Roadtripping on the fly
2 Days to Drive!
When was the last time you had 2 free days, and spontaneously went on a
road trip to a place you’ve always wanted to see or visit?
We did just that this summer. My 19 year old son has finally decided to get his MD driver’s license, which entails 60 hours of on the road practice with your driving coach(that’s me), apart from the driver school’s mere 6.
But Where to?
I got excited because that means our biggest dilemma was the sheer amount of choices of places we haven’t been to together yet. At
first I thought of Maine and New Hampshire, but with only 2 free days to work with, we would be going and literally turning right around, leaving no room for exploring. So I found a couple of choices that were between 8 and 10 hours one way, instead.
My son chose Niagara Falls, the Canadian side. I usually like to go the
scenic route avoiding tolls, and hitting numerous old towns along the
way. We left way after morning traffic, and before afternoon rush
hour getting us to the New York State park, which is the ideal
cheaper or free side to park. Then we walked through the park to
rainbow bridge, that connects the US and Canada.
across the bridge is a fairly quick process on foot, unless of course
you are my son and I and taking photos and film footage the entire
way across. Going through customs was on the Canadian side was fairly
uneventful, and we breezed through. The sun went down and we could
enjoy a few hours of neon light goodness, and the beautiful falls
under the colors of the ever-changing spotlights. The park area
seemed to be under construction, though there was a really nice part
which was close to the water, though high above it.
grabbed some food at the Hard Rock Cafe, and hit a Starbucks to get
change out of an ATM, we had no cash, and needed a dollar each to
return to the USA, when we left. Eventually I convinced myself to get
$20 Canadian out of an ATM which charged $6 per transaction!!! I can
now sing the praises of USAA, because I got the money back! I then
bought a $4 package of ginger chews, at the gift shop to get the
proper change for our return There is a turnstall that needs money
fed to it, in order to leave the Canadian side of the falls.
to the United States was equally easy breezy, we just showed our
passports, got asked if we bought anything of significance, and I
guess ginger chews aren’t so he let us through. We trekked back
across to the park catching a few night pics and footage, on our way
to the car. The car was as we left it and we decided to head to
somewhere cool in Upstate New York that was more natural.
took to the driving for the 3 hours we needed to get somewhere, and
decided to grab some gas, and I also needed a bathroom. Alas, the gas
station had no public bathrooms and the attendant sent me to this
towns only other open facility which had a bathroom; a hospital. We
took care of business, and it was well after 1am, and I thought the
parking lot was the perfect place to get some sleep, instead of
looking for a hotel at this time of night. After a solid 6 hours of
sleep, we went to Watkins Glen State Park.
a gem! I had no idea such a place existed. It is absolutely
stunningly well thought out. Nature is given such an extensively
beautiful framework within this park. You
can read more about the history of its harmony here:
spent about 4 hours meandering, climbing, as
image collecting, and were among
first to arrive in the park. The park attendants were not available
to take our $8 which is the parking fee, unless you have an Empire
Parks Annual Pass. Here’s info for getting yours, here:
The best part was that we were able to take some stunning photos,
without interruptions. It was also slightly drizzly so that may have
staved off the crowds as well. Later as we were leaving around 1pm,
it was quite full and perhaps less charming as it was just
before, when we were willingly lost in the gorge-ous arms of nature.
happily paid the $8 on the way out.
would only be a 6-8 hour drive home from this park accounting
for traffic and the new driver cautiousness,
which after we found some food, my son executed well. We
arrived home safe and sound around 11pm.
you taken spontaneous trips like this without really planning all the
details out? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments
below. Also, if you’ve never done a trip like this, would you do so
now? If not, why not? Thanks for coming back and hearing more about
our adventures in travel and art.
Love and Peace, Lorina The Art Smart Lady