Although Esperto went back to school, it just so happens that I planned to attend the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC) annual conference in Buffalo, NY this past week. After contemplating how relaxing an 8 hour trip away from home by myself would be, I found out that Buffalo, NY is a mere 28 minute drive away from Niagara Falls. There was no question, I had to take Esperto with me so he could experience the incredible natural wonder of the falls. Considering the fact that none of my immediate family had ever been there, we decided to road trip it.
I have no regrets. I was able to attend a few sessions at the conference, including one I presented at. I also had time to explore and play with Esperto. He really enjoyed riding the Buffalo Metro Rail since it was so different from the NYC transit system, and he is fascinated by most forms of transportation. A ride for him cost $.75 and was worth every cent! He did a lot of comparing and contrasting our trains to the this one, and asking questions about what and who he saw.
Driving over the Rainbow Bridge to Ontario, Canada was especially beautiful as we all beheld the Falls for the first time, and I witnessed Esperto smile from ear to ear while pointing to it. It was a very special moment- one of those moments as a parent you wish you could bottle and preserve forever.
In Canada, we had many conversations about the differences between and similarities of Canadian currency as compared to US currency and quickly noted the speed limit signs are in kilometers, not miles. He was also very happy to have a meal at a A Young Garden Korean/Japanese restaurant and the next day, curried chicken and rice and peas from a Jamaican restaurant, which are two of his favorite types of food to eat (Thai food is tied with Jamaican, to be honest).
I was happy that we had choices other than fast food while away on our trip (we actually had ZERO fast food on the drive there and back, which is a huge feat, considering we drove nearly eight hours each way, and there’s little other than fast food along most highways.)
There was a lot of learning and bodning that happened on our trip to Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Esperto did some writing and drawing about his adventures, as his teacher sent along a blank sheet with space for him to write and draw about his time away.
We got in late, so he slept in and when I dropped him off at school the next morning, his friends were excited to see him and hear about his trip. He realized that his classmates were working independently on “weekend news”, so he got a blank sheet and began writing because he had more to say about his family road trip. I look forward to seeing what he decided to document about his time off from school, but clearly, not “off” from learning.