A Travellerspoint blog

July 2022

Niagara Falls


View Canada Niagara to Calgary & USA East Coast on divatmotoros's travel map.

We left Buffalo in the morning to head to the Niagara falls. It was an easy 40 minutes drive and we arrived to the US side of the great attraction. The parking lot in front of the visitor centre was full and we drove past it when about 500 meters further we noticed a huge empty lot on the corner of 1st Street and Niagara Street with 3-4 cars parking on it. There were about a hundred empty parking spaces there so we pulled over and stopped. There was a small wooden building with a huge "Pay here" sign but it was closed and noone was around. So we saved 20 dollars, had a nice pasta for lunch in our trailer and prepared for our afternoon walk to the falls.

We crossed Niagara State Park and walked across the bridges to Green Island and Goat Island. There we first checked Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls, then walked further to the main attraction of the Horseshoe Falls. The US side is the higher part of the falls so the views are less scenic than from the Canadian side, you can't really feel the vertical size of it. The amount of water running trough and the noise of it is still mindblowing.

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On our way back to the car we grabbed a well deserved icecream on the hot day. After leaving the parking lot we entered the Rainbow International Bridge, our gateway to Canada and the next big leg of our trip. Previously we completed the ArriveCan registration and after abour 30 minutes in a slow moving line of cars we stopped at the building for buses and RVs. Echo was fiercly barking to the officer who was quite reserved and not smiley at all. She went back to the building with our passports and asked us to wait. After about 5 minutes she came back, handed over the passports and said goodbye opening the gate. They did not inspect the trailer nor the car, it was a very quick and easy procedure.

We had a further 40 minutes of driving to our stop on the Canadian side, we went to a winery called Atlantis Niagara. The owners name was Kocsis so we thought there is a Hungarian connection and we were right. His parents left Hungary in 1956 as many other Hungarians and he was already raised in Canada. We went through a nice tasting of icewines and special fruit "wines" or rather ciders from pear, plum, peach and apple. They were not sparkling and some of them were mixed with crushed ice making them a long dring between a coctail and a "fröccs" (international readers: fröccs is wine with mineral water, very popular in the summertime in Hungary).

It worked after the long day and we both smiled wide with my wife after the tasting. Then we parked our trailer at the lakeside spot the owner led us to and it was amazing. When at elementary school I learned about the Great Lakes I was really impressed with their sheer size. Lake Superior, the biggest of the five is almost as big as our home country, Hungary! Now we stopped at the smallest of the five, Lake Ontario and I was staring into the sunset happily. What a fantastic place to be and it was great to park our trailer right at the waterfront.

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The next morning we went back to Niagara Falls, now checking the other side, which is even more breathtaking. First we stopped by the Skylon Tower to have a high-side view. The kids enjoyed a lot the elevator ride and the view from the 775 feet (or 236 meters) height. One side of the tower had extremely strong wind, it was almost knocking us down and I was holding tight the kids, Akos, the one year old being strapped onto me.

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Then we got back to ground level and walked past Falls View Casino Resort and had a heavily overpriced hot dog and pretzel to survive until dinner. Should have spent it in the Casino but neither the kids nor I are bearable when we are hungry. And it happens every 2 hours so we better prepare or pay the price, no mercy.

Then we admired the Horseshoe Falls again, now in a full frontal view from the Canadian side. It was really jaw-dropping for all of us, even the kids were speachless for a few seconds, which is a big thing knowing them!

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When we were full with the view we walked back towards the car. The evening shower was completed in the next 15 minutes as there was another storm and pouring rain. Without any cover or raincoats we were literally wet from toe to heads. Anyway, when on the road without water and sewer connection we need to save on using the bathroom so one evening shower was ticked off the list.

Posted by divatmotoros 04:07 Archived in Canada Tagged falls niagara Comments (0)

Dover to Buffalo, NY


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Before leaving the brewery we wanted to visit the beach at Delaware in the heatwave so we drove to Pickering Beach in the evening. It is a beautiful sandy beach and we learnt about the Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs after noticing the huge shells in the sand. First I took a photo of it with the Iseek app which helps to recognise plants and animals unknown to us. Then we look up the wikipedia or other google hits about the unknown plant or animal and read about it to the kids. This time there was a very informative board at the beach entrance which I have read before leaving (did not notice it getting to the beach.) Atlantic horseshoe crabs look like an alien, but their history is pretty impressive. They’ve been around for 450 million years, predating the dinosaurs by more than 200 million years.

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We arranged the plates for the car and then the trailer received a new temporary tag which is valid for another two months. To get that we went back to basics and visited Hitch RV again, where I have picked up the travel trailer in May. The process was done quickly and I also bought two parts (a new motor to the kitchen air went and a new latch for the door which was broken). The guys even helped to fill our water tank and around 12:00 we left Milford to the North.

