Happy birthday Dave!
The included breakfast was okay. We had danish, fruit, cereal, muffins, and juice. After breakfast we got our things packed up and headed out at about 9:40. The National Basketball Hall of Fame opened at 10 and it was only a short drive away. I had visited there with my family when I was in 2nd grade, but it is in a different building now and it was very nice. We got there shortly after 10 and began touring. The third floor, where we started, was a little boring for the kids and Mom and I had to keep moving. The second floor had a little more for them to see, like uniforms and some places to play around (like pop-a-shot). Abby was very impressed with the old uniform that looked like a onesie. The first floor was a full court basketball court with other baskets lined up along the side. One of them was a peach basket with no backboard and then wooden backboard, and so on as they improved over the years. The kids had fun running around, shooting, and throwing the balls. After the Hall of Fame, we stopped in the gift shop for some souvenirs and then got some Subway and took it outside and ate on a bench. We then headed north to the Yankee Candle Store. Although I am not very interested in candles, we decided to go because of a brochure we had picked up. We got there about an hour later and the store was pretty neat. We walked through the Black Forest and got “snowed” on. Then we went to Santa’s workshop and saw Santa. We also saw where they make candles and lots and lots of Christmas decorations and candy. After the Yankee Candle Store, we drove east toward Boston. We stopped for directions once and then found our hotel…our VERY nice hotel in Lexington, MA, just outside of Boston. The Element by Wyndham was wonderful. We had a kitchen in our room, a very large bathroom with glass shower, big screen tv that could turn to see it anywhere in the room, a couch, desk with free internet, and 2 beds. The hotel itself had an indoor warm salt water pool, Wii in the lobby, and it was just a comfortable feel. Derek, Dad, and the kids went swimming while Mom and I cooked supper. I had brought some food along since we knew we had the kitchen. We had pasta, green beans, pears, mandarin oranges, and jello later on. After the kids went to sleep, Derek did some work on the computer and I went over to Mom and Dad’s to play some cards.
We woke up, ate our included breakfast (waffles, muffins, cereal, fruit, juice, and milk), and took off for another long day of driving. We pulled out shortly after 8:00 and were on our way through part of PA, and into NY. McDonald’s at a travel center made for a much better lunch than the day before. Then we continued through NY and into MA. We pulled into the Days Inn West Springfield before 4pm. We checked the outdoor pool, but it was still very COLD. Instead, we roamed around the inside of the hotel to let the kids stretch and annoyed the front desk clerk. We decided to order Dominos for supper and had them deliver. It was nice to not have to get back in the car again. The best thing about this hotel was that we had adjoining rooms. After the kids fell asleep, we went into Mom and Dad’s room and played cards. I can’t remember who won each night, but I am sure that Mom and I came out ahead over the entire trip. If the guys think differently, they will have to have their own blog to claim otherwise 🙂
We decided to leave early since we had a long day of driving and we were losing an hour, changing to Eastern time zone. Mom, Dad, Derek, Abby, Cade, and I piled in the car and pulled out of the driveway at 6:05am, just 5 minutes behind schedule. We headed east on I80. After one short stop mid-morning, we stopped for lunch at a junky little service center right off the interstate in Ohio. Nothing exciting, we just ate to fill our stomachs and we were on our way again. We made it to our first night’s stop at the Travelodge Erie by 4:00. We had made great time and were glad to stop and be able to move around and stretch.
All of our hotels were lined up ahead of time, and this one made me the most nervous. On hotels.com, it came in at a whopping 1 star and $44 + tax per night. I did hear the desk clerk selling rooms for $54 or so, but still… Well, let’s just say I was glad we were only staying 1 night. It wasn’t terrible. I’ve stayed in worse. But, it wasn’t good either. Back in 1970, it was probably an awesome hotel. We walked around and looked at the concrete hole in the courtyard, that used to be an outdoor pool.) Then we ate in the hotel restaurant. It was very good and the kids (and adults) were hungry after our less than spectacular lunch. Abby had a big pile of spaghetti with a giant meatball on top. Cade had mac and cheese. After supper, we walked around some more and then the adults tried to play some 500 (cards) while the kids played, but that didn’t work out so well. So, we walked around the old pool some more and then it was time for bed.
