So, after our wedding Les and I decided we needed to get away for a little while. We have a longer trip planed, but after all of the stress and last minute running around we thought a break would be nice. Not really wanting to deal with too much travel and airports, etc, we decided to take a road trip. We love road trips. I have driven all around the country, cross country 4 times or so, up and down the east coast countless times, on endless back roads and droning interstates. My ideal of a road trip includes very little in the way of planning. Just pick a general direction or a specific town and start heading that way. Adjust as you go. See a small sign that says ‘pick your own blueberries’ with an arrow, well, just follow that arrow. I try to stay off the interstates. We eat at BBQ joints and other small independent restaurants. We stop at parks and of course, shops. So, on Sunday after the wedding, we decided to head up towards Erie, PA and from there wherever the road took us. What’s in Erie? Well my friend Chris Millette is there. He is the DOP for the Erie TImes. Les had never been to that part of the country and, really, why not? We stopped in WV the first night and drove slow the next day to Erie. It was great to visit with Chris and his awesome wife Kim and their ‘way to smart for his age’ son, Grayson. Chris was a great tour guide and drove us all around an awesome park called Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie. It is a jewel of a park and I wish we could have had more time to explore and fish it. The next morning found us exploring Erie a little and then heading East along the lake. We decided to stop in Buffalo, NY where we got to hang out with another great friend Charles Lewis! I had not seen Charlie ( or Chris ) in many years. We used to work together at the Patriot News back in the mid 90′s. Charlie is now a staff photographer at the Buffalo News. A quick visit at his house with his wife Laura and seeing the boys who are so grown up and very cool kids and off we went to have what it is you have to eat when you visit Buffalo. Wings! Les and I had a dilemma with where to go. The Anchor Inn is, of course, considered the birthplace of wings, but I think it is a bit too touristy. Charlie had his favorite place and it was at the top of many lists, so we went to Duff’s. They did not disappoint. The only down side was the hour wait. But with cold Labatt’s on tap I was ok with it. After dinner we said our good byes and sat in the car looking at the map at which way to head. We decided that it would be a travesty if we did not go check out Niagara Falls on our honeymoon since we were literally, right down the road. So off we went. We thought we would walk in take a look and then leave, Kinda like when Clark Griswald visits the Grand Canyon! But we had a blast walking around for a few hours and watching the water, all that water, just flowing and flowing, never stopping….. I took quite a few photos, nothing new of the falls I suspect, but they were fun to take. Since this was becoming the Great Lakes tour, we decided to drive along Lake Ontario. It was a great drive, right along the Lake shore. We stopped at farms, farmer stands and stopped to pick blueberries, which we ate for the next 3 days! We hit Rochester NY and met up with another friend Guy Salimano. We met Guy at a restaurant that he recommended and it turned out to be the best meal of the whole trip. Good Luck Restaurant. It is the kind of place I could go all the time. There is nothing like it here in Charlotte. Awesome food served sort of family style, everything is just really big and meant to be split or shared. The cocktails were excellent and the design and decor were all top notch. The next day we stopped at my alma mater, RIT. It was between quarters and the campus was nearly empty, but we got to walk thru the photo school. Most of it looks the same, lots of the same professors, same ‘cage’ and chem mix, same gallery space. I didn’t get to check out the old darkrooms as they were all locked so I don’t know if they are still in operation. After the ‘way back tour’, we continued along the lake, stopping in Sodus Point and buying too much pottery! We then visited on of my favorite places, Chimney Bluffs. I used to visit here when I was in school and I took many awesome nature/landscape shots here. Back then, it wasn’t a park, it was just a cool area. I would drive my old primered truck right up the hill and park and just explore until it was way too dark. The roads to get there were all two lane back roads, now there are four lane divided highways, the whole area is a state park with all kinds of rules. At least the Bluffs still look super cool! From there we headed south towards Ithaca where we had a disaster of a meal and couldn’t find a hotel. Seriously. Even the ‘no tell motel’ was all booked. We had to drive to Binghamton to get a room. I HATE Binghamton. Just always thought it was an awful place. But we got a room and Les found an incredible breakfast spot out side of town that was on an apple orchard with a petting zoo! We then headed south driving thru little towns, stopping at antique shops, stopped for dinner in Harrisburg, drove by the old house. The last night out we stayed in Shenandoah National Park and drove along Skyline Drive. Then it was all interstate back to Charlotte and the dogs! I took some photos, nothing earth shattering, but a few nice pix. Some folks have been bugging me to show them so here they are!
Chris took this of all of us as we walked on the beach. Grayson thinks the Purple Martins are ‘hideous’.
We are at Niagara Falls.
Is that bucket filled yet? Pick some berries!
Good Luck Restaurant. These two are just a couple of quick grab shots from our table.
Chimney Bluffs State Park, NY
How do I get hair like this!
On Skyline Drive, near dark, Just a quick shot thru the windshield as she walked after her mother.
Not the greatest fawn shot ever, but who doesn’t like looking at a baby deer?