For the first day we planned a relatively shorter drive, about 165 miles to a riverside private property in Pennsylvania. The ranch was amazing, huge space with level grass and lots of nice trees, the riverbank just next to the building.

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The next day was a longer drive (about 255 miles or 406 kms). As we are doing about 50 miles an hour and we stop every 1,5-2 hours for a longer break with the kids this means a full day of driving. We planmed to arrive at around 6pm to out last US stop on this segment, which was at a church. When we stopped for our first rest and refuelling Abel, my son said that he heard one of oir tire hissing. First I hoped that he was not right but after checking the tire of the trailer I also heard it losing air. I even found a small white piece of bone just on the edge of the running thread and the side of the tire. I assume we picked it up when turning into the fuel station.

As this was our first flat tire situation I had to think about how to change the tire. I quickly assembled the cars jack and combining it with the stabilizers of the trailer managed to lift it enough to remove the punctured wheel. We lost about an hour and it was the most easy way to practice. We were standing on a level concrete plot and we had air to check the spare tire (which was obviously not at the rigth pressure).

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At our next stop we skipped cooking lunch and quickly refilled our stomach at a Wendy's, and across the road there was a tire shop so we bought a new spare tire as well. The best scenario to have a flat tire for sure.l, I imagine the same on a remote Alaska highway and that could be much worse.
So our planned arrival was delayed a lot, at sunset at about 8:00pm we pulled into the parking lot of the Armor Bible Church. The place was ideal for us, we got electricity and there was a great playground for the kids to lose some energy of the long day, sitting in the car.

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The next day we head on to Niagara Falls! Exciting to get back to Canada after this long and beautiful administrative detour.

Posted by divatmotoros 03:03 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Fordham and Dominion Brewery, Dover, Delaware

36 °C
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In the middle of a heatwave we have found the right track and after arranging the plate of the car we stopped by at the brewery for a refill.
The last one, Big Axe was in Canada was great and this was somewhat bigger, large tanks and very friendly service. Excellent beers, american stout on oak barrel and a nice pilsner too! Had to take a 15 piece variety pack for harder days.

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Piece of cake

Posted by divatmotoros 21:52 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Feeling like a pilot


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Entering a KOA campsite was never easier: a small electric golf cart is leading us to our spot. Like a B747 on an airport.

Posted by divatmotoros 02:58 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Failing a car inspection at Delaware


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After almost two months of buying our car and travel trailer the temporary tag of the car was about to expire. It also became clear that we have to visit DMV somewhere at Delaware for a mandatory VIN check. So we rerouted ourselves and after a few pit stops at farms and private properties we have checked in at a KOA camp in Clarksboro, South of Philadelphia (and about 25 minutes from the DMV of Wilmington, Delaware).

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We were a bit worried as the temp tag of the car was already extended once and it was expiring in three days. The dealer said he can not get any more temp tags for us. The other dealer (where we bought the trailer) informed us that the final tag will not be ready before two and a half months as DMV at Delaware is heavily overloaded at the moment. He at least can get another temp tag for the trailer until then. But if we can not get a tag for the car then we can not continue our journey.

I visited DMV the next day and it was quite an experience. DMV looks like a drive-through food court with 5 lanes and the first step was the VIN check. The gentleman said that as our car is from 2016 we need to have a full check, not just VIN check, so I had to pull over to the next counter. After I stopped there another gentleman was looking at the tinted side windows and said: it's a fail, you can not have tints on the front side windows in Delaware.

A few drops of sweat appeared on my forehead as I did not know what to do next. I asked the man how to proceed and he advised to peel off the tint and come back after that. So I pulled over to the parking area and with my credit card peeled off the tint in a few minutes. Tried again at the drive-through and this time (at another lane) the car passed the inspection.

Then I parked again and with my papers I went into the office building. There a very kind lady called my number immediately and I started my story about the dealer who promised evetything and now failed to get us a tag and the full desparation if we can not continue our big trip and so on. She looked at my papers, quickly picked the three things she needed from the pack and smiled.

I was still quite nervous as I did not know what is next: so I asked how long it takes to get the final tag? She smiled and pointed behind her, where in a big brown paper box a lot of licence plates were stored. She kept working on her computer and after two minutes grabbed a plate from the box and handed over to me with the papers. What a relief! We have the final Delaware plates for our car!

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The only step to continue is to get the renewed temp plate for the trailer and we can return to Canada while the dealer sorts out the final tag for the trailer. I obviously tried to get that plate from the lady but she said it is not possible as the dealership started the process and it is already processed in DMV's systems.

Posted by divatmotoros 06:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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