New York

Friday, July 22, 2016 – Goat Island is an island that splits the Niagara River, causing it to flow along both sides of it to form the American Falls on one side and the Horseshoe Falls on the other.  This is a good picture showing Goat Island’s location.  You can either drive onto the island and park, or walk over a bridge to get there.  The parking on Goat Island in one of the two parking lots is $10 for the day.  On Tuesday of this week Roy and I visited there to experience more of the amazingness of Niagara Falls.

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We enjoyed a beautiful day there walking all over.  We saw the horseshoe falls from a different perspective.  Last Monday when we saw them it was from the Canadian side and Tuesday we saw it from the American side.

20160719_125516 I loved the beautiful purple flowers right on the edge of the rushing water!20160719_125341 20160719_125154 20160719_125126 Not only did we get to see the Falls from the American side, we also got to walk away from the Falls on a lovely walkway along the Niagara River and see it up close as it was rushing to the Falls.   It was absolutely amazing not to see people swept up in the rushing river going over the falls since there is nothing that stops you from just walking into the river.  Even a tiny fence at one place was easily walked around and right now to the water!!

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A good ways along the walkway we came upon an area where you could turn off and walk to Three Sisters Island, a series of small islands with a walkway between each island.  The views from each of the walkways of the river rushing by cascading over small falls and the final island was breathtaking.

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We took a ride on the Niagara Falls Trolley all around the island and the rest of the Niagara State Park to give our feet a little rest!

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When we were finished with all our seeing we enjoyed a delicious meal at the Top of the Falls overlooking the Falls.

20160719_161519 20160719_152057 20160719_151659 I did not want to leave there that day.  I was absolutely mesmerized watching the falls and the rushing water.  God’s handiwork is displayed here in all it’s glory! I think I took so many photos so that I’ll always be able to look at them and remember our amazing time here!  We bought a Niagara Falls puzzle so I’ll get to play around with that soon!

This was our treat after a long day and a photo of the beautiful back roads here in New York.

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We’ll be leaving this area on Sunday morning headed for Accord, NY where we’ll stay for nine days.  Don’t know what there is to see around there so we’ll see.

After that we’re headed for the FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) Convention in West Springfield, Massachusetts where we’ll be joining my boss Curtis to represent RVillage there.

That’s it for today!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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07.14.16 Niagara Falls in New York – Part Three, the Canadian side

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Here’s the map again to help with where everything is located.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 – If you haven’t read the first two parts of this three part blog post, here are links to those.  USA side – Part OneMaid of the Mist – Part Two

Now on to part three which will cover all we saw and did while on the Canadian side of the falls. WARNING: It may take a while to load all the pictures and videos.

I said last time that the Canadian side is as different from the USA side as night and day.  The main reason is that the Canadian side is totally commercial with some nice walking trails mixed in.

In Canada the view encompasses all of the falls.  There is a 1.25 mile walkway between the Rainbow Bridge where you cross into Canada and the end where the Horseshoe Falls are located. The photos below are in the order as we saw them.  First are photos of us getting to Canada from the US walking over the Rainbow Bridge.

Remember all photos are clickable so you can see them larger.

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Finally we’re in Canada.  This is our first time in Canada ever! This next part will show you how commercialized this side is.  Shopping everywhere, place after place wanting your attention and your money.  I’m not knocking it, it was cool, just very different than the US side.

20160711_143841 20160711_144540 20160711_145559Looking back down Clifton Hill you can see the American Falls.20160711_150010 20160711_150114 20160711_150157 20160711_150219 20160711_150504 20160711_150600 20160711_150623

Notice the “Misty Award”20160711_150803

Looking back up Clifton Hills from the walkway by the Falls.20160711_151806

Finally we entered the park like area and started walking down the path along the Niagara Gorge where we could see the falls the best.

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And the photos that you’ve probably been waiting for are here!  This is the first look of what the falls look like from the Canadian side.

