2022 · USA · New York · Special Events · My Travel Journal · Wedding

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part II): Paul’s & Jackie’s Wedding

💍 Paul & Jackie ~ September 10, 2022 💍

Paul and Jackie had a beautiful wedding last week. Family, friends, and former schoolmates met to celebrate with Paul and Jackie. There was plenty of food and alcohol with an open bar. And they also had a karaoke setup. Sara and Neveah sang Adele’s song “Easy On Me”. Sara enjoyed it.

The following morning, we had breakfast with Lisa before we left to return home to Connecticut.

~ THE END ~

2022 · Canada · My Travel Journal · New York · Ontario · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part I): Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, New York (1)

September 10, 2022

On Day Two, Kevin, Sara, and I went to Niagara Falls State Park in the morning. Five years ago, we were at Niagara Falls. But we never made it to Goat Island on that trip back then. This time, we planned to stay in the United States and go see the falls from the American side. On Goat Island, we’ve got a wonderful different view of the Horseshoe Falls. While we were standing at the rim, we saw Maid-of-the-Mist boats inching as close to the falls as possible. They wanted to give these tourists the experience of a lifetime. All the tourists wore ponchos. But some still came drenched out of the boats. Since we had a beautiful day and warm weather, their clothes dried up quickly. Due to the mist, Kevin, Sara, and I saw a very colorful rainbow that stretched from the Horseshoe Falls to the Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls in the Niagara Gorge.

… to be continued …

2022 · Canada · My Travel Journal · New York · Ontario · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part III): Fort Niagara State Park At Lake Ontario, Youngstown, New York

September 9, 2022

Before sunset, Kevin, Sara, and I drove to Fort Niagara State Park, at the corner of the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario in Youngstown, New York. While Kevin and Sara spent some time at the playground, I went down to Fort Niagara State Park Beach. There I’ve got a good shot of Toronto across the lake. Due to our planet’s curve and some mist on Lake Ontario, the lower part of the skyline wasn’t visible from where my viewpoint in the US. Shortly, Kevin and Sara joined me to watch the sunset, which gave the lake a golden hue.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part II): Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls, New York

A major change took place there about 7,000 years ago when water volume was low. The connection between Lake Huron and Lake Erie was cut off and the Upper Great Lakes drained through the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence Valley. Only the flow from Lake Erie went over Niagara Falls, and a narrow gorge and shallow Riverbed were formed.

Today, the flow of water coming from the wider upper Great Gorge is channeled into the narrow section, thus creating the turbulent Whirlpool Rapids. The violent waters of the Whirlpool Rapids flow into the Eddy Basin before entering the Whirlpool.

September 9, 2022

Kevin, Sara, and I arrived in Niagara Falls in the late afternoon. We drove to our hotel, ate something, rested for a moment and went from there to the Whirlpool State Park. We didn’t want to deal with the big tourist crowds that evening. So, we were tourists away from the tourists. We saw the falls at night five years ago. I could wait until the following day. Kevin was in Wheatfield High School in the late 80s and early 90s. He knows this area like his back pocket.

At Whirlpool State Park Kevin, Sara, and I took a little hike on the Whirlpool Scenic Trail. It was very interesting to witness how the rushing waters of the rapids flow from the Eddy Basin into the Whirlpool, where the water is forced to circle around, hence the name “whirlpool”. Kevin also discovered a groundhog on the side of the river wall. That groundhog was so used to humans that it didn’t care, we were only a foot and a half away from its burrow. The chipmunks and squirrels came much closer. We think they are being fed by visitors.

The sun hadn’t set yet. So, we chose to go to a second destination, before we called it a day.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part I): Mohawk River Valley/Erie Canal, New York

September 9, 2022

On Friday, we began our journey to Niagara Falls. One of Kevin’s best friends from Highschool got married on Saturday. And we were all invited to the wedding and reception. Katelynn couldn’t make it. She’s stuck in Dallas. But Kevin, Sara, and I went for a weekend trip to Western New York, again. Along the way, we saw some cool historic and natural places. One of them is the Erie Canal, which runs from the Hudson River all the way to Lake Erie. A part of the canal was built along the Mohawk River. When we made a stop at the Mohawk Valley Welcome Center near Fultonville, we saw what looked like a bridge, but is actually a moveable dam to control the flooding of the Mohawk River Valley. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal

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The Erie Canal is a historic canal in upstate New York that runs east-west between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. Completed in 1825, the canal was the first navigable waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, vastly reducing the costs of transporting people and goods across the Appalachians. In effect, the canal accelerated the settlement of the Great Lakes region, the westward expansion of the United States, and the economic ascendancy of New York State. It has been called “The Nation’s First Superhighway.”

