Our vacation came to an end very quickly, as it normally does. We had to get back to Ohio to make it for Great-Grandma and Grandpa A's 60th wedding anniversary. That meant that we had to leave a bit early to make it in plenty of time.
We packed up and loaded the kids in while we did a quick once-over of the house. Fortunately for us, if we forgot anything Mom, Dad, Joanie and Josh were going to be leaving after us. The van was completely packed and...we found the pack 'n play in the house. That wasn't something that they could take back on the plane with them! We had to use our Tetris skills to come up with a place to put it. I'm thankful that was one of the games that I did fairly well with. See, video games are all bad!
This is the rock the boys spent a lot of time playing on, specifically after they got the spyglasses and pretended to be pirates. In the background you can see the hydrangeas that I fell in love with and attempted to regrow with a couple cuttings when we got home. Unfortunately, it didn't work. I'm hoping that I can look into getting a bush from Michigan Bulb or the like.
Soon, the rains came. And it came hard, there was little visibility and no let up. What made this worse was that Meredith was not born to ride in cars. I'm sure I mentioned it in previous posts for this vacation, but she was an angel on the plane with Grandma and Grandpa. The take off and landing didn't bother her, and she laughed and entertained people in-flight. She cried--no--she screamed non-stop for hours. Nothing could console her. But we had to get going. We had a time limit for this leg of the trip.
We finally stopped one of those junctions to get gas and have something to eat, but mostly to get out of the car and take a break. The umbrellas Kevin and I used to get us and the kids from the van to the food court did absolutely nothing. It seemed like it was raining in fifteen different directions! We got pizza and relaxed for a few minutes before jumping back in the van.
Fortunately, not long after dinner the sky cleared up and it was an easier drive. Meredith started out by crying again, but then I popped in 101 Dalmatians and she began barking at the screen. She loved it! Why on earth didn't I try that sooner?! With all the day's activity and all the crying she did, finally she passed out for the last hour of our journey.
We had plans to go to Niagara Falls to see the fireworks over the falls. Doesn't that sound neat? I should say first off, I am not completely great with reading maps quickly. I usually pore over it, studying the symbols, names, etc. The city of Niagara Falls came up quickly and I told Kevin to take the wrong exit, which shot us out on the absolute wrong side of the city. Ugh. Kevin and I were pretty upset about it, me feeling overly guilty about my lack of map-reading skills. Have you ever been there before? If so, please tell me that in general that it's a tough city to navigate. Like Pittsburgh. (I really like Pgh, just not their color-coded belt system).
When we realized that there was no way we were making it for the firework show we headed to our hotel, after a pit stop for the boys to pee in an abandoned church parking lot in a shady area. I don't know where I led us! We had no choice!
The kids were all smiles to be in our nice hotel room, jumping on beds and having a snack before going to sleep. We had big plans for the next day--visiting the Falls!
The boys soon conked out, but not Miss Meredith, who was happy to be living it up in the lap of luxury where she belongs apparently, and rejuvenated by a little nap in the van. What are we going to do with her?