Friday Fun #2

Another Friday and I’m ready for some fun. Here is this Friday’s photo which needs a caption (to read last Friday’s fun post, click Friday Fun).

girl crying

 

My caption: I missed the sale on shoes by 5 minutes!

 

What’s your caption?  (let me assure you, no babies were harmed in the making of this Friday Fun post)

Family Reunions – Gift or Curse?

A couple of weeks ago, my mother’s side of the family had its annual reunion. We meet at a park, bring food, donations for our own Chinese auction and photos to share. We’ve done it rain or shine and always have too much food and desserts.

grilling hot dogs - morgue file

Things have changed over the years. My cousins and I used to be the kids running around, playing on the playground and skinning our knees and elbows. Our parents were the old people to us and our grandmother and grandfather, we considered ancient. In reality, our grandparents were in their sixties and our parents in their thirties or forties. Of course to a five-year-old that is ancient, right?

vintage photo of couple - morgue file

Now, in what seems like only a blink of an eye, we cousins are now considered the old people and our parents the ancient ones, those that are left. Our kids are either finishing school or married and having their own kids. Where did the time go??

I know the family structure has changed over the decades. My mother’s brothers and sisters had larger families (up to 6 kids) where today couples seem to have only 2 or 3 kids so that cuts down the number of cousins in a generation. Then, too, young people did not always move away but found a spouse locally, settled down and began their families. Nowadays, four of my nieces/nephews, three of my cousins and one sister all live out-of-state making it very hard to travel back for reunions. Then there is the fact that some relatives (mainly of the younger generations) would rather spend a Saturday or Sunday with their friends than with crazy relatives. All these factors contribute to our diminished ranks at the Ricker clan reunion.

2014 Ricker Reunion

Yet, family is important. They’ve been with you your whole life. They accept you with all your quirks and will always be the first ones to show up when you need a hand building a deck or moving into a new house/apartment.

Those old aunts and uncles can entertain you with stories about your parents when they were young or tell you about life in the ‘old days.’ Someday, you will look back and they will have passed away while you were too busy with your life and friends.

flag large - morgue file

Then there is the unexpected deaths (one of my cousins went off to Afghanistan and was killed defending our country). You would remember how much fun you had playing together as kids and wish you had kept in touch or had at least seen him once more at a family reunion.

Life is way too short and unpredictable to take things and family for granted.

Does your family have reunions? Do you go? I would love to hear your comments.

 

Friday Fun!

It’s Friday! Let’s have some fun.

Below is a photo which begs for a caption. Make it funny, intriguing, thought-provoking, whatever. Let’s see how many we can come up with.

man on a bench

My caption:  Man waiting outside a shoe store for his wife. “How many shoes does one woman need???”

 

I confess – I love shoes (and purses and bracelets and books…you get the picture)!

So tell me your caption and have fun. It’s almost the weekend 🙂

Getting Wet At Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is still the Honeymoon capital of the world. It can be very romantic huddling in rain coats feeling the spray of falling water. My husband and I were among the many couples getting wet at Niagara Falls.

My last post was on the newer trends in wedding wear (read it here)  so keeping with that wedding theme, I’ve decided to report on my own anniversary trip.

Thirty years ago, my newly wedding husband and I drove to Niagara Falls for our week-long honeymoon.

Just married sign

Niagara Falls has always fascinated me, even as a child. I could watch that water go over any one of the three falls for hours. Such power, such force – it’s mesmerizing.

close up of water going over the falls

Apparently, many people feel as I do about the lure of the water. Fifteen people have ‘taken the plunge’ over the falls, most have survived but a few have not. The first, and most famous, dare-devil was Annie Taylor; a 63-year old school teacher. She went over the falls in a barrel of her own design. You can learn more about Annie and the others at NiagaraParks.com.

A little over two weeks ago, my husband and I drove back up to Niagara Falls, this time with our camper, for our anniversary trip.  We stayed at Four Mile Creek State Park (on the US side), just 15 minutes north of the falls, right on Lake Ontario.

My husband in Lake Ontario

My husband in Lake Ontario

It’s a really nice campground with spacious sites, camp store, playground and premium lake sites. We stayed for four days and it rained three of them 😦  Luckily only one of the days, the day we arrived, was a total washout.  Good thing we took a couple of movies along.

There are so many things to do in Niagara Falls, New York. Here are some of the things we did:

Hiking & photo opportunities

Devil’s Hole State Park (north of the falls off Robert Moses Parkway) overlooks the Niagara River gorge and rapids. There is hiking trails, scenic overlooks, a stone staircase and picnic facilities.

Stone staircase

Stone staircase on hiking trail

Whirlpool State Park (north of the falls off Robert Moses Parkway) overlooks the whirlpool in the Niagara River and has two levels. The upper (street) level has scenic overlooks, picnic facilities, playground and a tour guide. The lower (river) level is reached by the hiking trails and a staircase. At this park you can watch the cable car line above the rapids on the Canadian side of Niagara River.

cable car over rapids

Look closely and you can see the red cable car.

Aquarium of Niagara

I love the aquarium (701 Whirlpool Street – aquariumofniagara.org). It is home to over 1,500 aquatic animals ranging from our Great Lakes ecosystem all the way to coral reef ecosystems. There were sharks, penguins, sea horses, sturgeons and my personal favorite, lion fishes. They have sea-lion shows several times a day and even a magic show.

sea lion show

lion fish

Lion Fish

The Falls

me at Niagara Falls

Me at Niagara Falls

The observation tower includes the elevator for the Maid of the Mist boat ride. This observation tower has a 230 foot overlook to both the American and Horseshoe Falls.

view from observation tower

View from the observation tower of both falls

Maid of the Mist

Looking down to the Maid of the Mist boat ride – you get very wet!

Goat Island is the island between the American and the Horseshoe Falls. It has a trolley system, picnic areas, Cave of the Winds tour, Top of the Falls Restaurant and plenty of viewing of the magnificent falls.

Top of the Falls Restaurant

Eating at the Top of the Falls Restaurant

Top of the Falls Restaurant

Great food and views from the deck – they even had vegetarian dish items 🙂

Cave of the Winds tour

Cave of the Winds tour – you get very wet!

Close up to the American Falls

Close up to the American Falls

Close up to the falls

You can see the Observation Deck in the background

rapids

This is about 50 feet back from the Falls – rapids & mini waterfalls

Even though one day was only 57 degrees and we had to dodge a lot of rain drops, we had a great time. Can’t get enough of Niagara Falls!

I’d love to hear about your experience at the falls, especially if you got married or honeymooned there. What was your favorite activity?