We are heading to Cleveland this weekend to check out the aquarium. I have read mixed reviews about it. But….I am a nerd and know that I will love it simply because I will learn SOMETHING from it. I’ve been to Newport Aquarium, which is great, but not the Shedd, and I know I can’t compare them…BUT…if I can learn something from just going down to the creek (crick?), then I can learn something from here, which makes it a good day. My brain is like a sponge thirsty for knowledge. I really hope they have these tho’…they are my favorite…..
Back to breakfast…..
Ever since I can remember, whenever our family went out of town, we always stopped for breakfast. Always. It might have started from our trips to Cedar Point. My Uncle Dick owned the Perkins on 250, so we would stop and see him. He could always tell us what days were the best days to go to CP based on his sales from the previous year. Fourth of July and Labor Day used to be the s l ow e s t days for him and CP. Now, not so much. The waitresses there would fight over who got to wait on us for the simple fact that my uncle would never let us pay, so the money we would spend on breakfast went all to the waitress. We got the BEST service there.
If we went to Youngstown to see family, we had to stop and get breakfast. Heading to Wickliffe to see Cousin Kenny & Joan? Gotta stop for breakfast. Amish County? Breakfast!! Picking someone up from Columbus airport? Gotta stop!! We were kids…and had no say in what we did. We got to the point of taking bets on how long it would take for Mom to talk about stopping for breakfast when road trips were mentioned. Sometimes it was ok, it’s always good to start your day fueled up, but, sometimes doesn’t mean E V E R Y T I M E. In the past 6-8 years, as adults who are now driving our parents on these trips, we have tried to avoid stopping on EVERY single trip. We bring her donuts or her fav breakfast burrito from McD’s. Hey….it works. We have done well I think. My husband had his moment of realization about 15 years ago….it took him quite a while to realize what my Mom’s little habit was, we’ve been together 24 years =O
On our road trip to Gettysburg a few years ago, we packed a cooler and decided to stop some where along the way, because we didn’t want to spend a lot of our travel time in a restaurant. This was our ‘dining room’.
Mom got her way on the way back home tho’….lunch in Chambersburg, PA….it used to be THE payphone capital of the world back in my phone operator days. You will not see more semi’s anywhere else. This is a huge crossroads/gateway to other highways/states. It is an intersection full of truck stops. Traffic is terrible there. But…she got her wish for stopping to eat on a road trip.
We will be leaving for Cleveland at 8:30AM this Sunday. The aquarium doesn’t open until noon. 3 1/2 hours to get to Cleveland. That gives Mom plenty of time to enjoy her breakfast. She will be giddy. Yes, giddy. We will drive to the Medina exit…..and head over to The Waffle House (because my sister hasn’t been there in years). It is not fancy. It is not big. It is a greasy spoon. But Mom will be happy with her road trip breakfast. She will praise the hash browns and coffee all day, while Dad will grumble about how terrible their coffee actually was. Dad is very critical of restaurants, or anyone else that cooks, besides him and my son. Ten minutes down the road we will all be regretting it.
After the aquarium, we will let Mom and Dad pick out the restaurant for dinner (mostly because mom has no say in breakfast Monday morning…you’ll see why). We will get checked into the hotel, grab our suits, and have an evening of pool time for the kids, hot tub and wine (…in plastic cups…) for the sisters….and TV/nap time for Mom and Dad.
Breakfast Monday morning will be courtesy of the hotel……sorry Mom…..but there is always the drive home….even tho’ we are going to try and persuade her to grab something while we are at West Side Market. Maybe the restaurant that’s there, or a gyro from the place that was on the Travel Channel (Man vs. Food), or the sausage sandwiches that are yummy in my tummy. I will pick up fish for a friend who only gets it from Kate’s, Mom will get her mussels there too. The kids will be licking all the windows that have cookies, chocolate and candy. I will grab a few dozen pierogies and some noodles n’ cabbage. I will find something that is overflowing with chocolate for the husband, and 5 pounds of fresh spinach for $3. I will not, however, fall victim to the strawberry guy who will sell you one container for $3, but if you take this whole crate off his hands he will sell the whole thing to you for $5. I love strawberries….but not that much. I will buy a newspaper and never read it from the lady who is in need of help. I will take pictures of stupid things. I will make memories of spending time with my parents.
We have already set the plans in motion for our OBX trip. It’s about a 12-13 hour drive….15 if you want breakfast. My brother will be leaving a day early with them, as they can’t make that trip in one day. Mom has already talked about ‘meeting up’ for lunch…..