A canal from the Hudson to the Great Lakes was first proposed in the 1780s, but a formal survey was not conducted until 1808. The New York State Legislature authorized construction in 1817. Political opponents of the canal, and of its lead supporter New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, denigrated the project as “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Big Ditch”. Nonetheless, the canal saw quick success upon opening on October 26, 1825, with toll revenue covering the state’s construction debt within the first year of operation. The westward connection gave New York City a strong advantage over all other U.S. ports and brought major growth to canal cities such as Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo.

The construction of the Erie Canal was a landmark civil engineering achievement in the early history of the United States. When built, the 363-mile (584 kilometer) canal was the second-longest in the world (after the Grand Canal in China). Initially 40 feet (12 meters) wide and 4 feet (1.2 meters) deep, the canal was expanded several times, most notably from 1905 to 1918 when the “Barge Canal” was built and over half the original route was abandoned. The modern Barge Canal measures 351 miles (565 kilometers) long, 120 feet (37 meters) wide, and 12 feet (3.7 meters) deep. It has 34 locks, including the Waterford Flight, the steepest locks in the United States. When leaving the canal, boats must also traverse the Black Rock Lock to reach Lake Erie or the Troy Federal Lock to reach the tidal Hudson. The overall elevation difference is about 565 feet (172 meters).

The Erie’s peak year was 1855, when 33,000 commercial shipments took place. It continued to be competitive with railroads until about 1902, when tolls were abolished. Commercial traffic declined heavily in the latter half of the 20th century due to competition from trucking and the 1959 opening of the larger St. Lawrence Seaway. The canal’s last regularly-scheduled hauler, the Day Peckinpaugh, ended service in 1994.

Today, the Erie Canal is mainly used by recreational watercraft. It connects the three other canals in the New York State Canal System: the Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga–Seneca. Some long-distance boaters take the Erie as part of the Great Loop. The canal has also become a tourist attraction in its own right—a number of parks and museums are dedicated to its history. The Erie Canalway Trail is a popular cycling path that follows the canal across the state. In 2000, Congress designated the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to protect and promote the system.

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… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York

Back Home From Attending A Wedding

Guess where we were this weekend. If you listen really closely to this Great Black-backed Gull, it might tell you at what edge it stands and watches the water rushing past its legs and feet. The gull gives you a few hints: “I’m at a river between two lakes. The river separates two vast countries. It gets very cold there in Winter. And the Summers can be warm and humid.”

… to be continued …

2022 · Live In Concert · My Travel Journal · New York · Special Events · USA

Teddy Swims “Tough Love World Tour” @ Webster Hall, NYC ~ 04.29.2022

Last night, Kevin and I went to see Teddy Swims at Webster Hall in New York City. Teddy’s album Tough Love was released in January. And he is on a world tour right now. At this moment, Teddy is still in the beginning of his career. He plays at smaller venues or as a support act for much bigger bands. At an event with a smaller audience, we could stand much closer to the stage and get a better glimpse of Teddy Swims and his band •WildHeart•.

In 2019, I found Teddy on YouTube while I was searching for Mario’s “Let Me Love You”. I clicked on Teddy’s cover version and listened to it. Since he did a good cover, I wanted to see if he has more to offer and found more covers: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, “Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye, “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore” by Billie Eilish, … just to name a few. I was hooked on his voice and style. When he released his own album, I had to see him live in concert.

2022 · My Travel Journal · New Jersey · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part IV): Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Landmarks – Half Island Cruise, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

The last adventure was the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise – Landmarks, which guided us from the Hudson River into the East River under the BMW (Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge} before the boat turned around again. From the boat, we could see The Vessel, Little Island, Mid-Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, the Financial District, Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, Ellis Island, Lady Liberty (Statue of Liberty), Brooklyn, the BMW Bridges, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the full One World Trade Center Tower, and the Waterfront of Jersey City. Jersey City had a fly-over by two Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys, when we entered the Hudson River again. The tour lasted one and a half hours around half of Manhattan Island.

When Kevin, Sara and I exited the boat, we walked straight into 43rd street to pick up the car from the garage, Our New York City CityPASS adventures were done, and we wanted to leave New York before rush hour hit. The only attraction, we didn’t visit was the American Museum of Natural History. That place had been more interesting for Katelynn.

~ THE END ~

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part III): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

From the Space Shuttle Pavilion, we walked inside the USS Intrepid. Kevin, Sara and I had to go up a view flight of stairs to reach the captain’s cabin and the Pilot House. We could see the technology that was used back in the 1940s. There were a lot of radars for the ship and the incoming aircraft. When you click on the photos, you might not find the right names under them. I’m not good with ship terminology. Please bear with me!

Downstairs in the hanger, we saw a brass ship propeller; more airplanes, and helicopters (Sara posed in one for a photo.); and the history models of the USS Intrepid.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part II): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The Space Shuttle Pavilion, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

When Kevin, Sara and I entered the Space Shuttle Pavillion, we were greeted by the rear-end of the Enterprise. However, the twins of the Perseverance “Percy” Mars Rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured my interest first. It was very interesting to see both in the original sizes of their counterparts on Mars. Percy has the same dimensions, and is about 300 lb. heavier than its predecessor. The helicopter, Ingenuity, was designed to work for 30 days and five flights. It went on its first flight on April 19, 2021 and on the 26th flight April 20, 2022. It has a flight time of 49 minutes and 10 seconds, and traveled 6.23 Kilometers (3.87 miles) on Mars, so far.

