We pulled out of Shipshewana South Campground shortly after 10:00 a.m, beginning our drive north on State Highway 5, to W 200 N Street, then North on State Hwy 9 until we reached I-90. We traveled I-90 through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and into New York. As we entered Buffalo, NY we took the I-190 exit to Grand Island where our son Matt, his wife Megan and three children live.
Our first trip to New York we did not use the EZ Pass and we spent quite a bit on fees as we traveled the toll roads. Our second trip we stopped in Illinois to visit Dean's sister and family before going on to New York. While we were in Illinois we purchased an EZ Pass which is good in most states from Illinois to at least the northeastern states...and we visited many states that used it on that trip since we continued our travels through several states to the south as well. It saved us both time and money. We were glad to have it on this trip as well. I do not remember how many toll booths we went through before we arrived. While we prefer the byways on State and US Highways much more, sometimes just getting to the destination is worth it - and this was definitely one of those times.
Despite the fact the day stayed pretty dreary looking with some heavy clouds, we experienced very little rain.
The nice thing about the clouds and cooler temperatures; it will keep Bentley from getting too warm as we travel today. We will be traveling approximately 430 miles - an extremely long day for us. When the temperatures get into the upper 80's, 90's or higher it sometimes takes an hour or more to cool things down inside even with both air conditioners running. We had planned to do this last leg in 2 days, but we could not find a campground to spend Friday night in the area around Erie, or at least any that were in my "cheap" price range, so we decided we'd bite the bullet and just get the drive done. All in all, it went well, and we were glad it worked out this way.....but we will not make a habit of these long travel days. We prefer to limit our daily travels to a range of 100-200 miles.
There is no doubt that Indiana is near the top of our list for having the worst roads we've traveled, but we soon passed out of Indiana into Ohio we found their section of I-90 to be quite nice in comparison to some of the other states the Interstate passes through.
We timed our trip to pass through Cleveland, OH when we expected the least amount of traffic and it worked well. Three times during our drive today traffic, headed west on I-90, was backed up for long stretches. Once traffic was backed up nearly 5 miles due to a semi trailer that was on fire. The cab appeared to be fine, only the trailer itself was burning as we drove by the incident.
|I enjoy seeing old barns - and I loved the way this one was setting amongst the trees, crops and grasses.|
It was nearing 6:30 when we pulled into the city property next to Matt's. The city has a small building located on the site. We were able to pull in to the city driveway, which provides easy access to pull through Matt's side yard and into his driveway, rather than have to back into the driveway from the street. It is a very busy street so we appreciate the ability to use this access location.
|They were watching for us outside their house as we pulled into the city property next door.|
We only have 30 amp electric when hooked up at Matt's but the weather is supposed to be in the high 70's to low 80's the entire time we are here, so we will get by just fine with one air conditioner. The weather channel indicates the evening temperatures will be down in the low-to mid 60's at night. We are in their house for most of the day/early evening, and we retire to Bentley to sleep and have breakfast from about 8pm to 8am. The temperatures are going to work well for us while we are here. This is the type of weather we prefer to follow!
Soon after we were situated on Matt's driveway, we quickly set up what was necessary, so we could begin enjoying our time with Matt, Megan and the kids. Josh and Sarah were excited to see us and we got to visit with Samuel for the first time. What a cutie he is - well, they all are! Sarah really didn't know us or warm up to us as much as we had hoped last year when we met them in Kentucky for almost two weeks, but she was excited to see us this trip and we loved it! Being able to talk with them on the phone with the apps Skype or Duo, where the kids can see us is a wonderful thing for building relationships, especially with small children you don't get to see often.
|Josh was proud of his car and Sarah was enjoying riding along with him!|
|Papa & Samuel|
Saturday, August 11, 2018 - Breakfast Outing; Enjoying Family Time; Erie County Fair in Hamburg, NY
Dean and I were up at our usual time. I had already drank my morning protein shake and Dean was just starting to eat his cereal when Megan texted wanting to know if we had ate yet and if not would we want to go eat breakfast. Well, of course we did, so Dean poured out his cereal and we were ready to go in about 45 minutes. In Dean's book, you just can't pass up an opportunity to try breakfast out, (and I didn't mind at all)!
