Wednesday, July 22, 2015

First morning of family vacation fun

The big kids and I headed to breakfast while Shannon stayed with Evan to let him sleep a little longer. It was so nice to have so many breakfast options, hot and cold, instead of just the typical cereal and donuts that comes with a hotel free breakfast.

I wanted to be laid back and flexible, but we also had Sara's first doctor appointment to get to and the cave was an hour away so we ended up quickly trying to get everyone out the door and on the road. Apparently in the rush, Adam decided he was hot.

10 minutes down the road they were already asking how much longer to the cave. Ugh, this is going to be a long few days when they have no concept of time anyway! And Sara especially did not appreciate the odors of driving thru a valley where the farmer was spreading fresh manure on his fields! Even our new Yankee Candle Thin Mint air freshener couldn't cut thru that!

We arrived at Niagara Cave and hit the bathrooms while Shannon bought tickets for the tour that would start in 10 minutes. We quickly got our warmer gear on as the cave was 48 degrees and I strapped Evan in the carrier.

The Cave was discovered in 1920 when 3 pigs at a nearby farm fell down a sink hole. When the farmer sent his sons and some crew to search for the missing pigs, they discovered the cave. A few years later some men decided to open it to the public after renovations were made for stairs and electricity. It is rated one of the top 10 caves in the US and it was definitely worth it!

The indoor waterfall and wishing well was very neat.

I don't think Evan knew quite what to make of it. And by now he had only slept 10 minutes instead of his usual 2 hour morning nap.

The cave even had a wedding chapel where 4-5 weddings per year are held. Can you imagine walking thru narrow paths that are wet and dimly lit for a very small wedding? It would be an memory you would never forget, that's for sure!

It is always amazing to me to see the effects that water has on rock over the years.

There were some areas that we walked thru that were so narrow my shoulders almost touched the walls of the cave!

One of their favorite parts were when we could see fossils in the walls as we walked by. They have been talking for a few weeks about fossils and if they would find any! The fossil that looks like a snake skin in the center of the photo is actually a fossil of a lily pad stem!

The big kids thought the cave was really cool. Sara even got to lead the group back thru the walkways and to ground level. We had to tell her to slow down a few times because she got so far ahead that we couldn't see her. Evan finally fell asleep the last 10 minutes of the walk. My higher body temperature must have soothed him to sleep as I was huffing and puffing up all the stairs!

Adam and Sara have been talking for 2 weeks about panning for fossils and gemstones! They finally got their chance.

They couldn't wait to show me their treasures! Then they got to shop in the gift shop with some money Grandma Sue gave them. Decisions, decisions! Adam bought a sling shot with a raccoon carved into the handle and a metal pencil sharpener that is in the shape of a cannon. I am sensing a theme! Sara got a gemstone that looks like a big red ruby and a gemstone carved in the shape of a pink dolphin.

Thankfully there was a little sandwich shop here so we could buy lunch on the go and make it back to Rochester just in time for Sara's appointment with Dr. Sas.

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