Let’s Giddy-up ’cause Momma’s on VACATION!
That’s right folks – this hard-working momma just got over tax season and has decided to pack up 3 adults, 3 kids, 2 car seats, 1 wheel chair and gear for 4 days including diapers and wipes for the wee ones. What could go wrong?
Crowds? Kids are still in school! Plus, we’re traveling during the week so we’re sure to avoid opening weekend mayhem.
Scheduling? This is perfect! J-F goes back to work in early from his 3 months of parental leave – it’s now or never baby!
Budget? Easy peasy! I’ve been squirreling away 50 bucks here and there and I’ve got the amount for the hotel in my personal account. I also have a bit more for souvenirs and stuff.
J-F is covering meals and since we’ve got my super-duper-wonder-mom snack packs and breakfast is included with the hotel we should be good for about $500. He thinks it will be closer to $1000, but what does he know? So $1000-$1500 total for the 6 of us, and we’re not bringing the credit card.
In full disclosure most of our activities have been sponsored by Niagara Falls Tourism and the Clifton Hill Comfort Inn so that definitely helps with the budget! Also, we were very lucky – and extremely thankful – that the MS Society St-Catherine’s Chapter lent us a GoGo Scooter for the week.
I hope everyone has gone pee cause we’re not stopping till we hit Trenton.
The plan is to check in at the Comfort Inn Clifton Hills by 2pm, unload & unwind, have dinner at the onsite Kelsey’s (LOVE their spinach dip so I was excited there was one attached to the hotel), then hit up the hill for some good ole’ fashion FUN.
Ahem. Like birthing plans, road trips never go according to THE PLAN. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so. Don’t believe me? Have a few kids then get back to me!
Things are going along smoothly; we’ve stopped at the customary Trenton OnRoute, spent way too much time getting everyone fed and to the bathroom and the GPS still says we’ll be at the hotel by 2PM. It’s a holiday Monday so traffic is mild and the skies are beautiful.
We’re cruising along the 401 in the fast lane, about to hit Oshawa and the van in front of us is all over the place. Suspecting either a drunk or severely distracted driver I grab the phone and dial 9-1-1.
“OPP What’s your emergency?”
I report the drunk driver and our location and as I’m reading off the licence plate…. KAAAPPPOOWWW! “And… we’ve just blown a tire. In the fast lane. On the 401. No ma’am, it’s not safe. Yes ma’am, please send police. Yes ma’am, everyone is ok.”
I barely had time to hang up and dial our road side assistance that a truck pulls up in front. 2 emergency trucks are behind us, in 2 lanes, to block traffic and make sure we don’t get hit. The (very nice) cop tells us there’s no way we can wait for road side assistance we have to use the guy that’s there.
Funny him. Cause there’s no way, on the median, that we can take out 3 kids, 2 car seats, 1 wheel chair and my mom.
So Cop-Guy pulls a move out of the movies – we get hitched up to the tow and escorted off the 401, sirens blaring and all. There has to be a better way to save on gas!
About an hour later we’re back on the road and there’s now a full size tire amongst our gear. I am SO glad we decided to rent a double stroller and have it delivered to the hotel.
Did I mention it’s a holiday Monday? That most stores are closed? I spend the next 1/2 hour mapping out Canadian Tires near the hotel and calling them all and hoping one of them is not only open but will be open at 4pm.
Lovely hotel. With stairs. Lots of stairs. Everywhere. Shit. Yes, we got the accessible family suite we asked for… but no there’s no balcony ’cause it’s on the 1st floor ’cause there’s no elevators.
There are work-arounds, and we manage to get our gear in. Winding down you say? I check us in while J-F goes to fix the car and Mom goes out with Jasmine to test out the scooter. I think that’s just a ploy to go smoke a few cigarettes, in peace…
The one thing J-F wants to see is the falls so after dinner we start down the hill. Victoria Day. Shit. This is almost as bad as NYC! Have you ever maneuvered a double-stroller AND a scooter through throngs of people on a freaking hill? Don’t. Just don’t.
Cause then you have to go back up. Oh Yeah! 40lb toddler. 15 lb baby, 15 lb stroller. My trainer will be proud cause I have to push this thing – without running into anyone – all. the. way. up. the. hill. I’m grunting and sweating and the higher up we go the hotter it gets and sacremento are we there yet?
We take the time to visit the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum and the wax museum. There’s several of those but we picked the one that was included with our fun passes and other than discovering that my 6 year old is a complete wuss it was actually quite awesome. Check out the ‘Things to Do” tab for a list of all the cool things you can do.
Tomorrow we go to Marineland then J-F & I get our date. That means tonight I’m packing up the car for tomorrow morning and getting clothes ready for tomorrow morning.
I crawl into bed way too late and come to the startling realization that there is – in fact – quite a difference between a VACATION and a TRIP. This is definitely NOT a vacation… but it’s gearing up to be a memorable trip!