Sylent Mari Says: This is going to be a short post ‘cause it’s just a small detour post with lots of pretty pictures that I took on my pretty decent camera phone. There’s a few tidbits about my time in Buffalo and Holyoke, MA, but the good stuff is coming up next post. In the meantime, enjoy this journey down memory lane with me. And if I mislabeled a picture please let me know – I tried to remember as best as I could, but I was too busy being overly ecstatic that I was on vacation and far away from work and adult responsibilities.

Buffalo Museum of Science – Buffalo, NY.

In the first part of my adventures of traveling to Fan Expo Canada 2013 on what was a totally crazy and random whim of mine, I revisited my journey from New Mexico to my first destination – Buffalo, New York. My journey from NM to my ultimate destination to see and meet the cast of Lost Girl was definitely something I had never had the courage to do on my own before. Well, and the lack of monetary funds and being a bit young when my other favorites first came out (when the X-Files first aired I was 12. Don’t think my parents would’ve appreciated me heading out solo to one of the meet-ups for the show).

Random cool-lookin’ house by Downtown Buffalo. Love New England-style homes.

I’ve never been to Buffalo before, but I knew I had family out there. I was so thankful and lucky to hang out and stay with them for the entirety of my trip – saved me tons of dinero on booking a hotel room in Canada or NY for a few weeks. Also reconnecting with them was a bonus, along with spending as much time as possible with them before I left. Why was Buffalo such an important destination? It’s about 20-30 minutes from the Canadian border – Ontario is its neighbor. The drive from Buffalo to Toronto is about 2 – 3 hours, depending on wait times at the three major border crossings just north of Buffalo: Kensington, Peace Bridge, and Rainbow Bridge. Kensington is the least traveled of the 3 and the one I used daily during the week I was up in Toronto at Fan Expo. They also had the nicest guards, at least on the Canadian side.

Downtown Buffalo – City Hall? Stupid memory…

Geography and driving lessons aside, Buffalo was a pretty cool and chill city to visit. I didn’t do much exploring on my own, but my relatives took me to Cool Spots to Visit If You’re A Tourist, including Downtown Buffalo. One of the coolest things about visiting the East Coast is the large Puerto Rican presence and influence, especially in western Massachusetts. Eating at a Puerto Rican restaurant playing music that I remember listening to growing up brought a bit of nostalgia. Also, I’m too lazy/busy to make PR food at home and I don’t see my parents often enough for my dad’s awesome culinary skills, so it was nice to have homecookin’ away from home and be surrounded by mi gente. In NM I’m the odd-person out because most of my friends are everything but Puerto Rican (except for one or two).

Northampton, MA – home of Smith College. Laid-back and LGBT+ friendly – two of my favorite things.

While Buffalo was my main homebase, I traveled to Holyoke, MA for a few days and spent time with family over there. The last time I visited Holyoke was in the mid-1980’s, when my family lived on base at Hanscom Air Force Base (15 minutes outside of Boston). I’ll always remember the green and the beauty of New England (as evidenced by the massive amount of pictures that I took involving bodies of water and trees), and it’s quite a nice change from the desert. There were a few Holyoke spots that I vaguely remember, but it was great getting another crash course in the scenery and local sights around town. Even got to explore a little more of Massachusetts with a tour of the many colleges in Western MA, including Northampton (home to Smith College), where the lovely shot above comes from. Well, if that truck wasn’t blocking half the shot in the background.

I had a small prepared paragraph about visiting Niagara Falls (both town and huge tourist attraction) and Niagara-on-the-Lake, but I thought I’d let the pictures below do all of the talking. We’re here for one reason, and one reason only – to hear me talk about how bad I was geeking out at seeing a lot of my favorite celebs and some childhood idols and somehow keepin’ my cool. there’s a few pictures of Toronto that I’m slipping in for your perusal.

Bienvenidos a Canada! Flag at Peace Bridge crossing

No introduction needed… I lied. Niagara Falls – Canadian side.

Giant floral clock in Niagara Falls


CBC Tower, Downtown Toronto

A view of Downtown Toronto from the Metro Toronto Convention Center (MTCC)

The… art museum whose name has suddenly escaped me. I’ll properly title this picture.