New York Wanderings: Heading Home…

After my tour of Boldt Castle and the shuttle back to Alexandria Bay and the pier, I headed to my lodging at Bonnie Castle.  They had huge signs for Bonnie Castle but I didn’t see any mention of the office so turn to the left of the sign as you enter.  I parked and went in.  It took a good 20 minutes to get to the desk and get checked in, it was crowded with people.  Getting to my room was not easy at Bonnie Castle.  I was to park at the rock wall near the entrance to the pub and restaurant.  Turn to the right and up some short steps through a door, down a hallway to another door, turn right through another door to a courtyard and then up some short steps to another door and my room was 2nd on the left.  Needless to say I didn’t bring all my stuff into the room.  I did do two loads but mixed it up with dinner.

My room was awesome!  It was roomy, with a desk, large bed, two chairs and table, a kitchenette with a refrigerator but I don’t remember a microwave.  The bathroom was huge except the door blocked the toilet.

Mostly importantly, I had a great view of Boldt Castle, and the St. Lawrence River and a door to a small lanai with two chairs.

Boldt Castle in the distance

Boldt Castle in the distance

The lighthouse

The lighthouse

DSC09828

A brave boatman

The St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River

Sunsets at Boldt Castle

Sunsets at Boldt Castle and one last tourist boat…

Bonnie Castle has several restaurants but the main one does not open till 5 pm.  So I headed to the pub.  I settled in at the bar and got a hamburger. It was fun to sit there and enjoy the view through the window of the river and the castle.  There was a lot of activity in the pub because it was the only place where there was food.  They let me take a glass of wine back to my room so I could enjoy the lanai.  Lovely…

Morning came to Alexandria Bay and I noticed they had turned the lights out on the Castle.  They did have them on into the night.

Morning - Boldt Castle

Morning – Boldt Castle main restaurant view

It was Saturday, September 27th and time to head to Buffalo.  My flight to Seattle was the next day so I had some traveling to do.

Breakfast was served in the main restaurant at 7 am of Bonnie Castle so I headed through the labyrinth of hallways to the main area and with locked doors I had to find a new route.  Breakfast was a buffet and the room was not busy at all. I settled in to just eat, enjoy the view and the sun rising over the St. Lawrence River.  Breakfast is not included in the room and was good and not bad at $13.00.  I’ve paid more.

I gathered my things and packed up the car and headed out in search of a gas station.  It was not to hard to find and I was soon on my way and back on I-81. The drive south on this highway was pretty easy being early in the morning and having done it the day before. I stopped again at the restaurant I had been to before at Exit #32.  I needed to take a break because I would be on I-90 west for quite a while.  It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Exit #32, not bad.  The restaurant was Good Golly..something like that!  Sort of like a Denny’s but a little nicer.

I have traveled down the eastern side of the state of New York through the Adirondacks and up and down the western side which is very different.  I would be driving to Buffalo on I-90 west which is slightly above the middle of the state.  I mostly in the upper area of New York State.

I have never been to New York City. I have seen New York City from the New Jersey airport and that is the closest I have gotten.  I have always wanted to attend a Broadway show, sit in at the Rachel Ray TV show, and dangle my feet at the New York Public Library.  I had forgotten that I had poked around some in New York City genealogy for a friend of the family and was looking at immigration records in the early 1900’s.  I suppose I should add the Statue of Liberty on my list and Ellis Island as well and the Empire State Building.  I would not be going anywhere near NYC this trip.

In 1985 I gave to the Ellis Island Centennial Commission.  It was not much but they sent me a certificate of Charter Membership which was supposedly signed by Gerald Ford?  I got a membership card as well. A nice letter signed by Lee A. Iacocca, Chairman.  I occasionally go online to see if there is anything of interest in the records, but my family all came over so early that I rarely do.  http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/genealogy  It is probably time to donate again.

New York Counties

New York Counties

I-81 would take me to Syracuse and I really didn’t want to go through and deal with traffic in that city.  It turned out good because Exit 25A came up really quick and the lanes had gone from 2 to 3.  I turned off and came up to the toll booth, moving left to get into the correct lane and not the EZ pass lane. The man handed me a ticket and said “Have a good one.

I-90 is pretty straight and the only thing of real interest is the signage telling you what exit it is and where the service areas are.  It was very busy however, and that made it difficult to get around slower moving vehicles. Looking back in the review mirror and side mirror you would see a long line of cars trying to get around you.  I had a few bumper drivers on me and it was so odd because they had plenty of time to go around me but wouldn’t do it.  http://www.thruway.ny.gov/index.shtml  This is a 4 lane highway two lanes on each side with plenty of time to pass.

