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Old 07-08-2014, 09:42 PM   #151
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Sorry about the road being closed and not seeing any moose! . What a great time you had in NH and VT!
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:45 PM   #152
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Yum, Vermont maple syrup! When I was a kid, I loved the maple sugar candy but now I find it a bit too sweet. We couldn't go to Vermont without buying maple sugar
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:43 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
I was able to see yesterday's video just fine. I got the same message just now with the Vermont video, but I just tried again right away and it worked fine.

Woodstock is the prettiest town. And I know that covered bridge! Isn't it amazing how much better real maple syrup tastes than the brown sugar water they sell in the grocery store?
The real maple syrup was very good! And we purchased multiple bottles, not only for us but for family as well...

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It's a shame you didn't get to the top of Mt.Washington but my kids are opponents of the auto road. They say the only legit way to get to the top is to hike and it is a beautiful hike. It is also pretty cool up there. My ex used to talk about doing the road race-it was a 10 K I think.

So sorry you missed moose-another reason to come back-and Umbaggog.

My Dd used to do a horse show outside of Woodstock. she always wanted to stay at the Woodstock Inn but it wasn't in our budget

And I hope your kids developed a taste for real maple syrup. We have sent it to family members as gifts because it can be so hard to find elsewhere but one you've had it, you can never use the fake stuff again. Also, maple candy is a fun, although very sugary, treat.

Come back to this neck of the woods again, real soon.
I was truly bummed for Mount Washington Auto Road to be closed.

A 5 mile strenuous, steep hike is definitely not in the cards with my current physical fitness level I'm sure my older kids could do it though... I don't doubt it's a beautiful hike though!

We really loved the maple syrup and purchased some for both us and family to enjoy.

And I definitely hope to return to New England when we can go at a more relaxed pace...

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Beautiful scenery and lots of fun!
Very beautiful!

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Originally Posted by Grammy Grumpy View Post
Oh my goodness you have traveled some miles and had so many great adventures (not gonna talk about any that were less than great . So looking forward to hearing about more.
Thanks for following along! We have definitely put in a lot of (great) miles!

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Sorry about the road being closed and not seeing any moose! . What a great time you had in NH and VT!
We really did enjoy New Hampshire and Vermont despite the road closure and lack of moose sightings...

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Originally Posted by HollyH View Post
Yum, Vermont maple syrup! When I was a kid, I loved the maple sugar candy but now I find it a bit too sweet. We couldn't go to Vermont without buying maple sugar
We didn't try any of the candy, now I'm thinking we should have
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:46 PM   #154
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Tuesday January 1st/ Day 31

This morning we were bound for Queensbury, New York. We had a short two hour drive in front of us with no pit stops.

We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast (full kitchen), and packed up the van to get going to our next destination. We pulled our around 9:30am.

Other than making a bathroom stop and picking up a few bags of ice for the cooler, we had an easy drive.

We also stopped at the Vermont/New York visitor center to eat lunch. We had sandwiches and chips.

We arrived at the hotel around noon. We are staying at Six Flags Great Escape and Lodge and Indoor Water Park. It is on property with the actual Six Flags park; very convenient.

We were pleasantly surprised upon arrival to find out our room was ready! We quickly unloaded the van and organized our room.

We relaxed for just a few minutes before changing into our swim clothes so we could go enjoy the indoor water park located inside the hotel.

The water park was very enjoyable, but it was also very small. We were expecting it to be like the Wolf Lodges which are huge. This water park only had a few slides, a lazy river, and a few other things. It did have a surfing area which the kids adored! We had fun, but we were done in less than three hours…

For dinner, we had microwavable dinners in the room. The lodge has a refillable cup for $10. You can re-fill it unlimited for the duration of your stay. So, we purchased that as well.

Tomorrow, we will be going inside the Six Flags theme park which is located right next door…

Tuesday July 2/ Day 32
This morning we were bound for the Six Flags Theme Park. The park doesn’t open till 10am and we are literally already staying on the property, so it’s just a short walk next door to enter the park.

