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Some RV parks have nicer signage than others . . .
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The big activity was the July 4th parade thru the park
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Lots of kids and bikes
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Inside the welcome center for the Erie Canal boat ride . . a representation of a lock
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They didn't build the canal for ducks . . . but don't tell them that
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Much of the traffic we saw was tour boats
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On the right, the old narrow locks. On the left, the new wider ones
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The big deal of this boat ride was going through the locks - this time uphill
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The locks fill from below - that's just leakage
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When the lock is full, off we go. Double gates protect the lock from runaway boats
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We went thru the last two locks before Lake Erie
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There is some non-tourist canal traffic
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Another tour boat - a paddlewheeler configured for dinner cruises
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The Exchange and Adams St. bridges have lifted straight up to let us go through
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Looking back, the Exchange St. bridge has already lowered to let traffic through
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A pretty church as seen from the canal - built with rock dredged when the canal was built
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Lockport is restoring the five original locks on the right . . .
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They've restored one -small boats will eventually be allowed to pass through
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There's a small museum with interesting objects related to the canal
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It's fascinating to watch the locks operate from above . . .
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There are two tour boats waiting to go down . . .
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The two locks are back-to-back - each with a 25ft elevation change
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The locks are all gravity operated - water fills from "up stream" and drains "downstream" - no pumps involved
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You can cycle the old canal towpath - the Lockport "cave" tour makes a nice rest stop
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The "cave" tour is actually a walk through an old water pipe
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The water tunnels provided water to some canal-side factories
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And they're actually starting to develop some cave-like formations
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A perfect place to recover from the rigors of tourism
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From the Canadian side of the Niagara River, a view of the whirlpool and tram ride
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The river makes a sharp turn, thus creating a whirlpool. It's pretty cool
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We didn't ride the tram - but it was tempting - whatta view!
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The limo wasn't really quite as long as the bus . . .but it was long
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We couldn't find a convenient parking place at the falls, but we managed some views from the car
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Looking across at the US side
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We think the Canadian side of the falls area is much more attractive
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Chocolate moose, anyone?
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We're at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester NY
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You know it's a playful place by the carousel in the ticket lobby . .
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We started our visit in the butterfly garden
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They claim over 1000 butterflies at any one time
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There are also these adorable Asian Button Quail scurrying around the walkways - they scurry too fast to get a good picture
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Butterflies come in all kinds of designs
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The cocoon habitat insures that the butterflies are varied and plentiful
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We wonder if the tortoise envies the ability of a butterfly to flit
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This female Red-Legged Honey-Creeper is native to south and central America.
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The museum is dedicated to learning through play, and has lots of organized activities
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Not sure how you'd put "Summer Faerie" on your next resume . . .
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The International Toy Hall of Fame is under construction up there - we gotta come back when it's done!
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There was a special exhibit for comic books - sorry - "graphic novels"
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Video games? Sure - and no quarters needed
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Winners of a "fantasy home" contest . . . made of moss and twigs and imagination
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We found out how to get to Sesame Street . . .
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Took a picture of the video monitor just because . . .
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Even big kids' toys have a place here
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Now there's some stuff we remember . . .
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That's the original prototype for Simon, along with the original electric diagram
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Margaret Strong was a lifelong toy collector, and founded the Play Museum in 1968.
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We ended our visit with a monstrous half-price milkshake at this authentic 50's diner . . .
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Now we're at the Pierce Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo, although that's an Auburn out front
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One horsepower . . .
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Powered by a 1-cyl 3.5hp gas engine mounted under the rear seat
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Also built in Buffalo. electric cars were popular with females who didn't have to crank them to start them.
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Although the Buffalo-built Thomas Flyer was originally a motorcycle, the same name was later applied to the car
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In 1927, Frank Lloyd Wright designed this gas station for Buffalo's Tydol Oil Co, but it was never built
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The museum bought the plans in 2002 and built the station inside . . .
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The station is currently home to Wright's personal 1929 Cord Cabriolet
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Not everything displayed is automotive. This must be from Elvis' bloated years . . .
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The Pierce-Arrow mascot is very collectable today
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Not all Arrows were luxurious - this is a 1931 "Tow Car"
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These are to be auctioned to help expand the museum, which has warehouses full of treasures they can't so far display
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This arrow is a bus . . .
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Wright also designed that Tydol logo, but nobody could actually read it, so it was also never used
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Old gas pumps are always fun
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Mike was the acknowledged King of car mascot collectors - hood ornaments to us lay folk
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The museum hosts his collection - early mascots were functional as radiator vents, and some were lighted
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The cornerstones of the museum are their Pierce Arrows . . .
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Wooden wheel spokes, all hand-painted - and how about those awesome white walls?
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Of course, not all cars are antiques
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This 1980 Hippomobile began life as a 1971 Mustang convertible. Believe it or not, It's street-legal
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Also built in Buffalo, the 1948 Playboy was voted best small car of that year, the only year it was built
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Hugh Hefner "borrowed" the Playboy name for his new magazine after his original name - Stag Party - was challenged in court
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Bob Hope bought two of these golf-cart-like runabouts
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We saw several attractive stone houses in the Lockport area
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Can you imagine what it took to individually set all those stones into the stucco?
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This is quite a state park - along with 48 (!) rugby and soccer fields, it hosts the old fort
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This is the second lighthouse at the fort, dating to 1872. The original was built in 1782.
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There's a moat and drawbridge at the original fort gate
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The first buildings were constructed by the French in 1678
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The British took control in 1759, and the US in 1796
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Called "The Castle", this is the original French fort from 1678
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It was also a trading post, used to trade for furs with the local natives
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They had three musket-firing soldiers demonstrating weaponry used in successive military periods
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This one is a French "volunteer".
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We asked how he stayed so cool in that wool outfit. He confided he wasn't wearing pants - just leggings and a loincloth.
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This a British soldier
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And finally, a US soldier from the civil war era
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All of the buildings are originals, although most have been restored
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Prior to the cannon firing, more uniforms were displayed, including French regular army and US Continental
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The camera missed the actual firing, but the plugging of the ears was an essential step
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The fort was built to defend against attacks from the land, as control of the water was never an issue
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The powder magazine
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The all-important snack bar, named for a resident ghost who was executed by decapitation
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Obviously an oven or furnace . . . .but we saw no info on it
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After the war of 1812, cannons were mounted to defend against invasions from Canada.
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Inside the castle a recreated "day room" served as the re-enactors lounge
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We noticed that pattern of colored and clear glass in most windows
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Every fort had a chapel
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A soldier's barracks. They must have all been short and needed to be friendly
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Inside the bake shop. The bread looked to be very old
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These cannon towers at two corners of the fort had guns on the third floor, above the barracks
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Earthworks surround the fort on the land sides
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The fort commands a fine view of Lake Ontario (right) and the Niagara River (left)
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The largest guns used at the fort shot 18" shells up to 3 miles, and were very accurate
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You can see where the old bricks have been replaced by new . . .
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That's Canada across the river
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Lots of sailboats under sail. Denny would love it . .
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Things can get ugly during the big truck rut
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We built a new "desk" for our computer . . . "we" means mostly Al
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When not being used, the laptop slides back into its lair. So we'll stop now.