Niagara Falls Trip

Hey Everyone!

I am so happy to be back. We just came off a little getaway up to Niagara Falls with the kids. We left in the middle of the night on Tuesday and got home late Friday night. The boys had so much fun and I’m really happy we went. The trip was not without about a million mom-fails though.

We stayed on the Canadian side of the falls which had much better views and a lot more activities.

Now, the night before we left I had this big plan that I would keep the boys up really late so that they would sleep longer in the car ride. NOPE! Reid (who normally goes to sleep at 7:30) went to bed at 10pm and was up at 4:30am. We tried EVERYTHING to get this kid to nap but we failed at every turn. To say that this kid was getting cranky is a gross understatement. (Mom-fail #1)

Mom-fail #2: When we were bringing our luggage into the hotel Reid was so excited that he bolted ahead and straight into a closing elevator. Cue extreme panic and tears. My kid was on an elevator going who knows where! I didn’t know if he was going to get off somewhere or what was going to happen. There were no little floor number lights that tell you where the elevator has stopped. Apparently he hit a button that brought him down to the underground hotel offices (it must have been an employee elevator he found).  By the grace of God an employee nabbed him and brought him straight back to us. He kept telling me that he “went on an adventure”. By that point my nerves were shot.

We checked into our hotel and then headed over to do the Hornblower Cruise. We got our tickets, waited in line, put on our ponchos and….

He FINALLY napped. The funny thing is, if you ask him if he enjoyed the boat ride, he’ll tell you he had a great time and got splashed, lol. The rest of us had a blast though.

Hank was a little apprehensive when we told him that you get splashed on the boat. He decided to wear his goggles as a precaution. This picture continues to crack me up.

After the cruise we walked around to get the lay of the land. We did a bunch of touristy stuff and of course hit up the arcade games.

On to mom-fail #3…

I really thought the boys would enjoy going to the Rainforest Cafe. They have never been before and I really thought they’d get a kick out of all the animals and the “storms”. Wrong again, Mom! Reid loved it but Hank was petrified of the whole thing. I ended up wrapping his food in a napkin and eating outside with him.

Niagara Falls has a ton of touristy (almost carnival-esque) attractions that aren’t really for me. I’d rather spend my time just enjoying the falls of doing things less “loud”. The attractions were PACKED though so I’m sure that they carry a lot of appeal for others. So the next morning we headed back into NY for a walk around Goat Island. Just as we were getting there a woman named Erendira Wallenda (whose husband famously walked a tightrope across the falls) was performing stunts and hanging from her teeth on a helicopter over the falls. Better you than me, Erendira!

We walked the island for a while and it was fun to be at the top of the falls, watching the water flow over. On the cruise boat we had a total opposite view from the bottom.

After Goat Island we headed back into Canada and up to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The drive was beautiful and we saw a lot of things that we would love to do but the kids are just too little. There was a gorgeous bike trail along the river and a ropes course that looked fun. Maybe in a few years.

When we got into town we were all starving so we hit up a fun, ecletic pizza place and headed out shopping.

To be totally candid, the boys were driving us nuts at this point. Everyone was tired and the dialogue went exactly like this:

Hank: I’ll get you Reid!

Reid: Mama! Hank said he gone get me!!

Me: Honey, he’s not going to get you. No one is going to get you.

Reid: Oh yes he will!

Hank (with a sour face): I will get him.

Me: Harrison (Hank’s full name), be kind to your brother. I know you are both tired. Just sit back and relax.

Hank sticks his tongue out.

Repeat 32083405X.

Needess to say, our trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake was cut a little short.

Thankfully, after some naps and some talking to, we all pressed our fingers to our noses (that we call our “reset buttons” for when things get crazy) and tried again to enjoy the day.

Hank and Kevin took a ride on the Skywheel and they both LOVED it! They said that the views were fantastic. I was busy in the arcade with Reid who was obsessed with the rubber duck claw game.

Across the street from the falls are these absolutely BEAUTIFUL walled gardens. We spent a bunch of time here just so that the boys could explore and run around to get some energy out of them. We also let them swim in the hotel pool each night before bed to really wipe them out.

A genuine hug, unprompted by Mom. They really did kiss and make up.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on here before but Reid is OBSESSED with trash.  Trash cans, trash trucks, dumpsters, you name it. If you look back at pictures of him he is more than likely holding a toy trash can. Whenever he sees trash on the ground he points and screams “Don’t be a litter bug!”. On Friday morning Kevin took Reid for a walk before breakfast and they found a trash truck making his rounds. It was the highlight of Reid’s trip.

On Friday we headed back to the US and took the kids to the coolest place EVER! It was The Strong National Museum of Play and it was AMAZING! Now, I take my kids to children’s museums ALL.THE.TIME. It’s practically our #1 pastime. But this place really takes the cake.

To start- it was HUGE. It was spotlessly clean. The exhibits were so elaborate with so many details you could spend a week’s vacation exploring this place.

The had a full replica of Sesame Street! You could go inside Elmo’s room. There was the taxi area, Big Bird’s nest, you name it- they had it.

They had a Wegmans that was set up like a real store. The Please Touch Museum in Philly has something similar but nothing near this caliber. You could scan all of the food and they had real working registers.

Again, this place was immaculate. In the Please Touch Museum’s grocery store looks like the night after the apocalypse.

I’m telling you, pictures don’t do this place justice at all. If you are ever in Rochester, NY you have to check it out.

They had an entire Bear Country for the Berenstein Bears.

We woke up on Saturday and headed to a birthday party for a friend of the boys. It was held a trampoline park and the boys LOVE those places.

All we did Saturday night was cook and clean for Sunday. We hosted a Father’s Day luncheon for family and friends. I totally spaced on snapping pics but we all ate, and swam, and played catch together.

Later we headed out to Kevin’s parents to BBQ and swim some more.

It was a full day filled with fun and love.



  • Reply Holly Breton at Pink Lady June 20, 2017 at 5:27 am

    Yeah Tara! All in all it looked like a great trip. We never even saw those gardens- they look beautiful. Also, when we tried to hit the Sky Wheel it was closed. Don’t forget to email me your address. You were the winner of my $25 Nordstrom gift card!

    • Reply xo Tara June 20, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      That’s awesome! Thank you so much!! I’ll send you a message.

  • Reply Erin Port June 20, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Oh my goodness you packed a lot in! We saw the Wallenda family at the Sarasota, FL circus – they are so crazy and daring. I seriously covered my eyes and peeked through them ;). How scary with the elevator. When we were visiting my parents in NYC, Solon stuck his hand in their apartment elevator to open it up and it closed on his fingers. I seriously freaked out as my husband yanked them out before they got cut off. He ended up with just bruising – needless to say you aren’t alone but it’s so scary! xoxo ERIN PS Glad you had a fun rest of the trip

  • Reply Allie @ June 20, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Fun trip- love the mom fails! Ari is totally freaked out by Rainforest Cafe. She will hide behind us and push us to walk on the other side of the mall so she doesn’t have to see any of the robot animals! Hope you all have a great week!

  • Reply Andrea Nine June 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Wow, looks like everyone had such a good time! I’m glad you’re back! I tell ya, you rock that red rain poncho so well! Had a ball looking at your pictures!! Welcome home pretty lady!

  • Reply Lisa June 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Oh my goodness…the whole elevator scenario😳. I would have been totally freaking out. So the goggles with the poncho are AWESOME!!! What a hoot. I’m pretty sure that cinnamon roll that was as big as his head deserved at least an honorable mention…LOL. It looks like y’all have a great time and made tons of fun memories. 🙂

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