Monday, August 20, 2007

Back home again. . . .

The picture on top is of me at Niagara Falls. I'm sure everyone wonders how I ended up in New York when I was going to Michigan. It's simple if you know how my family takes a vacation. Our plans are apt to change and evolve as we go along. We did head for Michigan and spent the first night there. Our destination was to Greenfield Village in Dearborn--a super living history museum.

We got a late start on Wednesday and didn't get anywhere near Dearborn until about 10:30 at night. Everyone was exhausted and we just wanted a place to lie down and sleep. We'd stopped at a travel center and gotten a discount hotel book. Since the last time we were in Michigan we'd stayed in a semi-luxury hotel (discount convention rates), we had no idea where to find anything reasonable. Going with the coupon, we ended up at the nightmare motel.

Our first red flag was the number of men and women pacing back and forth from door to door. Knocking, whispers, clandestine meetings in cubby holes by the ice machine. (Once you pay your money, no refunds.) We weren't sure if the motel was an oasis for drugs or worse. We got inside the door and locked ourselves in--prepared to tough it out.
It got worse.

We discovered when we found the bathroom that instead of there being a wall around 3 sides of the tub, there were none. The tub and shower were in an open pit with two shower curtains--one opening up into the sleeping area. I don't even want to go into the why's of that. I'm sure I don't care to know!

We turned off the lights to take showers--in case there were cameras hidden somewhere. It was that kind of place. We were supposed to have two double beds and a pull out couch. But, when we pulled out the couch to make a bed it hit the wall. You could make a bed--one that sat up like a hospital bed. I ended up on that. Once the couch was out, it cut off entrance to the bathroom to anyone else. Good thing we could climb through the peek a boo tub!

By morning we were all itchy and got out of there pronto. We also declined the free breakfast. It was not the best place we've ever stayed. As we got the van loaded, we realized someone had walked their dog and he or she had used the bathroom right by the driver's door. It was not a Holiday Inn. As we left town, we realized we'd wandered into a shady part of town. I'm sure our angels worked overtime that night.

Once away from the weird motel, we went to Greenfield Village. It's such a fantastic place. This was my second trip and I enjoyed watching the boys see all the sights. We went though every building in horrible heat. The only house we missed was the Wright Brothers. They had some kind of play on the porch each time we went by and we never seemed to arrive as it was open.

The boys got to record their voices on a tinfoil machine just like Edison, make brass candlesticks and print up a poster on an old fashioned printing press.
Our plans had been to stay another day and go to the museum. Instead, we decided to head toward Niagara Falls. It was a long drive across the top of Ohio and on into New York. It had been years since I'd seen the falls but they were lovely

Everyone wanted to go on the "Maid of the Mist" so I gamely gave it a try. Boats aren't really my thing but I surprised myself. Felt queasy as we waited to launch, but then forgot to feel sick as I gave myself up to the experience. It was so neat to ride almost up to the falls. That was a high point of the trip for everyone.
Looks like a storm is heading in so I'll continue soon. . . .


Erica Vetsch said...

Welcome home, and congrats on braving your fears for a once in a lifetime event.

CJ said...

Sounds like you stayed at the Bates Motel. Mrs. Bates? Can Norman come out to play?

nlindabrit said...

Isn't the Maid of the Mist an experience? I've never forgotten it . . . or the haute couture oilskins!:)