Friday, July 19, 2013

New York trip - Day Two

Our second day was all about Alan and Debbie and seeing Kevin's past. Debbie fixed fresh blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup and bacon. My kids think we should eat like that all the time!

Kevin's dad was visiting his brother, Alan, so he came with Kevin and I and the kids for the grand tour. This was Kevin's grandparents' home. His grandmother was the postmistress so there is a little room on the side that was the post office. I stayed in that home with Kevin just a month or so after we were married. We made the trip back for Kevin's grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. Of course, it looked a lot different in February with piles of snow!

This is the church where Kevin was christened. After we got back home, McKayla referred to it as the church he got "Christianized". ( My children are definitely not very wise to other religions). Neither was I. I attended this church when we came for his grandparents' anniversary. It was the first time I'd attended any church service besides LDS. The minister/preacher/clergyman kept telling us to say we were all sinners. Everyone would yell, "I am a sinner". I didn't want to do that so I stayed silent.

This was Kevin's childhood home but he assures us it never looked that nice when they were living in it. Funny thing, we stopped in front of 3 homes just for a quick picture and at all 3 homes the current owners came out and talked to us. Must be the novelty of small towns - not used to any car stopping out front unless they are coming for a visit.

This is the Lincoln Davies general store. It was the only store in Paris Station. Kevin would walk to it. We went on inside. The kids thought it was like a little, tiny, miniature WalMart.

Kevin was bussed to a very normal looking school in Waterville but this is where his grandparents attended school.

After the grand tour. The kids and Kevin enjoyed Alan and Debbie's pool. They had a great time! I stayed inside and visited with Debbie and helped her get ready to BBQ. You can see from the pictures how wide open it is! McKayla loved that about upstate NY - all of the wide open spaces. Houses are not close together and they have huge properties.

After a great BBQ, we said our goodbyes and drove 2 hours to our hotel in Rochester. There, not having had enough swimming for one day, Chandler and Alec got good use out of the hotel pool. Shanley and McKayla found the treadmills in the fitness room.  I was happy to do some reading!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New York trip - Day One

Our flights are always eventful! We had planned to fly into Rochester via Detroit. It was a red-eye leaving at 12:30 am. At 5 pm, I checked the flight and it had completely filled up! I spent some time finding us an alternate route. Instead, we left about midnight to fly to JFK (New York City). That flight was delayed. The flight from JFK to Rochester was fairly full so we decided Kevin would fly to Rochester while the rest of us flew into Buffalo. Kevin would pick up our reserved mini-van (by that time, none were available to switch to Buffalo) and drive to Buffalo to pick us up. It turned out that Kevin was able to take Alec with him but all of our flights were delayed so we arrived in Buffalo a couple hours later than expected. But we made it!
This sign was one of the first things that greeted us in Buffalo, NY. We were absolutely starving and saw a McDonald's right across from the airport so we beelined it to there. We got our food and sat down and then noticed this sign above our table. We laughed about the new meaning of "fast food" and then felt like rebels when we stayed longer than 20 minutes. heehee!
As soon as we ate, we headed for Niagara Falls. The wind whipped our hair in our faces for pictures but it sure felt good and cooling!
The Toronto skyline. We had brought our passports because we had heard the Falls were so much prettier from the Canadian side but we got up close to them on the Maid of the Mist and we decided we didn't want to hassle with immigration when we still had a long drive ahead of us.
The American Falls.
Rainbow Bridge.
American Falls
American Falls
Horseshoe Falls from the deck of the Maid of the Mist - we definitely needed the rain ponchos!
McKayla and Shanley modeling their rain ponchos in front of Horseshoe Falls (the ones on the Canadian side)
Horseshoe Falls
Alec and Kevin picked McKayla up and threatened to dump her into the Falls - she looks really scared, doesn't she?
McKayla, Shanley, Chandler, and I climbed up right next to the Falls. Even with the rain ponchos, we were completely drenched! When we finally finished gaping at the awe-inspiring Falls, we started the 3 1/2 hour drive to the home of Kevin's Uncle Alan and Aunt Debbie. When we arrived they had tomato pie (and a more traditional pizza) waiting for us. We think you can only get tomato pie in New York. It is pizza crust and tomato sauce with a little bit of cheese and some spices and seasonings. It was really good! We didn't arrive until after 9:30 pm and we had only slept a couple hours on the flight (a red-eye) the night before so we were exhausted. However, we still stayed up and visited.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

so excited!

We are getting ready to head out on vacation.  We generally don't like to travel much in the summer.  It is not a good idea when you are flying standby - too many other travelers.  However, we want to see the Hill Cumorah pageant so...

We will also go to the Sacred Grove and the Palmyra Temple.  I am super happy that all 6 of us can now go in the temple.  What a thrill that is!

We are also planning to see Niagara Falls and ride on the Maid of the Mist.

Can't wait!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

4th FUN

jI think all I've done lately is play or nap and I only need the naps because my girls are having so much fun playing! Their friends don't go home until 11 or midnight so I am up that late EVERY SINGLE NIGHT (except Sunday). Trust me, I am earning my naps! The girls are also needing naps and here it is after 11 am and they aren't even up yet! Due to cross-country, Sunday is the only morning they can sleep in but 11 seems a bit ridiculous.

Alec spent last week at a Camp Kostopulos travel trip. They went to Yellowstone and enjoyed the wildlife, Old Faithful, Discovery Center (where they saw bears and wolves), and a river rafting trip. The best part for him is the closing ceremony on Friday. All the campers receive awards. The whole family went to pick up Alec and watch the ceremony. Alec got an award for "best laugh". He was very proud. He puffs out his chest and stands a little taller and grins ear to ear when he gets recognition for anything. It makes me giggle. He was so excited he even had to call Brakston to tell him!

Chandler and I enjoyed the Riverton Town Days parade - nearly 2 hours. Alec was at camp. Kevin was flying. McKayla was working. Shanley stayed home to finish her chores. So, it was just Chandler and I. He sat up front so he could catch the candy. I stood in the back with a couple of my neighbors.

On the 4th, Chandler ran the Riverton Town Days 5K and won for his age group. McKayla and I ran it last year but this year I'd been asked to help with it so I drafted McKayla and Shanley to help as well. We were stationed at various points along the route to help direct the runners. Shanley danced in the Town Days entertainment in the park. Shanley also enjoyed the carnival with members of her dance team. The family joined with out friends, the Nebekers, and McKayla's friend, Brandon, to watch the fireworks that night. Riverton City does some great fireworks!

Yesterday the whole family (and Brandon) took the waverunners out on Utah Lake. We had a blast although I am sore today. I was hitting some wakes pretty darned hard and even managed to throw myself off at one point. I think my body is too old for that kind of bone-jarring, shoulder-wrenching, white-knuckle-gripping, full-speed-sharp-turn type of ride.

The "playing" won't end as this week we are headed to New York. On the agenda - Niagara Falls, visiting where Kevin grew up, the Sacred Grove, the Palmyra Temple, and the Hill Cumorah pageant. I am truly excited! And, in need of a nap.