Island hopping

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Those who have followed my blog know we live on an Island.  There are a few little Islands in the Niagara River around our Island.  The only way to them is by boat.

This week we had the opportunity to spend some time boating, swimming, snorkeling and just hanging out at a couple of these Islands.

On Friday we spent the day at Strawberry Island.  Read history here:  Strawberry Island

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The kids are snorkeling along the shore

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The boy had a hockey friend with him and they all had a great day.

Today we anchored along Navy Island.  Read history here:  Navy Island

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The area we anchored had a little beach and was perfect for relaxing, cooling off, eating lunch and of course snorkeling.  My niece tagged along with us.

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And after about 4 hours on the water it was time for one last tube ride.

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And a nap for some on the way back into the marina

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Storm Clouds and a surprise

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Beautiful storm clouds rolling in over the marina tonight.  The kids had just enough time to enjoy the surprise of our new boat, “Chasin’ Chances” before the storm hit.

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Even Grandma had time to look it over

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It was a race against clouds to get back home, close all the windows and tuck the animals in before the rain…and we won 🙂

The Erie Canal

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My nephew who is in the Army and stationed 4 hours from us came home for the long weekend.  Today we took him and his girlfriend for a cruise down the Erie Canal.  Click on the Erie Canal and you can read all about how important this canal was in our history!!

We headed out in beautiful sunshine

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We passed under the Niagara Falls bridge

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We came by the Island Street Boatyard Lighthouse (click to read about it)

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We came upon the old train bridge built around 1892

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We had all our ducks in a row at this point

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We passed by the old Wardell’s Boatyard, Bait shop and Gasoline pump

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We continued on under a train bridge still in use today

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We stopped for a quick lunch at the Dockside Grill

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And back into the boat with the skies clouding up

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And we zoomed off to beat the storm home

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But the storm was not to be..it clouded over…sprinkled 100 drops of rain.. and the sun snuck back out

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And the rest of the ride home was beautiful!!

Sunday food and fun

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Italian Sausage submarine sandwiches

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Friend meet up..Parker on tube, Julie his mom floating backwards, me, Chase and her friend Meghan

I knew we would go boating today so I forced myself out of bed early so I could get a few things done.  I wanted to get a good Sunday dinner going in the crock pot, make meatballs for later in the week, and pack our things for a full day on the boat.  We were planning to meet up with our friend who is a charter fisherman here in Buffalo and his family and some of our other neighbors.

I boiled the sausage for 20 minutes, sliced into halves, sliced an onion, sliced a purple pepper, and put all in the crock pot with store bought organic spaghetti sauce.  Let it cook for 6 hours while we were boating and had wonderful Italian sausage submarine sandwiches when we came home for supper.

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Here is my meatball recipe….1 lb ground beef, 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk.  Combine all and roll into balls.  Brown in a frying pan and bake for about 25 minutes in the oven until cooked through.  Let cool and freeze until ready to use.

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And after all that we were off for a wonderful day of boating, swimming, fishing and tubing.  Even Grandma came along.  We swam in the river and anchored in the middle near Motorboat Island where it’s shallow and hung out in the water.  Wonderful day

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Beauty

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It’s majestic reflecting on the water with the pink hue.  This was the sunset from the boat tonight over Canada.  It was 87 degrees and humid.  Perfect night for a sunset swim and ride. 

Here is the progression of the sunset

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Sunset swim

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Is there any better way to spend a warm evening than with a sunset swim?  The kids had a little fun on the boat tubing and then snorkeling around a small island, Motorboat Island, near Buffalo, NY and finishing with a quick dip at sunset.  Work, farm work, and boating…I’m ready for bed!!!

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Natural Beauty

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The clouds were amazing on the boat this morning.  My daughter and her friend (6th graders) just took their final exam in science yesterday.  They informed me these are sirus clouds.  No matter what they are, they are the most amazing thing to look at.

While sitting there drifting and staring at the clouds a prizm appeared.  I could not help but think to myself I was born to be outside.  I love everything about the outdoors and no matter how I feel, nature has a way of amazing me and humbling me.  I only wish more people could enjoy the actual beauty of our world and appreciate all it provides. My nephew is home from Fort Drum for the weekend and my daughter brought a school friend along for the ride.  It was a perfect afternoon.

I hope you will enjoy these pictures as much as I did taking them!!

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Father’s Day Fun

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This is Niagara Falls and the white mist in the distance is actually the Falls.  Today was a day of relaxation and fun after the man of the house returned from an early morning being called in to work.  Started with the kids giving their dad their gifts and then we headed out for a ride around the Island and capped it off with a cookout and our carrot cake.

The tween decided she wanted to make their dad his gift so yesterday they spent the entire day cutting, painting and making a putting green complete with a #1 Dad flag for the hole.

Here are some pictures from our adventures of the day!!

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waiting for dad to get home

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first putt of the day

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Bridge on the other side of the Island taking you to Niagara Falls, NY

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I love the light reflection in the Niagara River

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giving Dad his gifts

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First tube ride ever for the 12 year old!!

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coming in after a fun ride

I am exhausted and ready for bed!!  Another day of blessings!!

Ride around our Island

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our bridge from the underside

Friday the man of the house announced he had been looking at a boat and decided to buy it. SURPRISE…oh boy.  It’s not that I don’t like boats as we live on an Island surrounded by water and had a boat before we had children, horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, dogs and 34 acres of land.  We enjoyed that boat for 5 wonderful years until there was no time.  How can we fit this into our schedule now??

He has brought up buying a boat for a few years now and being a city boy who adapted to my farm lifestyle I know I must bend to some of his forms of entertainment.  Our children have only been on a boat once so they were more than excited.  How could I be the party pooper pointing out all the negatives?  (not that I didn’t I just did not do it in front of the kids). 

So yesterday after we worked on the gardens and finished about 3/4 of the projects on our to do list we took our maiden voyage.  I have some wonderful pictures to share showing the sights around the Island.  The kids are already waiting to go again today.  And I realized last night this is another way our family can enjoy time together!!

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loading up to go

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71 year old gram with hair flying

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City of Buffalo in distance

 

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Chance waiting to take off

 

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selfies

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cool boat ahead

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amazing what you find on the water

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Our friends Don and Cindy

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cruising

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sunset heading home