After eating we headed over to the George Eastman Museum. He's the founder of Eastman Kodak. Here's a short excerpt from their website:
The George Eastman Museum is located in Rochester, New York, on the estate of George Eastman (1854-1932), the pioneer of popular photography and motion picture film. Founded in 1947 as an independent nonprofit institution, it is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives. The museum holds unparalleled collections—encompassing several million objects—in the fields of photography, cinema, and photographic and cinematographic technology, and photographically illustrated books. The institution is also a longtime leader in film preservation and photographic conservation.
Upon arrival we joined a tour of the grounds around the museum. It was led by a well informed elderly gentleman whose name I did not catch. We all enjoyed his stories very much. Very educational that's for sure.
After that we rushed to a second tour that took us through the various galleries around the museum. The lady that led that one went quite fast. She wanted to give us an overview of the whole place and we could return later to the rooms we were most interested in.
We decided to join another tour right after that. This one was led by another gentleman and his son. They were giving a tour of the Eastman residence. But, after around 20 minutes, we had had enough of tours and walked around on our own. The fact that the last tour had a large contingent following the man and his son around meant the rooms they weren't in were empty. Perfect for shooting.
I have to say, the home and grounds were really cool. I also liked the old cameras and equipment they had on display. As well, there were galleries with different photographic themes. One of the temporary ones they had was of American National Parks. It was pretty big.
We left the museum at half past 3:00 and headed out to do some shopping. We found a Walmart where I bought some socks and a set of dry bags to put my camera equipment in if we ever happened to be out on the water again (like we were when we went kayaking on the St. Lawrence back in 2014).
After a stop at another mall closer to the border we stopped for dinner at a place called the Riverstone Grill on Grand Island (just west of Buffalo, New York). Peter found out about it when it was featured on the TV show Man vs. Food. There the host, Adam Richman, attempted to down their 68 oz "Bone in the Stone" steak @ $52 (or something like that).
While Gabe order the salmon and Justin had a 30 oz steak Peter and I decided to share the Bone in the Stone (for an extra $5 surcharge). The huge steak comes with two ribs sitting on a couple of pounds of fries (regular and sweet potato fries). It's probably 2"-3" thick. Since Peter likes his steak rare and I'm more of a medium guy, we compromised and had it done medium-rare.
When our order came (some 30-40 minutes later) Peter tried to carve it in half through the two bones. This proved to be futile since they were joined at one point. So he just sliced a bit off for each of us. Unfortunately our particular piece of beef had quite a bit of fat and, even worse, a lot of gristle. We could hardly cut through it, let alone chew it. We ended up eating only about half of it, the rest being inedible. A huge disappointment.
We finished eating at 8:30. When Justin checked the border crossing times and found out that the lines were massive we decided to stay on the American side to watch the fireworks at Niagara Falls.
We arrived at the Falls around quarter after 9:00 and staked out spots along the railing by the American Falls. From our spot we could see the Skylon Tower and casinos on the Canadian side. A nice backdrop to the fireworks we hoped.
Unfortunately I didn't know about potentially seeing fireworks beforehand and hadn't brung my tripod. It may have been useless anyway given the size of the crowds. So I just set my exposure anywhere from 1/8th and 1/10th of a second and hoped for the best. I was pleasantly surprised some of my shots were all right.
After the fireworks ended we attempted crossing the border again. Since it was right there, we decided to cross at the Rainbow Bridge. Big mistake. The line was incredibly long. And so, so slow. There was no way we'd be crossing there anytime soon.
Instead we hopped out of line and drove 10 kilometres north to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and crossed there. The line up was less than 5-minutes. I'm guessing we saved at least an hour of waiting. After dropping the guys off, I got home after 2:00 in the morning.