Captain’s Log…Day Thirteen…Man, I’m Livin’ Right

I moved this post to where it belonged…here. Don’t miss my new post below it…Day 12 Vermont (But Wait, There’s More) 2nd Tour of 2nd Full Day in VT

Niagara map

From Burlington, VT to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is a long way. I drove on the New York “thruway” most of the time. It’s yet another New York toll road. I’ve learned if you’re going to New York, bring cash. You don’t even ever have to get out of the car, but you’re going to need some cash, preferably small bills. Also, bring CD’s/Ipod/Sirius/XM. You’re going to feel like ending it all if you have to be subjected to the “Worst of the 80’s” stations that I found. The highlights were Stevie Nicks and the Eagles, granted they are great, but everyone has their limits. You can only be so pleased to hear the one or two songs of theirs that the stations replay countless times before you’re just praying for static.

Also, you’d better like barns if you’re going to follow in my travel footsteps. In the beginning of the trip I was commenting, “Look at that barn. Beautiful.” Then I commented on the differences in the barns as we went further north. Then the amount of barns, the size, the condition… Until finally, “Barn.” Pass another. “Barn.” After being on the “thruway” for hours I was on the phone with DH and found myself saying with no enthusiasm, “Wow. Another barn.” Then there were some random curse words regarding barns that my brain bandied around. So, following my travel steps? Embrace the barn.

Well, after one million hours driving across the top of the entire state of New York I was awarded two things. One, in the beginning of New York and one at the end.

First, I got to drive through the Adirondack Mountains. What an unbelievably beautiful mountain range. They are the prettiest I’ve even seen. Wow. I had to get out and get gas in the middle of the mountains and everything smelled like hot wood. I know that sounds weird, but it smelled great. I wish I could have spent time in that little hot wood town. Everyone seemed happy to be there and were off to shop, motorcycle ride or head to the lake. Nice.

Second, I made it to Niagara Falls. We saw it first from the American side. <<<que Lee Greenwood>>> The kids were the most excited they’ve ever been in their lives, and I’ve known them a while, so I should know. I was excited too…like I had to focus on the road or we were all gonna die because I-was-so-distracted-with-the-view-excited.

Then we passed through the boarder and I got my first shock. “You ain’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy.” Uh, going to another country is the big suck. I realized that it’s super scary to not know what all your rights are. Whaddya mean things are different here? Where’s due process? (Not like I’ve needed it, yet…but still.) Where’s normal looking currency? Why do you ask me questions and end your sentences with “no”? “Are you enjoying your stay, no?” ??? Yes, I’m enjoying my stay, but I’m confused how to quickly answer you since you said no. Auuugh, I’m an idiot. Imagine me in a country where they speak no English, no? No. That would be so hilarious (in theory). In fact, I would be eating a lot of weird food and paying too much for it since I wouldn’t understand a word. No? What?

We stayed in the Marriott Fallsview. Naturally, I had requested a Falls View. Duh? You’ve been reading my whole journey. You know I face the scene, right? LOL. Well, I was a lucky genius when I booked my trip because I had us coming in on a Sunday night, so they weren’t too busy. Woo hoo! They offered us a Family room upgrade that’s listed on my door for $800 a night. You know I didn’t pay that. Come on. The upgrade was only $30 more, so I took it. It kept us from being cramped in a small room with a roll away and back injuries. We got a suite that has french doors to a room with a fold out couch (for the boys) (ok, some back injuries, but moderate). The view is WONDERFUL. We overlook Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.

left view
My view to the Left (American Falls)
fallsview right
My view to the Right (my pjs in the reflection) ~ (Horseshoe Falls)

Here’s where I’m livin’ right. Our bellman opened the curtains (the kids’ jaws drop) they start acting crazy and awed. He’s nice and apparently used to it, because he even gives us a moment of silence while we stand there being amazed tourists. I’m getting tears in my eyes just watching the kids watch, even though I’ve never seen the site before either. It’s fantastic.

Then the bellman tells us that this is one of the two nights a week that they do fireworks over the Falls and it starts in 15 minutes. Plus, we can see it from our windows. Wow. Somebody is looking out for us, that’s for sure. 15 minutes later, we’re watching the fireworks.

DS#2 told DH on the phone that night that the Falls was one of the things he’d always wanted to see, and now he’s done it. He sounded so completed when he said that. I was humbled by his reverence. I also realized that bringing the kids here was probably the best thing I’d done for them on this trip.

It’s important to me that the kids be awed by nature. I’d rather have them awed by the Falls or the giant redwoods, than by some movie star, singer or athlete. I’d like to go into their rooms and see posters of places, not people.

I am reminded of my favorite line from poet William Carlos Williams:

“The fragility of the flower, unbruised, penetrates space”

So, I’m one of those…”Land, it’s the only thing that lasts Katie Scarlett” people. Um, that’s from Gone with the Wind, people. Land, flowers, trees, I’m going for a nature point here. Give me some leeway. My point is that an appreciation for nature will last these kids longer than a trip to the big rat. Not that I don’t love the rat. I heart the rat. I’m just saying…

“The fragility of the flower, unbruised, penetrates space”

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