I am writing this post from my 19th floor hotel room overlooking Niagara Falls, Ontario. Yes, it is summer vacation time - that time of year when we delve into the dark folds of our brains to come up with activities and trips to entertain our child. I remember my youth when day camps didn't exist and we were left to fend for ourselves. Somehow we muddled through and managed to keep ourselves mostly entertained. Something changed along the way from childhood to parenthood and we all now seem to be invested with the responsibility of finding something interesting for our kids. So what do we have lined up for our little Bean this summer?
Well, we started our vacation by going to see the RCMP Musical Ride with a neighbour and her kids. This is something that everyone should do once in their lives, but only once. The choreographed horse riding is okay, but probably not worth the crowds and the hour long wait to get out of the parking lot. I tried to make it more interesting for the kids by suggesting that we might get lucky and see the Mounties shoot some terrorists, but alas, we were thwarted.
Next up on the agenda was preparing for a trip to Southern Ontario to visit my brother-in-law, his wife and their brand new baby girl. We arrived two days ago and our new niece is, as advertised, a beautiful little giblet. Our first visit with them was short-lived and the next day we headed to Niagara Falls - the town that kitsch built: wax museums, museums dedicated to the creepy, weird and unusual, haunted houses and I could go on and on. And of course we saw the falls. And they are majestic and magnificent. We took a Maid of the Mist cruise which brought us surprisingly close to the falls. You could really feel their power.
Today, we visited Marine Land. I found it so-so. The attractions are scattered over a very large piece of land, which meant a lot of walking and with Kate being a little handicapped these days. At least she was able to rent a wheelchair, so when she got tired the Bean and I could push her. Largely, the rides were what I like to call vomitrons - rides that spin you around in different ways at the same time and make you want to, well, vomit. Not my favourite kind of ride. The Bean and Kate went on a couple of them together and the Bean was quite happy to go on some by herself. The only ride I really enjoyed was the roller coaster. This was the Bean's first time on a coaster that had loops and she had a blast, although she bruised her back the second trip around. I was very proud of her.
The other good thing about the visit to Marine Land was the show featuring sea lions, dolphins and beluga whales. I have to admit to some ambivalence about keeping these beautiful and graceful animals in captivity and in the service of man. Keeping them so confined and essentially working seems inhumane. On the other hand, I feel privileged to be able to see them so close. Another moral tussle for me to have with my conscience.
Anyway, I hope to file another vacation report later in the summer. Hope everyone in the Northern hemisphere is having a good summer and those in the South a good winter. Til next time.