Well, almost home for me. I still need to get to Eau Claire, but we are working on that. John made it home last night about midnight so our six weeks apart is nearing an end.
It is not difficult to recognize the end when it comes. You are done, you have seen enough, been away enough, eaten in restaurants enough, used public rest rooms enough and we too were done. Sunday got us to Niagara much earlier than we had planned. The storm and rain we expected once we got there left earlier than it had planned and we found ourselves with a pleasant sunny afternoon and nothing scheduled. The view of the falls and the excursions we planned on taking we had figured to do on Monday. The area around the Falls Park had little to offer. The I-Max theater, showing a film about dare devil feats at the Falls was playing, on the Canadian side. No one was enthused. The aquarium was right across the street from our lodging. Having seen the aquarium at Monterey no one was enthused about that either. Having been cooped up in the car for the last day and hiking around the park did enthuse us. We went expecting to find crowds of people, after all, it was Sunday afternoon. People there were, not crowds of them. We walked around the viewing area and did the walk at the bottom of the falls. It is still called going to the Cave of the Winds, but the cave that used to be behind the falls has eroded away. Now you follow the walk way and get close enough to get soaked and you can reach out and touch the water as it falls.
The park is attractive and well kept. It is easy to see why viewing Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side would give you a better look. None of us were inclined to make the effort. I will not gush. The falls are a great quantity of water rushing over cliffs. The noise is amazing and the rise of mist is amazing also. That is it, you watch the water fall and the river below churn, and mist rise and you are done. And we were.
Jason found a restaurant that served India cuisine and we all got the buffet so we could try a little of all the different stuff. They said it was medium spicy, ummmm, it that was medium I will not venture into hot. It was good and I enjoyed it. Jason and Joey chowed down, the girls picked, it brought tears to Mandy. She is not made to tolerate much spice.
Monday morning we left for home. We had stayed at the Red Lounge Hostel. Bunk beds for the kids and I and a double for Jason and Mandy. We had our own bath, the tv lounge, reading etc were all common rooms. The kids loved it. Ethan wanted to take the lockers home with him. It was clean and neat, bedding and towels provided, breakfast if you paid for it. The drive home was pretty standard. Traffic was fairly light and the one time we missed our exit the GPS was excellent in getting us where we needed to be with no fuss.
Two incidents to comment on from the drive.
Emma had to use the bathroom, desperately. By the time Jason found a gas station others also had to use the bathroom, desperately. The kids did not have a great record for a fast exodus from the car. That time they did. Four kids and a mom all rushed the door of the station. I looked up to see a grinning manager stand behind it and lock it against the onslaught! He opened it and informed them the station did not have a public restroom! No kidding. We went across the street and stood in line for the one only, girls and boys room, handing the key down the line as needed.
We were on the Chicago tollways by 8pm or so and past the exits to O’Hare about 8:30. We knew John was in the airport and we had to drive right on past. He had a flight a connecting flight to Eau Claire so he could get back for faculty workshop and meetings.
Thus ends the web log of vacation 2012.