canton, ohio. 

land of the best cheap eats, mckinley monument (which is apparently called mckinley memorial? not according to my childhood, however), and pink houses.
 first, food. 
in particular, grinders. the oven baked sandwiches and chocolate silk pie are musts. they also have smiley fries, a million soups & pies, and free bonuses like cracker baskets, goldfish crackers, and fruit cups for kids. if you weren't yet convinced, may i also share that they have the best spill-proof kid cups in all the land? so basically, you can't go wrong. 

also, we made it from dc TO grinders with NO stops (5.75 hours!!!! bam. pros. [hint: the trick is to leave early when your bladder doesn't yet have the chance to be full for said travel]).

and yes, mike drank 3 blackberry lemonades.
a child's heaven is a hotel pool. even when it's so chlorinated your skin burns for days.
speaking of burning (i kid, i kid!): ohio & politics. 

people also have serious cahones to put this (^^)  on their property... i mean, i'm not political, but i value my life sooo..........

speaking of politics- the mckinley monument!! (mckinley was assassinated!? how did i miss this!?) there are 108 stairs in case you're interested. also, this is at least the 3rd (4th?) generation to run up and down that "slide," by the way.
my cousin tyler bought the kids cookies before we left- cookies is a generous word for "icing ball." :) 

wait- backspace- we planned to drive to nyc friday (april fools) to get the keys to our apartment, but on tuesday night we found out my grandpa was pretty sick and things weren't looking so good, so we packed up and headed out for ohio wednesday morning. we stayed overnight in ohio wednesday, before leaving ohio for nyc thursday. it was good to spend time with my grandpa- he wasn't as mobile as he's been before, but he did have the energy to scarf down some wendy's chili & fries we smuggled in- which is always a good sign. don't tell him, but when we got there jude had the 3-year-old smarts to blurt out, "why is grandpa not died yet? is someone will shoot him or set him on fire?" 

thank the heavens my grandpa didn't hear. apparently jude decided the conversation we had about grandpa getting older and going to heaven sooner rather than later morphed with how his perception of death happens via cartoons.       :-/

we had no plans of going to ohio, but we did need as much as we could to get to nyc via car; the concept of packing up on tuesday for a trip to ohio 10 hours later, and then nyc was a little overwhelming. we FILLED the trunk, and shoved all the yummy groceries we found in ohio around the kids for the comfy 7-hour drive. super kind of us. but at least there were snacks nearby.

also, elle's asleep and biting her lip!
 and the leg! look at the leg!
ohio in a flash, over and out.

next up, "what lies on the other side of the road trip," aka: "we have an apartment in nyc," aka: "what have we done."

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