Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 5 ~ Niagara, ON to Auburn, NY

So far we've put 938 miles on the car.

Today is our last day in Niagara Falls. Should we go down and see it again? We decided against it with all the people and traffic. After another chatty breakfast we packed up and headed out. WE still had our pass to the butterfly conservatory. We weren’t that interested, but we’d already paid for it and we’d get there just as it opened so we decided to stop. It was FANTASTIC! Herds and herds (what do butterflies travel in?) of gorgeous multicolored butterflies of all sizes. Blue, green, hot pink, orange, yellow. Gorgeous! We spent probably an hour and I shot tons of pictures. Since it was early it wasn’t that hot, either.

Our entry back into the states was as simple as our entry into Canada. It was kind of disappointing. I was hoping for more stringent security. So far on this trip there hasn’t been any security of any sort. No x-ray machines, no purse searches. Nothing. Not at all like when we were in D.C. or Chicago.

We made our thru downtown Buffalo, NY. We bought this National Park Service passport so we were working on another stamp. We stopped at a tiny but nice museum in the house where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated after McKinley was assassinated. You can tell it’s run by volunteers and that it’s in the beginning stages of museum-hood, but it was nice.

It was back in the car to go to a Frank Lloyd Wright home on Lake Erie. It was designed for the Martins who also have a house in Buffalo (closed on Tuesday) so we were only visiting their ‘country’ home, Graycliffe. The drive along the lake was grim, but very pretty once we go out of the former industrial zones. The house is open by tour only and we were early. We decided to drive around and find somewhere to each lunch. We drove and drove and drove. Evidently you eat at home in these parts. We crossed a double railroad crossing. We got to the no man’s land in between the two crossings when the lights flashed on and the bars dropped. TRAPPED! We decided to raid the cooler and make some sandwiches. Disappointing, but cheap.

Graycliffe is on a spectacular piece of land towering above Lake Erie. Wright designed it so one line of the drive is on the summer solstice line while in the other direction, on a clear day, the mists of Niagara falls is visible. The property is currently being restored. It’s in pretty sad shape really. In the 1930’s it was sold to some Hungarian Priests and was only reacquired in the late 1990’s. We had the doozy of all long-winded docents on this tour. The 75 minute tour took almost 2 excruciating hours. I’m really all for the self guided tour!

Hot, and tired we climbed back into the car. We were still almost as far away from Auburn as when we left Niagara Falls. Driving into the Finger Lakes region was very pretty. The last of the Mohicans was starting to pick up speed so it wasn’t a bad drive. Our Super8 was a block from the prison. It was nasty. Kurt says he hopes to never stay in another Super8 again. I found us a different hotel for the next night.

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