A Wintry Road Trip, Part 1

As some of you might know, this past week we embarked on a wild, 4 1/2 day, 1,300 mile road trip with my brother Aaron (Browne)! He's been looking into graduate schools for his master's degree (still a year or two away, but he's getting a jump on it!) and when we realized that a few of the ones he wanted to check out were easily within a day's drive of us, we decided to make a road trip of it! 

Luckily, Aaron was able to find an inexpensive flight out to come see us, so I set to work planning out the cheapest, awesomest road trip we could manage :)  I also have to say that although his visit was primarily for future educational purposes, it was also super awesome to see a member of my family, especially since we didn't get to see any of our family members for the holidays this year. So thanks also, Aaron, for coming to spend time with us! 

Anyways, without further ado: our trip!

At first, we had been planning on doing a 4 day trip, and driving straight from here to Montreal with a brief stop at Niagara falls for lunch (because who can drive straight past Niagara and not stop and see it?). A few days before our trip, though, I realized that we were looking at a 10-11 hour drive without stops, with a 2-almost-3-year-old cooped up in the back seat, which sounded sort of terrible, so we decided instead to start out half a day earlier and stop in Niagara falls for the night instead, leaving a much more manageable drive from Niagara to Montreal the next day.

I was pleased to find out that hotels in the off-season in Niagara are extremely cheap (cause who wants to visit Canada in the winter except us, apparently? ;D) so we booked the cheapest, safest place we could find that had good reviews online (a tricky balance!) and set off!

Nikolai had a pretty swell time in the backseat, playing with stickers, watching shows and being silly. Honestly, Niko was a pretty phenomenal passenger. He had some cranky moments, sure, but for the most part he was amiable and patient, and was really great at letting us know when he needed to go potty! (Oh, have I mentioned that Niko is mostly potty trained now? During non-napping/sleeping times, at least!) We had him in a pull-up just in case (or as we called them, "special travel underwear"--we didn't want him to think of them as a diaper), but he actually only had maybe 1 or 2 accidents the whole trip (and they weren't even in the car!). 

Wearing mom's boots, the silly!

We got to Niagara falls in the evening, so we went by for a few (frigid) moments to see them all lit up! (they light up the falls for the winter season)

They were so, so lovely, and much less frozen than on our last trip :)

We had a nice rest at the hotel that night (or as much rest as you can get with a toddler sleeping in your bed! Come to think of it, I think Jesse ended up on the floor...) and stopped at the falls once more in the morning, so Aaron could see them in the daylight as well. 

And then we set off for Montreal!

It started snowing along the way, but Jesse is a pro at driving in the snow and got us there safe and sound. 

Nikolai, for his part, took a nap for the first time in days and pleased us all.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post about Montreal!


melissa said…
when my parents told us you were doing this, nate and my first thought was "awesome! fun!" but after just arriving after a 15 hour road trip with kids we looked up the mileage for yours and...wow. i was like, "nevermind!" but it does sound like you guys are better road trippers than we are. and i can't believe you've been to niagara falls again! i still want to go from last time. and this time they were lit! cool.

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