It was a sunny and warm Sunday morning. It was also the day after Noah’s birthday. We had a very busy Saturday between cleaning the house, decorating, and running errands before the party itself. We wanted to enjoy a nice and relaxing Sunday as a family.

Noah and Charlotte obviously wanted to play with Noah’s new toys to start the day off, so Ashley and I thought about how we could spend our afternoon. The first thing we did was consult the Summer Bucket List. We agreed that several of the items left on the list would be best if they were done early in the morning (either to beat the crowds, traffic, or due to a long drive). There were a couple of other things we considered on there, but nothing seemed quite right. We wanted to go to a place where we could enjoy the sunshine and nice weather outside. We were OK with going for a bit of a drive and thought maybe we could go somewhere where we could eat lunch on the water.

We decided on the Silo Restaurant in Lewiston.  It’s less than ten miles from Niagara Falls.  It’s a bit of a hike for us (a 45-minute drive), but we like the food and location. We usually go once a year. It is a seasonal restaurant that serves “American classics, creative gourmet sandwiches and salads, and award-winning burgers made from only the finest, freshest American beef.”

The Silo has a great location overlooking the Niagara River.  In the 1930’s it was as an actual silo that stored coal, which fueled the many steamships that passed down the Niagara to Toronto. Then, in 1997 it was converted to a restaurant with great views of the river. There is also a converted caboose adjacent to the Silo that sells ice cream.

Each time we’ve been there, Ashley and I have eaten the Original Haystack, which was showcased on Man V. Food on the Travel Channel a few years ago. The sandwich is “Seasoned Rib-eye steak with loads of melted mozzarella, and piled high with toasted hash browns. Served on a fresh baked hoagie roll with mayo.” It’s delicious!

Alright, enough with the unpaid advertising for the Silo Restaurant (115 N. Water Street, Lewiston, NY 14092). We didn’t get there until around 1:30 p.m. so we hoped we missed the lunch crowd in the process, but this is the kind of place that is always busy on nice days. There was a long line out the door. We had come all this way, so it’s not like we could just abandon our plan and go elsewhere. Ashley and Charlotte got in line and Noah and I walked to the Caboose next to the restaurant where they serve their milkshakes and ice cream. Noah and Charlotte ate their lunches before we left, so we figured they could eat ice cream while we waited for our food.

Noah and I met up with Ashley and Charlotte in line. Noah had his typical vanilla ice cream cone while Charlotte had one with sprinkles. Our very particular Noah was not happy with the type of cone they served there, so he said he would just eat the ice cream and not the cone (I might have finished off his cone for him). We placed our order (two Haystacks and an order of sweet potato fries) and went for a walk. They told us the food could take up to a half hour, because of how busy it was.

There is a grassy park next to the Silo. There are several benches and some swinging benches facing the water. The river is probably about 50 feet below the silo and the park. We found a bench and sat down for a couple of minutes. Noah looked out over the fence at the area down below and next to the river. There are several docks and a walkway down beside the water. Noah wanted to go down there. Ashley took him down there while Charlotte and I stayed on the bench. She wasn’t finished with her ice cream yet and was a huge mess. Her face was covered in ice cream and so was the yellow princess dress she insisted on wearing over her regular green summer dress.

Once Charlotte finished her cone I had to thoroughly wipe down her hands, face, and dress. I threw the dirty princess dress in our car and then we decided to head down near the water to meet up with Noah and Ashley. Charlotte wanted me to hold her, which was alright with me because there is a large wooden staircase that leads down to the water level. There were a few landings along the way, but I assure you there were a lot of steps. It was pretty steep, too, so I wouldn’t want Charlotte to descend by herself.

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We met up with the other half of our family and then we walked beside the water for a little while. There were several docks that were either partially or fully submerged by the water, due to high water levels. We walked as far as we could and then walked up a long, steep, pathway to return to the park.

We walked back to the restaurant, figuring our food would be ready soon.  We found a table outside and took a seat.  Within a few minutes our buzzer went off and I went to pickup the food.  As soon as I got back to our table Ashley told me that Noah has to pee.  He quickly walked toward me with one hand on his crotch.  I was pretty sure that meant we didn’t have much time.

I picked up Noah and ran to the bathroom.  The men’s room there only fits one person at a time and there were two people waiting in line.  Noah told me he couldn’t wait much longer.  That’s when I remembered there was a bathroom at the bottom of the steps next to the river.  I asked Noah if he could hold it about two minutes longer and I begged him not to pee on me.  I ran threw the park with Noah in my arms and hurried down the many wooden stairs to the river’s edge.  We finally reached the bathroom and we burst through the door.  I put him down in front of a toilet and he was going to town the second he pulled his shorts down.  We were both relieved.

We walked up the stairs at a considerably slower pace, because he agreed to walk on his own.  I was starving by the time we got back to my waiting lunch.  The food was good, but I’m pretty sure they forgot to put the cheese on my Haystack.  We spent a little more time in the park, changed Charlotte and began the long drive home.  We would’ve spent a little more time walking around Lewiston, which is a cool little town, but the kids were growing tired and cranky.  Noah even fell asleep on the way home (Charlotte slept on the way there).

We may have driven pretty far for lunch, but it was definitely a nice and enjoyable experience.  It’s always nice to spend a little time beside the water on a nice summer day.  The nice meal and swaying peacefully back and forth on a bench were probably my highlights.  It was a simple and tranquil experience, but those are definitely needed during the busy summer months.

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