Even with a lack of connectivity here in Canada, I still found a way to prolong crafting our blog. But, procrastination aside, we figured we should catch you up on the happenings since Wisconsin. Our plan all along has been to wander to the northeast to see the leaves change so we started to make our way. We braved traveling through Chicago to drop in on some folks that I was lucky enough to work with, and even though the whole team wasn’t there, it was fantastic to see Victoria and Sharon. We stayed on the outskirts but were crazy enough to brave going downtown for some traditional Chicago pizza. The pizza was worth it, but driving through a busy city filled with erratic drivers and no parking was interesting to say the least!
We made our way through the tolls (at least $30 worth), herds of semi-trucks and headed toward Indianapolis to see Eddie (again) for a visit. And as last time, I commandeered his laundry room to do some free laundry along the way. He thinks I’m a nerd because I LOVE his washer and dryer – they make laundry so fun! It is great to see Shea and Eddie geek out together, we’ll keep trying to convince him to move back to MN in a few years.
Indianapolis was a quicker stop than last time because we needed to make our way to Kettering (Dayton), Ohio for a concert that I’d been planning on for quite some time. Formulating our route and timing was a bit tricky, but it was beyond worth it to get to see Kristian Bush perform. If you’ve read my post from earlier in our adventure, you already know how big of a fan I am and how much I was looking forward to this concert. I could continue to gush about how talented this artist is, but then this blog would be a book! When we booked tickets, we did so blindly because we (obviously) had never been to the Fraze Pavilion venue before, so we had no idea that we were going to end up in the second row at center stage. The concert, complete with Love & Theft and Thompson Square, supported Goodwill of the greater Dayton valley – an effort that aligns with the way we live and give. While most of our contributions have gone to either Mary’s Place or Denver Rescue Mission, it is great to see people with voices that reach millions do something good with the influence they have. Like before, this concert left me with so many great memories and a very happy heart. I also wound up with my very first set list and guitar pick from a concert – Kristian Bush, of course!
The next morning, we rolled out early to meet up with Shea’s friend, Mike, for a great breakfast and conversation before heading north. We made our way up to the shores of Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio for our first ever Harvest Host stay; and it was awesome! We took the ferry out and biked around the Erie Islands – we had perfect weather and avoided getting sunburned. After putting in a few miles, we figured we earned some legendary ice cream from the local creamery and it was amazing and supersized portions. This seems to the be norm for a lot of the ice cream places.
Next up was an area that I’ve wanted to visit since touring Napa a few years back. I knew that there were a few major wine areas in the states and since the vineyards themselves are beautiful, I figured we’d hit up the Finger Lakes area to check out their wine country. We started out by staying near Ithaca so we could have decent wifi and check out the Cornell campus and then slowly made our way around the lakes as the week went on. We later set up camp at the Buttonwood Grove winery and headed out on Cayuga Lake to do some paddle boarding before sunset – it’s times like these that make this feel like it isn’t real life. Since we were dry camping, it was great to jump in the lake and rinse off after an unseasonably warm day. The next day we wandered up to the Women’s Rights National Historical Site in Seneca Falls to brush up on the activities of some great women paving the way for us. And, our last night by the lakes was spent at Rooster Hill Winery where we met some of the nicest people around. Amy and Lori welcomed us with open arms and treated us as though we were guests in their own homes; it makes us so glad to be members of Harvest Hosts!
The last few days before heading into Canada were spent exploring Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY. We started out by visiting the Herschelle Carrousel museum where we rode the adorable carrousel like we were kids again. From there we made our way to Anchor Bar for some original Buffalo wings. We were told that mild wasn’t worth it so we had to at least do medium, so I did, and my mouth was subsequently on fire for the rest of the night. Shea, of course, got the hottest wings possible and thought nothing of it. The next day we worked off the wings from the night before by walking all over Niagara Falls, both the US and Canadian sides. The Canadian side is spectacular with full views of both falls… and a ton of people!