For breakfast, we had cereal in the room. It was hot just walking next door to the park, so I knew we were in for a HOT day!

As usual, we had developed a plan of attack beforehand using the park’s websites ride descriptions and park map. Well, our plan was difficult this day as several things we attempted to ride ended up being closedL. And they weren’t just closed for the day, they simply open later than other rides…. Meaning we did a lot of zigzaggingL.

In spite of that problem, we did get in some fun rides.

At 11am the water park opened and we headed that way. This park was a lot smaller than the other Six Flags we have visited. The water park part was small as well, so within an hour the kids had rode all the water slides.

Next, we headed for lunch. We searched out a place with indoor seating so we could enjoy their air conditioning.

While we were in line to order, we talked about taking a break in the hotel after lunch. I suggested if we were just going to the hotel after lunch anyhow, that we just go eat lunch in the hotel as they have a Jonny Rockets. Everyone was on board except Winston, who wanted to ride more roller coasters.

So, we headed back to the hotel and ate Jonny Rockets. I had a burger with onion rings. Most of the kids had chicken tenders; I think Dillon had a burger. All the meals came with unlimited fries and you better believe the boys got their money’s worthJ.

After lunch, the kids were itching to do some more surfing. The surfed over and over and over and over. It looked painful they way they get knocked around! Austin was all banged up, but they just kept going for it. Wesley and Madilyn got pretty good to the point they could get on their knees… but none of them were ever able to stand up on the surf board…

It had been so hot, no one was in a rush to go back into the Six Flags park. But I knew Winston had a few coasters he wanted to ride. So, I figured we’d head over when the temps went down… I knew we would only stay to ride one or two things…

Well, we got to the park entrance just before seven… and they were closing! I was truly shocked as most of the Six Flags stay open till 9pm or later…

We retreated back to the hotel, Winston was the only one upset but he was revived with a few trips around the lazy river before heading back to the room to get ready for bed….

I don’t remember what we had this night for dinner… But I’m sure it was something with the microwave…

The next day we were bound for Niagara Falls…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JA7laLFvZg



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Old 07-09-2014, 02:02 PM   #155
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I agree, getting tossed around surfing looked kind of painful! Good for them for being persistent, though. Madilyn really looked like she was getting a good feel for the balance. It's crazy that the park closed so early, though.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:43 PM   #156
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Glad everyone enjoyed the Six Flags, especially the indoor water park surfing.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:53 PM   #157
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I agree, getting tossed around surfing looked kind of painful! Good for them for being persistent, though. Madilyn really looked like she was getting a good feel for the balance. It's crazy that the park closed so early, though.
I thought it was odd to close so early also.... Despite getting thrown around, they just loved that surfing!

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Glad everyone enjoyed the Six Flags, especially the indoor water park surfing.
Thanks for following along!
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:56 PM   #158
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Thursday July 3/ Day 33/ Niagara Falls

We had a 5.5 hour drive ahead of us this day. We had cereal for breakfast. We got up, packed up, and hit the road.

We stopped at a Wal-Mart for groceries and an oil change. I was actually overdue for an oil change at this point. I had tried to get one two other times that didn’t pan out…

Once that chore was done, we were able to find a Chinese buffet nearby where we ate lunch before resuming our drive to Niagara Falls.

When researching hotels, I really liked the idea of splurging on a room that overlooked the Falls as I knew they would have a big firework show on the Fourth of July over the falls. So, I booked the Sheraton on the Falls which is located on the Canadian side.

We had to call the hotel on the way here as my GPS would not accept the Canadian address. We eventually found the hotel, literally right over the bridge into Canada.

We could see the hotel, but had to go through customs first.

Now, we all six have passports. But I had accidentally left them at home. I realized this early on in the trip. I did a research online and read that photo ID was required for everyone over 16 and that was suitable to cross the border while driving. So, I didn’t worry about it. Had I been worried, I would have had family overnight our passports at some point earlier in the trip…

Can you guess where this is going?

