Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Is In The Air (Or Not): Toledo, Ohio

My big kids are on Spring Break and although we're not doing a big trip, we've been having loads of fun. Friday night they got their break started with a sleepover at Chris's mom's house with their cousins. Lucy had a birthday party to attend Saturday afternoon, and then we had three of Bethany's friends overnight (sleepover with 3 girls...deja-vu???). I took Bethany and the three other girls to an ice show at the local ice arena to see Wizard of Oz on ice. Another friend was performing with her synchronized skating team during the intermission, and it was a very entertaining show. Going out with all big kids was such a freeing experience. They want a snack? Send them to the snack stand. Without me. One of them needs to go to the bathroom? Send them to the restroom. Without me. I had a small glimpse of what life will be like in a few years, and it was nice. Not that I'm hurrying anything along...

Sunday morning our guests went home and the kids and I headed for Toledo with my mother-in-law. Toledo, Ohio probably doesn't sound like an exciting Spring Break destination, but we really had the best time. Our first stop was The Toledo Museum of Art, and it was fantastic! We stayed for hours and no one was bored for one second. Admission is free (donations appreciated), the cafe serves delicious and reasonably priced food (turkey and brie wrap with dried fruit and nuts and a fruit salad - SO GOOD!! - for like $6), the place is huge (we didn't see nearly everything), and there is a sweet family area with all kinds of fun (free!!!) things for the kids to do, like painting, arts and crafts,blocks, dress-up clothes, and lots more. We did pay to see the special Egyptian exhibit, which was well worth the money because who wouldn't sacrifice some cash to see the centuries old blackened corpse of an Egyptian priest (or priestess or prince or...something)? Here are a whole bunch of pictures commemorating our day at the museum...

Walk like an Egyptian

Matisse tile mosaic

Little Miss Attitude

Meema and her grandbabies

I whip my hair back and forth...dancing in the cafe

Meema and Lucy

Entrance of the Egyptian exhibit

Lucy & Bethany painting together

Lucy & Bethany modeling the hats they made

Mattie having fun in the family area

Connor doing a puppet show for Mattie

My kids are crazy and loud and fun and maybe people sometimes inwardly groan and run in the opposite direction when they see us coming. But I am so happy to be able to experience things like art museums with their joyfulness and excitement.

We left just before they kicked us out (it was closing time!), headed to our hotel and went for a swim before dinner. Dinner, where no one ate their dinners because they were falling asleep (literally) at the table.

After breakfast Monday morning, we went swimming again before heading to the Imagination Station for the afternoon. We have been going to this place since Connor was younger than Mathilda is now, and every time we have a blast. My one complaint this time - visitors are no longer permitted to bring in their own food and drinks. I don't know how vigilant they are about checking, but I did see a few signs. We didn't bring food this time, but often we do, so this is a bummer. Plus the food cost as much or more than it did at the art museum, and was not nearly as good (kind of yucky, in fact). We stayed for a few hours before heading off to our next adventure.

Uncooperative Mathilda? No Way!

Lucy getting ready to knock an egg into a glass of water

Bethany's turn

and Connor's turn

Mattie driving the mini-me ambulance

Television stars

They could have watched themselves on "TV" as pseudo sportscasters all day
Did I mention it rained the whole time we were in Toledo? We had planned on going to the zoo, but the weather did not agree with our plans. After we left Imagination Station (in the rain), we fumbled our way to a movie theater (GPS would not recognize the address...GRRR!) to see Hop. It was a cute movie. I liked the concept of an Easter movie, and it was entertaining, but with a pretty flimsy story line. Nonetheless, we all liked it and I didn't have to leave the theater with Mattie one time! Progress! We took a pizza and some salad back to our room for dinner, and then Meema took the 3 big kids down to the pool yet again. I stayed behind with Mathilda, trying to get her to sleep, which was totally fruitless. Tuesday morning we went swimming one last time after breakfast. Mathilda was loving the pool beaucoup. Every time we walked past it, she would gaze through the window and mutter "my pool" or "bye bye pool". At one point she got her swimsuit out, brought it to me and said "me pool." "Pool" sounds a lot like "poop", so it did get a little confusing.

When we checkout out, we went to Friendly's for lunch. I loved Friendly's when it was here in Michigan, and I thought they were all closed. I had no idea Ohio was keeping such a secret. The kids got Peeps sundaes for a treat. Yep, that's right. And not just regular old Peeps, but chocolate dipped Peeps. With marshmallow sauce as a topping. 
We have lots more plans for the week, and I am going to enjoy every moment of the break. We might as well leave out the "spring" part, because it is definitely (pretty much) still winter, despite what the calendar might say.

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