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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


     I was sound asleep, minding my own business when I felt a hand on my shoulder gently shaking me awake. "Gerry, time to wake up. It's 3:00 a.m...Time to get dressed and hit the road." I grunted as I usually do, opened one eye and considered my words before saying them. The words that I was thinking would not have been conducive to a pleasant car trip.

     I slowly arose, performing a functions check of my anatomy. Most systems were operating within normal parameters. Once I became upright I got dressed. I then sleepily went about the business of finishing any last minute packing and configuring the house for our absence. 

     We left the house at about 3:20 a.m., keeping within our estimated departure time. We withdrew travel funds from an ATM, refueled the Kia and then hit the road in earnest at 3:50 a.m., ten minutes ahead of schedule. All systems are go...Becke the Wonder Dog is hunkered down in the back seat. SWMBO is comfortably ensconced in the "shotgun" seat. Destination, Niagara Falls, NY.

     Everything was going great! We were southbound on the Everett Turnpike approaching the first of what would be several toll booths. A simple enough concept. You drive to the booth, give the attendant the toll and go on your merry way. Unfortunately, this was not to be.

     This particular toll booth has "Cash" lanes at the far left travel lane and the far right travel lane. The lanes in between were "E-Z Pass" lanes. We don't have an E-Z Pass transponder so I was in the far left lane approaching the toll booth with my cash at the ready. As I neared the toll booth I saw that the far left lane was now an E-Z Pass lane.  I had two choices...(1) Drive through the E-Z Pass Lane without paying or (2) Drive across several lanes to get into the far right lane creating a traffic hazard. I chose option #1 and stiffed the State of New Hampshire out of a dollar toll.

     A few hours later, on the Massachusetts Turnpike, we were approaching another set of toll booths just before crossing the state line into New York. What do suppose the odds are of me doing the same thing and being in the wrong lane again? happened again! In my defense though the signage was confusing and I was prevented by traffic from safely changing lanes into the proper lane. This time I stiffed the Commonwealth of Massachusetts out of about eight dollars. Hey, at least I'm consistent. 

     The next leg of the journey took us to the New York Thruway. This was the first time either one of us had been in Upstate New York. It is a lot like New Hampshire. There are picturesque farms scattered across the country side. It made for a pleasant drive.

     At the end of the thruway I was able to pay the toll, surprisingly enough,...three times the charm!

     We made it to Niagara Falls without further incident. We checked in to our hotel room. We stayed at a Motel 6 on one of the main drags of Niagara Falls. The room was clean and comfortable...Becke the Wonder Dog liked it...but most important SWMBO liked it. We settled in the room. SWMBO tried the WiFi. God forbid that we should travel without our electronic devices. Becke and I took a brief nap.

     After the brief nap we talked about whether it was worth trying to see the falls. Some of the brochures made it seem that we needed to purchase a "Discovery Pass" at a cost of $33.00 per pass to enter the State Park and view the falls.  We left the hotel to find the famous falls. It was just a ten minute drive down the road. 

     We found the Niagara Falls State Park without any trouble. We found a place to park. It cost $5.00. We walked to the Visitor Center and I worked up the courage to ask the officials working the desk if it cost anything to view the falls. I almost did a jig when I was told "No, just take the stairs to the ground level and follow the path to the railing." I apparently mis-read the brochures. I am so glad that we were able to see the falls. 

Two of Nature's Wonders!
     I have got to say that the falls are spectacular. SWMBO and I were impressed by the power and natural splendor that is Niagara Falls. It is well worth the trip. 

     To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Great post love! I'm so glad that you have made the effort to pay the tolls now that we are home, too bad they won't take the money!!! Must wait for the bill to arive :-(. Thnks again for crossing one thing off my Bucket List.