A Day in New York City

While staying in New Jersey for a few days, we took a day to go into New York City. Like I’ve said on previous posts, this country girl needs to go back south as these northern states are just not for me. The traffic on the way there was easy on our side, but people coming into NJ were backed up for miles.

DSCN3079

Luckily we went into the city before lunch because on our way back home around 6:00 PM the traffic going into NYC was now crazier than ever. Traffic was backed up again for miles and miles. The photos below show what I’m referring to.

DSCN3149

DSCN3150

We drove into Staten Island, which was about an hours drive from the great park we were staying at, which was a campground in Colts Neck. There’s only about 20 sites and you have to be military to stay there. Once we arrived in Staten Island, we took the ferry over to the city. The ferry from Staten Island is free and so is the parking on Sunday. The rest of the week it’s only $8.00, which isn’t bad especially compared to how much they charge to cross the bridge into the city itself. We were under the impression it would cost $15.00 from what I had read on another blog, however, because our truck has double tires in the rear they charged us $42.00. 

You can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the ferry and although I would have liked to tour both of them, it just wasn’t in the cards for us to go to either place on this trip. Truth is we probably never will tour them because I don’t anticipate us ever coming back this far north, but like the old saying goes, “never say never!”

DSCN3091

DSCN3092

Being that we only had a few hours to spend in the city, we had to make the most of our time. There were two things we definitely wanted to see; the 9/11 Memorial and B&H Photo. Everything else would be a bonus and we would just take in the sites along the way.

Once we arrived via ferry, we walked to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a somber moment standing there thinking about what took place. The pools that sit where the twin towers use to be include the names of those lost. Flowers are placed on a person’s name when it’s their birthday. From there we braved the subway and headed to Central Station. Standing there in the middle looking up at the ceiling and all four corners remembering back to all the movies I’ve watched that featured that exact same spot. Of course it wasn’t smooth going the whole time, but we survived and live to tell about it. The other main place we went to was B&H Photo, which is a huge photography store that I’ve never been to. I discovered them online many years ago and never thought I would have the opportunity to actually visit the store with their one and only location being in New York City. 

If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn’t do it anytime soon; however, ask me in a couple years if I want to go back and I might say yes. Until then we’ll just keep heading south back to Florida and then out west. Many more pics from our time there is below. Please enjoy and feel free to share your own memories of New York City in the comments below. (Click on any pic for a larger view and to scroll through all of them).

My Obsession with Covered Bridges in Vermont

Covered bridges have so much history. When I see one, I think about who might have crossed through and did they have to walk, ride a horse and buggy, a car or just what type of transportation carried them over to the other side. In the last couple weeks, we have driven through several of these magnificent bridges. Most of them dating back to the 1800’s. The ones in Ohio and Kentucky had been vandalized by people spray painting and writing all over them; however, the ones we saw in Vermont and New York had not been.

Our covered bridge ride through Vermont took us on many roads, some paved and some not so paved. There were some that made us think twice about doing this, but when you come around the corner and see views like this it makes the drive better. Had we not been on some back country road we never would have seen this beautiful pond. 

Edit-9005

We kept hoping we would see some wildlife especially when we were driving through the national forest, but we didn’t even see a squirrel. We did see lots of old cars, barns, farmhouses and other things that reminded us of the old days. After seeing a half-dozen bridges, we headed back home to prepare for our next journey. I wanted to provide more than just pics of the covered bridges, so here’s a little history on each one we saw.  

The West Arlington Covered Bridge a/k/a Bridge of the Green is located in West Arlington, Vermont off Route 313 in Bennington County. It was built in 1852, is 80 feet long and 17.5 feet wide. Although the bridge was damaged by flooding due to Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011, it was fixed and reopened to traffic in the months following.

West Arlington Covered Bridge

West Arlington Covered Bridge

West Arlington Covered Bridge

The Burt Henry Covered Bridge, also known as the Henry Covered Bridge or just the Henry Bridge was originally built in the 1830’s, however it was completely rebuilt in 1989. It is located near Bennington, VT and spans the Walloomsac River. The bridge spans 121 feet and is 18.5 feet wide.