We get to the border and I pass over my driver’s license and Wesley’s learners permit. He accepts them, no problem. But then he wants ID for the other kids. What?!?! I have no ID for them, they are under 16.

Turns out I need ID for them as well. At this point, I’m concerned but the guy makes it sound like if I’m patient he can get us in… I told him we had passports and had even flown into Canada a few years ago. He says they should be able to pull up our passports. Awesome!!

We have to park and go inside immigration building. We spent an hour inside, every time I spoke with someone they made it sound very promising… so I kept a positive outlook and told the kids it would just be a funny memory…
After an hour, they say I can NOT enter Canada. Then they said I could not re-enter the States either!?! So, they have to file all this paperwork for us to get back into the US. They give me the paperwork so that the US will let me back in.

They did tell me if I could get a family member to fax me a copy of our passports or at least some sort of ID for the kids that we could come back and they’d let us in…

So, armed with the paperwork they gave me to get back into the U.S., I approach the U.S. border… They immediately pulled up our passports online and didn’t even need that paperwork! Wow! I hopefully asked if there was any way she could print that for us to show the Canada border… she said she couldn’tL.

Now, when I was told we could not enter Canada (all the while standing just a few feet from our hotel) I lost my positive outlook and was actually crying. I was stressed as to how we would manage to get a hotel in Niagara Falls on the weekend of the Fourth of July!

Once back into the U.S., I pulled over to make some phone calls.

With one of the kids phones I was texting my sister about faxing us our passports. With my phone, I was calling the Sheraton to see if they could switch us to a hotel on the U.S. side.

As, expected the Sheraton was full and they wouldn’t give me a refund due to the last minuteL.
In the meantime, my family was more than willing to send over copies of our passports, but I don’t have a personal fax and it was getting late at night… everywhere we could think to send a fax from was closed and tomorrow was a Holiday- everything would surely be closed!

Before this, I was just hoping to get a cheap hotel to hold us over until I could get our passports and go on with our stay at the Sheraton.

Well, on the phone with hotels. Com I was just seeing about getting a hotel, but they asked if I wanted to cancel the Sheraton and get a refund… I told them I’d love to if I could actually get a refund! They said because of my “silver status” with them, they would issue me a refund even though under the last minute circumstances I wouldn’t normally be able to get one.

In the mix of all this stress, that was a welcome blessing as this hotel had been pretty costly!

I then asked them to find me a hotel as close to the Falls as possible. They were able to get me into the Holiday Inn Express which didn’t have a view of the Falls, but it was less than a quarter mile walk to get there… I’ll take it!

The only down fall, is that they only had availability for this night…. They were booked the next night/the night of the Fourth… But all I could think about at this late hour was getting us in a hotel; I figured I’d worry about tomorrow, tomorrow…

Within a few minutes we were at our new hotel and checking in.

Madilyn made chicken fajitas while I scoured the internet for a hotel on the night of the Fourth.

I finally realized that if we were going to switch hotels, we might as well drive toward our next destination- Lancaster, PA. It was set to be a 7 hour drive… So, I figured I’d book us a hotel at a half-way point to break up the drive… And that is exactly what I did.

After that, we all went to bed.

Friday July 4th/ Day 34

This morning I woke up with a headache. Given the stress of the night before, I knew what it was from… Thankfully it was gone before we left the hotel…

This hotel had breakfast and it was a really nice buffet.

After breakfast, we loaded up the van. We were allowed to stay parked in the parking lot even after checking out.

We then had a short walk to Maid of the Mist. While waiting in line to get on the first boat of the day, we could see the Sheraton sitting there and it was painful for me to see it. I was so upset with myself… for forgetting our passports and then for not researching fully as to what we need to get across the border… I could have so easily rectified this earlier in the trip had I just researched betterL.

The Maid of the Mist was an absolute blast! After Maid of the Mist we went to a set up steps that allow you to get a bit closer to the falls and then we went to the top observation deck.

