This post was delayed in getting on the blog because we did not have a laptop on this field trip. I did remember the camera, cell phone, chargers and other crap!
Just because staying in Columbus is getting bbbbb-boring, (ha! as if) I decided to make a day and a half trip to Cleveland with all the kids. This is about 133 miles of pure joy to the North of us. Jeff had a speaking engagement there and I scheduled the whole family to go along so we could piggy back on his work, and squeeze in an annual visit to the Cleveland Clinic on the following day.
Our day started early so we could arrive with plenty of time for Jeff to do his thing. While he was working I schlepped the kidlets to Legacy Village for an adventure at the Nordstrom Rack. I piled them into one shopping cart, spent a whole whopping 6 mintutes in the Rack before there was some sort of problem with the cart configuration- (4 kids, one cart, one Mommie, no patience!)
CJ wanted to sit, Eli needed to stand, blah. blah. blah. So we left to explore the outdoor shopping area and work off some pent up energy.
To prove that I am an equal opportunity blogger and time wasting guru, my children played at both the Hanukkah
and Christmas displays. They loved these crooked houses too, you may or may not have seen them featured on Jon and Kate plus 8 or whatever they are calling that train wreck these days. The Lyndhurst, Ohio Police officer and the owner of the Crooked Houses company were chatting me up as the kids ran around. They pegged me as a potential customer for one of these festive playhouses. They a, did not know we can't possibly afford the $2,000 plus, plus, plus price tag, or b, realize that in order for them to play nicely in our backyard I would need 4 friggin crooked houses, and c, that our homeowners association would shit themselves if we got one, yet alone 4 of them in our backyard. Fortunately the HOA will not have to fret over it because for a starting price of eight grand I can put a small addition on the current real house and let them play in there.
The highlight of the Legacy Village trip was when CJ shmoozed the Police Officer and asked him if he could see his Po-leez Car. Since it was a slow crime day in Lyndhurst, Ohio my kids got a deluxe police car tour/show
including a chance to turn on the lights and blast the siren. I knew the still photography would not do this justice (pun intended), so I shot some video for sight and sound.
This certainly above and beyond Protect and Serve!
After trying to exhaust the kids before I collapsed, I got the hair brained idea to let them go swimming in the indoor pool at the hotel.
This was all about getting them tuckered out for a nap before Jeff returned to the room. I figured it would look as if I had my act together if I had all four kids soundly sleeping after he came back from work. Oh, Yeah, Right. Thanks to my snag on Priceline we ended up at the Renaissance which is a very old hotel in downtown Cleveland. While it is a posh place to stay, the rooms are NYC tiny and the bathroom is so small you can go pee, brush your teeth and spit in the sink all at the same time. This would not normally be an issue for me, but we crammed all four kids plus Jeff and me into that little room. Thankfully it was cheap and only for one night.
We made plans to meet Amanda at Maggiano's in Beachwood. The kids were soooo excited that I used having dinner with her as their currency all afternoon. They knew good and well that only kids with exceptional behavior and keen listening skills would get to go to the fancy restaurant. There was plenty of Amanda time for everyone
and they all talked over each other trying to tell her everything and anything. They fought over who got to sit by Amanda. It is touching to see how much they miss her while she is at school and vice versa.
Did you know that Maggiano's offers Gluten Free dining by request. It is custom prepared according to your wishes. The chef came to our table and wanted to know all the details of CJ's gluten free dining experience. He offered to make him anything he wanted for dinner and CJ ordered gluten free fusilli pasta with red sauce and gluten free meatballs. This NEVER happens in a restaurant. CJ was totally grinning from ear to ear when his food arrived.
He was proud of the meal he got to order. To top it off, the chef made some gluten free chocolate brownies and served him one warm, fresh from the oven with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
This is now CJ's all time favorite place to eat. If you are gluten free and are close to a Maggiano's make sure you call ahead, make a reservation, and let them know you are dining gluten free- they will make a note of it, and the chef of the evening will wow you. This is an offer you can't refuse, eh?
So as you can clearly see I made field trip # 405 a memorable one. Our day was much like the hotel room, as full as a can of sardines.
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