When I left off at Almost Home, we had just returned the rental car and had arrived at the Buffalo airport, only to be told our flight to Cleveland didn't exist. No. That route was cancelled and the airline had rerouted us through Newark. But it was scheduled even earlier at 7:10am. In fact, it was leaving just then. Without us on it. There were no flights out of Buffalo due to delays from a thunderstorm in the area the day before. The quickest way to get to get home to Colorado was to leave out of Rochester. And even that wouldn't get us home until the next day.
The kids were already tired from being woken at 4:30am to get to the airport. This is after partying at my niece's wedding the night before. So really, no matter what happens, with 4 tired and cranky kids and 2 sleep deprived parents, today is gonna suck.
So we backtracked and re-rented the very same minivan we had just returned. Because we now needed to drive one hour east to get to the Rochester airport. But, the flight wasn't until 6:30pm. We had a whole day to kill. Unless it killed us first. We decided to head to Niagara Falls.
Before we left on this trip, I had to talk myself out of taking our passports with us. After all of our international exploits it just felt weird and wrong not to have them with us. How would I prove my kids were my kids if I didn't have verification of that? Although, in hind sight maybe that's not such a bad thing. But, now we can't drive over to border to Canada. Which by far has the best view of the falls. And the best cheesy wax museums, casinos and strip clubs. I can verify the first two, but I'm taking the last one on faith.
It's a cold morning, which I'm cruelly a bit happy about seeing as though 2 of my kids lost their hoodies on this trip by being careless. So, this is their natural consequence. Much the way this whole thing is my natural consequence for skimming my e-mail and not noticing the flight change. Right now, I'd much rather be cold. And at home than endure the rest of the day ahead. Karma's a bitch.
I guess this photo incriminates the hoodie losers. But, hey, we do look pretty happy here. Although, the day was still young. And it will end with me yelling in the middle of the airport in the middle of the night. Then feeling like the world's worst mother ever. Did I say karma's a bitch already?
We look out across the Niagara River to Canada. A place I'd spent a lot of time in my youth. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all live on this side of the falls not too far from here. And back in the day, you didn't need a passport to cross the border. Then, when I got a bit older, all I had to do was cross the bridge, pay the toll and magically I was legal to drink at 19. But, since I don't have those passports, there'll be no Molson for me today.
The sign near the border on our drive out of town taunts me. The closest I'll get to Canada today is a Tim Hortons we stop at on the thruway. I've never been to one before, but I've heard raves about the coffee. If you're not familiar, Tim Hortons in the Dunkin Donuts of Canada. People say the coffee is so good and so addictive, it's like it's made with crack.
But, at first sip, I'm unimpressed. I mean it's good. But clearly it does not contain crack because I think I would have been in a far better mood after drinking it. And I wasn't. Nothing was impressing me. Besides the thought of being in Canada looking at the falls with a beer in my hand remembering the good ole days. Ok, let's be honest, a few beers. And a few less whiny kids.
After hours in Rochester where the kids were less than angelic and an incident involving a wheelchair and a book. Performed by the same kid, mind you. Yes, the one I lost it on and yelled at in the airport that night. We did make it to Newark in the wee hours of the night where the airline comped us the nicest hotel room we've ever stayed in. Unfortunately, the few hours we spent in it with our eyes closed. The next day we did end up on a flight to Denver and finally arrived home in afternoon. And just so you know, no children were physically harmed during our travels. Although they may still be scarred.