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!

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3 thoughts on “Niagara/Graduation

  1. Aunt Julie

    Thanks for coming! Your visit was definitely one of the highlights of my celebration!

  2. Mom/Mary

    All the Cody pictures melt my heart; especially the one of him studying the airplanes!
    Love that picture right after the shot of the bright rainbow-really captures the power and intensity of the falls!!! That zipline photo looks terrifying:/
    And your graduation pictures really capture the excitement of the weekend:)
    Thanks Tara

  3. We went on the Maid of the “Mist” when I was 11. Can’t remember much more than that of the visit to the Falls. Congrats to Julie!

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