Posted tagged ‘Niagara Falls’

“In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible source of perpetual delight.”

April 21, 2016

Lately Mother Nature has seen fit to give us sunny, beautiful days. The problem, though, is they are still on the cold side, mostly in the low 50’s and down to the 40’s at night. Today, hooray, will be in the high 50’s and may even reach 60˚.

My back surgeon told me never to lift anything heavier than a phone book. I got to wondering how much longer he can use phone book as a measurement. Actual weight wouldn’t help as most people, including me, have no idea what something weighs. Don’t lift anything bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas roast?

The two families down the street, each with 4 kids, are away for the vacation. One family went to Disneyland while the other flew to either South or North Carolina. It got me to thinking about our family vacations. Most times we stayed home. Once we went to Niagara Falls. I have no idea how my parents could have afforded that with staying in motels, feeding 4 kids and paying for attractions. I remember every bit of that vacation, including eating lots of McDonald’s for lunch. The hamburgers were 25 cents by then. The walk around the falls wearing those yellow slickers was the highlight of the trip for me. The roaring sound of the rushing water all around me was so loud and so thrilling I could feel the sound in every part of my body. It was like I was part of the falls, part of the cascading  water. It is something I haven’t ever forgotten.

I don’t remember caring that we stayed home. Most of my friends did too. We’d do day trips and go to the beach or to a lake that had a slide into the water. We went to the drive-in. I still have a fondness for drive-ins even though I haven’t been to one in years. The Cape has one but I haven’t be able to interest anyone in going with me. I even volunteered the food but still no takers.

When I was a kid, we couldn’t eat meat on Fridays so my mother served all sorts of stuff like fried dough, English muffin pizzas and fish sticks. That was the only way we were ever served fish. I liked fish sticks but I was young, what did I know? Tonight my friends and I going to Captain Frosty’s for dinner. It is another tradition my friends and I have: we go together the first time for the season. It is mostly a seafood restaurant though they do have hamburgers and hot dogs. I’m thinking maybe scallops or clams. Here the clams have bellies the way they should. The fries are crisp. Each plate gets a small clam ball, a lagniappe. I’m already hungry just thinking about dinner.

I need to fill the feeders today and maybe sit on the deck in the sun to finish my book. I doubt there are many better ways to spend a day.

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”

May 26, 2015

Today, according to the paper, will be a warm one, in the 70’s. I, however, am a bit skeptical as the clouds have obscured the sun, and there is a stiff breeze. My list is long today. I have several places to go. Yesterday I bought herbs and perennials and a few tomatoes. I wanted more veggies, but there were none, all had been sold. I’ll try a couple of other garden centers hoping to find my snap peas.

Lots of people were down for the weekend. The line to go off cape was miles long, but the wait was not unexpected. It happens every Sunday and turnover Saturdays until Labor Day. The sun and surf carry a big price.

I never cared whether or not we went on vacation. Saturday night was usually the drive-in and Sunday the beach. We went to Maine a few times and stayed at my father’s friend’s cottage, the tiniest place ever. Beds were build-in wherever there was space so the place could sleep 10 or 12 people. On both sides of the cottage, the nearest neighbors were within spitting distance. The water was too cold for swimming. There was really nothing for me to do. It was my least favorite vacation spot, but it was free so I was stuck.

We never came down the cape. We went north. I remember seeing the Old Man of the Mountain, now gone, the flume and the top of Mount Washington. My dad drove our car up he mountain on what I thought was a really narrow road. We were on the outside and there were no rails. I could see right down the mountain, but what I remember most is how cold it was on the top of Mount Washington ever though it was summer. I think we did that trip in a day.

There was a lake we went to which had a slide into the water, a regular slide, nothing fancy, and a zip line you held onto with both hands. I don’t remember the name of the lake, but we it was always a day trip. I liked lake water. It was always warm, and if I happened to swallow some water, it wasn’t gross like salt water. We would swim almost for the whole day stopping only for lunch and then the hour wait so we wouldn’t die of cramps.

It never occurred to me that we seldom went away. Summers always seemed busy. We had that one huge trip to Niagara Falls, but that was it. I still remember every stop on that trip. It must have taken my parents a long time to save enough money. I remember it as my first visit to a foreign country.

