Midwestern Meander 2012: New England to Niagara Falls

It’s eight hours from our house to Niagara Falls. Because my kids are champion road-trippers, this wasn’t actually as hellish as many people might expect. We listened to several of Beverly Cleary’s “Ramona” books and began Black Beauty, which we all loved. My daughter loved that it was told from the horse’s perspective and my husband and I loved the not-so-subtle messages of temperance from the 19th-century Quaker author.

On this trip, we discovered that my daughter can’t stomach hip/retro decor. She literally felt ill at the cafe in Utica where this delightfully kitschy owl perched on one of the thrift-store formica tables that populated the dining room:

The rest of this leg of the journey was more pleasant, with two exceptions: The guard at the border didn’t make a big enough deal about it being the very first time my children or I had used our passports (I wouldn’t have wanted her to search the car or anything, but a little, “Woo-hoo!” might have been nice), and my son refused to wear his poncho on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Poor guy wailed the whole time but no amount of dousing by the falling waters of the Niagara River could convince him to put on his poncho. My husband, daughter, and I stood around him like blue Dementors trying to shield him from the mist but he just cried on. (I probably should have given him chocolate when we returned to shore.)

The highlight of the trip (besides the falls themselves) was discovering a little wooded walking trail behind the police station and next to the public rose garden that allowed us to take a less touristy path back to our hotel from the falls.

Some more photos:

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