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

The Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge, a/k/a the Paper Mill Bridge or Bennington Falls Covered Bridge was built in 1889 by Charles F. Sears. It spans 125 feet and is 18.5 feet wide and is located on the south side of State Route 67A, northwest of downtown Bennington, VT.

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

The Silk Road Covered Bridge was built in 1840 and is in close proximity to both the Burt Henry and Paper Mill bridges. It spans 88 feet long 15 feet wide. It is located between downtown Bennington and North Bennington on Silk Road, which connects Vermont Route 67A and Vermont Route 279.

Silk Road Covered Bridge

Silk Road Covered Bridge

The Creamery Covered Bridge was built in 1879, is located in Brattleboro, VT and was closed to vehicles in 2010. The bridge spans 80 feet long and 19 feet wide. A sidewalk was added about 1920. The Creamery is the last covered bridge in Brattleboro, is visible from Route 9 and a great tourist attraction.

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

The West Dummerston Covered Bridge was built in 1872 and is located in Dummerston, VT. This is the longest covered bridge I have ever seen coming in at 267 feet. It was built in two spans, with the westerly span being 143 feet and the easterly at 124 feet. The bridge is 22 feet long and opened to traffic. Locals enjoy going for a swim under the bridge as there were many families enjoying the beautiful day when I stopped for pics. 

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

The Rexleigh Covered Bridge was built in 1874 and is located in Salem, NY. The bridge spans 107 feet over Battenkill River in Washington County. It is just under 18 feet wide and is still operational to vehicles today.

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

The Beauty of Niagara Falls

Since leaving Florida we have spent 45 days on the road and driven through eleven (11) states to get to Niagara Falls, which was the biggest place we wanted to visit on this four month trip. At first I wasn’t sure the trip was worth it, but once we got on the Maid of the Mist and got to see the falls up close, it was definitely worth it. I could not believe how big and tall and massive looking they were and the sound of the rushing water was exhilarating.  It was so worth getting wet on the Maid of the Mist, so we could have an up close and personal view of the falls. Although we had hoped to cross the Rainbow Bridge into Canada, we never made it back on our last day to do that. There is so much to see and do around the falls, it’s hard to do it all in just a couple of days.  If we ever make the drive that far north again, we will definitely plan to stay longer.

I refuse to admit how many pics I took, but I was able to narrow them down to a reasonable amount to post. But of course no matter how many pics I have here, seeing the falls in person is the best way to get the true effect.

The following is while we were on the Maid of the Mist boat giving us an up close look at just how beautiful the falls are. The boats get so close all you see is mist and hear the roar of the water. To have a conversation, you have to just about scream for the person next to you to hear you.

Edit-8576

Taken during the Maid of the Mist boat ride on approach to the falls

Edit-8681

View of American Falls while on the Maid of the Mist

The following pic is from the Observation Tower, which is 282 feet over the Niagara Gorge and the only place to see the Horseshoe and American Falls at the same time.  

Edit-8405

View from the Observation Tower

You can find all our pics from this beautiful trip by clicking here.

During our visit we stayed at the Four Mile Creek State Park. The sites were nicely spaced and they had a great playground for those that have kiddos, but the best part is they are right on Lake Ontario, which means you can see the most beautiful sunsets. This was another one of those times that I took way too many pics and had to narrow them do to a manageable size. While watching the sunset one evening I was also able to look out and see the Toronto cityscape in the distance. It was amazingly beautifulClick here to see all my sunset pics.

Edit-8757

View of Canada from Four Mile Creek State Park

Feel free to leave comments below about your own visit to Niagara Falls. Our next big stop will be in New Hampshire and Maine where I’ll be trading covered bridges for lighthouses, waterfalls and lobster. From there, we’ll be headed down the eastern coastline back towards Florida.