Cincinnati Recap

We had another great trip to Cincinnati, it's always so nice to see everyone for an extended period of time. It was super hot while we were there, but we managed just fine with lots of pool time or playing with the hose out back.

Flying during the day worked really well and got to Ma's house in time for her yummy chili. Coco loves it just as much as I do! The boys had fun catching lightening bugs and testing out the bikes Ma borrowed for them. So nice to have something ride while they were there!







The next day we met up with Lori, Zach and Lizzy to do a hike in Sharon Woods. We did this same hike last year, though this time Coco could actually do some of the walking herself. The kids loved playing in the water. We came back for lunch, rested and then headed over to the awesome rec center for a swim with everyone before coming back to the house for Montgomery Inn ribs.




 

 


 


The next day we went canoeing with the boys and Lori, Seth and their kids. It was so much fun and the highlight of the trip for the boys I think. They did really well and had so much fun floating down the river doing 'butt waves'. We stopped for lunch at the castle which the boys loved exploring and William is still drawing photos of 'beware, wild man'. It was so hot and everyone was tired but we stopped for ice cream at Graeter's on the way home. The boys loved that they got a cone that was so big it had to be tipped into a cup :)









I knew we were going away for our anniversary, but Dave surprised me and told me we were going for 2 nights. On July 2, Linda took all the kids over to Lori's and they played and went to lunch. The boys stayed with Lori and slept over at her house. Coco stayed with Ma and got a special breakfast out with her and Gary the next morning, the 3rd. Then they met up with Lori and the kids for a fishing adventure before everyone came back to Ma's house. On the 4th, it was the hottest day yet so they skipped the neighborhood parade and had lots of fun in the pool and sprinklers in the backyard.







 
















Dave and I, in the meantime, were in NYC! Dave knows I've always said how much fun a surprise trip would be and he pulled it out for our 10th anniversary! We flew midday and arrived in time for massages at the hotel and then got ready and headed to Marea for dinner. I convinced Dave to head to a rooftop bar for a drink before turning in. We stayed at the Park Hyatt which was really nice. The next day we slept in, then headed up to Harlem for lunch at the Red Rooster. It was a heavy meal and it was soooo hot that day that I didn't feel like doing much more. We relaxed before heading over to dinner at Per Se, Thomas Keller's sister restaurant to the French Laundry. It was an amazing meal with caviar, wagyu beef and delicious wine. We even got a kitchen tour before leaving and saw the live feed into The French Laundry's kitchen. It was a special night.






The next morning, I headed up to the upper west side to pick up cookies at Levain bakery. We tried them when we were there for the boys' birthday and I knew we had to get them again, so good! Then I met up with Dave and we debated where to head for lunch. My stomach was a bit iffy from all the rich food but we decided on ramen at Ippudu before catching our flight back to Cincinnati. We made it back in time for dinner with everyone and while our goal was to get the kids to bed early, the boys were still up at 9:30 so Ma and Dave took them over to the fireworks. It was still about 85 degrees!

On the 5th, we headed out to breakfast with Ma and Grandpa Gary and everyone was a bit cranky and it was hot so we decided to just head over to the pool for a swim before coming back for a rest. That afternoon we went and picked out fairies for Ma's garden, then went to Quatman's for burgers, and then UDF for ice cream. I love getting their seasonal peach flavor. The kids were playing in the backyard and found some neighbor kids playing soccer and joined their game. So funny to watch!











Friday, Dave and I took the kids to King's Island to meet Lori and the kids. What a fun day! They have lots of rides for little ones so everyone had fun. Coco took a bit of a nap and the kids were doing okay, so we headed next door to the water park. Coco had lots of fun making friends in the pool, the boys went on a couple of water slides and C even tested out the wave pool with me. She didn't really know what to do with a lifejacket on, she kept trying to swim. We came back home to a fajitas feast, yum!





