Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Beautiful Apple State

Fine, it's actually the Empire State, but we collectively decided that it should be called "The Beautiful Apple State".  There were a few times on our drive through New York that we both agreed it had some of the prettiest scenery we had seen to date.  Having only seen NYC, West Point and the Hudson River Valley in past years, we discovered an incredibly beautiful state many New Yorkers themselves fail to experience.

After leaving Amish country we headed for Niagara Falls, and it did not disappoint.  We stayed at Four Mile Creek State Park which was a quaint, well-kept surprise.  State campgrounds are usually lacking on the amenities and pretty basic.  But this one was set on Lake Ontario with a fun playground, bath houses that were pretty nice and huge sites!  The boys got to run around quite a bit in between trips to the Falls.

We spent two days exploring the Falls, choosing to do the combo pack on the U.S. side of the falls, which was well worth it.  While you can see the Falls in their entirety from the Canadian side, you can conquer hurricane force winds and experience the legendary Maid of the Mist on the U.S. side.  The boys thoroughly enjoyed the Falls and asked to go back every time we left.  We did the U.S. side one day and the Canadian side the other, with a nice picnic lunch and an overpriced Hershey milkshake.  Oh yeah!  Don't forget quarters to pay the re-entry fee into the U.S.  We found that out a little too late.  With nothing smaller than a $10 we grabbed a Hershey Shake to make change only to find a handful of Canadian bills....the exchange rate stinks, so what should've been $1 to get back to the US ended up being a $10 milkshake. :(  The only thing we missed in our combo adventure was a trip to the aquarium.  It was included, but we didn't have time to cram it all in.  A strange statement, I'll admit, considering we had no limit to the length of this vacation except for self-imposed time constraints.  Nonetheless, the boys (Jon included) were a little bit disappointed.

After our last day at the Falls we ended our afternoon on the playground.  AJ and I were racing to the slides and I decided to summit the 6 ft rock wall as a short cut.  I felt a little twinge of pain in my right shoulder but brushed it off as a little pulled muscle.  At about 3am I realized I was terribly wrong when I woke to excruciating pain and the inability to move my arm.  (Now, I've had 3 kids naturally, so when I say excruciating pain, I mean "should I unhitch the truck in the middle of the night to go straight to the ER because surely something is dying inside my shoulder type of pain").  I took my limit of pain killers and tried to get some sleep.  When I woke in the morning to no relief I arranged for my RV taxi service to drop me at the local ER while they headed off to the aquarium.  So the boys and Baby A got their aquarium visit afterall.  And what 4 and 2-year-olds wouldn't prefer to look at fish than sit in the ER with their mom for 6 hours? After X-rays confirmed nothing was broken, I was given a demobilizer 'thing' to keep me from moving my arm and a prescription to follow-up with an Ortho.  Ok, ok, long story short, nothing was torn and a very painful shot of cortisone to the shoulder got me back to 98% better in a few days.  Tendinitis...who knew that could be so painful??

So many great photos of our travels in New York, here are just a few. To view all of them check out our Facebook album here.










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