Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer road trip, part four: The kids’ perspective

As an educational exercise, I had my two children keep journals during our recent road trip. They were assigned to write about their experiences at the end of each day.
From his journal, my son summarized the most memorable parts of the trip. I decided to run my daughter’s journal entries as is.
What follows are guest blog posts from my children about the trip that I blogged about over three articles.

Christopher, age 11

This summer my family and I took a long road trip up to Big Star Lake, Michigan. We stopped at many places on the way there and back.
On the first day of the drive, we stopped at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. Some of the exhibits were quite interesting, including a toilet that you would have in space.
The next day, my dad brought us to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. My dad got a real kick out of it. I thought it was OK.
In the line to get tickets, we had our pictures taken and those were given to us at the end.
We saw all sorts of costumes from the performers.

After the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we drove to our final destination: Big Star Lake in western Michigan.
We stayed three days at a cottage there with my cousins, aunts and uncles.
At Big Star Lake, we went boating, fishing and tubing. Tubing is where you sit on an inflatable raft and get pulled by a boat from a long rope. The boat goes very fast and you have to hang on for dear life while the boat is roaring.
We spent a lot of time on the beach. I liked swimming in the water looking for minnows.
My cousin Johnny taught me and my sister to play ladder golf.
I challenged my dad to a game. I played Dad three times and won once and lost twice.
My dad and I also went and flipped a paddleboat. My glasses got lost in the water, but Uncle Doug found them. If he did not, that would have been bad!
I played water baseball with Johnny. The bat had holes so you could adjust how far the ball went when you hit by filling the bat with water.
I tried fishing and caught one bluegill on a hook and another with a net.
One night after dinner we shot off fireworks on the beach. That was cool.
On day six of our seven-day trip, we took one last ride on my uncle Steve’s boat before hitting the road. My cousin Brian went wakeboarding. He is very good at it and did tricks.
After that, we said our goodbyes on got on the road.
We got stuck in a long line of cars trying to get into Canada.
After a long drive, we finally arrived at Niagara Falls. Our hotel was near Clifton Hill on the Canadian side of Niagara. It was like a fair, except year round.
The next morning, we waited in a massive line to get on a boat to go to the falls. We wore cheap pink ponchos to keep us dry.
When that was over, we walked to the Bird Kingdom. It was awesome! We saw all kinds of animals (not just birds). That place was amazing!
Finally we got back on the road towards home.

Aerin, age 8 

Day 1:
Road trip!
In the morning I was eager to get in the car. Once my mom and dad loaded all of our bags into the car, we started driving.
In the car I had books and video games to keep me entertained. But soon my Nintendo DS had to charge. But I played silly games with my brother Chris.
After four hours in the car, we stopped at Carnegie Science Center.
Then next door was another science center. It was about sports. Chris did a pitching game while I did a bouncing game.
We stopped at a food court and Panera Bread.
After a two-hour drive, we were in Cleveland. Then we tucked in for bed.

Day 2:
Day 2 was mostly in the car but we did some fun things.
In the morning, we got up and went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! They had Katy Perry’s peppermint dress. They had Michael Jackson’s jacket. And we watched a movie about Dick Clark.
Then it was six more hours in the car.
We ate Mexican food for dinner. Soon after we arrived at Big Star Lake.

Day 3:
Most of the day we were outside. But we did a lot of stuff. I played ladder golf and swam.
We had doughnuts for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. For dinner, we had pasta, roast beef, corn, hot dogs and after that we had s’mores.

Day 4:
Today was stupid because we did not do anything out of the water or that wasn’t near it.
In the morning I went fishing. Chris caught one and named it Squishy.
In the afternoon I went tubing with Claire, my cousin. She fell off once but I stayed on the whole time!
In the night, we had a bonfire. Then tucked in for bed.

Day 5:
Day 5 was a lot of fun.
In the morning, we had waffles. Then we went in the water. It was FREEZING!
In the night, we shot fireworks.

Day 6:
Day 6 was a long drive.
We woke up and had French toast.
We got on the boat and saw cousin Brian do tricks.
Then we went to the cabin and got our bags. Then we left the cabin.
We drove and we made it to Canada! We stopped at the hotel. We went and got pizza for dinner. After that we went to see Niagara Falls at night. Lights lit it up.

Day 7:
Day 7 was a lot of time in the car.
We ate at IHOP for breakfast.
We went on a boat called the Maid of the Mist. Then we went to the Bird Kingdom. Then hit the road and drove home to Virginia.

Niagara Falls;
Water-skiing on Big Star Lake, Mich.;
Beyonce costume exhibit at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland;
Parrot at the Bird Kingdom, Niagara Falls, Ontario;
Chris throws 52 mph fast ball at pitching exhibit at Highmark SportsWorks, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh;
Madonna memorabilia at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame;
Aerin playing ladder golf at Big Star Lake;
Pier at Big Star Lake.

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