Niagara Falls 4

RV to Niagara Falls: Everything Is Better On The Canadian Side

“If you think I’m wonderful now, wait until you see my Canadian side.” -Scott

Scott and I had never been to Niagara Falls, and we were so excited. Okay, I was excited and Scott was driving and everyone acted like if we didn’t see the Canadian side, we should just stay home. We couldn’t cross the border with the baby without a complicated process, and I forgot to bring passports for the big kids to cross with one adult. My Canadian side never forgets things. Sigh. However, we loved the American side. It was so quiet and serene and whenever something went wrong, we could blame it on not being in Canada, which worked out well when I accidentally sent us on a 10 mile hike to see a whirlpool. Things are never so far away in Canada.

Goat's Island
When you drive an RV, you’re sometimes more welcomed than others and parking is no exception. We had to park on Goat’s Island, which felt like thousands of miles away, but it was quite beautiful.
Goat's Island bridge
The bridge to where the non-RVers are allowed to be.
Maid of the Mist boat
We first headed to Maid of the Mist.
Maid of the Mist boat 1
The boat has been running for over a hundred years – generations of my family have take this voyage.
Maid of the Mist
What a view!
Niagara Falls 1
What? This is ridiculous!
Niagara Falls
Ridiculously gorgeous!
The water and the wind! Oh my!
The water and the wind! Oh my!
Ponchos from Maid of the Mist
There were even baby-size ponchos. OMG.
Niagara Falls 2
My poor camera but still worth it.
Maid of the Mist 2
A break from the water and wind but not the view.
Niagara Falls 4
We lucked out on the beautiful day although I’m sure the Canadians always have blue skies.
American Falls
Then we walked up too many stairs to get up close and personal.
Niagara Falls 5
We moved on to the Niagara gorge trails with the Alex-plan of reaching Whirlpool State Park.
Whirlpools
Tiny whirlpools means we must be close right?
Niagara Falls gorge
The kids don’t quite believe we will ever get there
Niagara Falls gorge
And they were right. It was just around that bend but with three kids and muddy, hilly terrain, the bend is just a little too far.
Niagara Falls KOA
Oh well. Back to the campsite for a little pajama bouncing.

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Our beach

RV to Rural Pennsylvania: Where There Are No Maps But Plenty of Boats

“I’ll just hang on to the back of the kayak while you paddle around mom.” -E

Whenever we travel by RV, we always take the back roads, which means whenever we have to pee or stop for lunch, we still have beautiful views.

Side of the PA road
The side of the road in the middle of Pennsylvania is lovely.
Wildflower and Bee
These are the most prominent flower in Pennsylvania.

We headed up to a campsite just outside of Penn State’s main campus because I thought the kids would love Penn’s Caves — a series of caverns where the guided tours are given via boat! Although our campsite that evening wasn’t anything special, the caves were perfect especially because we were all still recovering from colds.

Waiting for the tour
Next time I would’ve dropped off one of us at the ticket booth because we ended up with two hours until our tour.

Luckily, there were mazes and giant souvenir shops and lunch to be had before we were directed by a grumpy lady to head to the boat. This was wonderful timing because the families on the boat behind us could not stop complaining about everything. She must’ve realized we were not irritated enough with their format to be with that group and sent us ahead.

E and me
Happy to be on the happy boat
Penn's Cave
Off we go into 52 degree caves (the temperature never changes. I could totally live there.)
Penn's cave 2
I’m sure this was something super cool that I was trying to capture but now it looks a lot like rocks and light to me.
Penn's Cave 3
The tour was a lot like Luray Caverns but on boats so everyone loved it. Well, the baby slept through it, which is a lot like loving it.
Penn's Cave 4
Rainbows!
Penn's cave 5
Out the other side and around the bend.

Next time, I would stay in the Southern part of the Allegheny National Forrest then move to the northern part because our campsite the following day at Dewdrop, while not level at all, was beautiful.

RV in the Allegheny Mountains
The RV in its natural setting
Campfire
I was always good with a camp fire, but I became the fire guru after some tips from our favorite vet in Maryland.
N in nature
The mountains bring out the joy in all of us.
Our beach
The coolest part of our site was a path that lead to our own private beach (a theme in this trip).
Allegheny Reservoir
The beautiful Allegheny Reservoir
Allegheny mountains
Tree climbing is always on the agenda
Allegheny Reservoir
We actually kayaked and swam as well, but I forgot my camera. (So did it even happen?)

The maps and information provided for hiking was terrible. I don’t know if it was because people mostly go to the Allegheny Reservoir for boating, but I was surprised by the barely marked photocopied map we were handed after all the national parks and forrest we stayed in out west. The only reason we found the trail to the water was because another family walked around our site then disappeared. We figured there must be pathway or there were Wendigos nearby (hey yo Supernatural fans) and we should run. Next time, I would write down my Allegheny National Forest research (no Internet service) or stopped at the main visitor center for better maps. This particular day we weren’t up for big hikes anyway so it all worked out just fine.

Next up, Niagara Falls with everyone feeling a-ok!

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Kids by the creek

RV to Maryland: Where the Creeks Are Rivers and The People Are Healing

“I don’t think their definition of a creek is the same of ours.” -Scott

Conococheague Creek
That’s a river.

We stayed on the Conococheague Creek in Maryland. For our first night, I always chose something close by and laid back so we have lots of time to spare for last minute packing and errand running as we once forgot pillows. But with a baby, we didn’t do any drive beyond 3.5 hours so we could be flexible and happy the entire trip. And it worked!

The kids loved this campsite in part because our neighbors were the nicest couple. The husband was a veteran with traumatic brain injury, and he had a true gift with children. He taught them to build a fire and gave them part of his army pack. He still carried it everywhere just in case he needed to leave quickly, and I think that giving the kids part of his pack was a way to let go of some of that war readiness.

Kids by the creek
Laying by the cr-iver with the fire they built with our neighbor.
RV set up
Yes, our RV set up is always this sweet.
N coloring
Coloring by the creek
E reading
Reading by the fire
Me in the hammock
Kicking back with a concerned look on my face because who gets to lay in a hammock with three kids?
DarknessFalls
Darkness falls but the big kids keep going in their pajamas.
One lane bridge
Good morning! Time to go by heading over a one-lane bridge towards Pennsylvania.

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