Last week, we took a family vacation, seven fun-filled days of togetherness in a car. We started in Niagara Falls. Well first the
saga journey started with a trip to the US Passport office.
Since Hubs and I are planners (yeah right) we decided at the last minute that the girls needed Passports just in case we wanted to go to Canada. On day one of the trip, we would be in the car for over 10 hours, who knew where we could end up ?
Did you know that it is not possible to get a passport on the same day you apply? Us, well, we are idiots. We did know that both girls needed to be there with both parents. Boo had an appointment at CHB (imagine that) so we thought, two birds one stone.
Except we were wrong. You can pay a huge amount of money to receive the passport the next day. We forked over the money, because it is entirely possible we will get lost and somehow cross the border. While we joke that it might be a nice to have the Canadian government babysit the children so we can have some couple time, we are afraid Allie may stage a coup.
Imagine, Allie the PM of Canada. Heck, this kid would probably crown herself Queen. Yup, better get the passports.
We told Boo’s program that she would be out for a week to visit Niagara Falls. They asked, kindly, if we remember that Boo has sensory issues and really HATES loud noises.
Oops, kind of forgotten about that part of her personality. We were just looking at the pictures online and thought how cool would this be?
We were not getting parents of the year, I guess. Because we decided to go for it anyway. Putting the girls in the car at the butt crack of dawn, we took off for Upstate New York for two days of fun or torture. We arrived 11 hours later and after a quick hotel check-in we were off to the US side of Niagara Falls.
The US side of the Falls is so pretty. A nice State Park with lots of paved trails and views of above the falls.
But we dared to go further, into the falls, into the Cave of the Winds. This was a lot of fun for Allie…
Boo, on the other hand? Well she decided to keep much more difference between the Cave and her chair (notice she is facing the Cave to make sure they don’t sneak up on her)…
The nice Park Ranger took a family photo that we can pass off as Boo entering the Cave. But Allie noticed Boo’s hair wasn’t wet and fears that might give away her secret.
After being up since 4AM and then the excitement of the Falls we headed back to the hotel for some hydro-relaxation-therapy at the pool. Sorry no pics of us in bathing suits. Trust me your eyes will thank me.
Day 2 we went to the Canada side of the Falls. Because we are ignorant Americans we were kind of afraid to drive over the Border. Where would we park? Would the Canadians speak English (after all, I don’t speak French when they come here)? How would we pay (do they accept dollars, what is the exchange rate)? So we decided to walk over the Bridge/Border. Except we ran into one small problem. It seems that Canada isn’t really handicap accessible…
There was no way to get Boo’s chair through! Hubs had to go through and ask the nice Border guard to open the door for us. No photo because, well I am afraid of Border guards. Once we got through the gate we were off to explore Allie, Boo’s and Hub’s first foreign country (hey, I went to Spain at 16 and that totally counts).
And not to judge the whole of Canada on our short 15 mile walk through Niagara, but seriously, would it hurt them to put at least one handicap ramp along our route? Thankfully Boo is small so we could lift her chair up and down the stairs. Allie, well she had to walk. Again, not judging a whole country….
Thankfully the views were spectacular.
After getting our fill of the Falls we headed to higher ground (think a mile up hill, straight up hill). We found an Oasis….Margarita Ville, Canada!
I warned you we were ignorant American’s!! After rocking it out with Jimmy Buffet we headed back out to the Sky Wheel, I think that was the name. I blame the frozen margarita. Where the girls (and us) had a great time seeing the Falls from above.
Why did both Hubs and Allie take pictures of the dinosaur? I have no freaking idea. I think it was the 90 degree weather…after the Sky Wheel the adults were in need of refreshment, Allie needed ice cream. And apparently Boo needed a frog fix so we headed to the Rain Forest Café (yes, I know Boo has sensory issues…think of it as
waterboarding I mean therapy).
After refreshing ourselves we headed back to America…
Where the girls got some much needed rest…
Before we woke their lazy butts up at the butt crack of dawn to head to Chicago for our nephew’s graduation. Why did I wake Allie? She said the best part of the trip was the pool. Hello, ungrateful child????
But this is what we learned on our excursion…foreign countries are not scary. In fact the residents of Niagara Canada spoke better English than those at home. Also, they do take American cash and credit. However we never did learn where that handicap ramp was located. In the end, Boo rocked her new chair, Allie had ice cream and the Hubs and I enjoyed our Buffet drinks.
A good time was had by all. And that my friends is the story of our Niagara Adventure.
Oh and one last note…if you do walk to Canada, the way back is much more accessible however it does cost 50 cents per person to come back to America. In quarters. So make sure you are prepared. Otherwise you might have to leave someone behind.
Kidding! We did not leave Allie to take over Canada. However we did let her borrow the two quarters to come home with us.
Oh too cute the end and I only kew about the passports from when we went on our honeymoon. Oh seriously looked like a great time and loved that you found a piece of Jimmy Buffet there, too!! 🙂
Sounds like fun! My brother and I visited Niagara falls when we were kids (our family's idea of vacations was to visit national parks, an idea my husband and I both carry as well); I don't think we needed a passport when we went (mid-80s at the latest). I do not remember much about most of our national park trips, because the last one was taken when I was maybe 10, so I definitely want to get back to many of them (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and of course, Niagara Falls) when the boys are older and able to remember them.
kerri, you are my hero! family vacations absolutely terrify me. hubby wants to take the kids to disney and i keep vetoing it!
Looks like fun! You guys look great! We live about 4 hours south of Viagra Falls. We went once 19 years ago before you needed passports and before we needed handicap facilities, so of course I didn't notice the lack of accommodation. Back then we thought the Canadian side was prettier and better kept up with! I'm so glad you guys had fun despite a few glitches!
You have to pay to come back into the US? Figures. Glad you had a great trip!
Niagara Falls! Even if it was a long drive, it would be totally worth it. But I'm not sure that gazillion mile road trip is in our future. Super cute pictures. And I'm glad you decided to bring Allie back with you, even if you are out the two quarters now.
That sound like a nice vacation! Minus the no ramp situation! Beautiful family Kerri! I have to admit I am sooo in love with Boos hair color!! Ugh! I love it!!!! It just brightens her face and make her extra freaking adorable!!
Haha! What a fun adventure! And yes, same-day passports are CRAZY expensive! I had to procure one for my boss one day before he had to travel to Europe. Ugh… And, that reminds me, I have to get Sammi's renewed. Go figure, the one they get as children lasts for 5 years, but we got hers when she was 7 months old, which means that the picture in NO WAY resembled her when she traveled outside the country at 5 years old. LOL Definitely time for a new one… Anyway, sounds like you had a great time, despite the waterboarding. Will Boo wear noise-muffling headphones? Check out Peltor.com for children's sized industrial strength headphones in hot pink. Sammi loves hers. 😉
What a trip and love your story telling Kerri! I felt like I was there 🙂
Okay first, I am so glad that you had such an awesome trip with amazing excellent pics…but second? I am so jealous that Boo will sleep with Allie like that??? Tucker still prefers a crib and when he's sleeping with others (as in me) sort of sucks.
Glad you are back. Glad you had such an awesome time. I missed you.
Your trip to Canada sounds like a real adventure! So glad you all had so much fun!
Totally fun! We do have ramps in Canada. I think . . .
(probably shouldn't say this, but maybe Allie would be an improvement on the whole 'leadership of Canada' debacle?! How is she with money?)
Oh I'm so glad that your trip to Niagra Falls was successful, despite lack of ramps on the other side of the border!
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