This year’s summer vacation began like a scene out of the Addam’s Family. My parents, Warren and Cheryl, along with my brother, Nathan, and myself, as well as our neighbor’s family, Pat, Kris and their three kids, Jenna, Erin and Becka, set out from Wisconsin with our campers to Niagara Falls, Canada.
We towed a pop up camper and our neighbors towed a big long travel trailer.
I think we picked up the storm somewhere right after Chicago and traveled with it almost all the way through Ohio!!
The silver lining started to show after the storm. Things got much better. Well, they got better after my dad and neighbor fixed the blown tire on their camper somewhere on the interstate near Buffalo!!
There were welcome sighs of relief after both families got through the Canadian Border Patrol with our campers, passports, birth certificates, and a battery of questions.
Yogi Bear Campground in Niagara Falls was our destination. We did a lot of walking and touring in Niagara Falls. We saw the sights, watched the fireworks, and toured behind the falls. The falls is beautiful!! I highly recommend the Whirlpool Jet Boat tour which started at Niagara on the Lake and then went upriver to the whirlpool area just below the falls. The jet boats travel at over 60 miles an hour and can turn on a dime!! Be sure to wear your swim suit on that ride as you will get soaked!!
I think the Wisconsin stereotype definitely oozed out when we went down to the falls one evening to watch the fireworks. Niagara Falls is filled with tourists from all over the world. Tourists were all shapes, colors, nationalities, languages, different types of dress, etc., but what probably stuck out the most was our two families walking to a grassy hilly area to sit before the fireworks, and our parents carrying in the blankets, pillows and cooler full of beer and soda!! I saw absolutely no one who made such a production of setting up shop like we did just to watch fireworks!!
One of the most memorable moments of the trip was when our parents left all of us kids downtown Niagara Falls while they went out of town to take a helicopter tour. We shopped at all the souvenir stores, rode the Niagara Sky Wheel and ate. But the best part was going back to our car for snacks, and feeding them to the seagulls. It truly was one of those “You had to be there.” moments. We discovered that sea gulls can eat a lot of Veggie Straws.
On the way back to Wisconsin, we stopped at Cedar Point, Ohio to hit the roller coaster park. This time we stayed at East Harbor State Park in Ohio. It is one of the nicest, well-maintained and prettiest campgrounds we’ve ever seen. It was green, beautiful, quiet and it had a nice large beach on Lake Erie. We all wished we could have stayed an extra day.
Before this trip began, I was concerned about all the closeness we were going to experience, both with my family and my neighbor’s family…together for an entire week. I thought we may come home enemies, but quite the opposite happened. We learned more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and little things that annoy each other, but most importantly learned that we all really do like each other for who we are. We’ve always gotten along well with our neighbors, but this trip has made us feel like we are truly family.
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