When we were looking at the second leg of our trip and planning what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go to use Eli's free hotel points from all the weeks the Army made him suffer at the Marriott Residence Inn, I had a stroke of brilliance to break up the monotony: why not find Beaver locations along the way? I mean, Canadians LOVE beavers, right? Surely there would be Beaver landmarks in other places, too. To start, I plugged Beaver and Pennsylvania into Google maps to see what came up since that was where we would be starting and I was delighted that Beaver, PA, was near my cousin's wedding, just the other side of Pittsburgh. (This is actually how I eventually found the church in Beaver, PA, that we sadly did not get to attend.)
We could have gone a little crazier than we did, and had we been 5-8 years younger (i.e. newlyweds without two young children in the car), back in our "road warrior" days, I think it could have been insane. But, alas, our age, "maturity," and sense of responsibility kept us in check.
Without my knowledge, Eli started the Grand Beaver Tour without us. Haha. On his drive up through the mountains of West Virginia, he saw that off the beaten path, but still in the right direction lay the town of Beaver, WV, so he swung through there and snapped a picture:
On Monday morning, the Beaver clan loaded up the car, said our goodbyes to Mimi and aunties and cousins and made our way to Niagara Falls, NY, via everything Beaver:
In Beaver Falls, PA:
Headed toward the falls:
In NY, right before the Niagara Falls exit (it's an island--wish we had had time to stop!):
And our intermediary destination:
Elsie really loved all the water and was anxious to get in it. It was very difficult to explain that that was not an option. At one point, Eli had her chasing seagulls across the grass in the park. She wanted to walk a lot of it, which was fine with us since we'd been in the car for hours and she needed to burn her energy. After spending a couple of hours at the falls, we got in the car and headed across the border into Canada...