Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Buffalo day 3

Breakfast was at Betty's. While the breakfast itself was amazing (boys shared banana pancakes with almonds while I had this incredible tofu breakfast hash, for which I have no words to describe how good it was), the little guy was having a rough morning. When we arrived, they both wanted to sit on the patio. Cool! But then E got cold (it was gray and chilly for pretty much our whole trip). Then he saw a yellow jacket (which has caused a lot of fear in the boys this summer after a nest was found in our yard and M got stung), and wouldn't stop screaming until we moved inside. Luckily, our server was fantastic and said no problem to moving inside and dirtying yet another table.

High marks for games during breakfast!
So we moved inside while we waited for our food to come out. Then E caught a nut funny and yakked. Luckily it all went into his plate and didn't even ruin any of his breakfast, but by now, there was a very frazzled Mommy along for the ride.

As we left, I got a call from the folks who own the apartment at which we were staying for the next few days. She was heading out for the day and evening and wanted to meet us and show us where everything is before leaving for the day, so the boys and I drove south (about half an hour). At the time, it was tough since our plan was to go north (about half an hour), but it was really helpful to move our food into the fridge (I'd loaded the cooler up with tons of ice from the hotel, but wasn't sure how well it would do sitting in a potentially warm car until 4pm).
Here's the yard!

With full bellies and an empty cargo area, we headed for Whirlpool State Park. Again, fiasco ensued: I wanted to pick up sandwiches for lunch, and figured I'd just yelp something when we got off the highway. This did not work so well, and I found a "deli" but it was not quite my definition of such, having a case full of those packaged lunchmeats you'd find in the refrigerator section of your supermarket. So we stuck with the snacks I brought along for the car ride.

The next fiasco was the directions; we ended up at a different park! Around the corner from the intended one, we landed at De Veaux Woods State Park, which had a great playground, but I could not figure out how to get to the good stuff we really wanted to see. I asked some folks who said they were locals, and they said it was a drive away (though the website I linked here says it's totally walk-able...)

I'm so glad I planned this adventure for us. It was beautiful, free, and except for the area around the rest rooms, empty. The occasional tour bus came through, but they only hung out at this view:
Pretty cool view, huh? But we were on an adventure, so we hiked the trails a bit. First we went toward the Falls:

But then we went away from the Falls, which is when things got really fun.
"I'm surfing!"

We climbed down this set of stairs we found. Definitely treacherous at times with dilapidated steps, missing steps, etc, we climbed all the way to the bottom. Like I said, this part of the park was pretty empty, and we saw maybe ten people on our climb down, which sort of freaked me out too since I started picturing the guy waiting for the random woman and her two sons to walk past the cave in which he was hiding. No paranoia here!

This is the view back up the mountain from the point we climbed down to.

We could have climbed further down, onto the rocks, but I wasn't going to do that.

Somehow the climb back up seemed way faster and easier than the climb down. I was pretty shocked we reached the top as quickly as we did!

Of course, there was a playground at Whirlpool, and a fight between the boys happened over whether we should go to the smaller playground here or get back in the car to go to the better playground at De Veaux Woods. Avoiding a fight, we played at Whirlpool.

We were pretty tired by this point. As I said, I was not able to buy sandwiches for a picnic here, so we started driving to pick up M back in Buffalo. I saw a Wendy's off an exit and we picked up burgers. I wanted to keep it light, since it was already 3pm and dinner would surely be soon, and this was perfect for all of us.

Busy day, full bellies!!

We picked up M at Buffalo State and headed back to our apartment in Boston, NY.

According to Google Maps, I did 2.5 hours of driving!

We settled into the place and decided to head out for dinner. Again turning to Yelp, we went to the Armor Inn Tap Room. The boys and I had a special, which was a super cheap ribs, half chicken, and two sides, and we all shared wings.

I would say these were the best wings of the trip. They were smoked then fried, and smothered in an absolutely delicious barbecue sauce. The same sauce coated the wings on my dinner:

We went back to the apartment to hang out, and the boys loved playing on these chairs.

Sadly, we didn't really get to enjoy much of this beautiful yard. The boys went frog hunting in the pond, which gave them lots of fun, but the weather just wasn't great for us to spend a good amount of time out there.

While the boys got ready for bed, I decided to go to a yoga class in Hamburg. I visited Bikram Yoga Hamburg, and was really pleased. The class was hard, and it was sweaty, and the facilities are beautiful. Only my second experience, I was really pleased to see a locker room with showers for those wishing to clean up after a sweaty hot yoga class.

I probably don't need to say that I slept exceptionally well after this very active day!