We took off for a long weekend to Canada back in September.
Yep, we are those people. The crazy kind. You know. The kind that will load up three kids in a mini van for a 12-hour one-way drive to spend two days and then turn around and come back home, ha.
But we love to travel. And we love traveling with our kids.
We want to instill in them a passion to see the world. To appreciate the big trips and the little trips. To love a weekend camping as much as a week at Disney World. To find marvel and wonder in a 12th century castle, as well as a giant oak tree.
We want them to appreciate the world around them, and all that they can learn from it. There is so much for them to do and see right in our own back yard, but there is also so much that requires us to take an adventure elsewhere.
One of my very dearest friends lives in Toronto. I’ve somehow made it this long in my life with never having been to Canada! Eep! So before she took off to Europe for a few months, we met up at Niagara Falls.
I’d never been. J had never been. Obviously, our tinies had never been. It was our first long car ride with Sweet M and he did fabulous.
The Falls were magnificent. They’re the kind of thing that everyone should see in person at some point in their life.
15 years ago, I might not have appreciated them quite as much. But now, I was mesmerized and in complete awe at nature’s beauty and marvelous creations. (This made me want to go back to places I visited in my childhood and for sure took for granted like the Badlands and the Ozark Mountains.)
I was so thrilled that one of my favorite people got to meet our littlest and newest love! (Many of our family members have yet to meet Sweet M – the plight of everyone living so far away!)
The next morning we ventured through a 3D mirror maze the kids chose. The town of Niagara Falls makes me think of Atlantic City the one weekend I was there: lots of random fun houses and mazes and arcades. It’s definitely a tourist gimmick, but the kids loved it.
Before we ventured back to the Falls, the kids found some delightful maple candy. For these maple syrup lovers, it was heaven!
I love traveling with my family. I couldn’t imagine doing these things without the tiny humans I adore. But looking at this picture of Court and I (and then at J wrangling our three bambinos) really takes me back to our care-free days of college, gallivanting around Europe. It’s crazy how quickly life changes, and it makes me appreciate all these moments just that much more.
Then we dawned some plastic rain ponchos and toured behind the falls; walking through tunnels that that took us to outlets to view the falls from behind. It was an exciting experience hearing the thunderous roar of the water, watching my children delight as the water sprayed them, trekking deeper into tunnels behind.
The kids were elated to dine at the Rainforest Café. They ventured to an arcade where B delighted in the discovery of a dinosaur game and Miss H and J raced on motorcycles (with Sweet M strapped to J’s back!).
We finished our evening at Ripley’s Believe It or Not where the kids (and adults!) learned lots of fun and interesting facts about all sorts of things, although I found the information about Niagara Falls to be the most interesting.
Since the torrential downpour the evening before had lead us to Ripley’s instead of the ferris wheel, we spent our last day in Niagara Falls enjoying the epic view from the top of the wheel, followed by exploring some trails and feeding geese on a little island not far away.
It was such a lovely long weekend get away, complete with exhausted little babies when it was all over. I can’t wait to see where our travels takes us next!