A long and winding road trip · bikes planes and automobiles · el cheapo · family fun · well *I* think it's funny...

Day 97: What I did on my summer vacation, part 2

Before I get to the meat of this post, let me just say Happy Fathers’ Day to all those celebrating today, but in particular to my father, my husband, and his father — each of them, in his own way, a supreme example of a good father.


When we left off last week, we were reversing out of our driveway and heading towards adventure on a Sunday morning. Right before we left, Mr. December pulled me aside and asked, “Should we do some kind of announcement when we get on the road? Like on an airplane?” I thought it was a great idea, so we recorded something like this:

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard the B-bus. Today we will be riding at an altitude of about four feet. The weather is clear and we’ll be in Niagara Falls in about ninety minutes. For your comfort and convenience you will find a fleece blanket, a full water bottle, and an in-flight entertainment clipboard in the seat pocket in front of you. On behalf of all of us, we wish you a pleasant journey.”

The kids giggled, but they hadn’t heard the best part yet: Mr. December then translated into “Buk Buk” language (I’ve mentioned his chicken alter-ego before, right?).

“Buk buk bukbuk buKAW, buk buk B-bus. Buk bukaw Niagara Falls bukbuk buk.” … and so on. You get the idea.

An hour and a half later we arrived in Niagara Falls and spent the day on the Maid of the Mist, the Niagara Skywheel, at Ripley’s Believe it… or Not!, and at the IMAX film about the falls. And, of course, we stopped in at the Hershey store. The kids were so busy deciding what candy they wanted to buy that they completely missed the free samples (so did Mr. December, but I shared mine with him. I’m nice like that.)

Our lunch that day was a packed lunch from home, so it wasn’t until dinner that we discovered that in Niagara Falls, even large chain restaurants are overpriced. We went to East Side Mario’s and I gaped in disbelief when I saw what they were charging. We still had to eat, though, so Mr. December wisely ordered a few dinners (huge dishes) and we all shared them.

Back at the hotel it was bedtime, but we all wanted a swim in the hotel’s pool. As it happened, so did all the other families at our hotel. We were still swimming when the pool closed at nine. Baths for all, and then bed. Right?

Wrong. The falls were lit up in colours and, according to the guest information in our room, the fireworks would begin at ten. As soon as they heard the first of the fireworks, the kids shot up out of their beds and dragged two armchairs to the window.

“Eema, why are you trying to sleep? Aren’t you coming to watch?” They asked.

“No. Somebody has to be alert enough to drive tomorrow, you know!” was my half-mumbled, half-whined response. And with that, I put in my earplugs, pulled on my eye mask, and went to sleep.

One day down, thirteen more to go.

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