5.09.2015

weekend in ohio...

 last thursday night we got a call that my grandpa's kidneys had failed, so we made plans to leave around lunchtime friday and drove to ohio with the kids. my parents flew out from utah, and we all met up saturday morning at a hotel. we spent a couple of days being with my grandpa (who decided to start dialysis, so he's doing much better!), visiting family, eating and buying all our favorite ohio foods, and more. 

the weather was just perfect the whole weekend, so we spent a little chunk of time at my "family's cemetery" where most of my relatives are buried, including my cute little grandma. we cleaned up the headstones and i laid on the grass until i realized it felt sacrilegious. or weird. so then i just sat:)
 we decided to stay at a hotel to make it feel a little more like a trip, and since the kids and i were fighting little colds. also, because we try not to torture others with our kids' terrible nighttime sleeping habits. 
magically, the hotel was some crazy cure (hopefully it sticks- knock on wood)- the layout was perfect, and for the first time in months, they slept through the night! my heroic parents even took the kids to their room and had 2 sleepovers so mike and i could SLEEP! i swear i heard angels singing (minus that cold that kept waking me up. figures). 
OH, but the pool! oh, the pool. hotel pools are like disneyland to kids. i don't know why we bother "going" anywhere when there's a hotel pool. it could be fiji or detroit. no difference to them.
the layout of our hotel was perrrrfect! the kids slept on the fold-out couch, and had their own tv to distract them before falling asleep. who doesn't love a little "full house" before bed?
 grinders! i adore this place. grinders is famous around town. 
jude was dead asleep in the car and for some reason i thought i could hold him and keep him asleep (ha! i'm so dumb), so i tried to bring him inside- epic fail. he proceeded to have the biggest tantrum known to canton, ohio, which lasted approximately 2 straight hours. i didn't eat much of that turkey grinder down there while it was all hot and toasty. what a shame.
 mike convinced me to go past my old house for the first time in lots of years. i just hate seeing it because it brings back soooo many memories! we moved there when i was 14 and smelled like honeysuckle. it was the house of my teenage and college years- it's where my friends came, where so many epic teenage events took place, and it's just filled to the brim with memories. i was happy to see that it was at least in the hands of a family that seemed to appreciate it:)
 no trip is complete without a trip to milk & honey either. i've said it before and i'll say it again: hot fudge waffle sundaes go down in the record books as one of the best desserts in the world. butter pecan ice cream is a close second.
 my uncle owns a recording studio (where my parents met!), and i love coming back here. it was fun taking the kids- it's like some awesome time capsule that looks and smells and sounds JUST like it did when i was a little girl. this place is magical, let me tell you!
 we told the kids they could go in the booth and scream to their hearts content. that was a hit. (with them and mike.)
 another stop on the food tour: fishers. perhaps the greatest grocery store (mike would argue kent's, but whatever). i literally grocery shop for the essentials: norcia's bread (which is gone by about noon each day ^^), buckeyes, tea cookies, and breading. the sad thing is i can't take with me their graeter's or ben & jerry's ice cream section (graeter's has chunks of chocolate the size of candy bars in their ice cream. it's incredible; the ben & jerry's selection in dc doesn't extend past 3 varieties in any store- and they're lame choices at that. i'm a little upset about it). i wish i could smuggle ice cream home. actually, graeter's does ship ice cream... i should do that sometime:)
 1/2 dozen to go, plus 1 free bonus for the little lady (i made her share, lets be honest)! 
tea cookies. yes, please.
 we also went by my grandparent's old house- i love this place. i spent summers and other random years here as a child- we moved around a lot, but ohio was always home base. i love this house. 
 breakfasts al fresco- my fave.
 oh, ohio. i really think the median age is about 85. apparently 15 handicapped spots is still not enough, so they just make their own. thank you very much! i'll take this one!
 before leaving we met up with one of my very best friends, alex. her family lives in sunny hawaii now, and i spent a good 10 minutes just staring at her beautiful bronze babies (who called me "auntie!" oh, hawaii, i'd like to move there.) ! i love these guys!
 on the way home we drove to the united flight 93 memorial- the drive through the country was so beautiful!! we passed this hair salon which advertised "hair for the future!" ...   :) 
 the memorial was really neat- such a peaceful environment (minus my 2-year-old. oh my gosh). seeing so much "history" while we've been out here has been a huge blessing and learning experience- i know our kids won't remember most of it, but i hope they at least remember what they feel, and learn a respect for people and places and times that were so impactful. 
you can't see it in the photo, but there is a little spec through that brown fence- the debris field was between the fence and that large rock. it's a massive space. while we drove we read again what happened on 9/11 and i was completely covered in goosebumps...
the memorial wall has the names of the heroes who died in the crash- as i read past lauren grandcolas, i noticed the subtle etching to the right of her name- "and unborn child." then i started to cry. ugh... so much sadness, but so much strength and courage on that plane! wow.
 this wall lines the field where flight 93 crashed. inside the wall there are periodic openings where visitors can place tokens...
the whole weekend was pretty perfect- mike and i kept saying that as we drove. the visits with my grandpa were great- it's the first time he met jude! from the the time we were able to spend with him, to the bonus of the kids seeing nana & papa, to the weather, food, family, and friend visits, to the extra sleep and little date nights in, to the kids handling the long car ride like champs, to the fact that we could even make this trip (how grateful i am for this job!), to the visit to the memorial. such a successful trip. two thumbs up.

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