Next, we watched a movie about the Falls which was wonderful!

Next, we took a trolley over to Cave of the Winds. Cave of the Winds was so much fun! The kids had an absolute blast getting pounded by the falls!!

This day was SO much fun; I have zero regrets going here!! But, I will say that all during this day my emotions were a roller coaster… One moment we would be having a blast, and then next moment I would think about how we would be missing our primo view of fireworks this night or how nice it would be to walk back to the hotel after touring rather than having to make a long drive… So, it was a fun day- but I was still recovering from the events of the night before…

Once we were back to our van, all the boys needed to change clothes as they were soaked from the falls. After they changed, we were on our way to Pennsylvania.

For the most part, leaving Niagara Falls was helping me to feel better about the experience… like it was done and over… But I was still upset at times thinking about how we were missing out on spending the Fourth watching a fireworks show from our hotelL.

As we got close to Williamsport, we heard on the radio an interview about Miss Pennsylvania’s plans to go to a firework show this night... Now, I had no idea where this was to be held… But I joked with the kids; hey let’s find this firework party and go meet Miss Pennsylvania! They were saying the party she was going to would have the largest flag in the United States!

We stopped to eat out lunch at Dairy Queen. It was delish.

Once we arrived at the hotel, I was sooo excited! Hanging across the street was a HUGE flag, and the parking lot was filled with people… I knew good and well what they were gearing up for- a firework show!

I was even more excited when I checked in and the clerk told me our room would have a perfect view of the fireworksJ.

Even though we could see the fireworks from our room, at about 9pm we headed out to join the festivities. They had a live band and it was just a ton of fun. (Even though they did butcher Sweet Alabama by turning into sweet Pennsylvania; that would be unacceptable in Georgia- LOL) And guess who was there? Miss Pennsylvania! And that great big flag… it was the one we had heard about on the radio- the largest in the U.S!

I was so excited that we were able to have a great Fourth of July in the long run! Sure, it wasn’t the same as seeing the fireworks go off over Niagara Falls… but at this point I was able to “let go” of that and just enjoy the Fourth where we were!

Looking back, I almost feel bad for being so upset about it… I am truly thankful for so many things… that we were even able to be on the trip, that we still got to experience Niagara Falls, that I got a refund, that I got a replacement hotel, and that we still got to experience a wonderful Fourth of July. A lot of blessings that day in the mix of my mistake!

After the party, we headed back to our room for bed…

The next morning we had a short drive to Lancaster, PA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNApl4Moh60



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Old 07-10-2014, 08:05 PM   #159
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The more I read your TRs the more I am absolutely amazed at your adventures! In the day of all the bad stories of kids and families, you and your children are excellent examples of what is good today with kids and families! Thanks for continuing to take us along!
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:35 PM   #160
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I do think you managed to make lemonade out of lemons for these two days. Glad you still got to enjoy the fireworks.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:12 PM   #161
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What a saga! I don't understand why the Canadian border guards couldn't pull up your passports, as the US side had no problem with it. Never mind, though. As you said, you had a great day, and a great 4th of July. And, unlike many families, you weren't all cranky and nasty to each other at the end of the difficult day! Good job, mom and kids!
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:40 PM   #162
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So sorry about the snafus with the passports! . It sounds like it all worked out in the end and you all had a great 4th of July!
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:07 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Grammy Grumpy View Post
The more I read your TRs the more I am absolutely amazed at your adventures! In the day of all the bad stories of kids and families, you and your children are excellent examples of what is good today with kids and families! Thanks for continuing to take us along!
You are so kind! Thanks for following along!

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I do think you managed to make lemonade out of lemons for these two days. Glad you still got to enjoy the fireworks.
We still had a great Fourth!


