The Places I’ve Been: Gettysburg & Niagara Falls

After leaving DC and before heading to Niagara Falls, Jordan and I made a small stop at Gettysburg. He really wanted to see the battlegrounds and was on a huge history kick, especially after spending so much time in DC. From the time we’d left Texas to then I’d never felt so steeped in history, it was really amazing. I love Seattle and know the rich and dynamic history it has. But this city is so technological, it has a very looking toward the future feeling that the history gets gravely overlooked, except by tourists who go on the Underground Tour.

So we left for Gettysburg around 8:30am. We stopped at the visitors center to get a map, and a magnet of course. Have I mentioned yet that we are collectors of magnets? Every time we go on a trip we always try to come back with a magnet from that place. We got quite a few on this trip.

After paying for our magnet and looking over a few displays at the packed visitors center we got back in the car to follow the route for the auto tour. We only did part of the auto tour. The full tour can take between two to three hours depending on how often you stop to read plaques. We drove through several battlefields and stopped at a few landmarks.

We drove into the little town of Gettysburg and had lunch at a restaurant called The Avenue.  This place was delicious! I would highly recommend it to anyone in the Gettysburg area. There are tons of food choices, it’s a little small, but that adds to the ambiance. The staff is really nice and very helpful. I had some yummy sweet potato fries, for the first time ever, and Jordan tried corn fritters.

After lunch we climbed back into the car and drove to Niagara Falls. This is when our trip became international! We arrived on the Canadian side of the falls around 7pm. After checking in to our hotel and resting for a bit we got back in the car and drove down to see the falls lit up at night.  It was pretty, but difficult to see from the car. We would have parked and walked, but parking was really hard to come by and we weren’t willing to pay for parking for a quick glance at the falls.

The next day was going to be our big falls day. We had breakfast at The Continental Pancake House. The pancakes were delicious and we were two of the first people there, so the service was awesome.

After breakfast we headed to the falls.  They were really breathtaking. I had no idea what to expect. I’d never really seen them before, except once in a movie, but it was only the briefest of glimpses.  They’re huge and beautiful! It was such an amazing feat of nature. Our plan was to ride the Maid of the Mist tour, but once we got there we saw all the boats out of the water, which had huge chunks of ice floating in it. It seemed they were closed for the season, as were many of the walkways. So we didn’t get to see the falls up close and personal. But we still had a really nice day.

We walked for a long while admiring the falls and did some souvenir shopping. Jordan had learned about ice wine which we’d never heard of before. That part of Canada specializes in ice wines, so we went in search of that as well.

We found it at Pillitteri Estates Winery. It was cute place with wine everywhere! Seriously, there were huge floor to ceiling shelves full of wine. I’d love to go back and do a whole wine tour through that area; we passed at least five other wineries before arriving at Pillitteri Estates. We purchased a couple bottles of ice wine and then started to make our way back into the states.

Our goal for the day was to make it to Kalamazoo, mostly because we liked the name and wanted to stay there. We went to bed that night with the news warning us of snow coming our way.

So our trip is nearing an end. There are two more places I have to tell you all about. They will probably be combined into one blog post, since they are more like stops along the way rather than big time destinations like New Orleans, or Washington DC. After that I’ll probably have a son, which should open the door for a whole new set of topics.


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