It's not like you care, after all.
We were in a race against the clock to assure we got to Barfalo in time to celebrate HannahC's 9th birthday. The plan had us arriving the evening prior, and we did not deviate from that plan. We also planned to go to Fantasy Island for her birthday, and we managed to do that, too. There had been some threatening weather, but it cleared up nicely. Uncle Locksmith rode a lot of barf rides with HannahC (and some I also rode, though I'm old and can't handle all that many like I used to when I was young - and no, before you ask, I don't look a thing like Jeeesus.). Auntie Ellie hung with The Mrs. and MaxieC on the kiddie rides.
That evening, we had a surprise party at a local chain restaurant. I can't exactly remember the name, but we did get this photo:
After that, things started to get very wedding-dominated. We were in town to attend the nuptials of Uncle Locksmith and former blogger Auntie Ellie (now Auntie Ellie Locksmith with no hyphen, but still a former blogger).
The Mrs. was one of the bridesmaids, and HannahC was the flower girl, and thus they all got to have manicures as part of the pre-wedding ritual. I believe this was HannahC's first formal manicure. This was done at some little day-spot place in a fancy-pants part of town where there was absolutely no parking to be found for miles and where The Mrs. decided I could just sit in the no-standing zone for hours while she yakked it up with passersby after she called me to "hurry my sorry ass up and pick them up".
Give or take.
I don't have any pictures of the wedding as I was simply crying my eyes out. I always cry at weddings on account of them being so tragically sad. Dr. Kevorkian must be a real heartless bastard to be able to attend so many such things.
But, afterwards, there was a party. I did manage to take a couple photos there, as there was an open bar of sorts. Here are the womensfolk of The Mrs.'s clan. On the left is Gordy, The Mrs.'s hillbilly brother's wife, then The Mrs., and then The Mrs.'s sister Auntie Ellie. Oddly for a wedding, despite looking happy in this picture, none of them are drunk.
Of course, the obligatory Chicken Dance photo. HannahC and MaxieC, being small childrens, are forgiven for their participation.
Here is Me, CherkyB fixing my hair after a long stint out on the dance floor. I worked up quite a sweat dancing like nobody was watching. But of course, everybody was watching. The CherkyB is quite a spectacle in person. I had to take a break when The Mrs.'s hillbilly brother, 'Billy, started doing a dance he called "scooping the cat poo".
Apparently, he does most of the cooking.
Days later, of course, I had to listen to a half-hearted lecture from my father about how I drank too much at the wedding. My dancing often gives people the impression that I am rightiously drunk, but as I like to 'splain, that's just how I look when I'm happy. If I was rightiously drunk, I'd be falling down a lot and belligerant.
Or, at the minimum, I'd being doing a lot of one-liners about your momma.
No, despite there being an open bar, CherkyB did not manage to even get much of a buzz on. The drinks came in 4oz. glasses which were filled to the brim with ice. Then maybe a thimble full of some nasty well liquor was added, and the glass topped off with coke or tonic or whatever. Unless one ordered 4 or 5 of these at a time, it was impossible to get a proper drink.
But, naturally, with both The Mrs.'s fambly and my fambly there, and both having prepped for weeks to tsk-tsk me about my drinking given that I am the last bastion of fun in either fambly, I couldn't very much walk away from the bar with a handful of these little doll tea party glasses. So I buried my grief (as I said earlier, I find weddings to be tragically sad) with endorphins released by getting my groove on on the dance floor.
Of course, the end result was the same. Tsk tsk.
A few days later, we hit Fort Niagara. This is the fort in NY State that is at the mouth of the Niagara River where it joins Lake Ontario and, until very recently, was the only defense that we had against belligerant Canadians.
Now, of course, Canadians aren't allowed to own guns, so they are no longer a threat to anyone other than people who consider fine cuisine to be a way of life. So Fort Niagara is a tourist trap where people go to take photos of their kids with cannons.
That particular picture was taken in the south gatehouse where the on-site guide gave us such illuminating gems as, "This is where the soldiers slept, like all next to each other. And those are shelves where they, like, kept their things and stuff. Upstairs, you can see Toronto."
One of the more interesting things was the three flags flying in the courtyard. You can see the Union Jack, Old Glory, and the solid-white surrender flag.
Wondering why the white surrender flag was up there, I opened up the handy-dandy self-guided tour pamphlet they gave us upon entry. It said,
"Flying in the courtyard are the British, American, and French flags, representing the three countries that have controlled the fort during its existence."OK, now I get why the white flag is flying.
After our visit in Barfalo, we headed up to the Milwaukee area to visit my brother and his wife. Finding Wisconsin isn't too hard. You just follow any one of these:
We went to Mauthe Lake in Kettle Moraine for a nice picnic and some canoeing and swimming. Well, more standing around in the water than swimming.
On the way home from Wisconsin, we waved at the "Janesville" exit and yelled, "Hi, Rhonda." Just like we did last year. We stopped in Elk Horn, Iowa for lunch. Elk Horn is famous for having The Danish Windmill.
Then we spent my birthday at the Coco Key Water Resort at the Holiday Inn in Ohama. I don't have any pictures of that, as only a moron takes a camera to a water park.