Sunday, May 7, 2017

"And just like that... Canada." Niagara Falls

"I'm just trying to get to Niagra," has been Smelko's mantra for 2017. Way back in the Fall, Smooney, Smelko and I put our calendar's together to find a date when we could all make it to Canada. This was the lucky weekend. We left from Fishers after school Friday and piled into Smoon's CRV. We were about to make quite the round trip--literally. 

Everybody knows, it's not a road trip until you stop for Arby's curly fries. 

And if it's an option to stop for Chipotle-- you do it. Especially on Cinco de Mayo.

The sky was electric when we left Ohio and headed into Michigan.

We stopped in Detroit to fuel up crossing the border to Canada.

And then we drove onto the Ambassador Bridge, rolled into Canada and left 'Merica behind. Smoon was the real MVP of the day, driving us safely till 1am.

Our Canadian hotel wasn't the fanciest... but we did get to watch the Canadian news in the morning!

Tim Horton's is the Canadian menu equivalent of Dunkin' Donuts with the popularity of Starbucks. It was the Canadian way to start the day.

Only a few minutes drive away we took a turn and then just like that... NIAGARA FALLS! Even from our car window, the view was awe inspiring.


Everyone told us to go to the Canadian side and they were right. From this photo, we're looking across at America. So if you were on the American side you would barely be able to see anything at all.

We were 100% sure that we'd be going out on the boat that takes you right up to the falls. Did you know that the boat on the Canadian side is called the Hornblower? No Maid of the Mist for us.

Check out our red ponchos-- ties around the hood and everything!

Being right up close and personal with the Falls was just as wet, cold, incredible and fun as you can possibly imagine.

The Hornblower really was every tourist's dream.

The tulips were blooming in Niagara Falls-- I felt like we were in Holland, MI for Tulip Time.

On the way back to our car, it was surreal to look down and see the Hornblower right in the middle of the Horseshoe Falls knowing we had just been there. What a time to be alive.

Lunch took us to the Flying Saucer restaurant and we ate our burgers inside a UFO. Smelko wanted the full Canadian experience so she got gravy for her fries.

We made it back to the US side-- no fancy bridge and an angry border patrol man-- and went to check out the Falls from the NY side. When I took down the Keep Exploring flag from my classroom wall on Friday my students were quite alarmed. This one is for the 7th graders.

Niagara Falls was still pretty cool from NY but we were all in agreement that Canada is the way to go.

Before we left Niagara Fall for good, we stopped by Prophet Isaiah's house-- I'd seen it in all my googling of the Falls.

The man who created all of this came outside while we were there and talked to us for a few minutes. There was a whole lot of,
"Praise the Lord?"
"Praise the Lord."

 The rest of Saturday included figuring out how to get a rental car in NY, cause nothing parties like a rental, and driving back to PA. Getting the Erie tour from Smoon. Finally warming up with dinner at the Olive Garden, and falling asleep with no problem at all.

Sunday, after good-byes to Smoon, Smelko and I drove through PA, OH, and IN to get back home again. We listened to a playlist from Maddie Girl, a podcast about Lady Gaga's agent and then all of the greatest hits from 2005, 2009 and 2002. We ran into some of our Wyld Life girls biking just as we were pulling into the rental car return lot and it was if they were there to welcome us back home. Thank you Niagra Falls!

 Honorable Mention Blog Titles:
"Cross country-- the team sport for individuals. Tennis-- for the aggressive people who like their personal space."
"Nothing parties like a rental."
"Occupation?" "I'm a teacher. A student. In ministry." "Is this a bad joke?"

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