September 1, 2009 - Journey to Niagara Falls

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
(click here for Video #1) (click here for Video #2)
The morning started off for Robby and Tara before the alarm clock even rang. We both woke up at 3 this morning but were able to get a few more minutes of sleep before 3:45. We loaded up and then put the kids in the van. After hauling Anderson down the stairs and into the van, he opened his eyes and said “maybe me need to go potty.” He did and we were off to pick up James to take us to the airport.

We breezed through security. Breeze-probably not the term the people behind us in line used: 10 shoes, 3 car seats, 2 bags of liquid items, 2 strollers, 2 back packs, 2 computers, an ice chest, diaper bag and one other bag. Our plane took off on time to Charlotte but we were a few minutes late arriving. Everyone stayed awake on this flight and Graham was fairly good. He is hard to hold but did alright with little screaming/squealing, probably since he was busy drinking 3 cups of milk.

Our layover in Charlotte was a little over 3 hours. So we pottied, spent an ungodly amount of money on breakfast, pottied again, walked on the moving walkways (a favorite of Reagan and Anderson's), changed the kids out of their pajamas, played ball, took a few walks, pottied again and by then the plane to Albany was ready to board. We had to wait about 30 minutes before taking off-and Anderson and Graham fell asleep. We were worried that taking off would wake up the boys but they snoozed on. Graham slept the entire time-Dad held him the first half and Mom held him the second half. Reagan took a little rest and afterward she and Anderson watched a movie. We landed, grabbed our luggage and headed straight to the van. It is a nice van but doesn’t have a DVD player-we are making it fine though.

Before long we were on the toll way headed to Niagara Falls. Our first stop was for lunch at the Pattersonville rest area. We all enjoyed pizza and were soon back on the road. Then a stop at a Walgreens-type store to pick up some lunch for tomorrow, cokes and diapers. Two more bathroom stops and a quick stop to buy supper from Arbys. The kids must have been hungry since they gobbled down all of their chicken and fries. Tara had to feed Graham but he ate quite a bit too. Surprisingly, the 300 miles went by fairly quick with no major meltdowns-by the kids or grownups!

Border crossing in the Canada was less entertaining than last time we were here (we were here last right after 9-11 and the border guard asked Robby what we were going to do in Canada. And in our Southern drawl he said “tourism”-which probably sounded a lot like “terrorism” to the guard. He said “excuse me?” as he was reaching for his gun!...or at least that is the way I like to tell the story). We drove right up Clifton Hill to our hotel. Their website says it is only a block from the falls-well, it is the longest block I have ever been on. It is probably more like 5 blocks but very walkable since the weather is unbelievably perfect. The kids were comfy in the jackets tonight but we were fine without them (especially when pushing the strollers back up the Clifton Hill to our hotel-up the long, long “block”).

We made it to the falls and Graham immediately started looking, pointing and jabbering. The kids were kind of impressed but enjoyed climbing on the railing a little more. They were quite interested in the boat that we will ride tomorrow. After a walk back through the noise, lights and sounds of the Clifton Hill area, Robby decided we should ride the Sky Wheel. Reagan has always wanted to ride one and she was delighted. Anderson is so stoic but seemed to enjoy it too. We circled on the huge wheel at least 5 times before stopping. They all loved it especially since there was so much to see.

We weren’t far from the hotel and they were getting tired by the time we made it there. After a quick change back into pjs, everyone was in bed and I think they are all asleep now. It has been a long day for the Dennie kids-waking up at 4:30 am and going to bed at 10 pm with only a short nap in between. Well, it has been a long day for the Dennie grown-ups too! We better rest up since there is so much to do tomorrow.

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