Western New York & Niagara Falls – 2018 Summer Road Trip


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Spending our summer driving across the United States with 3 kids, 2 parents, 1 fifth wheel and a whole lot of excitement – join the fun and follow along each day on Instagram.

Weekly updates also posted here. Welcome to Week Four! (If you’re watching the video on a mobile device, use two fingers to stretch the screen for best viewability.)

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Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - Niagara Falls

We made it to Niagara Falls at last! This is the farthest point on our long road trip and we drove over three thousand miles to get here. We will be leaving western New York in the morning and I can tell you now that there will be some sad kids and adults in our truck.

We’ve had a wonderful week of play and rest with Rebecca’s family and right now I have zero desire to start driving back home.

Last Friday night, for our last night in the D.C. area, we did an evening tour of the the memorials, and everything was so different when viewed in the lights. (I was thrilled to catch the Thomas Jefferson Memorial before the sun went down, it is my favorite.)

My youngest thought it was beyond exciting to stay up so late (the tour time was from 6pm-11pm) and we all very much enjoyed seeing everything that way.

Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - Jefferson memorial

If you can make the times work, I highly recommend planning for at least one guided bus tour just for the convenience of seeing so many things in a comfortable and much more accessible way.

If we’d done a full walking tour on our own in order to see these same places, it would have easily taken twice as long and we would have been absolutely exhausted at the day’s end.

(Ask me how I know that… having done exactly that with my sisters last year.)

Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - Niagara Falls

On Monday, we headed to Niagara Falls and made a day of it. We all loved being on the water and going right up into the splashing waters of the falls on the Maid of the Mist ferry.

We drove across to the Canadian side as well and my boys got a kick out of ever so briefly visiting another country.

We’re already talking about our road trip through the northwestern part of the United States next year and possibly spending a bit of time exploring the Vancouver area.

Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - New York Cheese Board

We spent much of this past week on the front porch: visiting, reading, and even occasionally working a bit.

There were easy cheese board dinners, the best ever pork carnitas, an abundance of spicy queso blanco dip with tortilla chips, a killer salad that Rebecca will be sharing on her site soon and many nights spent on the porch just listening to the birds in the trees at dusk.

Listening to my boys’ laughter as they ran nonstop through the yards and the house all week long has already become one of my favorite memories from this trip.

Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - Amish Doughnuts

We picked up homemade doughnuts twice from Rebecca’s Amish neighbors Ada and Henry. (Ada was sweet enough to make a full batch of these gorgeous Maple Glazed Doughnuts just for us!)

And while Rebecca doesn’t have a sweet tooth to speak of, I made sure to get my hands on both my share and her share of the doughnuts before turning the remaining dozens of doughnuts over to the boys.

Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - Letchworth State Park

On Thursday, we drove to Letchworth State Park (a.k.a. the Grand Canyon of the East), only about half an hour from Rebecca’s house. We walked the paths and climbed the beautiful stone stairs to view the falls from above.

We stopped at Wiscoy Creek on the way home and hiked back to the waterfalls. The boys changed into swim trunks and had so much fun playing in the very cold water. (I happily stayed dry and watched from the bank of the creek.)

Barefeet In The Kitchen Summer Road Trip - Wiscoy Creek

We leave for Ohio tomorrow and begin our drive home. If you have any suggestions for places we should visit while in St. Louis, MO, or Oklahoma City, OK, please send them to me.

It’s hard to believe we’ve already been on the road for almost a month. While I’m ready to be home and back in our routine, I’m going to miss much of this camper life.

For the rest of our summer road trip story, check out these posts: 

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anita Pinson says

    On your way home from Niagara, you might drive through Canada to Sarnia, take the bridge into MICHIGAN! Small town north from there is Lexington with lovely stops on Lake Huron. Head south toward Dearborn. Your family will love Greenfield Village or Henry Ford Museum. Look them up and see what they offer. Any time on Lake Huron or Lake Michigan will be worth the effort. Safe travels!!

    • Mary says

      I LOVED my visit to Lake Michigan last year. We tried to make it work for this year, but there just wasn’t enough time for a real visit. We’re talking about a trip just through Michigan in the next year or so. Your suggestion would’ve been lovely!