As of Sunday evening, I was home again, in my own bed, enjoying a quiet night rest. No more sharing a bed with Mom, no more listening to her snoring, and no more having to listen to her loud YouTube playing all night long. The trip has ended at last.
Overall, it was good. There were some highlights and lowlights.
Two particular highlights have to be day 2 and 3. Seeing Niagara Falls was definitely a highlight. These waterfalls are such natural wonders and I thought I was quite lucky that day because I kept checking the weather the night before during my layover in Las Vegas, and rain was in the forecast. I didn’t want gray and cloudy skies to be my photo backdrop, I wanted the sun.
Thankfully, the rain was held off until the evening after we checked into the hotel. The sun was shining with a few clouds overhead which led to some splendid photos from that day.
My highlight for day 3 was the quiet moment I had to myself after Mom got upset, stomped on my foot and stormed away, leaving me to walk along the path alone, and watching the sunrise over the American Falls. I didn’t get many alone moments like these on the trip as Mom kept close eyes on me at all times. I don’t know why but I couldn’t even go out for food alone.
Another highlight was the CN tower in Toronto. It was another one of those precious moments alone because Mom was afraid of heights and she began to feel sick that day. So I rode the elevator – 55 seconds, 114 floors – to the observation deck. The view from there was incredible – 360-degree panorama of Toronto and its islands, which we visited the day before.
Having visited the Willis Tower in Chicago in 2015, I feel this observation deck is not as exciting as the Willis Tower. The one at Willis included a glass floor where it made you feel like you were standing in mid-air. This observation deck did not have that, instead, it has a restaurant, serving coffee and other foods at a premium. I found a table and a seat and I felt quite peaceful enjoying that view.
A major lowlight was definitely listening to my mother complain. She complained about everything and everyone. We stayed at 10 hotels/motels and she complained about every one of them. “Not clean enough.”
I had to listen to her complain almost every minute of every one of those 12 days. In the meantime, I must navigate, read the road signs, and answer all her impromptu questions like what road to take to get back to Buffalo while constantly had to double-check and triple-check Google Maps because she was contradicting my directions. It was frustrating and irritating to say the least.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t complain of all the pain I was having. My gum was getting inflamed over and over with nothing that could get rid of the inflammation. Blisters were forming on my right toes one after another, making walking painful. If I whined about my pain, mom will snap, “well, what about my pain?”
I looked into my bathroom mirror yesterday and swore I aged about 5 years in 12 days – the wrinkles around my eyes have become a little more prominent and there were bags hanging below my eyes, which most likely are due to lack of sleep and perhaps not having a proper meal in 12 days. I couldn’t choose my meals. It was mom’s choice or no choice at all. I wanted to try local food but mom insisted we had Chinese food or Burger King or McDonalds.
I was disappointed I didn’t get to see much autumn colors. I saw a little during the drive from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania to Buffalo, New York but it was still mostly green throughout the trip. The delay in autumn colors probably has something to do with 2022.
I was disappointed when mom had me cancel the Richmond portion of the trip because I feel like Richmond could had been a fun place to visit. And not getting to visit Richmond, Virginia meant I didn’t get to go to Shenandoah National Forest.
Lastly, I was disappointed I didn’t get to try poutine while I was in Canada. I should’ve gone out that night when Mom was passed out in bed due to the medication. It should’ve been a great time but I was tired too.