Looking down the 1.25 mile distance to the Horseshoe Falls. 20160711_152422

The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls from the Canadian Side.  You really can see all their beauty from Canada.20160711_153658 20160711_154115

Because of the distance we covered on the walk, we sat down as often as we could.  This is what the falls look like from a sitting position!!!20160711_154914 20160711_155743

The Horseshoe falls with a Maid of the Mist heading into the mist.20160711_155957

Hotels lined the other side of the street from the walkway.  Every hotel you can imagine is here.20160711_160235

Looking down the walkway – you can see the large amount of tourists on this side.20160711_160434

Getting closer to the Horseshoe falls.  I couldn’t help but snap a photo every few feet.  Over 100 photos were deleted from the blog post about the Canada side leaving over 50 here.20160711_161041

After getting soaking wet on the Maid of the Mist it all came back as we got closer and closer to the Horseshoe Falls.20160711_161825

We were able to get right next to and on top of the falls.  This to me was one of the most amazing experiences.  In the pictures below you can see the very edge of the falls with the water flowing over it.  20160711_162152 20160711_162421 20160711_162758

We are two happy Chauvins!20160711_162826 20160711_162903

This is on our way back down the 1.25 mile walkway looking back at the American Falls.20160711_163008

Since you’ve seen the falls over and over and over in the photos I don’t think you need me to explain what these videos are showing.  There are several and each time I went through them I determined they all need to be shared so here they are!

After we walked from one end to the other and back we heard from the Ashliman’s that they were in our area.  Walking across the parkway we saw them!  We walked up Clifton Hill (the area that is similar to Las Vegas) with them stopping for the children to play with the giant marble Roy previously played with.  They took photos with the tall man I took a photo with earlier.

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Roy, myself, Ron, Nichole, Trevor, Melanie and Holly had a great visit at Ruby Tuesdays.  It was wonderful to see the children, now three years older, and their parents.  They were so kind to us when we visited them in Decatur, Indiana three years ago and we’ve kept our connection through Facebook since then! Here’s Nichole, Holly and Melanie!

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Here we all are after visiting!

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Here’s a link to the two blog posts from back then.

Church, Party and Parade (where we met the Aschlimans)

God sat us in the right place – October 2013

After telling them goodbye we walked around a bit exploring some of the shops, especially the Hershey’s store!

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Being almost totally exhausted we took the walk across the bridge back to the US!20160711_190527 20160711_190734 20160711_191010

Our time in Niagara last Monday was wonderful.  We’ll be in the area until Sunday, July 24th so our plans are to rest for a while and then head back to see Goat’s Island which has a different view of the falls, a nearby city Niagara on the Lake, and maybe eat at the Top of the Falls.  I guess you can tell if I could camp out long term at the falls I would!!

Thanks for following our trek through Niagara Falls with us!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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07.13.16 Niagara Falls in New York – Part Two, Maid of the Mist Boat Tour

If you missed the first part of this three part blog post here’s a link to it!  Niagara Part One20160711_122750Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – After touring the USA side of Niagara Falls we went for a ride on the “Maid of the Mist.”  As they say on their website:

Hear the crashing waves. See the breathtaking views. Soak up every drop of powerful spray aboard the Maid of the Mist.  Build mist-covered memories that will last a lifetime. Soak up every moment of natural and historical amazement — like millions before you have. Journey into the heart of one of North America’s most powerful waterfalls. Hear the thundering roar of 600,000 gallons of water falling right before your eyes. Feel the mighty rush of the mist on your face aboard the Maid of the Mist. It’s the only way to experience one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders right here in the U.S.A.

The tickets for adults are $18.95.  If it was triple that it would have been worth it!  You will be able to see exactly how happy we were in the photos below. There is a Maid of the Mist that leaves from the Canadian side as well.

The first step was checking out the The Tower’s Observation Deck which extends out over the Niagara Gorge and is the only place in the Park to view both the American and Horseshoe Falls at the same time!  Once you view all that, you take an elevator ride down 200 feet to the side of the water.  There you receive your blue rain coat and board the Maid of the Mist.  Our elevator is the first photo below – yes I took a photo of the elevator!  Remember, all photos are clickable to see them larger.

