Sunday, October 16, 2011

Let's Hit the Road (Yet Again?)

Eliza continues to show that she’s almost ready to walk. Sheroutinely stands up or pulls herself up onto her feet by grabbing onto whateveris convenient (a wall, a chair, a big brother, etc.). She takes one or twosmall steps before plopping back down. She also pulls herself up onto a windowsill or a chair or a laundry basket—anything taller than she is—and lets herfeet dangle in the air.
OK, I'm up. Now how do I get down?
Hallie attended Time Out for Women, an inspirational event forwomen sponsored by Deseret Book. She had been planning to go alone, but thenight before, we mulled it over and decided that we didn’t really have a reasonfor us all not to go. After all, Mike would be looking after the kids inMichigan just as much as in Cincinnati. Besides, the hotel had a pool!

So the following morning we quickly packed up the minivanand started our trek south. This was also the van’s inaugural run as ourlong-haul vehicle in preparation for trips in November and December, and itpulled through with flying colors. Landon could actually see where we weredriving, so he had plenty of insights to offer. The van also had a regularpower outlet, so Mike could sit in the way-back and get some work done.

Before she had the rest of us as her guests for the journey,Hallie had planned a little itinerary of her own based on a story she had readcalled “4 Ultimate Food Trails,” one of which just happened to be on the wayfrom Detroit to Cincinnati! Because this was originally Hallie’s trip, we wantedto make sure she got to do and see everything she wanted, so she got to makeall the decisions about stops and so on. She took us on a tour of culinarydelights along the back roads of Ohio.

We stopped first at Dietsch Brothers in Findlay, a store thatmakes chocolates onsite and has an old fashioned soda fountain. We bought somebuckeyes for the road and had some handmade ice cream sundaes there in thestore. Even though he was a young man, the attendant at the fountain behavedlike a throwback from an earlier time. Hallie loved sitting eating our sundaes and watching the men in the back make chocolate. Now you know it was not imported from somewhere else with a label of their own slapped on. We like going to local businesses, andwe learned about something called The 3/50 Project from the Dietsch Brothers’website. The 3/50 Project essentially encourages people to invest in the localbusinesses they love to ensure their continued success. The project even has an app so you can find your own local favorites!

From Dietsch Brothers, we continued down Highway 68 to the Country Variety Store and Country Baked Goods, an Amish shop north of Bellefontaine, where we got apples and decorative gourds. They were also known for their sky high Angel Food Cake. Landon got to pick from plain, strawberry or raspberry and he chose strawberry. We did not touch it until we got home and since arriving home it has not lasted long.

We continued to West Liberty and Marie’s Candies, which is housed in an old train depot. The cashier was where the ticket office used to be. The ladies fawned over the kids, which netted Landon extra samples, the sly devil!

By the time we left Marie’s, time had run short, so we had to beeline to Cincinnati (actually, Covington, Kentucky) to get to the hotel and then take Hallie to the convention center. After we dropped her off, Mike and the kids went to the Penn Station sandwich shop. After hanging out at the hotel and watching the kids bounce off the beds and walls and ceilings as they got their wiggles out, we went back to pick Hallie up and finally get to bed.

With Michael McLean
After breakfast at the hotel the following morning, we took Hallie back to the convention center, and Mike and the kids played in the pool. Around noon, we picked up Hallie again and set off on the road back home. We took in some of the places we missed on the way down. We started at The HomePlace, another Amish shop. The store had a wide variety of homemade foods and beautiful wood furniture.

We then went to Peifer Orchards to try some apple varieties,and we almost (should have?) bought some potted chrysanthemums. We thought we’d come back after we went to the next stop, which turned out to be a mistake, because Peifer closed at 5 (who closes at 5 on a Saturday during the harvest?!). Oh, well.

Mum's the word in the Midwest at this time of year.
Landon was looking at the flowers and pumpkins when he says, "Dad! Dad! Come here!"
Turns out he saw a grasshopper hidden among the blooms!

Love the smile on this little girl!
We headed up the road a couple of miles to Young’s Jersey Dairy for more agri-tourism. We took pictures with pumpkins, fed animals at the petting zoo, watched cows get milked, and rode around on farm equipment. Landon even rode on a train caboose shaped like an airplane. We made one more stop for handmade ice cream over at the dairy store before heading back to Peifer Orchards (only to find it closed).

The things a goat will do for food pellets . . .

A Cornucopia of Fall Colors
"Can't you just let a girl eat in peace?"

By this time, the sun was getting a little lower, and we knew we’d arrive home pretty late if we didn’t make our way back to the interstate, so we blew back on through some of the towns we’d stopped at the day before and got back home in time to see that miserable bottom of the third inning where Texas dashed the Tigers’ hopes of another match-up against St. Louis in the World Series. Then the Lions lost today (against San Francisco, so Mike’s not so sad). Still, we love our Motor City Kitties!


DisabilityDiva said...

Eliza is amazing! I can't believe it! Landon is a doll and seriously is there anything cuter than seeing them together picking their pumpkins!!!??? Love you!
BTW Hallie you look beatiful with Michael Mclean!!

Mike & Lila Family said...

looks and sounds like a great family trip. :) i'm going home to ca for thanksgiving, please tell me if you guys will be there too and i'd love to see you guys and meet both your babies in person finally! :)