The drive from Cortland to Niagara Falls was less than 3 hours, so we did it all in one hit. This was another time we were grateful for our EZ pass, as a lot of the roads through New York State are toll roads.
This is the view as you drive towards the falls.
We had checked out the restaurant at the falls, and already decided to eat there. We got to the restaurant about 1pm, and it was heaving, so we decided to go for a little wander and get our first look.
Absolutely breathtaking. But our tummies were rumbling. We headed back to the restaurant which had quietened down enough to make our wait for a table only 10 minutes. We were even able to sit outside on the balcony. It took a bit of time for our server to come and take our drinks order, paul and I went with a beer each, our first choice they didn't have, so we both had Bud lites. Oliver and Isaac went with milk, and Seb had an apple juice. The boys drinks came quickly and we ordered our food. Oliver had a pizza, and Isaac and Seb both had grilled cheese sandwiches. Paul and I both went with cheeseburgers. We sat and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the waterfalls. The food came before Paul and I had received our beers!!!! The food was ok, nothing out of this world, but we were hungry.
We finished up and headed back to the Falls.
Everything we did here is within Niagara Falls state park, Americas oldest national park. It cost us $10 to park, not too bad.
There is a trolley that runs between the areas in the park, though we chose not to use it.
Our first stop was Cave of the Winds. The queue was not too long. It cost $11 each for paul and I, $8 for Oliver, and Seb and Isaac were free (we discovered that kids under 6 are free in a lot of place). We entered a building to collect our sandals and ponchos, modeled beautifully by the boys.
We went and joined the queue for the elevator, again not to bad, dumping the buggy on the way. We went down about 10 stories in an elevator, the headed down a tunnel to the bottom of the falls. First thing that struck me was the smell of the seagulls. There are tones of them, and it is nesting season, so there wer young everywhere. Yuck!!! We got our ponchos on, and Isaac stated freaking out that he didn't want to do it. We managed to persuade him.
As you can see, Cave of the Winds is a wooden walkway around the bottom of the falls. You get wet, hence the shoes and poncho. The water is cold. I was exceptionally grateful it was a stupidly hot day. Isaac freaked a bit more, bu he did enjoy it.
It was very loud and the spray from the falls certainly helped cool us down. Other than the seagulls this was amazing. We joined the queue to go back up in the elevator. We discovered from the guide running the elevator that the tunnel and elevator shaft was carved by hand. We also found out that the water company restrict the flow of water over the falls to 60%!!! I can't imagine how loud it would be if it was anymore. It would probably wash away the wooden structure.
From Cave of the Winds we took a 20 minute walk to where Maid of the Mist was. The park was a bit busier now, as this is the area the Discovery Centre and Aquarium are. We purchased our tickets, and headed down the elevator towards the boat. Again we did not have to wait very long to get on the boat, probably about 15 minutes. The Maid of the Mist boats have been running for over 100 years.
The boat was fairly empty, and we got a good spot at the top. We first travelled past the falls we had walked around. So epic to see them from the base.
We then headed down to horshoe falls, you can see people by the top of them in the photo below. That's were we started our day.
When you get to the middle of horse shoe falls it is amazing. There is just walls of falling water all around you. You get soaked from the spray, and the noise is incredible.
We sat at the base of the falls for probably about 10 minutes, so amazing. The whole trip took about 25 minutes in total, well worth the 40 odd bucks it cost. We got back to the top of the falls and got the boys some ice cream. It was really hot!!!
We headed back to the car, ready to go to Buffalo to our hotel. I wanted to try and find the place in town where Buffalo wings were invented, but we were all pretty tired, and Buffalo is not the nicest looking city.
We got to the Staybridge Suites about 6.30, to discover they were doing a nacho and potato skins complimentary buffet. We quickly chucked our stuff in the room and went back to reception. Staybridge do this a lot mid week. The boys munched out on nachos and salad (only Oliver and me on that one). A perfect snacky dinner that I had to do very little about. They even had complimentary drinks, which made the boys happy, and complimentary beer which made Paul and I ecstatic! We kicked around reception till about 8pm, then went upstairs and got our swim gear on.
The boys love hot tubs...
And they had a great time playing in the pool, the perfect thing to tire them out.
We had a double room here, so Oliver and Isaac took one bed, Paul and I the other, and Seb had a crib. As the boys get older, Paul and I are going to spend a lot of time sleeping on sleeper sofas!!!
The swimming had really tired the boys out, and Oliver didn't wake till 8.30.
We went down for our complimentary breakfast, which the boys really enjoyed, and packed up the car ready for our next destination.