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What a saga! I don't understand why the Canadian border guards couldn't pull up your passports, as the US side had no problem with it. Never mind, though. As you said, you had a great day, and a great 4th of July. And, unlike many families, you weren't all cranky and nasty to each other at the end of the difficult day! Good job, mom and kids!
I was also baffled as to how the US could so easily pull up the passports, but the Canadians couldn't.... But I just eventually got to the point where I had to "let go" of all the could've, would've, should've 's and just move on for the sake of being able to have a good time.... The kids were a great sport about it and I can honestly say we still had a great time at Niagara Falls!


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So sorry about the snafus with the passports! . It sounds like it all worked out in the end and you all had a great 4th of July!
It did work out in the end, thankfully!
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:19 PM   #164
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Day 35/ Saturday July 5th

This morning, we had a short drive in front of us. So, we actually just hung out in the room for a few hours even after we were ready to go… (The hotel had a breakfast here)

Once we were on the road, we were actually headed for a pit stop- Centralia, PA. Centralia is a town that had a fire starts underground a long time ago. The fire was related to coal mining. They were never able to put the fire out (it is still burning in some areas); so the town was evacuated.

Once we got there, we seen a few others exploring as well. We drove up to an old cemetery… There was an old man there… He had grown up here and was at the cemetery visiting his deceased parents… He said he loved telling people about the history of the town and showing them around… So, we let him do what he clearly loves to do- tell us his story and show us aroundJ.

He showed us a spot in the ground where you could actually feel the heat coming out and see the smoke coming out from the fire… We would have never found this on our own… And the ground was very hot in this one area; you could feel it on your shoes…

He also showed us where the main roads use to be and why it is shut down, the fire literally melted the road and huge hunks of it caved in… It was all very interesting and I’m so glad that we stumbled across our own personal tour guide….

After Centralia, we were bound for Lancaster, PA. Technically, we were staying just outside of Lancaster.

As we came in on the main road, you could see a lot of tourist taking buggy rides. We did notice the business had horse and buggy parking/places you tie up the horses- that was neat.

Now, once we got off the main roads and near our hotel, we could see the Amish farms and genuine Amish buggies and such… It was very neat to get a glimpse into this way of life. I’ve always said while I could never live an Amish life style, I have the upmost respect for their way of life!

Our hotel is very small and homey (blends in with the area) and it sits between three Amish Farms. We are really enjoying it.

That night we had tickets to see Moses at the Christian Sights and Sounds Theater. The show was just wonderful. We all truly enjoyed it.

When I had initially booked this hotel, I had intended to see the show on Sunday… but they didn’t have any shows playing on Sunday… So, we seen the play Saturday night… meaning we had a true free day Sunday… We wondered the farm grounds a bit and just relaxed.

Monday July 7/ Day 37/ West Virginia
We had a 4.5 hour drive to our next destination – Fairmont, WV.

One the drive, we stopped and ate out at C C’s Pizza buffet. It’s not my favorite, but the boys love it. *It’s not Madilyn’s favorite either.

Now, we actually use to live in West Virginia. We lived there for about two years; my ex-husbands work took us there… and Austin was actually born there… Madilyn was 9 months old when we moved there; and Austin was 9 months old when we moved back to Georgia…

When traveling through West Virginia, I thought it would be neat to let the kids see our old house. I was friends with the owner and was actually hoping he would be home and let us peek in. Unfortunately, no one was home and I had long lost his phone number… (And who knows, he could have sold it).

I hesitantly took a few pictures before we got back in the van… The house is on a river and I really wanted to show the kids the backyard, but figured I better just move along as I didn’t want to be trespassing…

After this stop, we headed to the grocery store- a super Wal-Mart. In addition to groceries I got some marked down Fourth of July shirts… I’m a sucker for matching shirts; much to Wesley and Dillon’s dismay…

After the store, we headed to the hotel. For dinner, we had microwavable dinners. We, then just relaxed around the room…

Tomorrow we would be bound for Asheville, North Carolina…


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taNZmOqkEwc

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Old 07-11-2014, 10:50 PM   #165
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More great days! How great to get the history of the town from a local, and to stay in Lancaster! Must have been nice to drive by your old house!
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