We are so lucky to live just a short car ride from one of the Wonders of the World: Niagara Falls.
We usually head out to see the falls in the winter. They do an amazing display of Christmas lights that you can drive through, or park and walk around, or both. They also light up the falls and there are fireworks on the weekends.
This year our standing date for Canada Day had to be postponed and so we were left looking for another way to spend the day. Enter the Dare Chart and the perfect opportunity for some major thrill points!
We are also so lucky that Poppy, (my maternal grandfather), lives out that way. I do not take for granted the blessing that it is for my children to know their Great-Grandfather. It’s true that there is a bit of an age gap, and a short visit from our “spicy” family is enough to wear out anyone over the age of 12, but it’s an important connection that we are so lucky to be making.
July 1st was a hot, hot, hot day and by the time we had finished quietly visiting and politely eating dinner with Poppy, (and an unexpected guest- one of my Aunts!), the kids were ready for some thrill. We drove right down to the falls pretty easily and paid for parking as we hoped to have a more organized time leaving at the end of the night. Then we found the crowds. And immediately we needed the bathroom. And I forgot our just-for-this-trip Kool-Aid Jammers in the van.
Now the story my kids will probably tell you about our trip to Niagara Falls is that I got lost. The reality is that I just went a different direction and so took some extra time to rendez-vous with them after quickly running to the car for the necessities, (aka Jammers). Luckily we got to the Falls in plenty of time for some misadventure to not ruin our evening, and I got in some much needed cardio trying to stay upright on the steep inclines that are the streets near the falls.
And then we walked. And walked. And walked. It was hot. The sun was never going to set. The fireworks were never going to start. This whole day was stupid.
Things I do not miss about being 8.
We found a spot to watch the fireworks, spread our blankets and tried to think of a way to spend the final 20 minute wait getting the kids jazzed for the upcoming light show.
“So, how many thrill points do you think we’re earning today guys?”
“Zero.” “Negative zero.” “Infinity zero.” “Poop.” (Thank-you 4-year-old peanut gallery.)
The Hubster quickly ended the conversation by suggesting we wait until after the fireworks to dole out our points and literally seconds later they fired off a single firework to let the crowds know where the show was going to be.
Turns out this amazing momma had sat us right behind a tree. Oh. My. Word.
Turns out trees can’t get in the way of high-in-the-sky fireworks.
The day was saved. For about 5 minutes. And then IT STARTED TO POUR. Not just a sprinkle to break the heat, but an all out drench-you-to-your-underwear soaking.
I love the rain, and my only concern was that my camera was getting wet. My kids are probably grateful I was so concerned about said camera because it gave me the genius idea to take the blankets out from under our butts and put them over our heads. We embraced our Canadian side and just let the weather wash over us, (literally and figuratively). It turned out to be a fabulous show, probably about 20 minutes full of colour and light and it was spectacular.
Rain had been in the forecast for the afternoon and so I had a change of dry clothes for everyone in the van and once we were drier, cooler, and no longer waiting everyone agreed it was a great day. The kids quickly passed out, I think L’il Man was asleep before we made it out of the parking lot, and by the time we pulled into our driveway at 1:45 am everyone was sawing logs- except the Hubster cuz that would have been dangerous.
We decided that after every Dare each person would start with 10 points and have to name a reason to take a point off. So for me, I started with 10 and took off 1 point for the heat, (I’m still trying to like summer after all), and another 1 point was lost for the bomb Lukas dropped in his last pull-up seconds after we tried to make him use the toilet. (Boo potty training!)
Here’s how Dare #1 measured up:
Not a bad start to our summer I’d say. Stay tuned for our next adventure!