We pulled into Four Mile Creek State Park, just outside of Niagara, at around noon. It’s a terrific park with wide, flat campsites, smooth paths and big, beautiful trees. Here we are, all settled in for a couple of days:The park runs along the banks of Lake Ontario, so we saw great sunsets over the lake with Toronto way in the distance.
Niagara Falls, of course, was our reason for being here, the one place both kids picked as their “must-see” on this trip. I was skeptical, having visited when I was a kid but not since and imagining long lines and tourist shops. But the falls are truly so amazing that we didn’t notice or weren’t bothered by any crowds.
The Maid of the Mist was a wet and wonderful experience. The boat takes you all the way to the middle of horseshoe falls, far beyond what you can see from the observation deck. At one point, you are surrounded by falls and you can’t hear the engine of the boat (or the screaming of your children) over the roar of the water.
We stopped for groceries just a few miles from our campsite in Youngstown, NY, carefully deciding what we should buy for our next few days. The kids are getting good at making better (or at least cheaper) choices and keeping track of what we spend. We’re getting better too, although we caved and let them buy cheese puffs–store brand on sale of course–because they were questioning the expense of our beer and coffee. They don’t seem to appreciate that we are simply better parents with these beverages. Maybe they are better kids with cheese puffs? Anyway, we are headed into more grocery math and less mindless swiping of the credit card, which is good for us all.
Now we say goodbye to Four Mile Creek, which was great in every way except that they were offering free kittens at the registration desk. The kids begged and pleaded but we stayed strong. So no kittens in tow (here, have some cheese puffs instead), we now head into Canada. Toronto first, and then Torrence Barrens Dark Sky Preserve, which promises no hook ups or phone service but a great view of the stars.