Skip to main content

New York- Niagra Falls

Ahhh, New York. Where do I start? We had been telling the kids since we got married that we would take them there. Aaron served in the Rochester, NY mission, and I had always wanted to visit NYC.  The plan had always been to take Parker before he left on his mission (and of course, Maddy, too.) Sadly and unbelievably enough, that time had come.  With mission papers in the works, we planned our trip.

I have to say, my biggest anxiety about this trip was about leaving our little boys.  Aaron and I have never been away from our kids- any of our kids- at the same time, for more than 1 night.  And I so did not want to leave them, but knew that we owed Parker and Maddy some quality vacation time.  And I knew that this kind of vacation would not be fun for the little boys.  So while we planned our vacation, I also planned for our deaths (my travel anxiety always includes someone dying- usually, it's me.)  I wrote a will, gave my brother, Grant, specific instructions, and then prayed my guts out that we would return, and all would be well.  Needless to say, those prayers worked.

We took the red eye Rochester, arriving around 8am.  We rented a car, checked into our place to freshen up, and had breakfast at  a very slow restaurant with crappy service. Perkins. Don't eat there. And then we got on the road headed for Niagara Falls.

So this is where our trip begins- photographically. 

First impression- everything is so green and lush.  And humid.  And "this" is Niagara Falls?  I was expecting more, and all I was seeing was a green park.  But then we walked up these stairs to find the picture below.  I have to say, even having seen Superman, I was not prepared for how amazing the falls were.  Are they part of the 7 Wonders? Because I was in awe. 

Those buildings across the way ... that's Canada

It was overcast, drizzly, and coldish.  But we had a great time. 

The Maid of The Mist.  I was super nervous about this, because of my hate/hate relationship with small boats.  But since this was not on the ocean, it wasn't rocking- and all I could think of was Jim and Pam getting married on a boat just like this one.  I braved the boat, and the elements, and although I was a nervous wreck, especially when we got close to the falls, I survived!  And it was worth it.
Silly Aaron

I don't know that I have ever known these two to have gotten along better than they did while on this trip. We traveled with our neighbors, the Smiths, who also have a teenage son and daughter, which made for extra good times for our teenagers.

One more family picture, with the American Falls in the background.  I love that they are called the American Falls.  We later ate at Hard Rock Cafe, and came out to find a Mercedes brand bus.  I was dying to see how "Mercedes" it was inside, but it was not available to tour.

To end the day, we drove back to Rochester, and called it a night.  I have to thank the Schwendiman's for letting us stay in their home.  We tried our best not to be an inconvenience to them, but we would come home and wake up to spreads of food on the table. She even set out umbrella's knowing we might need them. And we loved getting to know them.  Highly recommend the Schwendiman B&B, only available with the right connections.

P.S. If you visit Niagara Falls, please know beforehand that there is a JCrew outlet store in the mall across from Niagara Falls.  I did NOT know this while we were there.  Talk about devastated.


brooke said…

Darling pictures. I love Niagra falls too and we also ate at that Hardrock cafe. Too bad I didn't know about the JCrew outlet. That probably is as spectacular as the falls.

I can't wait to hear more about the trip!
Amy Coontz said…
I was so excited when my google reader took me to your blog. I have missed you! Looks like an amazing trip! We are planning a big east coast trip before our missionary heads out in the spring! We will be staying at the Ivins b&b. I will send her to this blog so she can prepare!
Alifinale said…
YAY your back! I hope you aren't just teasing me with this. Looks like a fabulous trip.

You crack me up with your Flag Day story. If it makes you feel any better, you are better than me - I have been to NYC 3 times exand have only looked at the statue from afar. But we were just too cheap, not seasick and your excuse is way better.

Love you, glad to hear about your life again.
Mandee said…
Thanks girls- I missed you, too. Amy, I will send you or post a list of restaurants that we loved in NYC- they really do have such good food.
Sara said…
Haha, I can't believe you ate at Perkins. That is where we would go late at night while I was in high school because it was the only place open. Yes, crappy food but so many good memories.

Popular posts from this blog


(something like this... but worse) For the most part, I am new to all this parenting stuff. Yes, I have 2 bonus children that we've had full time since they were 7 & 10. But Aaron is a totally hands on dad. Doctor's appointments, parent-teacher conferences, permission to hang out with friends or have sleepovers... it's all him.
Of course, I help out when and where I can. Being at home when they get home from school. Driving to soccer and volleyball. Pushing for piano lessons. And just being generally supportive of the best dad in the world. (He totally is).
But back to what this is really about. This post is really about back to school shopping. And backpacks. And how this is my first time taking a child- my actual child- to buy a backpack for his first year at school. Maxwell starts kindergarten in August, and while I am mentally and emotionally preparing myself for that HUGE event that might make me cry tears of joy and sorrow... really what I am focused on is "t…

Snowball Cookies

It snowed this week. And though we don't have many family traditions, one that we started when we became a family was to make Snowball Cookies on the first snowy day of the season. And since we like cookies so much, we usually make them on other random, snowy days, too. They help ease my pain and anxiety over winter. You know-- carbs. 
There is nothing better than Snowball Cookies and hot chocolate on a snowy day.
Snowball Cookies 1 c. butter 1/2 c. confectioners sugar 2 tsp. vanilla 2 c. sifted flour 1 c. chocolate chips 1 c. chopped pecans (an option I don't use) Additional confectioners sugar (for rolling)
Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, mix. Use a teaspoonful (I use a small ice cream scoop) of dough and roll into small ball. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly and roll in confectioners sugar. (I roll them twice.)

It Was A Pink Thanksgiving

The day we left for St. George, Charlie & Jack woke up with pink eye.

The conversation in my head went something like this:

Angel Me: Should we still go?
Devil Me: Of course you should still go! You can't cancel a trip like this! Everyone is looking forward to spending Thanksgiving in St. George. Go!
Angel Me: But pink eye is the most contagious disease in the world. If anyone so much as looks at them, they will end up with it. And we are staying with 2 other families.
Devil Me: Call the doctor, get an antibiotic for the boys, and keep them quarantined until they aren't contagious anymore. Everything will be fine.
Angel Me: Promise?
Devil Me: I promise. Now go call the doctor, you little worry wart, you.

So, we went to St. George and had a great time! And no one else got pink eye... until the day we came home. (Sorry Shauna.) And then Maddy woke up with it this morning. (Dang it!)Anyway, here is a quick jaunt down memory lane from our unconventional, non-traditional Thanksgiving i…