Niagara Falls Honeymoon recap

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Deciding to go to Niagara Falls on our honeymoon was sort-of a quick decision. We had been talking about wanting to go somewhere this summer, but hadn’t decided on a place or time. I already had a week off scheduled at the end of July, so just a few weeks before that we were driving and just casually talking about where we could go. Eric suggested Niagara Falls and I quickly realized that would be perfect. A few days later I booked us a hotel and it was set!

Niagara Falls is only a four-hour trip from Pittsburgh and so easy to get to. We stayed on the New York side because Eric doesn’t have a passport. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and I’m so happy we did. It was one of the nicer hotels on the New York side and it was walking distance to everything.

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First night: view from near the visitor’s center

We arrived on Tuesday evening and immediately went down to see the falls. They are so crazy to see in person. It’s amazing to think how much water is rushing over them each day.

On Wednesday we bought adventure passes which included admission to five of the main attractions plus unlimited rides on the trolley for $45.

We did the Cave of the Winds, which takes you right under the falls. We had so much fun doing this that we almost went a second time. It is definitely windy though and you get really wet. Luckily they give you disposable sandals and a poncho.

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These three are from the Cave of the Winds

We also went to the aquarium, which was kind of underwhelming. It’s pretty small and didn’t have a ton of exhibits, but they did have some really cute seals.

We walked over to Goat Island, which has the Terrapin Point lookout over the Horseshoe Falls. It’s a great view from there.

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View from the Maid of the Mist

We spent some time exploring some of the town and found some neat artwork. There were definitely some run-down parts of the city that you could tell had been neglected for the more touristy area.

On Thursday we went to the wax museum, which was equal parts interesting, terrifying and hilarious. It’s a very old museum and some of the wax figures are bit off. It’s pretty dark and creepy in some parts, but I’m glad we went.

We also did the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes you down into the Niagara River and right near the falls. It was such a great view of them. After that I took a quick trip over the Rainbow Bridge into Canada. Since Eric didn’t have a passport, he stayed at the hotel.

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View from Canada

I spent about two hours in Canada walking around. Everyone says the Canada side is so much better, but I didn’t really think so. I found it to be much more touristy than the U.S. side and so much more crowded. The view from the Canada side is unique because you can see all of the falls at once, but honestly, I felt like we got really great views on the U.S. side.

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View from the lookout coming back from Maid of the Mist

On Thursday evening we had dinner at the best restaurant that was a couple of miles out of the tourist area. It’s called The Griffon Gastropub and it was so amazing. They had tons of beer on draft and the food was so, so good. I had a steak sandwich with a side of their mac and cheese and Eric had a shrimp po’boy. We literally stuffed ourselves. It was the best meal of the whole trip.

Overall, it was so nice to get away with just the two of us. We hadn’t taken a vacation together in five years! We are definitely going to try and make it a point to get away more often, even if it’s just for a weekend.

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California Part I

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Hello! I’m alive and back from my trip to California. I didn’t mean to take such a long break from blogging, but life has been busy. I wanted to do a recap of my trip because it was so much fun and I got to see so many beautiful places. I decided to break it into two parts since the trip was pretty long and we visited two different parts of the state. Continue reading “California Part I”

California here we come

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When I was in high school I had a slight obsession with The O.C. and then Laguna Beach. I religiously watched both until their dying days (and then The Hills to fill the void). Since then I have always wanted to go to California, but I’ve never had the opportunity until now.

In two weeks I’ll be heading to first San Francisco for a few days and then Laguna Beach for the rest of the trip with my sister and 3-year-old niece. When my sister asked if I wanted to come with them and I found out it involved Laguna Beach I couldn’t say no. I am seriously so excited to experience the West Coast.

We already have a few things planned including a full day at Disney Land and a land and boat tour of San Francisco. I definitely want to go to In-and-Out and find some really good Mexican food. We plan on visiting the beach, but other than that I don’t really know what else to do. If anyone has any recommendations for restaurants, places to visit, good shopping areas etc. that would be awesome!

I am going to try and document the experience as much as possible and share it on the blog and social media. Definitely follow me on Instagram (@notesfromemilyblog) and Twitter (@notesfromemily) to follow along in real time!