Only four hours on the road today. Sometimes the driving gets SOOO long. My sweetie has still done all of the driving except for our little excursion to the candy factory yesterday. That's many many miles behind the wheel!
We drove up the coast of Lake Erie, but we didn't really get a chance to see it. It rained most of the morning and we were worried about our evening plans. We stopped at the turnpike and saw all the signs for Niagara Falls. We had talked about seeing the falls in our initial trip plans, but we decided that it would take up too much of our day to make the detour.
About the time we hit the turnpike, we were both starting to question that decision. It really wasn't that far and would likely take only a couple of hours. So we decided to do it democratically. We asked the kids. They were all for it, so we followed the signs. The GPS was pretty helpful too and it got us within a couple of blocks of the falls. We paid ten bucks for a parking lot and then we got out and started hoofing it. I had Baby Doll in the backpack and we paired up everyone else. The walk was pretty long for the little kids, but the big ones helped them and we made it down to the falls in good time.
The falls were beautiful but they still make me nervous. Did I ever tell you about our trip to Yellowstone? That might be interesting sometime...
After Niagara, we were a little worried about missing the sites in Palmyra. Rather than checking into our hotel, we drove straight to the Visitors' Center. We walked around the Smiths' homes and we saw the barn. Then we took the trail to the Sacred Grove. The grove is where Joseph Smith first asked which of all the churches was correct. There is such an awesome feeling in those trees! They are not at all like the woods in Utah. We have mostly pines, aspens, and scrub oak. These are tall and beautiful and multi-layered. We spent almost an hour walking the paths and sharing a quiet moment in a small amphitheater.
When we got back to the van, we piled in and made the short drive to see the temple. It's small like the Detroit temple and you can't even see it from the road. A few miles later and we were at the Hill Cumorah. We claimed our seats with our jackets and then we entered the Visitors' Center. We wandered through the exhibits and watched a short film on the restoration. It was so fun to see the sites we had just seen in the movie!
They had the Lion's Club and the Rotary Club sponsoring a charity dinner booth, so we decided to support their efforts by eating dinner there. The food was good and reasonably priced. I loved the salt potatoes! They were baby russet potatoes boiled and drenched in melted butter and salt. Probably not very healthy, but delicious.
Then we headed to our seats. We still had about an hour to wait, but it was well worth it. The Hill Cumorah pageant is in its 75th year and we all thought it was amazing! Curly watched more than half before his little eyes drooped and he drifted off against my shoulder. He loved seeing the Book of Mormon characters come to life. Sport was thrilled when guys were falling off buildings and he couldn't believe they actually "burned" Abinadai.
I think we could have sat there for at least another hour listening to every story in the book. When it was over, we turned the van toward Rochester. It was about 20 minutes to the hotel and all went smoothly. We have been mostly pleased with our hotels. I was a bit worried about this Super 8, but it has turned out to be very nice for the money.
Tomorrow we head for Pennsylvania. Every day just seems to get better and better. The kids have traveled so well and can you believe it? No one has thrown up yet! Oh, and we doused ourselves in bug spray tonight. I wasn't taking any chances on that one.