Thanksgiving 2016 Road Trip: Day 5

Originally we were going to go to Frankenmuth, Michigan today to visit Bronner’s, but we decided to move that to Friday during the drive home. Instead, we took it easy this morning and then took I-90 East to downtown Cleveland to (again), see some of our old haunts.

This included: lunch at the West Side Market, driving past the waterfront icons (the Factory of Sadness (oops, I meant FirstEnergy Stadium!), the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), and a photo opp with the Cleveland sign (one of three installed during last summer’s Republican National Convention). We also stopped briefly at Tower City Center (it was rainy so the ice skating rink in Public Square wasn’t open), and drove past Quicken Loans Arena, home of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

On our way back to the west side we stopped at Malley’s to pick up a jar of our favorite fudge sauce. The jar we bought last Christmas was confiscated by the TSA when we forgot we had it in our carry-on luggage. Since we’re driving this trip it should make it back to Florida safely (unless we eat it before then).

For dinner we met the whole family (including the people we hadn’t yet seen) at Red Robin. Afterwards, my brother took me to an awesome bar called 16-Bit. A bar filled with classic arcade games? Hell yes! We spent a few hours playing old favorites like Gauntlet (“warrior needs food, badly”), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spy Hunter, Donkey Kong, and my personal favorite, Galaga (I had over 100,000 points before my brother got to play his first life, ha!).

Thanksgiving 2016 Road Trip: Day 4

Another college visit today. This morning after breakfast we drove down to Oberlin to visit Oberlin College (my daughter’s first choice currently) for a tour. It was a lot colder here than in Dayton yesterday and there was a lot of snow on the ground. It was good for my Florida girl to see what she’d be getting into, picking a school in northern Ohio 🙂 . It was another informational (and brisk!) tour and afterwards we had Mediterranean for lunch at Aladdin’s before the information session later that afternoon at the Admissions office.

In the late afternoon we went over to my brother’s house to visit with my sister-in-law, niece, and 6-month old nephew. Then it was a late-night dinner at Strip where we were joined by my sister who had had a long day. So it was nice to finally see family on this trip.

Today also happened to be Dick Goddard’s last broadcast on Channel 8 after 55 years. I grew up watching Dick do the weather and hosting his Woollybear Festival every year. Wow.

Thanksgiving 2016 Road Trip: Day 3

Today was our first official college visit at the University of Dayton. We woke up early and were on the road at 7:30am. We crossed the Ohio River into Cincinnati an hour later and at 10:00am were pulling into the visitor parking lot at UD, on-time for our 10:30 tour and information session.

I thought it would be a little weird going on a tour of the college where I had gone to school (met my wife, and even got married!) with my daughter, but it wasn’t that odd. It was cool to see all the changes around campus, and what had stayed the same since I had graduated. It was another beautiful brisk fall day and walking around the campus to see the dorms, library, and buildings was very pleasant.

After the tour we hit all our old haunts which included lunch at Marion’s Piazza and dessert at Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs (where we also briefly drove past Antioch College just to see a really small school). Then it was back to driving … I-675 to I-70 East over to Columbus, and then I-71 North to Cleveland.

By 6:00pm were were in the vicinity of our hotel for the rest of the week on the west side. We stopped at Crocker Park to do some grocery shopping and pick up dinner. Then we checked into the hotel and ate before unloading everything out of the car and getting settled.

Tomorrow is another college visit and then we’ll actually see family.

Driving stats: 7 hours; 350mi

Thanksgiving 2016 Road Trip: Day 2

Today was a full travel day.

We were back on I-75 North at 9:30am after having breakfast at the hotel. At 11:30am we passed through Macon and decided to make our first unplanned detour of the trip. In addition to going to see family up north on this road trip, we’re doing a few college visits (on Monday and Tuesday) with our daughter. Since we going through Atlanta, we decided to make a quick stop at Emory University just to quickly check it out. We spent about an hour or so wandering around campus checking out the Quad, some of the classroom buildings, the DUC, etc. It was a beautiful fall day, perfect for a nice self-guided walk around campus.

