Wednesday, April 15

spring break: part 2

columbus was the perfect adventure.

 cousins and aunts and uncles and grandma and grandpa... it was heaven!
we were usually having too much fun to bother with many pictures. we got together for dinners, played games, visited cosi, had sleep overs, golfed, played in the snow (yes, snow... during spring break...), stayed up late each night and watched lord of the rings trilogy at marc's theater, played with puppies, visited our missionaries at the mission office, ellie played dress up with cousin dayton (a high school senior... what a good guy!), and the list goes on. everyone went out of their way to make our visit a good one and it wasn't just a good visit, it was the best.

making buckeyes with cousins lauren, kate, and madeline.

why don't bowling alleys everywhere have bowling lanes for kids? genius!

wii competition between chris and delauna

kate had a project at school that we were able to go visit. it was a wax museum of influential people and the kids were the "wax people". you walked up and pushed a button and they told you about themselves. obviously, kate was mother theresa.

this is what charlie looked like at the end of the day, every day

at cosi, an awesome science museum, with amy and tyler's family

the kids were asked to participate in a research study about language and reading while we were there. it was pretty fun to watch them behind the windows, just like in the movies ;)

we stayed at marc and delauna's in powell for the week. they are the best. delauna and i worked out in the mornings before the kids got up. I've never had so much fun getting my bum kicked!
they have three puppies. at the beginning of the week our kids were all afraid of dogs. by the end of the week, all three kids were sad to be leaving june bug, lady bug, and bailey. charlie especially. he loved june bug. she would snuggle with him while he was reading each day.

of course we visited a few restaurants while in columbus. we didn't realize columbus was a foodies paradise, but it is. so much awesomeness! i think we ate enough to hibernate through next winter.

one of our favorite stops was at Schmidts Haus in german village. what a beautiful little town, complete with brick roads, tucked in the big city.

charlie loves the dr. seuss book Sneetches. in the book, the star bellied sneetches have frankfurter roasts and charlie has been dying to try a frankfurter. well, of course a sausage haus would have frankfurters on the kids menu and he was thrilled!

the funny part? chris was so excited to come here but in the end, he enjoyed it but didn't think the sausage was anything spectacular. truth be told, i wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to go to a german sausage place for lunch. sausage and sauerkraut isn't really my favorite. in fact i down right hate sauerkraut. but this ended up being one of my very favorite meals. ever! my first bite of these scrumptious morsels was like a burst of pure ecstasy. schmidts famous pretzel nuggets. seriously, my mouth just flooded while thinking about them. if all pretzels were like this, i would weigh 300 lbs.

then i had a turkey reuben sandwich that was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had... and it even had sauerkraut. it was not normal sauerkraut. so yummy. 
 schmidts is known for their ginormous cream puffs. we tried a regular cream puff and a pistachio one. along with german chocolate cake. and a cherry tart. i guess thats what happens when we go on vacation :) for the record, the cream in the cream puffs was fabulous, but the "puff" wasn't all that great. then again, people only eat cream puffs for the cream anyways, right?

 cathy and i made some jeni's last time we were in idaho, so of course we had to try the real jeni's splendid ice cream while in ohio.
 it didn't disappoint.

we got a babysitter one of the nights and all met up at The Melt downtown.
i feel sorry for people who don't have awesome in-laws. we had so much fun with denise and doug, amy and tyler, marc and delauna, and mom and dad. wish the other siblings could have been there too.

oh, and owen too!

holy mac-n-cheese-stuffed-grilled-cheese-sammy!
can't believe I'm admitting this, but this sandwich was a little much. definitely something you want to split with someone else. i think i oozed mac n cheese instead of sweat during my next few workouts after that sucker.

visiting the family was exactly what we needed. we are missing everyone tremendously and hope to make another trip sometime soon.

Monday, April 13

spring break: part 1

 chris' family was never big into road trips while growing up, but my family would take month long excursions from florida to utah and back, or canada and back, and even once up to alaska and back.... all 7 of us... crammed in a van.... for a month.... i have the best memories from those trips! my parents made the journey, and not just the destination, part of our adventure. i have spent a lot of time convincing chris that road trips are the best way to travel and we decided this year will be a year of road trips for our little crew!

we drove up to columbus for spring break to visit a few of chris' siblings and mom and dad brower, who are serving their second mission there. 
it was awesome!

we stopped in st. louis on our way up and louisville and nashville on our way home. its no secret we love food, so a few of our stops were based on restaurants we wanted to try... so much fun! and not just for us, our kids have a lot of fun trying foods and critiquing it too.

our first stop was at Lambert's Cafe "home of throwed rolls" in Ozark, Missouri. the kids had a blast here. i mean, who wouldn't? catching warm, tender rolls whenever you want one and drinking root beer out of huge mugs is pretty much perfection. i think jack would be a professional roll thrower if he could.


little pork chop was so excited to get out of the carseat when we got to the hotel. that seat definitely became his nemesis.

the next morning we visited downtown st louis. 

we don't have any tall buildings in fort smith...

this was a highlight for me because we stopped here once when i was a teenager and took a ride in the arch. its one of our favorite family memories. the ride to the top is an adventure. the carts are pretty small and look like your in a tiny spaceship from the 60's. the ride is a little wobbly. my mom was so so so uneasy on that ride and we love to remind her of that :) i was happy to get to experience it all over again with my little family.

there was barely enough room for those cheeks in our car going up the arch ;)

i had to reenact my mom's ride up to the top. i could hardly do it, i was laughing so hard.


jack realized he has a little fear of heights while we were at the top.

we drove another 6 hours or so to get to columbus that night... with a stop for some amazing tamales at The Tamale Place in indianapolis. chris and i both got a tamale and after taking a bite, chris went back and ordered a couple more.