From Syracuse to Buffalo it was 130 miles.  I was not going into Buffalo but only to the eastern side of the airport at Exit 49.  I figured that meant I would only have 110 miles to go. Again the exits are far apart anywhere from 10 to 13 miles in between.  I came up to Exit 48 A & B and thought I would next get to Exit 49 but no I had the Ontario Service area to drive to and beyond.  I was getting impatient.

Finally, Exit 49 came and I turned off I-90…happily. I paid my $6.50 cents which surprised me and then had to get into the right lane but this red sport car was blocking me.  I wanted to go south on #78 to Genessee St. in Cheektowaga.  Yup I was in Cheektowaga!  Their website has some interesting links to a 1812 cemetery?

I stopped to fill up the car per the rental agreement and again tried to get the gooey stuff off the right side of the car to no luck.  This happened in Toronto at the Super 8. Someone had put their milkshake or something gooey on my car and it fell and spilled all over.  It was mess.

Oh, one thing I did not mention, the Check Engine light had been on since Cornwall.  I had called the car rental company and they said I had about 1000 miles but they would spring for an oil change if needed.  If the light was steady and not flashing then I was okay?  So I had checked the oil several times and watched for overheating.  This is the second time this has happened and I really am not thrilled.  So far I have not had a flat or problems with a rental car.  The travel gods have been very kind.

I found the Quality Inn next to the Garden Hilton.  It was a funny designed Quality Inn and a little difficult to find among the other hotels.  They put me on the 3rd floor and the stairs were very steep. I was not happy but I walked over to the McDonald’s and had lunch. Food usually helps with the patience factor and on the way back to the hotel I stopped and asked for a lower floor and I got it. YIPPEE! So I moved the car, emptied it of my stuff which was a big job and had to re-pack all my things to fly home.  The room was a mess I had both beds covered but I got it all in.

Later I went over to the Garden Hilton and they had this nice restaurant in the lobby area. This was my celebration dinner marking the end of my trip. It was a very nice steak and good.

Morning came quickly and breakfast at this Quality Inn had hot food so I was very happy. They have a nice lobby and breakfast area.

Getting the rental car to the airport was not too bad.  The receptionist at the hotel said I could go either way when I left the hotel, left or right on Genessee.  I went left so I could turn right into the airport and followed it along. I was back at the car rental building which is on the airport grounds.

Buffalo Airport

Buffalo Airport the hotels are visible on the south side

I turned in the rental car and said goodbye to it!  I found the United counter and checked my bags.  Security was easy because I am Premier on United and so I get to go ahead.  I found the gate and settled in.  My flight was two hours away.  I had read about 3 novels this trip.  My Nook Ap and Nookcolor Reader store the books so I can reread a novel if I want.  I was content.

The flight out of Buffalo was very late and I was certain I would not make my connection in Chicago.  After landing at O’Hare, I found the Red Carpet Club for United and they told me about the Customer Service area which was down the F concourse so I stopped there and the man said “Can you walk fast you have 3 minutes.”  So I followed his instructions and once I started to recognize things I was okay.  I was moving really fast and Chicago O’Hare is not an easy airport to get from concourse to concourse.  I found B concourse and they were still loading thank goodness.  The Customer service man called to tell them I was coming.  I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the gate. I made it to my seat and I was so happy.  The question is did my luggage, it did!  I am liking this Premier thing!

It was EPIC, my trip.  My miles were 2011 the first time to Canada in 2012. This trip the total was 1964 miles.  It was a whole 47 miles less!  Still I think it was EPIC.  HA!

I was home and I was glad.  It was nice to see my hubby, my car, my cats and be in familiar territory.

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here: bjmcdonell@gmail.com
This entry was posted in New York, Trip to Ontario & Canada 2014 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New York Wanderings: Heading Home…

  1. Byrna Klavano says:

    By the looks of the lighthouse so close to the water level, the St Lawrence must not ever go into flood stages like rivers in Washington. The morning photo of Boldt Castle is beautiful. St Lawrence water looked clear. I’d expect it to be polluted. Welcome home. Byrna

    Like

    • bonmac says:

      I was contemplating that myself because many houses are right on the edge of the St. Lawrence. I think it might be regulated now with dams because of this fact but I really don’t know that much about life on this river. Well there was a tire on the short in one picture where I am looking down and so there is some junk. I did notice that it seems pretty clean and clear, actually all of my travels I saw little litter and junk.

      Like

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