 On Saturday, just our family headed over to Sharon Woods and went around the little lake on a boat and played in the splash pad a bit. Dave got to get out for a game of golf with Gary during rest time and then we all headed over to Lori's for dinner. It was so much fun spending time with the cousins and Lori's place is so great for just hanging out. We played soccer, played in Lizzy's room, did poppers, even got a shared treat from the ice cream truck before making s'mores. So much fun.













Our last day was Sunday and since our flight wasn't until 7pm, we were able to go to the zoo with Ma in the morning before packing up and heading to the airport. Coco did great on the plane, fell asleep about 20 minutes before landing but because she was in her carseat, I was able to move her carseat to the stroller and then the car so she didn't wake up until we took her out to put her in bed. She asked for a bowl of oatmeal before we put her down again, thankfully, without issue.





I feel so lucky we're able to spend the time in Cincinnati and that Lori and her family are up for so many adventures and that Ma is the best host ever. It makes it so easy to come and stay. I'm also very grateful to both of them for watching the kids so we could get away for our anniversary. What a treat!

Notes from Ma:

It was such a great week!  I’ve looked forward to your visit ever since I got home from winter in Florida.  It was really hot in Ohio but we stayed cool with lots of water activities.  All three of you have gotten so big since I saw you in September in San Francisco.    

William... what a great artist.  I loved looking at your sketch pad and hearing all your stories about the pictures.  And you are a superstar at Connect Four!  Grandpa Gary had so much fun playing with you... me too!   We really had fun  swinging so high in Mr. Mark’s yard...riding the orange bike to the park…playing soccer with the kids in the back yard….swimming in the creek at Sharon  Woods.  MY favorite time of the day is the morning.  You wake up with bright eyes and lots of energy for the day’s activities.  We would watch a “show”, have breakfast (2 packs of oatmeal please) and start the day.  One of my favorite days was when we were coloring on the white boards and talking about the Hobbits, Trolls and Elves.  You have such a great imagination and I can’t wait till we can watch the Hobbit with your cousin Zach!  Your Hobbit House looks great in the Fairy Garden…maybe you can build a Fairy/Hobbit Garden in your yard too!  Thanks for coming to see me and Grandpa Gary in Ohio…thanks for the  summer adventures!  Love and kisses, Ma  

George…what a great scientist.  You want to know how everything works and you ask lots of questions about things you see and activities we do!  Ma loves that you are thinking like a scientist like Ma and your Aunt Lori!  We had so much fun catching “Lightning Bugs”  in the back yard.  You were so careful to put them in the tub and add grass and several holes so they could get air.  That is a fun summer activity that your daddy did when he was young like you!  You are so fast on your green bike and you are very good about following the bike rules!  Our trip to the park on your bike was really fun…playing on the slide and swinging!  Our special day was playing Trouble out on the deck!  You are a terrific player and I hope you get some Uno cards and play that game with William and daddy in San Francisco!  Thanks for coming to see us and Zach and Lizzy in Ohio…thanks for all the great stories and adventures!  Love and kisses, Ma  

Colette…what a sweet princess.  We had several special days together while the family went canoeing and to New York.  You will be big enough of those activities soon but until then we had so much fun playing with the tea set and our babies in the water.  On a hot summer day in Ohio, playing in the water was really cool and refreshing!  You are really a talker…you can tell Ma exactly what you want to do and what you want to eat.  It is so fun to hear your little voice while you are chatting with your babies  or playing with the Fischer Price Sesame Street people or the Strawberry Shortcake dolls!   I loved reading books to you at nap time and bedtime…our favorite is “ There’s a Party in my Tummy…so Yummy” and we would read that little book many times.  I’m sending that one to San Francisco so you can read it again at your house with daddy and mommy!  We had fun at Aunt Lori’s house playing in Lizzy’s room and then making s’mores in the fire!  And you are such a water baby…swimming and playing in the rec pool…jumping on the rainbow bubble and going down the slide!  What fun to watch you!  Thanks for packing your backpack and coming to Ohio on the airplane!  Thanks for all the smiles and giggles!  Love and Kisses, Ma 

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