We packed up the car and headed to one of Kelli’s Sylvan centers. Derek was going to talk to her directors about reading before we headed home. The kids and I played in a conference room and then walked down to Lakeshore store. After Derek finished talking, Kelli realized that her purse had been stolen. We tried to help her call people to get her phone stopped, etc… It was a mess and I felt so bad. We ended up leaving the center at about 12:15 and went over to the McDonald’s for lunch before heading home. We later found out that Kelli’s purse was found at that same McDonald’s in the men’s restroom. How crazy would it have been if Derek had been the one to find it?! We left McDonald’s at 1:00, stopped for gas, and were on our way. The kids both fell asleep for awhile and then watched movies. We made it to Roscoe by 5:30. We made Stuckey time that day! We didn’t even stop…just kept driving and driving and driving. I have no idea where I get that from. Dad, do you know? hahaha We ate supper and then Derek took the other car and headed home. The kids and I stayed over and I was glad to not have to drive the rest of the way home.
Today was the big day. Derek, Abby, Cade and I went to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. It is only about 10 minutes from Kelli and Eric’s house and we got there shortly after it opened at 10am. The kids both got an unlimited arm band and we got started. Cade liked the Big Rigs and Carousel the best and Abby’s favorites were the carousel, ferris wheel, Balloon Race, Back at the Barnyard Hayride roller coaster, and Wonder Pets Flyboat. Let’s just say that she pretty much liked all of them. We spent the morning riding and then had lunch at the foodcourt. We had McDonald’s and Sabarro. After lunch we went back to riding more rides. There were no lines and we could pretty much get off and right back on if we wanted to. The kids played at the LegoLand and I did some Christmas and birthday shopping for Jonah. The kids reenergized with some Superman icecream and then more rides. I think it was after 4:00 before we left. Cade fell asleep before we were even out of the parking garage. Abby stayed awake and we wanted it that way so that she would go to bed early. We had chicken tacos for supper and enjoyed our last evening with Kelli and Eric.
Today was a lazy day. We mostly sat around the house and took it easy. The kids and I picked up Derek from the conference at 5:00 and hit about the worst traffic ever trying to get out of the downtown. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, or just because we really like the place, we met Kelli at Pepito’s for supper. It is just a mile down the street from Kelli’s. Abby was tired and didn’t really want to eat, so we let her order fried icecream for supper. Cade had a Joey, which was peanut butter, jelly, and bananas on a tortilla. I had the best taco EVER! I have had some really good tacos in my life, but for the 2nd time, this taco really is the BEST EVER! I had beef taco on a hard shell with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and relish…pickle relish! It is so good. Anyway, I will stop going on and on about the BEST TACO EVER! Abby didn’t like her fried icecream, so I had to eat that for her. It is no wonder I had a stomach ache later for as fast as I ate the BEST TACO EVER and the fried icecream. After supper Kelli, Abby, and I decided to walk to the park while Derek and Cade took the van. About 5 or 10 minutes down the road, Derek had to come and get us because it started raining.
Derek had more conferences and Eric had more work. Kelli was working from home, so it was just me and the kids. We left the house at about 10:30 and went to a park near Lake Minnehaha. I took the scenic route, but we made it! When we got there, I spread out our picnic blanket and got out the food. Cade helped me while Abby played. We ate lunch and enjoyed the beautiful day. After lunch, the kids played on the equipment. Then we put our stuff in the van and got out the stroller for a walk by the lake. Abby wanted to swim in it, but we decided that wading might be better. I didn’t feel it, but she said it was cold. We made it back to Kelli’s at about 1:00. Kelli had some late meetings and Eric was still at work, so the kids and I picked Derek up from the conference (I took the scenic route again!) and found a place to park downtown. We walked along the old milling disctrict and out onto a foot bridge over the river. Then we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for supper. I love it! We sat in the train and Cade had a booster seat because he couldn’t have a high chair in the train. It worked out fine. Abby had mac & cheese and applesauce. Cade had spaghetti and applesauce. He fed himself with his spoon. He really did a good job, but it was still VERY messy. All of the food was good and we all ended the meal with the yummy spumoni icecream. After supper we headed back to Kelli and Eric’s. It was almost 7 by the time we got there.
We left Roscoe at a few minutes before 9am. We had a pretty uneventful drive, which is a good thing, and stopped at McDonald’s for lunch on the way there. We pulled into Kelli and Eric’s at about 3:00. The kids played outside and we visited and enjoyed the nice weather. We had a nice cook out for supper and ate outside on the deck.