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Be Smart and Change the Plan

When do you know if it’s the right time to change the plan? Do you listen to that nagging wrong feeling or do you charge ahead anyway?

Do you ever have that nagging wrong feeling in your gut about the plans you’ve made?  That probably everything will be alright, but still there’s this stress in the back of your mind, all is not well?

When do you change the plan?

The Plan

Two years ago, the Bubbly Homemaker and I went to Christy Wright’s Business Boutique Conference (read about it starting here).  We had a blast!  The Gaylord is beautiful, the speakers at the conference were amazing, and we throughly enjoyed ourselves.

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Last year I did the conference virtually from my house, not due so much to c-flu, but the civil unrest going on in the country.  It wasn’t a bad experience watching the conference from the comfort of my couch…  (You can read a bit about that here.)

This year, when we made plans, c-flu had calmed down, so we figured we’d go in person.  The in-person tickets were bought, the hotel room was reserved, the plane tickets were purchased.  We were ready to go except for me figuring out if a rental car or Uber would be more cost effective and what all we wanted to see near the hotel.

An Honest Discussion

Then two days before we were to fly out, we started having an honest discussion about the trip.  We both realized neither one of us was comfortable at all with flying down.  Not so much because c-flu is supposedly on the rise again, but because of current mandates and airline personnel (justifiably) walking away from airlines over the mandates.  Neither one of us could afford to be stuck in Nashville.  We both have W2 jobs and other responsibilities at home.

Change the plan

So we quickly canceled our hotel reservations and airline tickets and got our in-person tickets swapped over to virtual tickets.  We were a bit too late with canceling the hotel reservations, so there is still a charge, but we decided it was worth the peace of mind.

Change the Plan

Then the discussion moved onto where exactly we wanted to go for the weekend to watch the conference virtually.  Since we could drive anywhere and participate, where did we want to go?

Acadia National Park in Maine?
Boston, Massachusetts?
Niagara Falls, New York?
Somewhere else?

After doing some research and comparing prices, we settled on Niagara Falls.  Mainly because the Niagara Falls rental house was almost half the price of the one just outside Acadia National Park.  The drive for Niagara would be a bit longer, but the house was just so much less expensive.  And neither of us has been to Niagara Falls.  Plus it also didn’t hurt that the Bubbly Homemaker needed to stop in Rome, NY for personal reasons…

Change the plan
Horseshoe Falls (and Canada).

So in the space of an hour and a half, we had completely changed from flying to Nashville and staying at a hotel to attend the conference in person to driving to Niagara Falls, NY and attending the conference virtually.

Getting to Niagara Falls

We met at my house about 8am and were out the door by 8:30.  My little car fairly packed up.  In Manchester we found a Dunkin Donuts for some caffeine and then kept trucking west.

We stopped again at the Mohawk Valley Welcome Center.  It was supposedly just going to be a quick stop to stretch our legs, but there was a whole bunch of history plaques and an unusual structure.  So the break ended up taking a bit longer as we wandered the pathways, read the plaques, marveled at the canal lock, and I was duly impressed by the dam system.  And the trains were fun to watch too…

After the rest area we made it to Rome and after the personal errand we had lunch and then trucked on to Syracuse. 

We both wanted to try the Cheesecake Factory for dessert, which meant a stop at the Destiny USA Mall.  Wow, that place is HUGE!  As is 55 acres of retail floor area.  That type of huge!  So yeah, we spent a bit more time there than we had initially planned…

Change the plan
Six floors, six.

Once we reached Buffalo, it was a quick stop at a Wal-Mart for some groceries and then onto the rental house in Niagara Falls.  We found the rental without too much difficulty; however it was dark when we got there.  While we were unloading the car, we thought we could hear the falls…

Rental House and Conference Start

The rental house was actually the first floor of a triplex, but we were good with that.  It had three bedrooms, one bathroom, a full kitchen, and a large smart TV so we could watch the conference live.

We grabbed a quick supper and started watching the conference.  Since we had paid for upgraded tickets and knew we had time to watch the recordings, after making sure we COULD watch the conference, we decided to change the plan and head out to go see the falls at night.  Apparently there is a light show!

Change the plan
American Falls and Moon

American Falls at Night

There are actually three sets of falls that are created by the elevation drop from Lake Eerie into Lake Ontario: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the most iconic, Horseshoe Falls.  And while the Falls do make noise, there are also the Niagara River rapids, which make a lot of noise!

Change the plan
Niagara River and the rapids.

The Horseshoe Fall drop about 170 feet and the American Falls drop around 180 feet.  There is a lot of mist and spray generated by the amount of water going over the falls.  In fact, if there is a wind out of the northwest, it’s very much like a rain shower.

Whether in daylight or colored at night, the falls are a sight to behold!

Change the Plan

Were we happy we changed our plans?  Yes!  We actually got to talk more in the car driving across New York than we would have sitting on a plane (or two) to Nashville.  Did we miss attending the conference in person?  Yes…and no.  We liked that we could watch it on our schedule and do a quick trip to the bathroom instead of walking a long ways to find the bathroom.  But yes, we did miss the excitement and the energy of an in-person event.  So yes, we were happy we decided to change the plan.

Now where to go for the conference next year??? Any suggestions?

change the plan
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