We arrived at The Pancake House and were seated in a nice big corner seat - perfect for 4 adults and 3 children! After we ordered we had time to visit with the kids, before our waitress returned with our breakfast. The food was quite good. Once we were finished we headed back to their house where we enjoyed watching more antics of Josh and Sarah; and getting to know Sam.
|Josh & Papa playing swords.|
|Sarah and her baby doll!|
|Mr. Samuel Michael Peine - isn't he a doll?|
|Papa and Josh playing a game!|
Matt had mentioned the Erie County Fair would be going on while we were here. We didn't remember the dates but knew it would be our third time attending the fair, so I had to check our the blog to see what dates we have visited in the past. I guess August works well for New York visits! This year we will really enjoy the expected lower temperatures.
|Josh loves cows!|
Samuel was a happy boy at the fair. He loves to
be outside. This blue striped outfit sure made his
blue eyes stand out!
|Sarah mimicking Papa - she's putting her hands in her pocket like Papa is.|
|Papa walked with Sarah as she rode her pony.|
|Josh rode by himself and did a great job!|
|And then we all had ice cream|
|One Happy Little Boy!|
|One Messy (But Very Cute) Little Girl!|
|Interesting Stage Coach - enlarge to see what the price tag for this little buggy is.|
Sunday, August 12, 2018 - Happy Birthday to Granddaughter Kamron; Church; Our Afternoon and Evening.
I was up early this morning to be sure I had everything done so I had plenty of time to call our granddaughter Kamron to wish her a Happy 13th Birthday. It's hard to believe our grandchildren are growing up so fast. We had a nice visit and her little brother, Jaxson even took time to say "Hi, Nana" and he was gone! He's not much for talking on the phone.
Afterwards we ate lunch at a small Pub in Niagara Falls, NY. I ordered a meat lover's pizza and it was delicious. Lots and lots of cheese (just the way I like it) and a double layer of pepperoni, along with bacon and italian sausage. Dean had a burger and fries.
We headed back to Matt & Megan's where we just hung out and visited the rest of the day and evening.
Monday, August 13, 2018 - AM Paperwork & Laundry for Cheri; PM Spent with the Kiddos
I had our mail forwarded to Matt's before we left Shipshewana. It arrived Friday, so I spent this morning going through it and taking care of several items that needed attention. Paperwork is something that has to be done on the road no matter what but it is a reminder to me of what I love most about this life of travel. Little to no stress! Even though paperwork itself can sometimes prove to be a little stressful it is nothing compared to working a 40+ hour job and all of the paperwork/phone calls/meetings I used to do!
In between the paperwork I managed to do a couple loads of laundry too, before heading inside to spend time with Dean, Matt & the kids. Megan has to work this week since she used all of her vacation and sick leave when Sam was born. We enjoyed spending time with the kiddos and getting reacquainted, until Megan returned home from work around 1 or so.
After lunch Dean and I took Josh and Sarah outside to play for awhile.
|Josh & Sarah on their playset.|
|....on the slide|
|Our view from our booth at Top of the Falls Restaurant in Niagara Falls State Park|
|Mommy & Sarah|
|Daddy, Josh & Sam|
|Our view of the falls outside|
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
This morning I just had a couple of things to finish before I headed inside. When I had those completed Dean and I had to run a couple of errands to the post office and the grocery store. When we returned we had three packages waiting for us - our fireplace furnace for Bentley, my house shoes and some things Dean wanted in order to do some work on Bentley before we leave. After lunch, Matt, Dean and I took the kids to the Buffalo Museum of Science. Matt and Megan purchased an annual pass, and after we were inside a short while I can see why. What a wonderful place to keep the two oldest children entertained for several hours. Matt and Dean visited and took care of Samuel and I played with the kids at the numerous stations or enjoyed just watching them. I took several pictures to share.
|Stuffy the Buffalo|
|Sarah - with a little imagination for the A's!|
|Papa and Sam|
|Brother & Sister coloring together|
|This was a neat activity for the kids. They enjoyed putting the plastic pipes in the holes and then adding other pieces to them.|
|Josh the bear and Sarah in her vest|
|Sarah Bear! --- which is what Megan calls her -|
a perfect costume for her!
|Josh as a butterfly|
|Beautiful mural of buffalo|
Megan left work for the day and met us at the museum about 30 minutes before the museum closed at 4. Sarah and Samuel were both asleep before we made it out of the parking lot.
Megan and I put dinner together shortly after we returned. While it was in the oven we watched most of the movie, "The Case for Christ", and finished watching it after dinner. It was a really good movie.
Dean and I headed to Bentley early tonight, a little after 7:00. Dean is coming down with a cold and isn't feeling very good. I'm tired too and wanted some time to update the blog so I can post it in the morning.
As you can tell we are enjoying our time with Matt and his family. We've got another week of fun times with them. Our new mattress is scheduled to arrive this Friday. Dean plans to do some work on Bentley next week before we leave here Wednesday morning, August 22. I'm sure we'll have several more adventures to share with you.