Monday, March 10, 2014

Cincinnati: Grandpa, IKEA, and good friends =)

This past Saturday Matt, Luke, and I made a trip to Ohio to do some visiting and some shopping. I've blogged before about my fondness for Southwest Ohio and my trips there in the past 18 months (here and here). This is the first time in quite awhile (since early in our marriage) that Matt has joined me for one of these trips but I'm really glad he did.  We were able to visit with a lot of people, do some shopping, and have a wonderful (if long) family day trip. 

Our first stop was to visit my Grandpa who lives pretty much on our way to Dayton.  I hadn't seen him all year so we were way overdue for a stop there.  Grandpa took great pride in showing Matt some of his new toys and projects (he's a pretty great woodworker) and Matt practically drooled over his miter saw (the latest tool he is convincing me we need).  Luke and I checked out some of the trucks and marble games but then Luke was ready to be on the ground and Grandpa's workshop is not the place for that!  Luke had fun digging through the toy kitchen cabinet. 

This picture cracks me up, looks so serious enjoying a cup of coffee.  In the same play dishes I used many years ago. =)

It's always wonderful to visit with Grandpa and especially nice that Matt was able to come along with me this time. 

From Grandpa's it was onto IKEA.  I think there is a whole other post coming this week about that (I'm really milking this trip for posts) but short version...apparently it was the busiest day at that IKEA in a long time (from conversations with other people in the checkout line).  I assumed it was a normal Saturday but nope, it was crazy.  We did find most of my (4 item...) list and a few other things as well.  
before we knew the crowds that awaited us inside
We kept heading south, this time to actual Cincinnati, for a visit to the Cincinnati Museum Center.  The plan was to meet two of my college friends there along with their husbands and kids.  This trip partly came about because I wanted to see the Diana, A Celebration exhibit there.  It worked out that Matt and Luke could join the rest of our little group in the children's museum while I toured the exhibit. 

I really enjoyed my exhibit.  I've long had a fascination with my fellow Diana, for obvious reasons.  That's kinda carried over to a general fascination to all the royals (I got up at 4:30am to watch the Royal Wedding 3 years ago and thought it was a fantastic way to spend a morning).  They had her wedding dress on display which was just incredible to see in person.  In that room they were showing footage of Charles & Diana's wedding day and crazy to watch that and see the actual dress at the same time.  There was also a whole other room of other dresses she wore, some I recognized from pictures (there were also pictures of her wearing most of them and information about them all).  I liked it but I know Matt would have been miserable.  Having been to London, seeing so many of these places in person (Westminster where her funeral was, Kensington Palace were she lived and the gates that were flooded with flowers when she died, her memorial fountain, etc.) made it all especially real.  When we were planning this trip I considered skipping this just to make the day easier but I'm really glad I didn't.  It was fun. 

I am curious who awards exhibitions though...
I met up with the rest of the group and we all went to supper at a Mexican restaurant nearby.  We had 6 adults and 6 kids which made us a pretty loud group.  When we were all sitting (well kinda, there was a lot of ups and downs) there I thought how crazy this all would have seemed 12+ years ago when us 3 girls first met.  From randomly living on the same floor our freshman year to still getting together with husbands and kids in tow...that's special. 

We visited at my friend's house for awhile before heading home.  Luke loves playing with other kids, even if he doesn't know them.  He was probably especially glad to be able to crawl around after being held so much of the day!  It's always lovely to spend time with these ladies and I'm so glad we can make friendship work despite the miles apart and obligations we have.  I'm sure I wouldn't have survived UD without the people God placed in my life (and quite literally in my room) that first year.

The drive home wasn't the most pleasant.  Luke actually fell asleep pretty soon after we got on the road (yay!  Usually one of us have to sit with him when we drive long distances at night because when he wakes up he gets freaked out being alone in the dark) and stayed asleep about the first 90 minutes.  For some reason our GPS took us a really weird way home (and not back to I-75 which I would know).  I missed driving through Dayton at night which I've always enjoyed.  I think because it reminds me of the view out my freshman year dorm window and date nights Matt & I would have in college.  But we made it home which is the important part. 

It was a really lovely, wonderful day.  I'll admit to being anxious about the whole trip, how Luke would do with all that time in the car, getting out of the house so early in the morning (before 8:30 is early), and making all the connections.  But it worked out perfectly and I woke up smiling Sunday morning despite 6 hours of sleep.  Some things are worth that. =)

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