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Starting Location:  New Rochelle, New York Ending Location:  Amherst, New York
Weather There:  Clear, 48°F

Weather Here:  

Partly cloudy, 59°F
Starting Time:  6:59am Eastern Time Ending Time:  6:58pm Eastern Time
Starting Mileage:  28,159 Ending Mileage:  28,680
Total time in car:  9 hours, 59 minutes Motels with no vacancy:  4 (checked in at # 5)
Giant falls seen:  2, both at Niagara Falls Donuts eaten:  Me, 2; Tubby, 10 (eek!)

I would actually guess it's the lack of sleep, but New York has been exhausting. The traffic and complexities of the highways and interstates in New York City, and to a lesser extent in Buffalo, have sucked a lot of the spunk out of us yesterday and today. The calm of Niagara Falls (despite the din and roar of the water) has helped it a bit, but we still have one more full day and overnight in New York tomorrow before we bounce out to Vermont, New Hampshire and the far end of the trip.

And for whatever its worth, if you're worried about tons of reading and updates, don't worry -- we covered 521 miles today, so most of the day was spent in the car, driving. Just... driving, with a teeny bit of sightseeing and visits here and there.

6:00am The alarm went off, just as I'd set it. Robin stirs and gets up, Tubby is dead to the world. Big surprise.
6:18am At the earliest time so far, Tubby pulled himself from bed and began getting ready.
6:57am We checked out of the hotel, and received the receipt for the $188.44 stay overnight. Stupid lack of motels and hotels.
7:02am We were on I-95, and after some directional snafu, heading toward highway 17 to carry us most of the way from the White Plains, NY area (just north of New York City) to the western edge of New York, some 400 or so miles away.
7:05am 50 cents got us across the first bridge and on to the next toll plaza maybe 40 miles away.
7:51am Or, not. For reasons I cannot explain but still appreciate, the toll here only applies to trucks and vehicles with trailers. Since we're neither one, life is good -- and free.
8:11am The party didn't last forever. We got to shell out another 50 cents for the second and last toll booth marker on our map. Sure, it's only 50 cents, but we had to slow down -- drag. (I so prefer cruise control at 70 MPH versus gas-and-brake-ing it at 5 MPH.)
10:26am The overwhelming interest in donuts for breakfast, and the newness of having never tried Dunkin' Donuts, had us in Binghamton, looking without much luck.
10:48am Okay, as we were about to give up, the Dunkin' Donuts sign caught our eye. Then, so did the 6 cars or 10 people deep lines (outside and inside, respectively).
10:49am Dedicated to The Cause, we stuck it out for the donuts.
10:54am Donuts in hand after some trouble (they were out of two kinds of their ExpressDozen, a pre-packed dozen), so we substituted with glazed varieties of their choosing (since we'd not been here before, and the lack of photos, we trusted them a bit.)
10:57am We all came to the conclusion that Dunkin' Donuts isn't for us. They weren't impressive, and not nearly as light and airy as the Krispy Kreme variety. Live and learn.
12:02pm Stopping for gas in Elmira, Tubby discovered they also sell "delivered fresh daily" Krispy Kremes. He disappears inside and emerges with a dozen glazed, two bottles of Diet Pepsi and chocolate milk. (He also insists the diet soda isn't to offset the donuts, which he claims are fat-free and sugar-free. Funny, but... no.)
1:55pm We hop off of highway 17 and veer toward highway 219 and Buffalo... but not before passing through the town of Salamanca, which sits right at the intersection of those two highways.
2:10pm We had to detour around a farmers market/autumn festival in the downtown of a nearby community (whose name I didn't jot down). There was a number of folks renting their front yards for parking (ranging from $2 to $5 a car), which competed with the far-from-the-action Catholic church lot ($3) or the Elks only a few blocks away ($5). We also passed a cute brunette who was hocking spaces at $4 each, and she smiled at us, although I suspect it was only out of boredom.
2:17pm Following signs to Pumkinville, I'm sure if we arrived or not. But in either case, the local color was nice enough.
2:35pm Slowing for what we thought was an accident or fire, it seems the local firefighters put up cones and park in the street to collect donations. Not knowing reason or merit, Tubby did nothing but drive on through... and I would have sworn he got a scowl from the firefighter holding the boot for his indifference.
3:28pm We hopped off the interstate into Buffalo, and wandered around there for a while.
4:33pm Switching the pace a bit, we paid the 50 cent toll and crossed the bridge, then a second bridge (no toll this direction), and exited the interstate spur to wander around the city and state park for Niagara Falls.
5:34pm We headed out and wandered around the city a bit, before beginning the navigation task of getting to the edge of town to prepare us for our departure tomorrow.
6:58pm Exiting the interstate, we headed to Motel 6 for the night.
7:04pm Or so we thought -- all booked up.
7:08pm As was the Super 8.
7:11pm And Red Roof Inn.
7:15pm Hampton Inn was in a similar way.
7:19pm Marriott wasn't quite full -- yet -- but filling fast. Between a few weddings, people traveling and some events too numerous and obscure to mention, space was at a premium. We paid the $130 and were assigned to room 709.
7:26pm Figuring the room was taken care of, we headed over to Fuddruckers for grub and beverages.
8:09pm All finished up, we hopped into the car and figured it was time to let the Chevy get fed, too.
8:17pm We carted our stuff to the room. Conversely, Tubby's luggage seems to be getting lighter whilst Robin's is getting heavier. And fortunately, I don't have to carry anyone's stuff but my own, and my things are consistently the same, light load of only the most essential supplies.
8:23pm Sitting down to update things, and knowing the mostly-driving day will not keep me up late, I sincerely hope that the sleep recovery we're able to do tonight recharges our emotional batteries. (Tomorrow is a stop-heavy day before we bounce out of the state.)
10:29pm In an all-time record for this trip, I'm done with updates before 1am+.
10:44pm Everything is posted to the site in nearly record time. Hurrah!
11:17pm Mail checked, my floating in the tub completed, so I'm off to bed. Nighty-night, all.

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