We found out last Friday that Mike actually got placed here for next year. Nope, not Hawaii or Wisconsin or California…we’ll be in Ohio! We were a bit relieved to not move with a newborn and a bit disappointed to miss out on an adventure (aka: warm weather). There are a lot of practical reasons why being here is great (family! cost of living! friends! affordable child care! not moving and finding new doctors and banks and everything!), but I think we’re still processing this unexpected news (he had an 8% chance of being here – so…unexpected!).
I coerced Mike into agreeing we decided to take a mini little vacation/staycation this weekend to shake things up. We did this last February, too, and it was so fun.
Here’s my magic formula for a last-minute quick trip:
One part Hotwire + a healthy heaping of Yelp + less than $200 = The perfect mini getaway
We left Saturday after Gabe’s nap with no place to stay, but I booked a 3.5 star hotel on our way that had a pool and was $81 with taxes. BAM.
First stop: Great Lakes Science Center. There was free admission for the day (saving us $40! Woo!) because the Cleveland Foundation was celebrating 100 years. It was super fun and I definitely want to take Gabe back when it’s less crowded and maybe a bit warmer so we can check out the giant ship docked outside. There were tons of hands on activities and exhibits – it was great!
(Please excuse my terrible quality photos. The DSLR didn’t make the cut when we threw a few things in our bags in the 15 minutes between when we decided to go on a little trip and when we left.)
My long-legged boys.
We headed over to Crust in Tremont to eat some absolutely phenomenal pizza (they make everything from scratch and it shows) and butternut squash gnocchi which we couldn’t stop gushing over (I mean: fresh sage, caramelized onions, apple cider reduction, pumpkinseed oil!).
Apparently Gabe took a phew photos as we waited for pizza. He’s a blogger in training.
We walked around in Tremont a little then headed over to Sweet Moses, which is an old timey soda fountain shop that we love. We rolled full selves back to the hotel to check in and go swimming. Then we watched a little TV, took showers, and snacked on leftover gnocchi and the chocolate chip cookies they gave us at check in. Mmm, hotel bliss.
After a good night of sleep (using my white noise app on my phone like the delicate little flower that I am), Gabe convinced us to go swimming again. He’s lucky we love him so much.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was free on Sunday for the same reason the Science Center was (saving us another $44!), so we planned to head there shortly after it opened to avoid crazy crowds. We stopped by Erie Island Coffee on east 4th for some breakfast and coffee before scouting out some free parking near the Hall of Fame.
After a few hours taking in history and rock, we went to our favorite restaurant – Tommy’s in Coventry. The best fries, the best toasted cheese (with peanut butter and sesame sauce), the best milkshakes, the best everything. On the way there, I made Mike stop by Luna Bakery Cafe so I could satisfy my craving for some macrons…and ended up buying a raspberry croissant, too. Oops.
With a few hours to kill while Mike did a research interview at Case Western, Gabe and I decided to go to the always-free-and-awesome art museum. They have an awesome area for kids and tons of interactive exhibits. Plus, it was gloriously empty compared to the other two museums we’d been to:
The weekend was over and it was just what we needed. There are so many benefits to traveling as a family – and it’s awesome that we can get them even from a quick little trip 45 minutes away.