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This is the Observation Tower from down on the water.20160711_120729The Maid of the Mist boarding area

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Aren’t we precious in our blue rain coats!20160711_120318

The Rainbow bridge we walked across to get to Canada as seen from the water.20160711_120647One of the Maid of the Mist vessels.

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So that you will know what you’re seeing, the first falls you’ll see are the two in America, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.  The ones that seem to surround us and have the most mist that hit us are the Horseshoe Falls which are Canadian falls.

The boat goes slowly in front of the American falls and when it gets to the Horseshoe Falls it pauses for several minutes while we took in the experience.  The force of water from the falls on the sides and in front cause the boat to not sit very still which made for an exciting and quite wet experience.  You cannot prepare for when you need the rain coat hood on so it is probably best to wear it all the time. I didn’t and ended up looking like a wet rat.

These first photos are leading up to and seeing the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.

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Looking back at the boat launch.20160711_121445

The amazing American Falls.  They are the majority of his area.  The Bridal Veil Falls are the area on the right after a rock wall separation.  It can be seen better in some of the photos.20160711_12154020160711_12155520160711_12165120160711_12165920160711_12175020160711_12180720160711_121853

After those two falls is a several hundred foot stretch where there are no falls.  Seagulls and other beautiful birds fly around the area and seem to make their home on the water’s edge there!

This photo below shows one of the wooden walkways that you can pay to see the falls closer up on.  Perhaps next week when we return we’ll try that one out!

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I do not think anything can prepare you for the exhilaration of entering the mist near the Horseshoe Falls.  The Maid of the Mist sits in place there for several moments and then turns in place to head back.  I have nothing to compare the experience to! The photos and videos may look like a lot of white but it’s beautiful white when you’re there!

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After turning around we headed back in front of the American and Bridal Veil Falls.20160711_122902 20160711_122834

Here we are pulling up to the boat launch ready to go back up to the top of the Observation Tower and then over the bridge to Canada!

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Next, we went across the Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side and it is as different from the US side as night and day. This video is looking down on the Maid of the Mist turning around from the Canadian side.

We were quite blessed while we were in Canada to get to visit with the Aschliman family.  We first met them three years ago while watching the Callithumpian parade in Decatur, Indiana.  To find out they were also in Niagara Falls when we were was amazing, and we took advantage of this opportunity to visit them in Canada.

While we are in Niagara Falls our son Chip and his family are enjoying time with Mickey in Disneyworld!  More on our visit with the Aschliman family and our visit to Canada in part three which I’ll put together tomorrow!

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07.12.16 Niagara Falls in New York – Part One, the USA side

20160711_110303Tuesday, July 12, 2016 – Monday was one of the most amazing days of our life!  Niagara Falls is the bomb!!!  If it’s not already on your bucket list, it should be!

This experience will be presented in three parts.  1)  Niagara from the USA side, 2) The Maid of the Mist boat tour by the falls and 3) Niagara from the Canadian side.

The two side of Niagara are different and I found a article that explains the differences well.  You can read it by clicking here!  We followed their recommendation at the end for how we saw the falls and it all worked out fine.  There are many different things to see and do and we didn’t do all of it.  We feel 20160711_104521like what we did covered most all of what we really desired to see.

We’ll be in the area until Sunday July 24th so there will be lots of time next week for us to go back and see other things!

We started out at 10:00 am for the hour drive to get us to Niagara Falls.  As we started seeing Canada and Niagara signs I started getting happy!

First, parking can be a challenge.  The lot we chose to try out was full so we drove around a bit and came back.  They had some openings and were able to go in.  Absolutely the perfect parking spot!!!  We were able to return to it a couple of times and unload our loot!

It costs nothing to see Niagara Falls except for the two quarters it costs to return to the USA side.  Doing things other than looking do cost but it is truly amazing that you can see it for no cost.  The parking on the USA side is $10 and on the Canadian side is $20.

