When I woke up, Mom and Kris were already hard at work packing.
Checkout was at noon, so we had to be ready. In a total reversal of how things normally go with us, we were actually ahead of schedule, so we decided to get a bite to eat before hitting the road.
We heard they had some kind of breakfast deal going on, so we headed across the street to Tony Roma's again. Eggs and orange juice really hit the spot. A nice bonus was their choice of music. Everything they played was something I liked. Imagine my excitement when they actually played The Corrs. It was a lovely little surprise and a great nod to last year's adventure.
Grinning as "Forgiven, Not Forgotten" plays
An unexpected source of amusement was actually our waiter. Picture, if you will, Moby. Now imagine Moby to somehow be about twice as mellow as he actually is. That was our waiter. As we paid our bill, we said "Have a nice day" and he replied "You guys..." (10 second pause) "...as well." For some reason, I just couldn't stop laughing after he left. Maybe you had to be there.
Back in the hotel room, we made sure we had everything and I took one last look at the view of the Falls.
We loaded into the truck and we were on the road at noon. I fired up my road trip tracklist on my iPod and we crossed the Rainbow Bridge to Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again."
The view from the Rainbow Bridge
Fake buffalo on the road out of Buffalo
It was a smooth, uneventful, and bee-less ride. As we drove through New York, we passed a small convoy of supply trucks heading down to New Orleans to help out with the Hurricane Katrina relief. That was a pretty cool thing to see.
Almost exactly three hours after setting out from Niagara Falls, we were back home. We were all so eager to get out of the van and move around a bit, it's amazing how stiff you can get after just three hours of driving. We unloaded the van and told Dad all about the trip.
After a little while as Dad was leaving for work, that strange sensation hit me where it felt like we had never even left. It really was a great trip, but it brings up one question: Where to go next year?