Sunday night we arrived in Detroit after a weird and confusing trip to the States...mind you the weirdness and confusion began once we arrived in the States. I have now decided that 1. traveling within Europe is somewhat preferable and 2. I absolutely detest BWI and 3. well, just plain sick of the whole 'no-liquids' business...
Anywho, we did have a relatively pleasant car rental experience for a change. We rented from Enterprise and they were so professional and courteous. Basically, unless they don't have a car we need, they have our business from now on. Absolutely fabulous and less expensive than most competitors.
So, we headed to Toledo and found the hotel with no problems (thanks, GPS). We stayed at a Hampton Inn, but think we will be back to opting for the Courtyard or similar in the future. The pool area was nice, but the room was smaller than we expected and the closet was a tiny armoire - a little too close for home for us (we are so tired of not having real closets) and it really put the squeeze on us. Would have loved something more homey, a B&B perhaps, but family-friendly ones always to not be located anywhere near where we are staying.
We spent most of Monday simply catching up and visited with Grandpere at his new villa. He now lives in an
retirement area, um, well, a smaller condo that is within a community of like-minded folks? However, he is still very independent. Yes, he moves a little bit slower, but extremely sharp as usual. We were so glad to have time with him, as we had not seen Grandpere or many other members of the family for over two years.
Tuesday morning found us at the pool and the hot pot. Not a real 'hot-pot', though, as "Children age 14 and under are not allowed to use for health reasons". Ugh, I am so tired of the U.S. and the weird rules that pop up. I totally forgot about the over regulation that goes on. They ban the healthy things in life and then serve you too much over processed food almost everywhere you go.
So, we swam and of course the girls stuck their feet in. Good grief, after swim lessons here, we go outside in freezing cold rainy weather and sit in a warmer hot pot with everyone, babies included. It has to be the "anyone could sue" mentality...the lawsuits are just getting ridiculous these days.
After the swim, we headed off to lunch at Tony Packo's famous cafe. We ordered our chili macs, the kids picked their lunches and I paid....$11.93 for lunch. No, not for my beverage, for our entire meal! Apparently, kids eat free on Tuesdays. Okay, despite my grumblings on TMF (too much food), it was nice to not have to pay a 'car payment like' bill just to eat a meal out. I do have to say, though, that it would be nice if restaurants could consider cutting the kids meals, oh, in half?
I would not mind paying the same price for less food. They give way too much, and frankly, I don't want them eating that much. The 'clean plate club' has always bothered me, especially in this day and age when kids are often encouraged to overeat. I am not one for wasting, but it is impossible to not waste when the portions are so huge and not always that healthy.
But again, $11.93...how does that happen?? (Don't worry, a rhetorical question...)
We finished up and headed to COSI, the Children's Science Museum in Toledo. We spent most of the afternoon there and the kids had a blast. Kid-friendly (natch) and large enough to keep them occupied for several hours. This one focused on science for the age 5 and over set, but also included a huge play area for the younger ones, with everything from a pretend ambulance to a tree house. Definitely recommend if you are in the area and have the time!
We ran a few errands and were lucky enough to join Uncle Bill and Grandpere for dinner at Ruby Tuesday. They did have a great kids menu, to include our favorite, steamed broccoli! Always a treat, especially as while it is not 'rare' here, like other produce, not always at its best.
Basically a pleasant day and a good, relaxed start to a busy weekend...more to come on that very soon. For pictures of the kids at COSI, see the badge!