After lunch at Mellow Mushroom (where I got to watch a little of the Browns game), it was back onto I-75 North. 5:00pm saw us passing through Dalton, GA and 45 minutes later we were over the border into Tennessee as the sun was setting. We saw warning signs about heavy smoke in northern Tennessee and at 8:00pm starting driving through it. 15 minutes later we were out of the smoke and over the border into Kentucky.

We tried to make a late stop for dessert at Greater’s in Lexington, but we had misread the hours on the web site and arrived 15 minutes past closing. Oops! So instead we pushed on to our hotel north of Lexington and were checked in by 10:20pm.

Driving stats: 10 hours; 636mi

Thanksgiving 2016 Road Trip: Day 1

Time for another family road trip! It’s back to Cleveland for Thanksgiving.

We were using today just as a jump-start day for the drive, planning only to go as far as southern Georgia. This allowed us to spend most of the day decorating the inside of the house for Christmas (so it would be done when we get back from the trip), finish the packing, load up the Highlander, etc. At 4:45pm we finally hit the road.

We stopped for dinner around 7:30pm at the Ruby Tuesday in Lake City. Then it was just another hour’s drive north over the Georgia border to our first hotel in Valdosta at 9:45pm.

Driving stats: 4 hours; 254mi (probably our easiest day of the trip)

Another Game 7 heartbreaker

It was fantastic watching the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series. Unfortunately, after taking a 3 games to 1 lead over the Chicago Cubs, they lost three in a row, including a Game 7 heartbreaker in Cleveland that ended in the 10th inning. The Cavaliers lost to Golden State in the 2015 NBA Finals and then came back to beat the Warriors and win it all in 2016 (after being down 3-1). I’m hopeful for an Indians/Cubs rematch in 2017 that has a similar turnaround of events.

Still, it was a great season. It was tough seeing what felt like the entire country (including Joe Buck) get behind the “cursed” Cubs with their best record in baseball, but the Indians were always the underdogs and had to overcome a lot of adversity (injuries, etc.) to accomplish what they did. That says a lot to the fans.

Spring Training is going to be a lot of fun next spring! I’m already looking forward to March …

The Indians are the American League Champs!

Indians AL Champs!

Incredible! For the first time since 1997 my hometown Indians are going back to the World Series! I’m in Denver on a last-minute, 9 day business trip so I had to “watch” the game via ESPN notifications on my phone, so it doesn’t quite feel real. I can only imaging the energy in Cleveland right now. First the Cavs, now this.

GO TRIBE!!!!

Indians clinch!

Here’s something I haven’t had the chance to post in a long time: my hometown Cleveland Indians clinched the American League Central division title for the first time since 2007!

Indians clinch AL Central

My Tampa Bay Rays were unfortunately dead last in the East, but Cleveland baseball in October, yeah! Go Tribe!

Labor Day Weekend 2016 at Disney: Day 4

Happy Labor Day!

My wife and I work up early and let my daughter sleep in. To get some extra exercise, we walked around the Polynesian along the beach and took the trail over to the nearby Grand Floridian resort. We’d always seen the wedding chapel from the monorail but took this opportunity to check around the grounds. It definitely has some scenic views of Cinderella’s castle across the lagoon from the chapel and outdoor flower arch in the back. Back at our room after the walk, our daughter was still asleep (teenagers!) so we decided to take the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom to catch the park opening ceremony. This is something we’ve always wanted to do but never seemed to arrive on time. It was neat watching all the characters arrive on the train and greet the family selected to help open the park after a big countdown.

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Labor Day Weekend 2016 at Disney: Day 3

Traditionally we would do the resort pool and Disney Springs on Monday before heading home, but we decided to mix things up this year. No early plans today so we slept in and spent the morning at the resort, enjoying the Polynesian’s two pools after grabbing a light breakfast from the concierge lounge. The pools and waterslides were fun and my daughter enjoyed using my underwater camera to take photos and movies. I’m sure I got a few strange looks swimming around with a camera strapped to my arm, heh. After enjoying some malasades from the Oasis Bar, we cleaned up, dressed, and drove over to Disney Springs to do a little shopping.

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