Thursday, July 14, 2011

Niagara Falls!

First of all, beautiful flowers for Mama Farm.  We love you, Mama. 
The sun was in the wrong spot for photographing us in front of the falls - but we did it anyway and you get the idea!

See the huge spray of mist above the horseshoe falls!

The boat is the Maid of the Mist which travels right into the spray!

Tony was determined to get the perfect picture....

....and this is where he went to get it!! (Some of us were a little embarrassed.)

Beautiful, isn't it?
 We headed back to New York (that's up state New York, not city of) to find a KOA to spend the night and catch up on our washing.
The boys were a little disappointed with Niagara; "It's not very big, is it?' they said.  I think they just could not get the perspective!

So next day when we found out how little it costs to ride the Maid of the Mist and walk the Cave of the Winds, only T and E were interested......a date!!
So the children stayed at the KOA, journalled and swam, while we, feeling very young and irresponsible, went to explore Niagara up close and personal - and very WET!
More gardens for Mama!  The New York side is State Park and has beautiful lawns, gardens and enormous shade trees.  Canada side is very commercial and built up.

Canada in the background.

In here you receive a poncho, sandals and a plastic bag...??!!

Ahh, now I understand!  That's the Bridal Veil Falls behind E.  We went right up to it and could touch the water rushing past.  The spray was enormous, especially on the 'Hurricane deck' where we had to turn our backs to be able to breathe and the water was like a strong massage - that was not spray - that was Niagara!!

Just as we were leaving, a kind gentleman offered to take a photo of the two of us. Thankyou.
And the Maid of the Mist!  That's the Horseshoe Falls in the background and we went right into the cloud of spray.  It is enormous!  285,000 litres of water per SECOND!!
(But definitely not good for the hair.)

GPS dramas

A GPS can be a dangerous thing, as we discovered yesterday!
ElizaBeth typed in Niagara Falls and then went to sleep.
Tony drove on, staying on the correct side of the road and negotiating increasing traffic and confusing roads.
Next thing we knew we were stopped at the Canadian border control.
We had fireworks on board - that's a no no.
One of us had chosen this day as the only day so far NOT to wear passport belt and didn't know where it was packed.
So a very nice lady (with bullet proof vest, guns etc) escorted us from our car so it could be searched.
"Here's the deal," she said, coming toward us with our fireworks and 2 foot long sparklers in her hand, "I take these and give you a receipt for them.  But you don't get them back.  Or I can escort you back to the US."
Hmmmm, we elected to lose the fireworks - since we were so close to getting a Canadian stamp on our passports, you know! And they say the Canadian view of Niagara is the best....
Anyway, she decided, "You're not in trouble because you declared them.  You're good."

So guys, we went to Canada!
You know, we've never seen a border crossing before - being from the island continent and all.  It was fun and exciting and definitely a growing experience!

Next stop, Niagara Falls!!

Calling all Bucknells! (That's ElizaBeth's maiden name)

Hey!  A university of our own, what do you know.... 
We just snapped these as we drove by.....

Rest stop on the Susquehanna

We drove along this river for hours.  It was so beautiful, so wide.  Behind the boys is an island, not the opposite bank!  The river is not very deep where we were and has hundreds of small islands. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Sorry, Katie.  Ended up as just a quick glance at Gettysburg.  Wish we could have stayed longer and learned more. 


Thomas Jefferson
I remember sitting in the boys room at our little farm, all crowded around the computer to see photos of Monticello.  We took a virtual tour.  We never thought we would be here.  

Jefferson's grave in the family cemetary.

Briony-Anne's flip-flop broke so she limped-lopped through the underground  service areas.

We all wore our new Polyface t-shirts!

The incredible vegie garden overlooks the the beautiful scenery.  The summer house in the background is where Jefferson read every evening.

Swimming/camping in the rain

We met a wonderful family here at Staunton/Walnut Hills KOA, Mary and her sons Dan and Tom (Dad and three sisters stayed at home.)  They had also come for Polyface Field Day and they are Christians and homeschoolers.  We enjoyed great fellowship and hope to see them as we pass by Chicago.
Hi guys! Remember this?
We got the huge tarp over the tent just in time - then pegged and tied it down in the rain and it was NOT a shower!
But it was FUN! 

We're on a slope, but forgot to put the door downhill.  OOOooops!

"We are brothers!"

We still haven't been able to set off our fireworks! Only this sparkler.

Polyface Farm Field Day, 2011, Swoope, Virginia

There are a lot of photos here, but I know so many of you are as interested as we are! 
Pastured poultry

Daniel Salatin on the right, finishing morning chores and preparation when we arrived at 6:20am!

I don't think Joel stopped talking all day!  And it was sure worth hearing.

Brooding house

Hoop houses that house animals in winter, growing vegetables in summer.

Whole farm tour - about a thousand people followed Joel on each of the 9am and 3pm tours!

Pastured rabbits, also used in the vegetable garden!  Can you believe it?

Pastured beef on salad bar with portable loafing house.

The pigs are in here somewhere!

And Garion's favourite - lunch!  Getting ready to feed 2,000 people on BBQ chicken, beef, pork with cucmbers, nectarines and chocolate cake.  And there was plenty of it, too!  Delicious.

Final session of the day, Q & A with Joel.  Perhaps our favourite session.