I know, right? There's at least two reasons why I put vacation in quotes.
First - Both my kids were there. Enough said.
Second - Ohio.
|Noah - ruining family photos even in the Midwest|
When one imagines a trip destination, several major cities may spring to mind - Honolulu, Maui, Miami, NYC, LA, Chicago even...but a suburb near Cleveland? Nope.
Cleveland Rocks! But we didn't go to this famed hall of rock and roll because our family does not rock.
|We did go to the Space and Science Museum next door - because: nerds.|
And on top of the "non-destination-ness" was layered the fact that we caught the tail end of a month long heat wave that welcomed us with 90+ degree heat and 90+ percent humidity, and of course an A/C unit that was broken and wouldn't be fixed for an indefinite period since other suburban Ohians all discovered simultaneously that they all had the same problem.
|How to sleep during a nasty heat wave (with windows open and fans blasting of course)|
And yet, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable 7 days I've had in a long time (gotta love how parenthood drastically lowers all your set points!).
|At the Natural History Museum - they just liked looking at all the butts. Yes we are in that phase. Send wine.|
|We love Lucy!|
|Noah takes his place in the family tree - might I say he hasn't ventured far...|
We escaped the heat every day by seeking out air-conditioned places, enjoyed a lot of really great museums in Cleveland, libraries, indoor pools, and best of all, had the great pleasure of spending lots of time with the Spouse's mom and step-dad.
They are two of the most loving, thoughtful, and pleasant human beings there could be (yes, I totally won the MIL lottery) and Judah especially reveled in their love and attention like a flower opening to the sun. On the last day of our trip I told Judah we were leaving and his face instantly crumpled and tears filled his eyes, poor guy.
|Judah and two of his favorite people (and the brother he tolerates)|
Noah, on the other hand, asked to leave every day, hahahahaha. But mostly it was because he wanted to go to Target to buy Hot Wheels, which he now assumes he will get every time we walk through those hallowed automatic sliding doors (but that's another post).
|Enjoying the indoor pool at the community rec center - never had this in Cali!|
For me, it was truly enjoyable - I sincerely enjoy my MIL's company and always find out so much fascinating family history (which I always can't believe my Spouse hasn't told me at all about for the last 18+ years since I've known him!!!!) and she made food - lots and lots and lots of unending rivers of food. As a domestic-slave (otherwise known as SAHM), my appreciation for someone ELSE doing food prep is unbounded.
|Captain Noah and his (sea) monster mom - not too far from reality.|
|This is why you need a selfie stick - some strangers don't assume you'd want everyone's full face in the pic|
|Two of the most weird and wonderful creatures - I'm referring to the kids.|
|The awesome shark tank at the end - wasted entirely on tired kids.|
And on top of all that, the kids are at an age where they can actually play with each other and entertain themselves for a good chunk of time each day. Not NEARLY as much as I would like, but enough for me to have conversations with adults and even read a few pages of a book! Oh how giddy I am for just 10 minutes of non-kiddie time.
|All I can say is that this local public library SAVED OUR LIVES|
|Brothers make the best sidekicks (and occasional arch enemies)|
One of the great highlights of this trip was celebrating Judah's actual birthday with Grandma and Grandpa Neil - not least of all because Grandpa Neil baked FROM SCRATCH the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever had. Oh. My. HEAVENS. That cake (and especially the icing) should be called "Some things are worth getting diabetes for" Cake.
|What's a birthday without festive head gear?|
|Man, I love you SO MUCH, oh yeah, and you too Judah|
But my favorite part of the trip was probably a very special single hour (special because it's so rare), in which the Spouse and I got to escape our kids and take a walk through the Cleveland Greenbelt (a chain of hiking trails) to celebrate our 13th anniversary (thank you Grandma and Grandpa Neil!).
We talked, we laughed, we snorted and chortled. We marveled at how "old" we've become. How can this guy that I started dating when we were both undergrads now be turning FORTY next year? When did this all happen? In the blink of an eye.
In the blink of an eye, our babies are no longer babies. We have mortgages and property taxes. Thinning hair and achy joints. Our vision and hearing grow worse by the year.
And all this life we've lived.
|Soaking in the ubiquitous greenery in the great Midwest|
And all this life we have yet to live.
|Words of wisdom at the Space and Science Museum|
And all this with a person that makes us feel unreservedly safe, irrepressibly happy, and unconditionally loved.