Our Niagara Falls roadtrip in short notes and Instagrams.

Day 0 - Don't you love it when someone else does the trip planning and all you have to do is show up. Yeah, we love it too. Aatif got a bunch of his IIT Bombay and HBS friends to join him on a roadtrip from Cleveland to Niagara Falls. So L and I flew in from Chicago to meet him there.

Day 1 - We woke up to Mari's steaming hot dosas with sambar, chutney and chai for breakfast. After breakfast, Aatif and Mari packed half their kitchen in their car trunk. Why? Aatif's grand plan for dinner included cooking Chicken Biryani and Murg Mussalam at the inn that we had booked in Niagara.

So we hit the road with our trunks full. Aatif, Mari, L & I took one car. While Abhay, Lavanya N, Lavanya M and Bedi took another. Anant was directly flying into Buffalo form New York City.

We reached Buffalo around 2p and ate at one of the few Thai places that was open on Thanksgiving and serving lunch. Post-lunch, picked up Anant from Buffalo airport and headed to an Indian grocery store to buy the missing masalas for the grand dinner.

After groceries, while we still had some day light left, we drove to the American Falls on the Niagara River. At dusk, it was a gorgeous sight. Its fierceness to be one-upped only by its beauty.

The Red Coach Inn was English style cottages by the Niagara river. The halls had a fire-hearth and the kitchens had everything you needed to wrestle with a chicken. While super-chefs Mari and L were busy cooking, much merry-making happened in the hall with Poker and Abhay's insane all-ins.

It was Thanksgiving night and they substituted a whole chicken for turkey in the dinner, which, needless to say, was devoured with significant speed. Damn, I don't have a picture of the food!

Post-dinner, the merry-making continued late into night with Taboo and Mafia.

Day 2 - The lazy morning began with a lazier breakfast. The day was still bright and sunny, although a bit chillier than yesterday. We crossed the bridge over river to walk to Niagara Falls. The word 'mammoth' doesn't even begin to describe it. A persistent rainbow rising from the stomach of the fallen river played constant peekaboo.
In the evening, we made a customary stop at a mall for the Black Friday shopping. After which, the high rollers from the gang hit the Black Jack tables at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

L managed to jam a slot machine for less than $5 and Bedi managed to keep the night U-rated. In the meanwhile, I think Lavanya M managed to finish a season of Homeland.

Day 3 - The drive back to home day. But first, breakfast with friends. Aatif and Mari dropped Anant and Lavanya M at Buffalo and Cleveland airports respectively. While Abhay drove the rest of us back to Aatif's town. It snowed a bit in a few stretches but nothing that would throw our mighty Prius off the track.
Aatif's choice for a lunch restaurant was impeccable - great Chinese food. Followed by some awesome desserts and shooters at the Chocolate Bar in downtown Cleveland. And then a 5.30p bus that took me and L back to Chicago. Warm bed after a super trip!

Tags: Drive, North America

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