Still driving, we get to Erie, Pennsylvania and decide we may as well keep on to Buffalo, New York and then while we’re at it, Niagara Falls is only 27 more miles up north. So, I booked us a room in the somewhat swanky Moonlite Motel (classy name) whose outdoor pool is in the MIDDLE of the parking lot. I love it. The sun was setting and I wanted to get some pictures at Niagara Falls so Dad and I headed to the waterfront and thanks to my excellent navigation skills we ended up in the parking lot of a Duty Free Store. Hmm, how do we get out? As there are one way road spikes at the only gate in to the parking lot. Dad doesn’t have a passport, this makes things difficult. We ask the lady inside what to do and she informs us we must go to Canada and have no other choice, but we can park at their store for free. Excellent.
We leave the car at the DFS and walk over to Niagara Falls Park and right up to the water. Beautiful! Dad and I walked around for a while, took lots of pictures and had lots of great conversation. Made fun of tourists and talked about how we thought the falls themselves might have been taller and how soaking wet you would be if you wanted to pay an arm and a leg to stand almost under the falls themselves. Now the real adventure begins; our journey into Canada. We went back and began the trek through customs across Rainbow Bridge into Canada. It is interesting to inform a Canadian you in no way wanted to enter their country, more interesting is explaining to an American why you went to Canada without REALLY going to Canada.
Dad, not having a passport, was illegally on Canadian soil (sort of). See, nobody is trying to blow up Canada so they don’t require you to have a passport to come in. Getting back in the America was the problem. We had to do paperwork (I must say there are some very decent looking Canadian Border Patrol officers) and when we returned to the U.S. side even had to step out of the car and go inside and blah blah blah. We were cleared and sent along, phew!
This is a picture of how Dad feels about running from the law! We chose Denny’s as the most inconspicuous hideout option.
Now it’s about 11:00 P.M., good thing Niagara Falls doesn’t shut down at 7 o’clock like Maquoketa and we were able to grab a bite to eat at Denny’s. My buffalo chicken sandwich was tasty and Dad had his THIRD country-fried steak of the trip and of the day for that matter. Our waitress, a fairly frumpy middle-aged woman who seemed mildly disgruntled finally came back to ask how our food was when it was almost gone. “Somebody else’s is better.” Dad replies in reference to his first country-fried steak at Savory. HA! Just kidding, even Dad isn’t that blunt. He did make that comment after she left though. Oh, Dad. You’re so silly.
We enjoyed a nice evening at the Moonlite and even slept in just a little bit. We’ve begun our trek today across the state of New York. Stopped for breakfast at Cracker Barrel, an old favorite, and I had biscuits and gravy and guess what Dad had? His FOURTH county-fried steak of the trip, which he made sure to make known was MUCH BETTER than the one he had at Denny’s. Since we had a huge-o breakfast we decided to get somthing small from a travel plaza McDonald’s. I hadn’t had a Big Mac in a really long time, but I offically quit McD. The Big Mac was not even good, the patties were half the size of the bun and the Mac sauce was terrible. My favorite McD feature gone, I also had one of their frappes, also not delicious. Massachusetts was the worst possible drive ever. Traffic was backed up like crazy for no apparent reason it took us 2 ½ hours to go 63 miles. Is it bad that Dad and I were cut off by a train of three cars who kept zipping in and out of the lanes, shortly thereafter we saw the one who was bringing up the rear on the side of the road SMASHED and we said serves you right? It was nasty driving. We spent approximately 10 minutes driving through New Hampshire and then FINALLY we arrived in Maine. Portland is large so we decided to skip around it and ended up in Brunswick. We are trying to spend conservatively seeing as gas is expensive, food is expensive and we’ve spent over $40 on tolls on the way here.
We’re staying at the Rodeway Inn. Yes, $75 a night but way worse than the $60 Moonlite. Moldy shower curtains, t.v. with a blue hue, stained sheets… and more. I wouldn’t recommend it. Apparently, like Maquoketa, Brunswick closes at 8 (even on a Friday) and the restaurants who don’t, charge $17 for a chicken breast. No thanks, we ended up at the ever over-priced Applebees and had terrible service. Yesterday was MUCH MORE successful than today. Lucky for us, Union is only a mere hour or so away for tomorrow. 2 countries, 10 states oofta!