Beach day

 

The return of warm weather. It felt like it was never going to come. We are back at the beach attempting to frolic in too-cold water on a beach that lost half of its area thanks to rising water levels. It is glorious in so many ways.

Sisters collaborating on an engineering project while the sun begins to cure the winter paleness from their skin. One sister drilling into the sand with all of her might, the other sculpting the sides into an engineered smoothness Jony Ive would approve of. First bathing suit lines of the year followed by first ice creams. Smiles everywhere.

After a winter that felt like a perpetual night on the couch it was refreshing to see that my family still knew how to do summer right. Beach. Conquered.
 

 

Holiday Valley and Buffalo, NY

Day one: Niagara Falls, Canada

We started our trip off with a quick stop in Niagara Falls for some lunch and a quick peek at the falls. First we hit the legendary flying saucer diner.

[Note: you can click on the photos for larger versions]

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Then it was off to the falls.

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It was a very cold windy day, so we didn’t spend very much time here. Just long enough for a quick photo shoot in front of the Rainbow bridge and overlooking the falls.

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And of course, the obligatory shot of the family looking at the local scenery.  The area looked amazing because everything was covered in ice and snow. It looked very magical.

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For dinner that night we decided to haul ourselves back north to Buffalo to visit the legendary Dinosaur BBQ.

 

No pictures of the food (i was too busy eating it), but I did get a picture of Thing 01 and her bottle of cherry coke.

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And Thing 02 proving to the world that she know how to drink chocolate milk like a pro.

 

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Day 02: Skiing

The trip to Holiday Valley was involved some very scary winter driving. New York was under a winter storm warning and it was snowing quite heavily. Initially I thought that we were trapped in white-out conditions, but then I realised we were just following a snowplow.  White knuckles all the way, though.

Not a lot of pictures while skiing. The three girls took lessons in the morning which freed up time for me to explore the mountain with John. We hit a lot of the runs at the top right corner of the map: Cathedral, Crystal, Tannenbaum, Fire Lane, Independence, and the Punch Bowl. All of which were way above my skiing ability but I mostly managed to stay on my feet. Mostly.

Here are the girls on their skis:

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And here they are in action:

After a day on the slopes we headed off to the famous Anchor Bar — the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing for some apres-ski refreshments. At this point everyone was pretty exhausted so we made our way back to the hotel.

Day 03: Hell Freezes Over

On Sunday the temperature took a complete nosedive and skiing just wasn’t an option. The girls teamed up to serve the adults breakfast in bed, which was nice. The hotel had a nice breakfast bar with a do-it-yourself pancake machine that the girls were very fond of. I think the breakfast bar may have been one of their highlights of the trip.  After breakfast we needed to come up with plan-B for amusing the kids so we ventured out into the cold to visit the Walden Galleria.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 went shopping and then we all hit… the go cart track! The place is call Pole Position Raceway and its located right in the mall.  It is a pretty amazing set up! Here’s the older one in action:

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No action shots of me, but here’s a nice selfie of me getting ready for the race:

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The racing was a lot of fun. At the end of the race everyone who raced got a print out of their lap times and how they compared to other drivers.  They even broke the races up into adult, child and teenager groups so that everyone could race at their level.

After that it was off to the hockey game.  We managed to get a decent deal on hockey tickets and got to see the Buffalo Sabres play the Philadelphia Flyers. This was Thing 1’s first NHL game (Thing 2 and her mother stayed at the hotel).

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Buffalo lost, but I think she had fun. At the very least she drank way too much cherry coke.

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Sitting beside two kids whacked out on cherry coke can make for a very complicated game-viewing experience. Next time she gets water.

Day 04: Heading home

Monday was freezing again so we decided just to head back to Canada. We stopped in Niagara Falls again and picked  up a Clifton Hills Fun Pass that allowed us to go on the big ferris wheel, see a 7D movie (3D plus moving seats), play some arcade games and go on a ride through a haunted house where you got to shoot the monsters with lasers. We also went to the wax museum.

Here are the girls in the ferris wheel with the rainbow bridge in the background:

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And here they are at the wax museum with one of Thing 2’s favourite super heroes — Iron Man

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And here is Fiona doing her best to destroy a game of whack-a-mole at the arcade:

And one more picture, just becauseIMG_20150216_141513_1