So after much coaxing... coaxing.... That just doesn't look right, does it? Too much like coaxial, as in cable. co-xing? No. Looks like short form cross country skiing. (Don't get me started on skiing... too many eyes... i's... I isis... Dang it! Look what you did!!!) So after much persuading, I was coaxed into.... Oh, Gawd.... There I was. Strapped to an uncomfortable chair. Someone I've never met is holding a lump of burning coal. He (or she) approaches. I can feel the heat emanating from the coal. "So." He (or she) says. "Will you write another trip report?" "No!" I scream as the coal brushes my arm. "Never again! I swear!" "No, no, no." He (or she) hisses. Or was that the sound of my flesh burning? "We don't want you to not write one. We want... No, we insist that you write one!" "No!" I scream... again. "Anything but that!" But as the coal begins to near and my skin starts to bubble... What? Too dramatic? Okay. Some people (and you know who you are!) asked, hmmmm.... 'asked' isn't the right word... I know... Some people gently pushed and encouraged me to write another TR for my next upcoming trip. (Doesn't that sound better than 'threatened'? Or 'coerced'?) The link to my last TR, if you haven't read it and would like to, can be found by following this link: [post=49357687]Canadian Buffoon European Vacation[/post] Now I realize I've created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the classic road trip vacation and going right to the European vacation, but that's the way it happened. (And if that last sentence seems familiar to you, then you'll understand why I'm planning to make one of my stops. You'll see... or not.) Now, let's see... right about now, you're saying to yourself, "Blah, blah, blah. Get on with it! What are you doing? And when???" Do you always talk to yourself? Don't tell me, just tell yourself. Fine, I'll get on with it. The Meaning of the Trip. Part 1. The Birth of the Trip. If you've had the misfortune of reading one of my previous TRs, (you poor, poor sap) than you already know the players. If not, then.... There's me. I'm married to Ruby and we have two evil, horrible children. Elle, a newly minted 17 year old, and Kay, 13... going on 30. Ya want pictures? Go see my last TR, or wait for 'em to show up later. Or not. (Which is my way of saying that I'm at work right now and don't have access to any) Elle's been dancing since she was two. I don't mean around the house... well, she does that too. What I mean is that we enrolled her at a studio when she was two. Tutu's for Twos. Basically, the rugrats get to dress up in little dance outfits and learn to listen to the teacher. So far as I can recall, she enjoyed it. Five or six years ago, we encouraged her to try out for I.P. (Intensive Program) dance. More dance, more instruction. They compete against other studios. And if they're good enough (you have to qualify), they get invited to Nationals or whatever. It can get fairly pricey. Which is why the parents put their collective feet down and said we'd travel every second year. Four years ago we went to Vancouver, two years ago, Montreal. This year it's Niagara Falls. Flights for four people and car rental would run over two thousand dollars. Geez! We just got back from Europe! Now is not a great time to spend. "Well." Says Ruby, says she. "Why don't just you and Elle go?" Hmmm... that would cut the airfare in half. Plus, Kay doesn't even want to go. I don't blame her. These things aren't all that much fun for her. Hours of sitting around waiting for Elle to dance, followed by more hours of waiting. Boring! (You can take that as Kay's sentiment... or your own for this TR) Wait a minute! Wait just a gosh darned minute! You said "road trip"! Not plane trip! What gives? I'm glad you asked! When I started looking at prices, it occurred to me that it might not be much more to drive, instead of fly. Oh, it'll be more to drive, when you factor in food and gas... but not much... Besides... I love road trips. Kay... does not. She feels lousy if she's in a car for too long. So let's drive to Niagara Falls! Just Elle and I. Not quite. One of Elle's best friends in her dance team... heck, even outside it... is having a bit of a rough go of it right now. (we'll call her Dee) Her Dad has cancer, and, depending on how he feels, may or may not be able to make the trip. If he can't, his wife (Dee's mom) would have to stay behind too. So we offered to take Dee with us. Turns out Elle and Dee love road trips too. So a trip was born. Just me and two teenage girls.... Who tend to be a little crazy when they're together... And let's not even mention hormones........ Oh. My. Gawd. What have I done??? Details? Sure! Plans, stops, attractions, maybe even a DISmeet or three... Plus (for those of you who joined from the last TR) the cliffhanger and drama revealed!!!! In the .... following chapters.