The Tallest Man in the World

Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
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Trip End Aug 12, 2008


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Where I stayed
Niagara's Campground and Lodging

Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, August 9, 2008

After bidding our hostess farewell and returning her tools and buckets, we hopped onto I-90 better known as the New York State Toll Way.  Though we were glad to be on a large 5 lane highway to make some time, we weren't looking forward to the toll at the end of the road.  After the toll we paid leaving New York who knew what was in store for us this time. The drive to Niagara Falls was going to be a long day of traveling again, but Rusty was bound and determined to get us home as fast as possible. 
 
When we approached the exit for Niagara Falls, Ellen was a little delayed in letting Clark know he needed to get onto another highway so she "winged" and decided she would find another route.  There appeared to be a state highway that cut through Buffalo up to Niagara and that was the route she decided to take them on.  Two minutes later on US highway 62 or better known as Bailey Avenue to the residents of Buffalo, Clark decided this was not going to be the way they were going to get there.  It appeared to be a main drag through the middle of downtown Buffalo, so we decided to turn around.  We took the next right which brought us into a typical neighborhood in downtown Buffalo, NY.  Once again, you would have thought a space ship had landed.  The droves of people that came out of their homes and stood in awe of the Griswald's motor home driving down their street were quiet impressive.  So even though we took a 30 minute detour, we were glad we had the chance to see a small part of Buffalo and gave the good people there something to talk about for the day. 
 
We checked into the Niagara Falls Campground for 2 nights much to Rusty's chagrin.  Ellen had always wanted to see Niagara Falls and there they were.  She wasn't about to stay for 1 short night.  Rusty was lucky she didn't book it for 3 nights.  Anyway, right next door to the office was a small travel and tours office.  Ellen went in and booked them for as many tours they could see the following day.   
 
The kids were anxious to get into the pool.  That was fine with Clark and Ellen as the long travel day made for restless kids.  We made a couple of cocktails and walked over to the pool to watch the kids swim.  Did we tell you that the temperature hadn't changed at all from when we left Maine?  It still was a cool 65 degrees.  No, the pool wasn't heated, so 10 minutes later we were on to the next event.  We decided to get ready to go find some Buffalo Chicken wings and then go see sights at the Falls. 
 
The Original Honey's was located only a couple miles down the road and was a locals favorite and had the best Buffalo Wings in Niagara.  Even though it took a little longer than we were used to getting our food, it was worth the wait.  They Make all their food to order including their famous wings and not only are they good eats they are cheap eats!  We choose a variety for 4 different kinds and were pleased with all of them.  Raspberry BBQ was everyone's favorite and the original a close second.  We decided to pass on the "Suicide" as these wings were already known to be hotter than most.
 
One of the things we were recommended to do is park the car at Howard Johnson's Hotel and walk across Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side of the falls.  First, impression to the adult Griswalds was that Niagara Falls had definitely seen better days.  The first things we saw from days gone by but still operational was something that Audrey was thrilled to see there.  Twist 'O the Mist.  It was an ice cream stand in the shape of an ice cream cone that had 56 flavors plus soft serve.  Audrey tried, but we couldn't think of eating ice cream after eating all those wings!  Then we saw a fabulous buffalo statue with wings.  The kids wanted to take him for a spin, but we had plans across the bridge.  As we approached Rainbow Bridge, the bridge that you cross over the river either by foot or car to go to the Canadian side, we realized that all the action was on the other side.  It was a nice walk as we were able to take our time and take the scenery in and shoot photos of the falls.  Had we driven across, we would be in a traffic jam due to customs and not able to see the sights.  At the pedestrian customs, they were having trouble with someone who did not have the proper documentation and they would not let them in the country, but the Griswald family passed without an issue.
 
First things first....A key chain!  There was no problem finding a souvenir shop or any other kind of shop or restaurant you needed.  This place was happening and full of tourists!  Mostly, American tourists.  We were all spending our money over on the Canadian side because there wasn't anywhere to spend it on the American side.  We turned the corner onto Clifton Hill and it was like we entered a theme park and an expensive one at that.  They had a World Guinness Records Gallery, Rides, Theaters, Play Lands, Arcades, Miniature Golf, Ripley's Believe It or Not......a kids dream of fun seeking thrills and a parents financial nightmare!  We walked by the Guinness Records where we took a couple snaps of the world's tallest man, 8'11.1" and the heaviest man, etc.  The kids were enjoying themselves again.  It was definitely thinking about raining, so we decided we would go into a theater.  We Choose Ripley's Believe It or Not 4D Moving Theatre.  We experienced the thrill of Ripley's Moving Theatre, the only movie of its kind, where we actually moved with the picture.  We felt every bump, dip and turn. We were thrust into the picture where we experienced the special wind, snow and mist effects. It was fun for the whole family!  
 
Our $80 Ripley's umbrella was only good for about 40 minutes, but long enough for the rain to subside.  Clark and Ellen were ready to run away screaming for help when the kids said they were tired and were ready to head back home.  So off to Rainbow Bridge again where we had to pay to get back into our own country.  What?  Yes, $.50 per person to cross the border.  Oh, by the way....one needs American quarters and the change machine wasn't working.  Ellen dug deep into the bowels of her purse and found just enough for the Griswalds to go back home.
 
Audrey decided to splurge at the Twist O Mist and she bought herself a double Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream.  Her two favorite desserts in one.  She was in ice cream Heaven!
 
On the drive home, Clark and Ellen were disheartened by numerous vacant factories and plants they saw along the way.  It really was quiet the statement after seeing the Canadian side hustling and bustling and abundantly prospering. This area was incredibly depressed and we couldn't of the 12 million visitors and what their impression of the United States must be. 
 
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