Took the family to Niagara Falls – Awesome!

090825-025.jpgSome who read this blog know that we are not able to get out as a family much. We have a handicapped son at home that needs 100% care. Carol really needed a break, so we placed Michael in OLV’s respite program for the week. We decided to get away to Niagara Falls. We were there on Tuesday and Thursday. We had a great time (BTW the we is me, Carol,  Lisa, Timothy, Hannah and Frankie – James joined us on Thursday). The weather was perfect. We purchased the Niagara US Discovery Pass which included the following attractions: Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, Niagara Aquarium, Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, Niagara: Legends of Adventure Movie, and the Niagara Scenic Trolley transportation all day. I highly recommended this package.

I delayed taking some of my HCV treatment meds on Monday night and Tuesday morning. It helped, but I was still hurting. It took me all day Wednesday to recoup. After Thursday, well it is now Monday and I am still in bad shape. Only 16 weeks left of this treatment!090825-215.jpg

The first adventure we tackled was the Maid of the Mist boat ride. I have been on the Maid of the Mist before but every time is a great experience.  You can really feel and hear the power of the falls from this ride. Plan on getting wet even though they supply you with the famous blue rain jackets.

After the Maid of the Mist we viewed the falls from the Observation Tower and then went to Prospect Point. I was able to capture some good photos from both these locations. We then loaded up on the Scenic Trolley and took the complete three mile ride around Niagara Falls State Park. This park is the oldest State Park in the US.

Our next stop was on Goat Island to the Bridal Veil Falls area. This location is one of my favorites in the park. You can reach out and touch the water (do not do it). After taking some pictures and finding the information for the 090825-175.jpgEarth Geocache located there we decided to go below to the Cave of the Winds.

None of us have been to the Cave of the Winds before. What a mistake, living 45 minutes from here and never experiencing this – wow. It was great and was the highlight of the mini vacation. Carol and Hannah on Hurricane Deck on the picture to the right says it all. The Bridal Veil Falls behind them is POWERFUL! I took a ton of pictures from this area. It was mesmerizing! I shot a great video of the America Falls, I will post in another blog entry soon. Looking up and seeing the water rush down towards you is – well a rush! I was hesitant to leave this area, I enjoyed it very much.

Our next stop was Terrapin Point this is a short trolley ride or medium walk away. This is the location of the 090827-042.jpgfamous Horseshoe Falls. After acquiring the information for the Terrapin Point Earth Geocache we jumped back onto the Trolley for a ride to Three Sisters Islands. There is a regular geocache called “The Other Sister” located here and an Earth Cache called the Green Cascade. We found both of them. The Other Sister is a tough hide and we where glad to find it.

I was pretty much shot after all this. We decided it was time to find a restaurant for dinner. We drove around for a while and decided to head to River Road in Tonawanda to stop at Old Man River. I am glad we did, this is a nice hamburger type joint that sells seafood also.

Thursday lead us right back to Old Man River for lunch. 090825-120.jpgOur first stop at the Falls was to the Trolley for another ride around the park. Then it was off to The Niagara Falls Discovery Center. The center showcases the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area, it is a hands-on learning experience for all ages. A movie was shown to us here. It was kind of a disappointment. They can do better. We also experienced a virtual elevator ride into the gorge. Next up was the Niagara Aquarium. It is nowhere as nice as Marine Land on the Canadian side but it is worth going to. We enjoyed the seals, sea lions, electric eel and various other native and non native fish. It was nice and relaxing.

From here is was  Trolley ride back to Goat Island to Terrapin Point. We then decided to take the long walk back to Prospect Point to view the falls illuminated when darkness set in. It was a nice hike and worth it. I acquired many awesome night shots of the various areas. We had a great time and recommend everyone to make the trip to Niagara Falls!

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Our Weekend Adventure

This weekend was busy yet very exciting. This was the long awaited time to take Lisa to Bible College. Along the way we (Carol, Lisa, Josh and me) made a geocache stop in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and then on to Illinois. The weather was awful. A snowstorm in the southern tier of NY had us traveling at 40 MPH till the PA border. The temperature was negative ten Fahrenheit. This did not stop crazy me from hunting down a cache in each state. The PA one I had picked out Josh and I could not find – oh well, next time or when I get to summer camp in Butler, PA later this year.

We arrived in decent time considering the weather and met up with an old friend for dinner (Irene Hopkins) and met a new friend at the same time (Chris Williams). Carol and I stayed at Irene’s apartment for the weekend. Josh and Lisa checked into their college dorm.

Saturday was Lisa’s birthday and she wanted to visit downtown Chicago. We spent a few hours at the Navy Pier adventuring around (we hunted down a geocache too!). For dinner we found a most excellent Chinese restaurant in China Town. It was some of the best Chinese food we had had the privilege of eating.

Sunday was awesome as we attended First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. Pastor Jack Schaap preached excellent sermons in the AM and PM services. The people of 1st Baptist made us feel right at home. I thank them for that.

On Monday we had an authentic Mexican Dinner at Irene’s and took Lisa back the college to bid our farewell. Josh drove Carol and I to Midway Airport in Chicago and after delay to replace a part on the 737 Carol and I arrived home very tired but safe and sound.

Lisa is adapting to college life and personally already I miss her very much.

Geocaching… a great hobby!

Let me introduce you to a new hobby of ours here in the Broughton household – Geocaching. Geocaching is fun, it is for the whole family and it gets you out and about – ya that word – exercising. What is geocaching? Glad ya asked. Geocaching a high tech adventure game that is played world wide. Headquartered at this game involves hunting outdoors for hidden treasure. People all over the world have hidden “caches” and have logged the coordinates at With a GPSr unit (we have the Garmin GPSMap 60CSx) one enters the coordinates into their receiver and the hunt begins. Many of the caches are hidden in neat places. Some take a good hike to get to and some also require solving puzzles.

To learn more go to and also Geocacher University.