We finally made it down to Cincy two weekends ago over the MLK holiday (we talked about MLK on the trip down and what an impact he had on the civil rights movement; Maria explained to Mario how unfairly black people were treated and how MLK helped change the world so people would be nicer to each other). Sarah and Jorge ended up in town, too, because Sarah was interviewing Grandma Menkedick’s friends for a school project.
It was the normal tornado of a trip. Mom and I made big plans to take the kids and Gracie to Union Terminal for the kids museum. Maria had begged to head to the train museum and funhouse but I told her I wanted to go downtown. We got to the Terminal, spent $6 on parking, walked inside, and found a line that snaked nearly the entire one side of the Terminal. An hour and a half wait. I wanted to cry … or hot someone. Although Union Terminal is only 30 minutes from my mom’s house, it feels like hours when you have to drive down I-75. We trudged back to the car and headed back up I-75 to the train museum. The kids were not disappointed at all. Mom and I did pretty good keeping our frustration inside if us. Mario made us laugh after I said I had to pee; he pointed out an “outhouse” on the side of the road for me to use (it was a port a potty for construction workers).
The train museum provides about a half hour of train viewing (it takes all our might to get the kids to stand still to read the plaques) and a half hour of play in the jungle gym area. I think Ri and Mario are getting too old for it. But they lived vicariously through Gracie.
The area that they really wanted to go to was the Fun House. It had the obligatory cardboard cut-out that the kids could put their faces in. Grandma Lolo situated their faces just right in the hole so they really looked like tiger trainers.
I had been through the Fun House once before when Laura introduced us to the museum last year. It scared me too death, especially the House of Mirrors. I felt claustrophobic and trapped. It was Maria’s favorite. I warned mom about it and she was equally fearful. But the kids were full-on ready to go.
We hit the “easy” areas first. The Clown room only made you feel sick with the slanted rooms. Next we hit the curtain room, which I forgot was just as bad as the mirror house. Mom and I were hyperventilating by the time we found our way out (thanks to Ri and Mario). Then we went to the Hall of Mirrors and continued to be horrified. Way too much for us to handle. The kids laughed hysterically at mom and me running into mirrors. Finally, we agreed to the Cosmos House which was kinda cool but at the end it had two huge black cushions squeezed together mimicking a Black Hole. You had to push through them to get out. Ri was the only brave one. The rest of us went out the Exit door. Mario finally got the guts to do it if I held his hand and once he did it, he wouldn’t stop.
Before we left, Mom braved the Hall of Mirrors one more time with Mario (quite a feat!) and I went through the Black Hole cushions. Yea, we’re tougher than we think. As a reward, we got ice cream and chips at the concession stand.
Mom and I felt like we had been out since 6 am when we returned home. She went for margaritas with Sarah and Jorge and I went to Julie’s to hang out with Liz and Grace and M&M. We got LaRosas – I’d take LaRosas over margaritas any day. The kids play great together at these ages; Grace still let’s Maria baby her to some extent and Grace laughs her head off at Mario which he soaks up. We topped the night off with UDF ice cream and cozying up with Sar and Jorge in mom’s basement.
The next morning we got to see Maggie and eat pecan pancakes and goetta thanks to Julie. Goetta is pure heaven and a treat not known by many people in Columbus. I grew up with it in Cincy – pork and oats all fried up . Yum! After filling our tummies, we went back to Grandma Lolo’s and she got out random small boxes and soaps for Ri to smell. This has been a tradition since Ri was born. Smelling soaps. They sit on the upstairs floor and lay them all out. Meanwhile, Mario was in search of cash. He found coins in Grandma’s jewelry case and asked her if he could have them. She said he could have a couple. He responded with “how about two handfuls?” She agreed to one handful. His right hand was spilling over with money.
She then showed him a dollar coin. He wanted it. She said she’d give him a dollar bill. His response: “could you give me ten dollar bills? She replied “how about two?” He said he’d take three. She walked downstairs chuckling and commented “your son is quite the negotiator.” As we packed up our things, Mario held tight to his money and even kissed it at one point. The 2013 Gordon Gecko.
My mom was getting on her coat and gloves to take Lou for a walk in the park so we decided to head out with her and leave from there. We needed some crisp Winter air before our two hour drive. The park looked like a scene in a fairy tale. Bright white snow balancing on the tree branches and blanketing the water in the pond. No one but us running through the woods and climbing up the ladders to the slides.
We kissed Grandma and Lou goodbye and headed back to our Columbus home. Dad was waiting for us in order to take M&M to gymnastics. I got the duty of heading to the grocery store to pick up dinner. Man, I wish Columbus had LaRosas.