Roots-Reconnecting with Our Past travel blog

Our Lady of Fatima National Shrine

Tiffany Window, First Presbyterian Church, Lockport NY

The Erie Canal

40mile point lighthouse, Barker NY

Blackbird Cider Works

Becker Farms


9/15/2014. Monday. I see the Light!

A beautiful, sunny day greeted us this morning even though the temp was in the upper 40's when we un-slumbered. A quick scrambled egg breakfast and off we went on our day's adventures. At 10 am we went into the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The shrine consisted of a large round church surrounded by manicured lawns and beautiful flowers. In front of the church was a fountain that was ringed in small lamps that were attached to each other by a beaded iron rope. At the foot of the fountain was the crucified Christ. On the roof of the church was a large statue of Mary looking out over the fountain. There was a stairway leading up to the top of the roof which Anita decided to scale. She said when she look down at the fountain the lamps, the iron ropes and the Crucifix looked just like a set of Rosary prayer beads. The inside of the church was simply done with no frills and the outer ring aisle had small chapels attached.

Our next stop was the quaint little town of Lockport, NY where we visited the Presbyterian church with the Tiffany windows. What a great experience it was to finally find a church that was open. A volunteer led us on a brief tour of the windows explaining the history of the church and it's windows. We were left on own after the brief tour to study and photograph the windows. The volunteer actually encouraged us to touch the widows to feel their structure and forms. It is amazing that someone can design, color and mold glass so that the subject matter looks three dimensional and the gradient of colors show the depth of the scene. This was a great stop!

It was now time for LUNCH! After driving over the small and unassuming bridge that spans the Erie Canal we came upon Tom 's Diner on Main St. We settled comfortably into a Naugahyde lined stuffed booth right out of the 50's and ordered our fare. Anita ordered the tender, slow-cooked roast beef on a weck roll. A weck roll has caraway seeds and salt. She let me have a taste and I never had a roast beef sandwich this good. I was more in the breakfast mood so I ordered a western omelette and French fries. The omelette was huge and the eggs were light and fluffy. The French fries were hand cut and fried just so. A great lunch was had by all!

After lunch, we walked over to the bridge so Anita could take pictures of the Erie Canal and some locks. I stared at the Erie Canal and didn't think it was all that eerie!

Now, it was off to see a lighthouse. We drove about 20 miles east to Gasport and drove into Golden Hills State Park and Campground on the shores of Lake Ontario ( a Great Lake, no, I mean it, it's one of the Great Lakes). The lighthouse was really neat; it was a stone house with the light attached not the chimney stacks we have in Florida for light houses. This one was built in 1875 and still looks good. It is no longer an active light house.

Well, friends and family, it's once again time for a refreshment stop so we drove over to the Blackbird Cider Works in Barker, NY to procure a few bottles of apple nectar. Upon entering the establishment, we were confronted by a young lady behind a tasting bar. Not wanting to disappoint the young lass, we ponied up $8 so we each could sample 4 different hard ciders. These people raise over 20 varieties of apples and process their cider on the premises. To make a short story short, we bought 4 bottles of hard cider.

Our taste buds were now ignited and we needed to find some food to squelch the aroused buds. Very conveniently just down the road was Beckers Farm known for its winery, produce, brewery and, of course, their bakery. While I was following Anita into the bakery, I heard someone whispering my name. Since I am deaf in my left ear, I thought Anita was calling me but I couldn't detect where she was. Suddenly, I wheeled to my left and there she was- the most gorgeous fresh peach pie you ever saw. I shuffled over to the glass bakery case and requested the yummy morsel to be gently boxed for its ride home.

While yesterday was very frustrating, today was just great! We accomplished our daily bucket list with nary a stumble or grumble. Tomorrow is our guided tour of Niagara Falls. I get to lay back and ride nonchalantly over those damn bridges.



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