The overnight coach trip from Chicago to Buffalo was an absolute nightmare; I have never been so uncomfortable in my life.
Border security came onto the coach at one point to conduct a visa check and made a direct beeline for Alice and I first – we must look suspicious! Unfortunately, a Mexican couple sitting in front of us were escorted off so we think somebody must have tipped off the security team in Chicago.
We stayed with Alice’s granny during our time here which was a delightfully British experience. I had my own room which was beautiful and made me feel like I was in a Jane Austen novel. It was a perfect week of rejuvenating before our last stop in the big apple. We drank lots of tea, played many a game of croquet, and watched countless games of Wimbledon while eating strawberries and cream. Alice’s granny generously took us on many adventures, one of which was to a theatre in Canada to see My Fair Lady. I’ve always enjoyed taking part in musicals at school and watching them on TV, but this was the first time I’ve seen one live and I loved it.
Alice’s aunt Erica took us to a baseball game along with Alice’s cousins, John and Brian which was a lot of fun, LETS GO BUFFALO! Audience participation is a massive part of the entertainment, including a race between giant dress-up items of food. Alice rooted for the chicken, Brian went for broccoli, and I went for the piece of cheese. The cheese won! John caught the baseball, which we were all mighty jealous of, and we even got our five seconds of fame on camera which projected onto the big screen.
We also got the opportunity to visit the George Eastman House in Rochester (the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography), Buffalo Botanic Gardens, and The University of Rochester, which is where Alice’s mum Vanessa studied. The Sorority houses are amazing, and without a doubt, Alice and I would definitely have been sorority girls had we lived in America. Last but not least, we tried real Buffalo chicken wings, and squeezed in a drive with Alice’s uncle John in his Chrysler; living the high life.
Next on the agenda was Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, which was breathtaking. I can’t even describe it properly because it was so hypnotizing; the scale of the falls is hard to comprehend. While there, we went on The Maid of the Mist boat tour which takes you right into the falls, and to the impact of where the fall of water hits the river.
As Toronto isn’t too far away, we were able to visit for the day for a spot of lunch, as well as a boat trip out onto Lake Ontario, and a visit to the top of the CN tower which had a spectacular view of the city. The 2011 Bollywood Film awards show was coincidentally taking place in the heart of the city that day too which gave the whole day a colourful atmosphere of singing and dancing.