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”

July 10, 2014

Yesterday was a sweat producing day, a day for the air-conditioner which was on all afternoon and night, but I turned it off this morning though it is still a bit warm. It’s just that the mornings are so lovely I hate to miss them sitting behind closed doors and windows. Right now there is a little breeze from the window behind me, the birds are singing and the neighborhood is gloriously quiet as if I’m alone in the world. I like that feeling sometimes. Last night it rained, but I didn’t hear it. Today might reach 80˚ but it will drop to the 60’s tonight. Tomorrow’s forecast has the nighttime temperature at 59˚. That sounds delightful.

My energy comes in spurts sometimes dictated by my back. Yesterday my sole accomplishments were to re-set the flag holder and screw in the hook off the deck which holds a bird feeder. Both were victims of the wind. The bird feeder had been filled but it fell to the ground and was emptied. I’m thinking the spawns had a picnic. Now that the hook is fixed I’ll go and retrieve the items which fell off the deck and refill the feeder. I am already on my second load of laundry, and I have to go buy Gracie food and drop a few things off at the dump. That, for me, is quite the busy day.

My sisters used to give my mother dandelion bouquets. She’d act thrilled as if she had been given the rarest flowers. She’d put the bouquet in a jelly glass and then in the middle of the table. The dandelions were brilliant yellow and didn’t seem at all like a weed should be.

My father always got two weeks’ vacation, and he took them in the summer. Most of the time we didn’t go away as it was too expensive though I do remember the trip to the island in Maine and the Niagara falls trip, but that’s it; instead, we’d go places close to home. I remember going to the beach on weekdays when the traffic was light, and there were parking spaces near the water. We’d stay most of the day. A couple of nights we’d go to the drive-in. Sometimes we’d go to Maine for a weekend and stay at my father’s friend’s cottage. I always found that boring. The water was too cold, and there was little to do. The museum trips were my favorite. I remember standing in the Egyptian section at the MFA and marveling at how tall the sarcophagi were. I still get that feeling when I visit the MFA even now. Once during the two weeks we’d go out to dinner, a rare occasion for us. We’d go to Kitty’s where the food was cheap and plentiful. It never occurred to me that we didn’t have enough money to go away. I never felt deprived, and I loved being surprised by every day.

“The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff.”

August 21, 2011

The day is so very still, a typical August summer day. Nothing moves in the heaviness of the humidity, and I expect it will get even more uncomfortable if the sun, a here and there sort today, decides to hang around for the duration. Yesterday afternoon I turned on the air-conditioning as the humidity did us both in, the dog and me.

Early this morning, Gracie rang her poochie bells at four and again at 6 to go out. It is rare for her to ring them once let alone twice. I don’t know if she needed to go out or heard something in the yard. The second time I didn’t wait for her and left the backdoor open and went back to bed. She joined me in a bit. The dog door gives us both freedom.

Nothing much to do today. I do have to go to the grocery store later, one of my least favorite places, but the list is small so I should be in and out in a heartbeat. I’m thinking an afternoon nap will give me the strength to face the aisles and the hordes of carts blocking my way.

We went to Niagara Falls when I was about fifteen. I figure my parents must have saved a long time. I imagine my mother added another budget envelop labeled vacation at least a year before we left. It was the first time we ever stayed in a motel, and we went out to eat for dinner more than few times, a rarity for us. I remember we stopped for lunch at a McDonald’s, also a rarity. Usually my mother packed a picnic lunch for the road. We stayed on the American side, and my favorite memory is Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. My dad tried three times to get the cashier to give him tickets, but she ignored him the whole time. Wax figures do that. He was flustered and embarrassed when he realized. We all roared. The chamber of horrors was my favorite part. We walked along the falls that night so we could see it lit in all those beautiful colors. I still remember thinking I hadn’t seen anything so beautiful before. The roar was loud and amazing as the water cascaded over the falls. We went to the Canadian side the next day. It was my first foreign country, and I was disappointed to think it looked exactly the same as the United Sates. They even spoke English. I wanted it to be exotic.

6 days and counting.