“Greetings Earthlings!”

Meanwhile, Kevin and Sara looked closely at the Enterprise and its history. Later, I went upstairs to get a better view of the Space Shuttle’s front and left side. I had to use my panoramic feature on my cellphone to capture the whole shuttle at once. It is huge. Coming back downstairs, I could take a glimpse inside the Russian Space Capsule, Soyuz TMA-6.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part I): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The Flight Museum 🚁🛩🪂 New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

I have to break the visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum into several parts. The first part is the Flight Museum. When we went on the Intrepid, which is at Pier 86 by the Hudson River, we’ve seen the Submarine USS Growler to the right. Kevin and Sara have Claustrophobia and therefore get anxiety in small spaces. Since I’ve seen the German submarine Wilhelm Bauer (U-2540) in Bremerhaven, I was okay with not going inside the USS Growler in New York City. However, there were some cool displays of planes and helicopters on the top deck of the aircraft carrier.

In my photos are the USS Intrepid (CV-11) – US Navy; USS Growler – US Navy; Grumman F-9 Cougar – US Navy; US Navy Blue Angels Hornet Replica; Grumman A-E6 Intruder – US Navy; Vought F-8 Crusader – US Navy; PZL-Mielec Lim-5 (MiG-17) – Polish Air Force; Sikorsky H-19 – US Coast Guard; Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard – US Coast Guard

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part III): Times Square, Manhattan, New York City

April 18, 2022

New York City reminds me of a buzzing beehive. It’s always busy, 24/7. Therefore, New York has a nickname, which derives from Frank Sinatra’s song “New York, New York”: The City That Never Sleeps. No matter where we went, there was always something going on. Workers, construction, trash trucks, police, people trying to get from place A to place B several blocks down the street, tourists, street sales people, homeless people who look for a couple of dollars, people who shoot selfies or Tiktok clips of themselves. In Times Square it could be seen all at once, since it is a big open area for everyone to look around, see all those sky-high billboards on the building, and enjoy life with a cup of coffee and some kind of snack. Kevin, Sara and I decided to make a short stop at the Disney Store New York. Before we walked to the garage and drove home, I wanted a plush “Lady Liberty” Minnie as a souvenir.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part II): Empire State Building, New York City (CityPASS)

April 18, 2022

When Kevin, Sara and I arrived at the corner of 5th Avenue & 34th Street, I looked left and right to find the Empire State Building. It could nowhere be found. Then I read the sign Empire State Building and looked up. “Holy sh*t! This building is colossal.” Kevin asked: “Did you find it?” While I still looked up and almost got a neck spasm I replied: “I’m looking at it.” The bottom of the building blends in so well, we had no idea, it was right there. LOL

Once, we made it inside the Empire State Building, we had quite a bit to look at. Of course, there was the historical part that can’t be left out. Construction of the building started in March 1930, and finished in April 1931, just in time for the opening on May 1, 1931. There are tons of movies with the Empire State Building, including King Kong. The giant ape poses for pictures. He is actually a very nice fella, who hurts no one. But these airplanes still make him nervous. I guess the pilots didn’t get the memo, the shot of the movie has been done for almost 90 years, now. 😉 On the 86th Floor, we had a perfect view of New York City again. This time, I could get a better photo of the Chrysler Building, because the MetLife Tower was not in its way. We’ve got a better view of the Financial District, especially the One World Trade Center. The wind was chilly up on that floor. So, we looked around for a little bit and made our way back downstairs.

Once we were out of the Empire State Building, we took a break from sightseeing to have lunch at TGI Fridays. We also called it a day. New York was supposed to get a heavy rainstorm with flash floods. And we didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of it. After lunch, we made our way back to the car. But first, we hung out at Times Square for a little bit, since it was on our path to the garage.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part I): Top of The Rock Observation Deck, New York City (CityPASS)

April 18, 2022
Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam)

For our 20th Wedding Anniversary, Kevin, Sara and I went to New York City yesterday. Last week I purchased the CityPASS, which saved us 40% admission at the entrance of five sights. Our first location was Top of The Rock at the Rockefeller Center. The elevator lifted us to the 67th floor, where we could see Manhattan through the glass. From there we went to the 69th Floor, where we still had the glass barrier. When we walked upstairs to reach the 70th floor, we finally had clear sight of the surrounding area. From there Kevin, Sara and I got a good look over the Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, Financial District, Williamsburg Bridge, Central Park, Hudson River, and East River. Sara mentioned: “People look like ants on the streets.” We enjoyed the view for at least an hour, before it was time for us to walk over to the Empire State Building, 16 blocks south from the Rockefeller Center.

… to be continued…