Just got back from sort of our “last big hurrah” for a while: we wanted to attend Caleb’s sister Julie’s college graduation in Pennsylvania this last weekend, and decided to go out a little early and spend a full day at Niagara Falls!
Cody has been
driving me crazy eagerly anticipating this trip for quite some time, not only because he likes seeing family (he does!) but because we told him he would be going on an airplane. I think the experience lived up to or surpassed his expectations. Some highlights, none of which I photographed, oops: seeing a plane whose captain was retiring go through a fire engine water arch(apparently an aviation tradition; news to me!), getting crackers AND juice (diluted, but still had quite the effect) on both flights, and watching planes taxi in and get pushed back from the window, and having the captain of a plane getting pushed back spot us and wave! Cody has become a master at spotting jets in the sky, usually before we do, and always asks what airplane it is–and he’s looking for make and model, folks, not “jet airliner” like we tell him when all we’ve got to go off is a contrail. He’s also lately interested in the make and models of vehicles and the names of the streets we drive on. An inquisitive mind is great, but leads me to treasure his silent nap times all the more.
We pushed our bodies to opposite limits last Wednesday and Thursday: first we drove 4.5 hours to Dallas, sat for a two hour flight, then a 4.5 hour drive to Niagara. The following day we walked around for four straight hours. Whew! Achy legs aside, we had a great time just kind of walking around the area and staring at the falls! We stayed on the Canadian side because of better hotel options, but walked over to the American side for the boat ride. In spite of the attractive blue plastic ponchos, we got quite soaked, but what an experience! Cody just howled the whole time we were on the boat in front of the falls, but calmed down eventually. We agreed a sunny, windy day like we had is ideal for this experience.
Friday we drove back to Pennsylvania and spent some time chatting with our grad before a wonderful picnic dinner. The big event took place Saturday morning, about 20 degrees colder than forecast, and cloudy, but no rain, and the nice red plaid blanket Julie had in her car made up for my lack of preparedness. Thanks for sharing, Katie! We were very happy to get to witness this auspicious moment in Julie’s life, and the commencement speaker was Vice POTUS Mike Pence, so that was exciting, too! Had another lovely picnic lunch after photos, and then started the journey home, which was delightfully uneventful!
Observing tarmac activity. Since we’ve been home, his much-loved toy airplane has gained an entourage of a fuel truck and baggage cart (played by other little vehicles we already had)
Walking along the river on the Canadian side!
Perfect day in Niagara!
Zipliners along the river!
The view from “Rainbow Bridge”, which gave us access between the two sides. The US is on the left, Canada on the right. The big falls are Horseshoe Falls, then we have “American Falls” on the left, and the little one to the right of the American Falls is “Bridal Veil Falls”. Fun fact: there is also a Bridal Veil Falls along the Columbia River Gorge between Oregon and Washington. I have been there!
Cody and Daddy in two countries at once! Cody did a lot of his own walking, but we–mostly Caleb–got a good arm workout, too!
Modeling the attractive blue plastic ponchos, waiting to board the “Maid of the Mist” (If you’re an “Office” fan, you may remember this boat from Jim and Pam’s wedding episode! 😀 )
Happy Daddy and Cody, before the mist
Caleb said “More like ‘Maid of the Rain’!”, ha ha! This is when Cody was nearly calmed down again, passing American Falls on the way back.
Later that day, back on the Canadian side, we spotted a big rainbow!
Little tough to see, but the other side of the rainbow was in the mist on the left here.
Above the falls.
Leaving the visitor center.
Graduation picnic! #congratstothegrad
Everyone (minus me) who made it in time for dinner. We’re just embracing this fierce smile phase from our toddler; figure it won’t last forever, and in a few years he may refuse to look pleasant at all.
A toast to the grad!
Katie and me with the aforementioned life-saving blanket.
A glimpse of the grad!
VP Pence shook the hand of all 606 graduates! (This is Julie!)
All who were in attendance, minus AWOL Peter.
Congratulations, Julie, and class of 2017! We are proud of you!