20160711_111328After walking through a very attractive state park we entered the Visitors Center which is a multi level building that contains information, a museum and a gift shop.20160711_112828 20160711_113944 20160711_113957When leaving the visitors center this is the first sight we had of the falls.  It is much less crowded on the US side than the Canadian side. 20160711_114420I was totally unaware of the layout of the area and found a map that is helpful.  On top is the United States, on the left is the Rainbow bridge we walked across to Canada and the bottom is Canada.

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Here we go!!!!!  The photos and videos.

20160711_114509 20160711_115019 20160711_115046 20160711_115140The rainbow at the bottom of the falls!  In this photo is also the Maid of the Mist which we rode and I’ll write about next time. 20160711_115201

The view of the falls from the Boardwalk way above the falls.  You can see both the falls on the US side and some of the falls that wrap around the end from USA to Canada.  The mist coming up from there at the end can be seen from miles away and feels like rain when you get anywhere close to that area!20160711_115649 20160711_115652

You can start to see the walkway that leads up the side of the falls.  That is an attraction that you can pay $14 for.  It use to go under the falls but a rockslide and some other damage they found showed it wasn’t safe so now it runs up each side of the US falls.20160711_124029 20160711_124519

One of the Maid of the Mist boats (it looks so tiny here) from up on the Boardwalk.20160711_124623Some of the walking area down right by the bottom of the falls that leads to the walk way up to the top.20160711_124627The Canadian side (a small bit) and the bridge we crossed to get from USA to Canada and back.20160711_124756

The suds and other things created by the falls hitting the river going under the bridge we crossed.  It is all so beautiful, even this.  The water is an amazing bluish green and even lighter on the USA side due to a water fall that empties into the river at that end.20160711_124759The rock walls on the US side.20160711_124803Looking down from the boardwalk to where people are getting their blue rain coats before boarding the Maid of the Mist.  We were one of those folks just a little bit after this!20160711_124836In this picture you see the walking area and the walkway up next to the falls, the falls and the viewing area from the US side.

20160711_124938Across from the parking lot is a large glass building serving as a Welcome Center.  Mostly they sell souvenirs and food.  Not one bite of American food, however.  There was Indian food, Italian food, Mexican food, Chinese food, and more.  Not only was there no American food but it was all horribly overpriced.   One of the things I would have wondered is why Indian food?  Well at least one out of every two visitors to the Falls is Indian.  We’ve found over and over as we’ve traveled that more people from other countries visit these places than our own Americans.  Can’t quite figure that one out. 20160711_131827 20160711_131831Our parking lot To the left is the large glass building you just saw, behind the trees in the back is the US State Park leading to the falls.  Behind us was the Pedestrian walkway to Canada.

At this point in our day we went on the Maid of the Mist and we went to Canada.  So that I can keep everything we did or saw on the US side together here is what we saw and did after visiting Canada when we got back to America.

When you return to America or just go into America there is a turnstile that wants fifty cents.  If you only have dollars you can get change in machines in the same room.20160711_191304

In the middle of the bridge going from country to country is a place showing where the International Boundary Line is located.20160711_192122

This is taken looking towards the automobile border crossing behind me.20160711_192351

We enjoyed a delicious burger at Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls, NY.  Very cool place and we loved the food!20160711_204319

I thought this was cool.  As evening started getting darker the half moon at the top and the mist from the falls at the bottom looked so neat I had to take a photo!20160711_210843These are photos as the sun went down and the colors were turned on at the Falls.

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Some of the Canadian skyline in the evening.20160711_212118

In my next blog post I’ll share our experience on the Maid of the Mist going down the river and pausing for a few minutes in the middle of the horseshoe falls where the mist was the thickest.  We did not get home until almost midnight so you can tell there is a lot more of our experience to share! This is a really good photo I found that shows the horseshoe falls from the air.  Puts it into great perspective.

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