Memorial Day Weekend
May 29 - 31, 2010
Adventure 45 – Back to the Falls 2010
by Linda Thompson
Seven Bad Pennies all met at the Buffalo Airport for a fun packed Memorial Weekend walking in and around Niagara Falls. Our first walk was Youngstown, NY where we were met representatives of the two local clubs. The walk was mostly around the Old Fort Niagara State Park providing fabulous view of both Fort George and Fort Niagara. In July, 1759 2,300 British and New York troops, along with 900 Iroquois allies, defeated the French at Fort Niagara.
Our hotel, the Comfort Inn on Clifton Hill, was the start point for our 15K walk in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Meandering alongside the Falls, we could see tourist standing in line for the Maid of the Mist, or Cave of the Winds – a series of boardwalks and stairways at the base of Bridal Veil falls on the American side. As we reached Dufferin Island Park, most of us never found the where we were supposed to go. However, we did have great views of the Niagara River and enjoyed the hydrangea displays in the greenhouse.
Retracing our step to Rainbow Bridge, we paid the pedestrian toll of 50 cents to walk to the U.S. side of Niagara Falls. After going through customs and crossing the Pedestrian Bridge to Goat Island, we encountered fabulous view of Horseshoe Falls from Terrapin Point. At this point, the Bad Pennies were pretty much scattered about enjoying every aspect of the walk and falls.
On Saturday evening, the Bad Pennies regrouped for a Las Vegas Style Magical Review dinner show with majestic tigers and professional dancers. We all enjoyed the dinner buffet consisting of several main courses and salads with dessert. The magician, Greg Frewin mystified us with the art of illusion performing numerous magic tricks with live a live tiger and lion.
Ever wonder how the New York and Canadian sides of the Niagara Falls differ? Both Canada’s Horseshoe Falls and the smaller American Falls including Bridal Veil Falls create mist. Both falls drop the Niagara River approximately 170 feet tumbling over boulders and rocks to a peaceful calm below. There is a saying on the Canadian side you see the falls, on the U.S. side, you can feel them. Unless of course, you were adventurous like myself and rode the Maid of the Mist to the foot of the Horseshoe Falls. Donned with a blue poncho and camera in hand, I relived the same thrill of the Falls that I remembered 40 years earlier. Feeling like a wet duck, I saw spectacular rainbows and felt the power behind the rush of water riding into a blinding mist.
Usually, people come to Niagara Falls to get married, honeymoon, or celebrate an anniversary. The Bad Pennies celebrated Matt’s 65th Birthday with song and cake. We also discussed future Adventures and drew a name for the "Badest Penny" -- Betty Canoles from Chester, Virginia. Congratulations, Matt and Betty!
Later in the evening, all the Bad Pennies walked down to the Falls to hear an awesome rock band, watch colorful lights flickering on the falling water, and wait for the fireworks to begin. Tourist meandered up and down the sidewalks searching for the perfect advantage point to watch the lights and fireworks.
After the fireworks display, the pennies scattered to Casinos, the Sky Wheel, and back to the hotel. Dianne and myself decided to ride the 175ft high Sky Wheel to see the town and falls from heaven. Needless to say, we were scared to death. After about the third revolution of the sky wheel, Dianne wanted to go again. I wanted OFF!
[Gatehouse to Cambria Castle] Gatehouse to Cambria Castle
s we bid auvoir to Niagara Falls, the Bad Pennies headed for Buffalo for our next walk. Buffalo is a city of numerous old Churches, architecture with buffalo heads, light rail, and a great view of Lake Erie. Since it was Memorial Day, soldiers were honoring their fallen comrades and friends at the War Memorial. The Naval Park included a submarine, the U.S.S. Little Rock, and various memorial s to those who served in the Armed Forces.
Monday afternoon found us at the DiCamillo’s Bakery with members of the host club, Niagara Frontier Volkssport Club. Leading us out on the LeHIgh Memory Trail, we passed the restored Williamsville Railroad Station.
We were fortunate enough to see a glimpse of the local Memorial Day parade with bagpipes and bands. In addition, we walked by the Cambria Castle on Dream Island. Ignatz Oechsner was a mason who once lived in (Ochenfurt?) Germany. When he came here, he decided to build a castle which he started in 1917. The castle was built on a one acre island in Ellicott Creek called Dream Island. The castle was built of fossil rock brought in from Holland, New York. Mr. Oechsner worked on the castle for 25 years, but did not have it finished by the time he died in 1942 (1943?). Included in the project were a main building, gatehouse, tower, dungeon, and a coach house.
Gatehouse to Cambria Castle
After the castle, we encountered Glen Falls and an old mill. Not only was the falls beautiful, but it was my last waterfall for the Waterfall Program! At the end of the walk, the NY clubs treated us to watermelon, orange slices, and cookies. The Bad Pennies were grateful for the camaraderie and goodies provided by the local clubs.
[by Joyce Backus]
After completing the walk, we headed back to the airport to say farewell to our new friends and wait for our next Bad Pennies Adventure.
The trip to Niagara Falls was really great. We had a group of seven very compatible people.
First we set out and did a 10k walk in Youngstown. And on to the Canadian Border and Niagara Falls. Matt had arranged for us to have 2 nights at a Comfort Inn. It met all our needs and was very comfortable. He also had arranged for us to see a dinner show with a Magician.. This was an excellent show and the dinner was great.
We got up the next day (and each day) with breakfast at the hotel. Then a 15k walk that took us through parts of Niagara Falls and across the bridge into the US. Let me say at this point that on most of our walks members of the clubs where we were walking met up with us and pointed out places and things that we would not have even thought to ask about. I really did appreciate that. That night they had a big band playing and lights of different colors high-lighting the Falls. GREAT!!1 Children danced (crazily) in the park and mist blew off the falls, ruining our hair. What a night.
On Monday we left Niagara Falls and did a 10k in Buffalo and then met some of the other club members at a bakery that was fantastic for a little lunch and another walk. Some of our gang did the 10k and some of us opted for the 5k. I admit by this time my poor feet hurt and I did the 5k. Our "leader" showed us things that were on the path and took us off to see more.
It was hot and humid...but I would not have missed it. Thanks Matt
[Hotel exterior] Hotel exterior
About Greg Frewin
Greg Frewin has appeared in Japan, Chile, Columbia, Venezuela and all over Europe. A command performance for Prince Rainier in Monte Carlo along with over 35 TV appearances world wide attest to this mans notoriety. Greg is recognized by his peers all over the world as "The International Grand Champion of Magic".
Greg Frewin won first place at the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) competition of professional magicians. Not only did Greg win first place but was honored by being presented The Gold Medal of Excellence which had only been presented 4 times in the Associations 65 year history. Greg went on to win First Place at the Society of American Magicians (SAM) annual magic convention competition. To top it all off, Greg won first place at FISM, the Olympics of magic which were held in Yokahama Japan. Greg Frewin has won every major award in the world of Magic.
The only magician ever in the World to have won the triple crown in magic, Greg was honored by the Canadian Association of Magicians with the first ever Magician of the year award. Greg Frewin has gone on to appear on stages all over the world including Caesars Palace, Tropicana and Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, Showboat in Atlantic City, Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, Bahamas, the fabulous Genting Resort in Malaysia, Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia.