This is somewhat hard to write but cathartic at the same time. I’m addressing the disappointment part of this visit first. Patty and her two sisters have not talked since her father died back in mid-January. I would like to have said that this chapter in their lives was over but that is not the case and it has drawn in her brother Tommy too!
Patty lost her mother less than 3 years ago and her father in January. Now it seems she is without her entire sibling family! I had great hopes that this would be over with this trip here. Patty’s brother Tom was also here, up from Philadelphia, and I thought that he may help to settle the issues between everyone. Well no, it seems it is worse now with her brother feuding with Patty too now!
It all boils down to Patty being left out of the services for her Dad in January after being told that the family would wait for her. After she had made arrangements to be at the service she was told that they didn’t wait as promised. Patty was devastated. Patty has made a couple attempts to reach out but no one wants to talk to her about it which just makes it even worse. I don’t know what to think. I think the family didn’t communicate and the arrangements got made without knowing Patty was coming. I think they wouldn’t change the plans after knowing she was coming was they thought it wasn’t important and that Patty would just forget about it. Why her sisters have not tried to reach out or respond to her I have no idea. It makes me really mad though. It seems so simple to solve but they won’t do it!
OK on to the better side of visiting the Buffalo area this year.
We were going to see ZZ Top while here. I saw them about 30 years ago but Patty has not. We saw that they were going to be performing at the Artpark in Lewiston just a few miles north of us while we were going to be here. We were still in Texas when we decided to purchase the tickets. They were so cheap, just $17 each for a standing position directly in front of the stage. Anyway, the night of the outdoor concert is was 55F and raining. We are way to warm-blooded to go out and stand in blowing rain to watch any concert so we decided to forfeit the tickets and not go. Hopefully, there will be a next time to see ZZ Top!
While in the area we met up with a few of Patty’s old friends and also some relatives. One evening we caught up with Jeff Lindner, Patty’s cousin, while he was performing with his band, Jeff Lindner's Whole Lotta Band. On another day we had lunch and drinks with Dick Feather an old work friend of Patty’s. We went up to Lockport to visit with another friend Nancy Mongiovi and tour the Erie Canal locks and old underground water caves. Then lastly we went out for dinner with Patty’s niece Shauna Krege and her boyfriend Josh at an old mental institution restaurant.
|Our campground and site here on Grand Island NY|
|Lots of room on the utility side! Good place to practice my drone flying.|
|Patty and Dick Feather out for lunch at Duffs.|
|We went to the New York Fish House for a fish fry one Friday for something different. The fish was fresh and the breading was good. The fish just didn't taste good to us though.|
|Any time you want to leave the island we have to cross a bridge. |
This one is on the south side of the island.
|Allentown Art Festival. Probably the largest craft festivals we have ever been to. We were there 3 hours and didn't see all of it, maybe 3/4 of it.|
|Beautiful houses in this area of Allentown (section of Buffalo NY)|
|Got to have Fat Bob's truck!|
|Interesting restaurant in Allentown|
|Street musician. This guy was only about 4 feet high and just a few inches around. He just didn't look real.|
|Patty's cousin Jeff Lindner as the front man here.|
|Plays a mean mouth harp!|
|Lunch in this cool old school type diner in Lockport NY|
|We took a canal sight seeing cruise on the Erie Canal.|
|The Erie canal is still in use and runs between the Hudson River to the east and Lake Erie to the west.|
|Our cruise boat.|
|Nancy Mongiovi, Patty, and Me|
|Raising the bridge for us to pass under.|
|One of the churches built with the stone from the |
digging of the canal in the early 1800's.
|RR bridge built upside down over the canal with |
historic Lockport in the background.
|Getting ready to enter the locks to go up 75 feet in elevation.|
|Opening the lock to let us in after they drained the water.|
|Moving into the first lock.|
|Looking at the doors holding back 25 feet of water in the second of three locks. We are in the first one here waiting to have it filled before moving to this one.|
|Looking back at the canal where we came from before moving into the first lock.|
|Closing the doors on the first lock.|
|Couple of kayaks going along for the ride too!|
|Filling the lock with water.|
|We are now on the top of the 3rd lock ready to move out west toward the Lake Erie side of the canal.|
|Going under the widest bridge in the country. Not the longest just the widest. Its called Big Bridge!! It is 400 feet in width.|
|When they built the Big Bridge they had to move the stone house on this corner because the owner wouldn't sell it.|
|Going back east you can see how high we are above the canal at the bottom here.|
|Nice view of the locks looking east|
|View of the original Erie Canal locks. |
They were widened at the turn of the century (1900's)
|Rebuild of an original lock door.|
|Rebuild of an original boat. They want to start tours on the original boats through the original locks soon.|
|There is a winery located at the locks called Flight Five!|
|I tried a sampling of 5 dry wines. |
They poured the samples in this very cool wine tree.
|After the cruise on the canal we took a tour of the underground water cave. This is our tour guide.|
|This is the entrance to the cave. The cave is man made for taking water from the top of the canal and diverting it to a few factories that used the water for power.|
|First thing you notice upon entering is that is much cooler than outside.|
|Patty and Nancy waiting for everyone to gather before moving on deeper into the cave.|
|Looking on into the cave. The cave is very wet. There are loads of drops falling on you as you go deeper in.|
|Just like in a natural cave, stalagmites are forming.|
|We took a boat for the last half of the tour. We are 45 feet under ground.|
|The cave was blasted out with small explosive charges. The explosion took off pieces about the size of a basketball.|
|I didn't like that the roof had this crack most of the entire length!|
|Picture of the boat.|
|Patty and I in the boat.|
|Patty out with friends from the old neighborhood where she grew up. From Left to right: Patty, Linda (Odenbach) Poplewski, Eileen (Daly) Carson & Kathy (Daly) Poplewski|
That was the highlights of our visit to the Buffalo area this year. Now we are off to Indiana to visit with my Son Tony, his wife Tracy and, the grandkids!