Grand Ohio Adventure

One full day back and hardly a moment to reflect. In short, the visit to Dr. D's parents Thursday through Saturday was one of the easiest but strangest we've had.

First, we went out for pizza with Dr. D's parents to our absolute favorite pizza place ever - Marion's, which defines good pizza. Really. It just doesn't get better, even if it comes on cardboard trays and we all were crammed in a corner of a very busy restaurant. Delicious and fun. After which we all went to the pool. Dr. D's dad hung out in the hot tub and his mom sat and watched while the rest of us frolicked. Or while Fish and Mud Pie frolicked and St. Nick screeched every time anyone came near him. The water was only up to his chest, but he's always been touchy about the water. Swimming lessons were a disaster, and that was when he was 2.

Now for the strange thing: We stayed in a hotel. A Residence Inn, to be exact - two bedroom suite with a living room and kitchen. All to ourselves! It was bliss. Well, mostly. We expected it to be bliss, and it sure seemed like it

would be. Night one we put the boys down in the queen bed and Mud Pie in a portable crib (she barely fit) and all were out by 9pm. Only Mud Pie awoke a handful of times between 11pm and 3am. 3am is when Fish's cough woke him, and heaven forbid he be awake alone. So he chatted to St. Nick until he woke, and Pie of course joined in the fun. Dr. D went in with Fish, St. Nick came in with me, and Pie lay awake happily kicking her feet in the crib. Finally, around 4am I sent St. Nick to the couch (far, far too wiggly) and slept until 7:30. That was good enough for me. I let Dr. D snooze until 8:30, but I knew breakfast was done at 9, so we all dragged out of bed and had a truly incredible full hot delicious breakfast. With coffee. Lots of coffee (for lucky Dr. D. I'm off caffeine).

And what do good hotel-staying parents do after breakfast? Return to the pool, of course! More frolicking (Fish and Pie). More screaming (St. N.). But fun.

Now, after the pool, the parents got smart. We went to Walmart and bought children's Nyquil and some pool floaty toys, like an inner tube and a raft. But, alas, next stop was not the pool, it was a shopping center to meet Dr. D's parents for lunch.

We got there half hour early. And we saw this fascinating restaurant called The Pub with authentic British goodies, and Dr. D and I were dying to go there, and we even convinced the in-laws to go there, and it was fabulous - the decor, the menu, the servers, only ... there was no children's menu. So, despite being slightly embarrassed (mostly me, and slightly is a slight understatement) we left and went to Panera instead. There we learned that a kids menu is not a must since our kids don't eat real food anyway. They were cranky (see above on how we all slept), we were cranky, the poor in-laws didn't know what to do with us.

Dr. D wanted some time to talk with his dad before he starts stem cell replacement next week (can understand that), so Mom and I took the kids and walked around the shopping center. Highlights: Great bookstore, cool bathrooms (sigh. life with kids), and nice level sidewalks for running.

We fetched Dr. D and Dad and went back to Legacy (where they live) to hang out. There I remembered exactly why we opted for a hotel, and decided that yes, a night of very little sleep was much better than seven people in a two-bedroom, one bath townhouse. We took a walk, and ate a yummy dinner, and spent some time gabbing, and went back to the hotel where we ... drum roll ... went to the pool! Much more fun for St. Nick with the floating toys.

After which we made use of the Nyquil and let St. Nick stay up so Fish and Pie could sleep. Then he slept on the sofa and we slept (wonderfully) in the other room. Next morning was yet another delicious breakfast and yet another visit to the pool. I was getting a little pooled-out by that point.

And then it was time for the six hour drive home. Heaven be praised for technology, like VCRs in minivans. Since then we've gone to church (fantastic service), straightened the house for two Sunday afternoon showings, visited two open houses (one of which I went to myself while Dr. D and the [fussy] kids waited in the van), ran an abundance of errands, and finally really truly came home.

For a photo-journey of our trip, click here.