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Upstate NY Research Trip Day 3

Today was an absolutely bonkers day.

It started out normal. Got up, ate breakfast, showered, etc. Then I went to Niagara Falls State Park to see the Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian-side falls).

It was amazing, but mostly just loud, cold, and wet.

There were tons of seagulls all around. This little fella was working hard at building his (or her) family a nest.

While still on Goat Island, I walked to the other side to see the American Falls in the daytime. On my way, I saw this duck, who I wish was my spirit animal. Surrounded by rapids, headed right for a huge waterfall, he is just chilling on this little rock.

Of course, I stopped and paid homage at the Nikola Tesla statue. Dude got utterly screwed by history, even though we all benefit from his inventions on the daily (not that he was perfect). It's not a secret that Thomas Edison is one of my most hated historical figures. Who freaking electrocutes an elephant and becomes an American hero, you sick freak?!

Even though the American Falls are smaller, I actually like them better. I could just look over and watch them without being worried about getting soaked from mist. Maybe I'm high-maintenance, but when you forget your glasses-cleaning cloth in the car, it's a real concern.

On this side of the American Falls, I was able to see Bridal Veil Falls. I wanted so bad to reach out and touch it. But I didn't because I'm a good little tourist...more on that later.

I also got some really nice views of the American Falls from the Goat Island side.

And this is when my day took a turn for the crazy. It started with another entry in "The Adventures of Being Blind."

Goat Island, where the state park is, isn't just home to places to view the falls. It also has some very nice walking trails. Upon exiting this nice little path through the woods, just when the sun started to peek out for the first time today, I thought I saw a whole group of geese. Not unusual; there were geese all over the place. Since they were all in a group, I thought perhaps this was were they were nesting. And even if it wasn't, who wants to take on a horde of geese? I'm not that brave. As I walked around them, glancing over to make sure I wasn't going to become goose-feed, I realized that they weren't geese at all, but picnic tables...*facepalm* Jeez...this is what I get for relying too heavily on my poor sight. But better safe than sorry!

After I'd had my fill of the falls, we decided to head over to a few shops that sounded intriguing. And I was so glad I did! I went to this place called Strange Brew ("Take off, you hoser!").

The lady who ran the shop, Onyx, was an absolute gem (¬‿¬) Seriously though, she was awesome. Not only did she show interest that I was in the area doing research for my gothic novel, she even gave me a hot tip of an aesthetic building to help with my research (among tons of other awesome local places to check out). She also sold me my new buddy (Hugo) at a very reasonable price. Here he is, all buckled in for safe travels back to Wisconsin.

Isn't he a cutie?

At Onyx's suggestion, we went to the Richardson Olmsted Complex, home of what used to be the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, which opened in 1880. I'm not going to go into how the state-of-the-art medical facility slipped into the horrific practices of so many of the time. It closed in 1974. And in 2017 it opened as Hotel Henry, which closed in 2021. It seems another hotel will open in June 2022 according to The Buffalo News. You couldn't pay me to stay there. But the tip was good, and I could potentially use some of what I saw in my story.

I'm not sure if I was allowed to be skulking around the grounds, but I'm almost positive I wasn't supposed to be inside, climbing up that creepy spiral staircase. Maybe I'm not such a good little tourist after all...It was for research! Okay?

If that was the worst we did today, perhaps it wouldn't have been so crazy. But we weren't quite done yet. How does one accidentally end up going to a foreign country? I have no idea. I was just the passenger as my husband (John) is shouting how he took a wrong turn and was heading right over the Peace Bridge to Canada.

Unfortunately, once you are on the Peace Bridge, you must go all the way. But do you really? John didn't seem to think so. I don't know if he was allowed to make that U-turn before we made it to Canadian customs or not. Perhaps he didn't want to explain to the Canadians that he's just an idiot American who doesn't know how to follow signs (his words not mine). Perhaps his heart's desire to go to Canada even for a few seconds drove him to it. Who can say?

All I know is, the American customs agent was not at all amused or pleased when he was told of the mistake, if indeed it was a mistake.

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    D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

    Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

    Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).

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