Mini Spring Break Vacation

This week was spring break for Dublin schools, so I took the week off work as well and we set up a mini vacation for the family. We left on Tuesday after lunch (kid's eat free day at Moe's) and drove down towards Hocking Hills. We stopped at the Rocky Boots outlet in Nelsonville, where Kate picked up some trinket as her souvenir (we'll come back to this at the end), and then on to our destination, the Lodge at Burr Oak State Park (15% discount for March reservations).

We met up with Jodi's dad and stepmom there. They came down to stay with us, and we both stayed two nights. After a dinner at the lodge's restaurant ($0.99 kid's menu), we hit the pool. The pool was a typical hotel pool, but it was nicely warm and the kids were having a great time... right up until Henry dumped water on Sam's face, causing Sam to start crying and panicking, which caused him to throw up. In the pool. That pretty much ended our time--and everyone else's--in the pool that first night.



Wednesday after breakfast, we swam (the pool looked fine by then...), and then the seven us drove the 30 minutes down to Athens. We had no set plans, but tried to go to a dairy museum (closed), and a small Ohio museum (apparently non existent), so we ended up just hitting a book store, a bike store, and Casa Nueva for lunch. After lunch was more swimming, dinner, and just hanging around our two room suite and relaxing:

This was the view from our room's patio:

which would probably be pretty spectacular in late October.

We didn't have October's color, but we did have the weather: a light dusting of snow the first night, and daytime highs only in the 30s. Despite this, we also took a short hike the second evening down to the lake:

Which was all fine and dandy until Henry fell and got a tiny cut on his thumb, resulting in a tired, crying boy all the way back to our room (I'm happy to report that he's since fully recovered).

Thursday morning after breakfast we swam one more time, then checked out and headed for Pittsburgh. Our destination was downtown, but the neared hotel I could get with my Hilton reward points was a Homewood Suites about 20 miles out. Our room wasn't ready yet when we arrived, so we poked around Canonsburg, PA until we found an ice cream and candy store:



Suitably refreshed, we headed back to our hotel and checked in:

and then fought the traffic into Pittsburgh. Our destination was the Carnegie Museum of Natural History:

(free admission on Thursday evenings in March) The kids had a great time checking out their extensive collection of dinosaur skeletons:


and the boys even got to play paleontologist:



Kate is all smiles here:

but our normally sweet daughter had a terrific meltdown when the boys stopped at the gift shop on the way out to get their souvenir. Suddenly her glass birdie from Rocky wasn't nearly as compelling as a stuffed toy here. I resolved to grit it out, and she cried and whimpered for the car ride back to the hotel (like Henry, she has since made a full recovery).

Friday morning was one more trip to the hotel pool, then lunch at Pittsburgh's almost famous Primanti Bros. restaurant. Their specialty is coleslaw and fries on a sandwich--no thank you. Three hours and four restroom stops later:

we were back home in Dublin.

You can probably guess who planned this mini vacation.

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