Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Milo missed me terribly

Never leave again, he says. Okay, love. I won't. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Break Cleveland: Home again

We are not happy about leaving.

Mike did most of the driving.

But not all of it! He drove most of the miles, but I drove half the hours thanks to two accidents and several backups. 

As usual, the kids were absolute peaches, perfect angels. They're fantastic traveling companions, and I'm so glad and proud to be their mom.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Break Cleveland: Day 6

We spend every morning at the beach. We love this beach, especially the rocks.

Then Mike took us to see the Cleveland Indians, the first baseball game for me and Thea. It was so fun! And the stadium is gorgeous.

Mike's mom got him and his brother bricks when the stadium was built 20 years ago, and Thea happened to find it out of the thousands of other names. She was today's hero!

Later we went back to Skyline one last time, and took the Garlands with us. This time Thea got a stomach ache, so I'm not sure she'll be back. It's sad, really. I think she takes after me. I can't eat fast food, either.

Spring Break Cleveland: Day 5

Today we went on the Mike Briggs Tour of Cleveland. We started with the beach down the street from us, where the kids and I spent almost every morning.

Liam really can't help mugging for the camera.

For lunch we had Skyline Chili, which the kids loved. Mike is so excited, because I can't eat it without getting a stomach ache (which is what Liam's pretending to have).

Then we headed to Lakewood, where Mike grew up. It's right outside of Cleveland. Not a suburb, really. More like a small, blue-collar town with a distinct personality that is directly connected to a large, blue-collar town. We went to Huntington Beach, which is super cool. The piers are all basically piles of giant rocks, and the beach has won awards for how much it's been cleaned up.

I had a religious experience at the end of this one. Let me show you:

Then we met our friends at Malley's candy shop, where Mike used to go as a kid. We even saw the owner, who offered Thea a job when she gets to high school.

Next on the list was the Kenilworth bar, where Mike lost many hours in his youth. It was owned by his brother's wife's family, and is still a favorite hangout of the extended family.

For dinner we ordered butter cheese pizza, a Cleveland specialty, and hung out with Augustine, our sole pet on vacation. We all agreed, the house felt sort of weird without our usual herd.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Break Cleveland: Day 4

We let Mike sleep as late as possible to finish recovering from his experience at the Schvitz on Tuesday. I hope he writes about it while the memory is relatively fresh, because the story is epic.

Since Mike wasn't joining us, we took advantage of being unburdened by his weird pepper allergy and went for Mexican food. Liam got a magnetic knife, which was super weird.

Then Mike joined us and we went to the Museum of Contemporary art. Here's Liam practicing his levitation skills:

while Thea uses her scarf to either protect her eyes from the sun or create a performance art piece in protest of inequality and strife across the globe.

The main exhibit at MoCA was "Dirge," and it featured a collection of works that centered around the topic of mortality. My sunny son has no interest in such topics and spent most of his time in the play area with Aoife creating intricate sculptures from straws.

I got to explain the concept of manipulative art to Thea, but mostly the pieces were amazing. Here are two of my favorites:

Guido van der Werve's Nummer Acht: Everything is going to be alright (with Thea and Mike pretending to walk in front of it):

and Steve Lambert's You Are Still Alive.

Later we went to Mike's best friend's place for a dinner party. Before it started, I took Liam for a haircut about a mile up the street. On the way there, we saw a dog running into traffic. I pulled over and coaxed the dog into the car, wondering what I could possibly do. The dog was a large pit bull, and she was totally freaked out. There was a woman walking by with another dog who said that the lost dog lived in the neighborhood behind the busy street. She tried to help, but the dog was so anxious out that she snapped at her dog. Liam and I realized we were on our own with this one.

The lost dog was exceedingly grateful to be in our car. She licked our faces and nuzzled our chins until we shoved her off, then settled down in the back seat as if to say "Thank you! Okay, take me home now." We drove around in circles for about a half hour, asking people if they recognized the dog. Finally we saw a boy on a bike who claimed her tearfully. Liam and I are heroes!

And we still had time to get Liam his haircut.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Break Cleveland: Day 3

Cleveland has a market that dates back to 1840. It's huge, always packed with people, and has a dizzying array of produce, meats, and cheeses you can buy, all mixed in with food stalls. We went there for ramen noodles for lunch.

And, sure, why not, pastries. We're on vacation!

This lamb just hanging out in the aisle freaked the kids out.

That night we went to hometown hero chef Michael Symon's restaurant Lolita. We went with a bunch of Mike's favorite friends from Cleveland and split things like bone marrow, pig ear and tail, and chicken livers. Thea and Liam are adventurous eaters and tried everything. Thea liked the pig tail a lot more than I did.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Break Cleveland: Day 2

We went to the Cleveland Museum of Art. It's down a beautiful, scenic road in Rockefeller Park, but it's very winding. Thea and I got outrageously carsick. Chris had to pull over and let us walk the last half mile.

I tried to distract Thea by asking her questions. Later, when she could talk, she said, "Why wouldn't you leave me alone to die in peace?"

We're still very sick here, but powering through, yo:

Made it! We're still thinking about that awful road

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Break in Cleveland: Day 1

While the grown ups and baby went to the Westside Market, I took the kids to the lake. Here we're playing on the rocks at the beach with Lake Erie in the background. 

Liam and Dash played on the shore while Thea and Rosie looked at graffiti on the rocks. 

Rosie was appalled at this one:

At one point we saw a dead cat floating in the water. Later Thea told our friend Brent about the horror. Liam overheard and chimed in, "I thought you liked cats." :-/

It was a super windy day, which was mostly fun. We all felt like we were flying. Then we went on a pier about two stories above the water. Not sure if you can tell from this picture, but we're all terrified. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring break!

The kids are off for spring break and we're headed for Cleveland with some of our best friends!

UPDATE: We made it in about 7 hours and the kids were absolutely jewels for the entire drive, until the last 15 minutes or so when they went a little stir crazy. So did the adults, though.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow day

Mike's walking Thea next door for a sleepover. Holy moly this snowy night is beautiful!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Important message

Liam's message on the bathroom door.