Driving to Niagara Falls (Canada side) - Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I woke up around 8:30 am, earlier than usual. We are driving to Niagara Falls today. It's about a seven hour drive. We want to leave super early so we can take advantage of the daylight. I wish we would have more initiative to leave earlier in the day. We waste a lot of time getting out in the morning. I know we need to rest, but we should try to fix our schedule so we are up early and go to bed early.
The drive was wonderful. We had great weather and the views were breathtaking. We even saw windmills that provide wind power for the area. We went through small roads. I prefer them to the big highways...the truck drivers can be really unforgiving and aggressive on the big highways. I feel much safer on the smaller roads...they are still highways just more calm. Many times they run right through towns so you have a chance to see how people live.
The kids and I had lunch at Wendy's while Alex took a call in the car. I was freaked out because there was a Wendy's employee sitting at a table, looking very nervous...crying and acting strangely. He kept standing up, walking around, going outside and coming in again. I was terrified that maybe he was fired or was a disgruntled employee and might do something "crazy" and we'd be caught in the middle. I had to act cool and stayed until the kids finished lunch. I barely ate because I was so nervous...and left as quickly as possible. He went outside when we went out and walked in the same direction as our car, but then kept walking. Thank God!!!!
One good thing that happened was they gave us lunch for free. There was a problem with the credit card machine, so they didn't charge the lunch. I offered to pay with cash and they wouldn't accept it. They just gave it to us. That was nice!
We kept driving and arrived at the border patrol around 4:30 pm. The officer interrogated me and tried to catch me in a lie. He asked where we were from, I said Miami, FL. He asked about the paper license plate, we explained we had recently bought the car. Then he said, "your driving from California, that's a long way." I said, "No, we're driving from Florida." He looked at the kids and I asked if he wanted me to open the window, he said no. He asked if we had weapons, guns or pepper spray? I said no. Technically, we don't have weapons. We bought an ax and baseball bat, because on one of those days with a lot of driving, I had a lot of time to think and came to the conclusion that we should have some kind of "weapon" to use for protection in case the car broke down and we were alone and vulnerable.
We bought the stuff in a Walmart by Atlantic Beach, near New Bern. Jake drove us crazy asking why we were buying those things, so we had to explain. We were afraid he'd volunteer the information to the border officer. We didn't say anything, because technically, the items aren't necessarily weapons. They can be used for a variety of activities. The officer asked if the kids were having a hard time on such a long trip, I laughed and said they are fine. We are the ones that are losing our minds with their fighting. I guess he commiserated and told us to go through. He'd searched almost all the cars before us. He didn't search our car, which was cool.
We drove another 20 minutes to our hotel. We were staying at the Radisson with a view of the Falls. When we checked in, we were told, the Falls views were sold out, but they gave us a huge suite with partial view of the lake. They also don't have availability to extend the stay one more day until Saturday morning. We put our stuff in and left to explore. Alex went back to the hotel to get me a jacket and the kids and I waited across the street at the Marriott. I asked if they had rooms available...they didn't have for tonight, but they have availability for tomorrow and Friday night. Alex came back and we reserved the room. They told us we could check in early in the morning if someone checked out early.
We went down to the Falls via the cable car and got information at the visitor's center. We had dinner at Elements overlooking the horseshoe falls. The view was very pretty, yet the food was just ok. Everything was a little salty. Alex and I had french onion soup and sirloin steak with veggies and potato. After dinner we went to see Fury. It's an interactive movie about the formation of the Falls. You have to wear raincoats because its very turbulent and it snows, rains and water splashes all over. That was a fun experience. The kids loved it!!!!
Afterwards we went to see the fireworks. It was raining so we started seeing them from the Visitor's Center, then we went out under a walkway in the front and saw them better. We took the cable car up again and went to the Marriott. We asked to see an example of the view,so they showed us a room. The view is fantastic!!!!! Can't wait to move tomorrow.
Later we went back to our room, everyone bathed and got ready for bed. There was a bad incident with the Hershey bars. The kids fought over the chocolate. Alex and I wished each other Happy Anniversary at midnight and then we went to bed around 1:00 a.m.
Happy 15th Anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been 15 years already! It's been great!