Monday, July 21

Niagra Falls

The next day we got up and drove to Niagra Falls.  Sadly, the weather had not improved at all.  
First order of business when we got there was to buy big ponchos as it was raining pretty hard again.
Even with the poor weather, the falls were still impressive.
As we were crossing the bridge headed over to the Maid of the Mist, you could really see just how calm the water was just below the falls.  You would never know there were waterfalls nearby!

So windy on the boat!
The closer you got to the falls, the wetter it became.  Timmy quickly changed his poncho for the official Maid of the Mist one as it was see through.  Smart boy!
Me with my babies:)
Going past the first falls was a bit wet but still very peaceful.
And then we approached Horseshoe Falls.  Oh man!  The water was really rough and the spray was everywhere.
The boat went right in the middle of the pool and hovered for several minutes.  The boat was rocking really hard from side to side-everyone was loosing their footing.  And we were getting absolutely soaked!
When we got off of the boat, we noticed that there was another section where you could climb stairs to get closer to the falls.  All of us went save Madison.  We were within feet of the falls.  If we were not wet before, we got wet then-absolutely drenched.  Which what did it matter by that point?  It was still raining after all.
But the kids were cold and miserable.  We had wanted to do the Cave of the Winds as well but they were done.  So once again, we made our way to the hotel.
And they perked right up when they found that the hotel had yet another pool.  

Watkins Glen

When we learned that we were moving to Rhode Island, my first thought was of all of the places that we would get to explore and visit!  So after the term ended, Terry was able to take a lot of leave.  Really, it feels like he is back in college with the entire summer off.

So we loaded up the kids and took off for a week to explore!  I was a super happy girl!  However, the closer we got to the first stop at Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes region of New York, my spirits started to sink.  We kept driving through terrible thunderstorms!  Huge, gale force winds, driving rains, lightening, and booming thunder.  My hopes of waterfall exploring were quickly evaporating.
However, we arrived, immediately set out and miracles of miracles it was not raining!
It was so pretty!  A river cut through a mountain to form a waterfall gorge.  Was pretty-just like Timmy in the picture:)  Don't know what was up with that pose?
I was afraid that storms may appear and thus did not bring out the good camera.  Was pleasantly pleased with the iphone tho!  
Good thing I did not get the camera because a huge thunderstorm did come.
When it began raining, it seemed that everyone in the gorge turned and headed out.  We were the only ones still going forward.  Terry had brought umbrellas just in case and he quickly put his to use.  Madi also grabbed one:)  Terry kept asking of the kids wanted to go back and each time they wanted to continue.  I think really he was the one who wanted to get out of the storm!
And we got absolutely soaking wet.  
Ended up being a HUGE storm.  Lightening, thunder, pounding rain and we were hiking through it.
I think the rain made the gorge prettier:)
And since everyone else left, there weren't any tourists in our photos!
Lots of rain.  And then the storm passed.  
We made it all the way through and then found a different path for the walk back.  Despite the poor weather, I was really glad that we went.  And the kids all thought it was pretty cool that we stayed out during a terrible storm.  Luckily, I planned well and the hotel was not very far away. And since they were wet anyway, we just threw them in the pool!  A win-win!

Saturday, July 19

Force

And the time came for Deacon and Lauren's last day:(

I snapped a few pictures of them as they were finishing up.  Since that was the same morning that I was going on a week long vacation, I chose not to push myself as hard which was why I had the extra time to take pictures:)
The four of us left.  Now, just Derry, Dion, and myself remain.  Have to say that I really like this picture.  I always wanted to be that small, dainty girl.  At least with these tall guys on either side of me-I look it;)  Great people!  Glad that I can call them all my friends!

Sunday jazz

Sunday afternoon, I got a lovely invitation from Deacon and Lauren to go to a little jazz concert. They are held at a park next to the harbor and are free.  So of course, I headed out there!  Was so nice to sit in the sun and listen to good music.  I have since gone back to more concerts and find them super relaxing.  Have yet to convince the family to come with me-maybe next week:)

July 5th

The evening of July 5th, we attended the neighborhood BBQ.  It was just what I needed to cheer me up!

There was food and drinks.  About 100 people.  And tons of kids to play with!  With beautiful weather!
There were a few organized races for the kids.  But we had a ton more fun when we played an impromptu football game.  It was more like a keep away game.  I had so much fun tackling the kids!  Nearly took out some of the bystanders as well:)
Can you see the awesome grass stains we got?  Was feeling very manly!!!


This is Shana, a new neighbor and my buddy at the BBQ.  I seriously felt like it was a little private party with her husband, Garrett, and Terry and me.  Really like her and our kids have been pretty inseparable since then.  Finally, more friends are moving in!
As it got darker, several families began setting off fireworks and sparklers.  To be perfectly honest, I did not know what the difference was as I have never bought them.  Kids liked watching them although, as usual, there were too loud for our Em:)
We got to hold some sparklers and throw some sort of pop things that snapped on the ground.  Timmy loved them!
Even Em liked them!  Next thing you know, it was dark and the fireworks began.  We were directly under them which was nice.  Some were huge!  Was a good show.  I loved that we got to watch them from our neighborhood with friends.  In fact, the party started at four and we didn't get home until after ten.  And Terry was there for almost all of it-miracle of miracles!  I love the fourth of July and although it was technically the fifth, it was a fantastic holiday!