Gotta, Gotta, Gotta Getaway

Well, I’ve made it through the first week at my new job and I still have no idea what to expect… My Monday and Tuesday were spent possibly teaching my last CPI (Crisis Prevention) class. After 1329 training hours in verbal and physical de-escalation, I am turning my trainings over to my protégé who has been with me the past couple years. Ann had to stay late on Tuesday night to get all of her work done, so I ran home to pick up the kids. When we came back for Ann, we ended up going around the corner to Arni’s for an Arni’s Jr. salad and a large pepperoni & sausage pizza! I’ve been enjoying that combination for as far back as I can remember. One of the treats I have fond memories of as a child is frequently walking across the street from Grandmaw & Grandpaw Brown’s house on Elmwood to the original Arni’s restaurant in the Market Square Mall.
Then we took off the rest of the week off to allow for a quick getaway before the lazy days of summer end. We didn’t stray far, heading east to Cincinnati, OH. Gigi was able to score several tickets for us, which allowed us to have all-new experiences for both the kids and us. On Wednesday morning we were up early, finishing packing and headed down I-74. We had no trouble finding the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, located in a questionable section of town. Unfortunately, it was raining when we first arrived. After contemplating for about 5 minutes, we decided to go back to an inner-city Walgreen’s we passed along the way, pick up umbrellas and push our luck. After spending $75 on emergency umbrellas (!), we set off to see the sites at the zoo.
We had a lot of fun checking out all the new flora and fauna. We hadn’t been to this zoo in nearly a decade. The entrance was new, the attractions were new and the animals were all new; giving us a great feel for the zoo. We were very impressed in the basic appearance and atmosphere created for the animals. The workers were all very friendly and knowledgeable about their areas. We particularly enjoyed watching the monkeys, feeding the birds (wait ‘til you see the lorikeets video!), giraffes and goats and walking through the various housing structures checking out the lions, tigers and bears (oh my). We took a cool tour of the park on their little train, cutting a deal with the guy at the ticket booth to get free movie passes with our train tickets. We caught a fun “4-D” movie about Africa, shortly after lunch. We had lunch at the Rhino Café and were able to completely canvas the entire northern half of the park. We had just started off to see the southern half, following the movie, beginning with the elephants. However, by the time we arrived at the elephant area, it was pouring rain. We tried to wait it out a little, but despite our over-priced umbrellas, we were soaked. After bringing it to a vote, we agreed to call it a day at the park and head to the hotel.
cz0 cz1 cz2 cz3 cz4 cz5 cz6 cz7 cz8 cz9 cz10 cz11 cz12 cz32 cz13 cz14 cz15 cz16 cz17 cz18 cz19 cz20 cz21 cz22 cz23 cz24 cz25 cz26 cz27 cz28 cz29 cz30 cz31 cz33 cz34 cz35 cz36 cz37
Ann booked us in a very nice facility in Mason, OH. The Hyatt Place has beautiful suites and was centrally located within our planned destinations. We had plenty of room for our group and it allowed us to stretch out and truly relax. We got cleaned up and headed out to explore the area for dinner spots. We ended up at the Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille, there in Mason. I highly recommend the Play Action Platter for an appetizer as well as the Blackened Mahi-Mahi w/ ‘Big Easy’ Rice entrée…and of course one of their patented “beer blends for refreshments!” On our way back to the Hyatt, we noticed that within the parking lot of the hotel, was a Graeter’s!! For those of you not familiar with these fine folks, it is by FAR the best ice cream I’ve ever had…and I pride myself on knowing my ice cream! 😛 I can remember my old friend Dawnan raving about their product when she lived in this area a few years ago. I highly recommend the waffle cone special with butter pecan & toffee chip… After dessert, we came back to the room and took the kids swimming for a couple hours.
graeters1 hp3 h4 hp5 hp6 hp7
On Thursday, the hotel offered a complimentary breakfast, which was quick and easy. When we finished, we packed up the troops and headed over to Coney Island. This was our first trip to this attraction. We weren’t sure what to expect, but found it to be a quaint and pleasurable experience. The area was clean – for the most part, the workers were very friendly and there was virtually no waiting in line. There was hardly any crowd for most of the day. I’m sure there are several factors that came in to play. There was a threat of rain all day, it was a Thursday and the economy is tough as well. The place definitely shows its age…a few areas need some upgrading, but overall we had a great time. We agreed that it was much like the state fair used to be like. The kids enjoyed themselves and we stayed until we got rained out again. Matt loved the Rock-O-Plane. Lukey’s favorite ride was the Python coaster and Abby was crazy for the Scream Machine…which she rode 7 straight times. My favorite was the Dodgems. Ann’s favorite ride was the Flying Bobs – despite the fact she had trouble getting up the metal ramp in her wet flip flops! The Super Roundup made my stomache turn. It was the fastest one I had been on…and Ann agreed that it was faster than Holiday World’s equivalent. After getting cleaned up at the hotel, we went out for dinner across the street at Carraba’s Italian Grill. I highly recommend the Antipasti Platter for an appetizer and the Pasta Weesie for an entrée. 🙂 For dessert, we again stopped by Graeter’s on our way back to the hotel for another 2-hour swim! As for Graeter’s flavors, I also recommend peanut butter chip and cookies & cream. 🙂
ci1 ci2 ci3 ci4 ci5 ci6 ci7 ci8 ci9 ci10 ci11 ci12 ci13 ci14 ci15 ci16 ci17 ci18 ci19 ci20 ci21 ci22 ci23 ci24 ci25 ci26 ci27 ci27a ci28 ci29/> <img src= ci31 ci32 ci33 ci34 ci35 ci36
On Friday, we ventured to The Beach waterpark! We definitely saved the best for last. Again, this was our first trip to this park as well. Again, we were pleasantly surprised. The park’s rides were cool, the lines were short, the workers were friendly and the weather was absolutely perfect. We were glad we decided to wait ‘til last to come to the water park. We were a little disappointed in the water clarity in a couple areas…but that was more of a systems issue – they had plants and mulch too close to the pools – overall, though, the park was very clean. Again, a couple slides appeared to need upgrades, but we had a blast! It was a fine way to end our long-weekend excursion. 😛 Some of the highlights included Ann wiping out on the rapids, Lukey riding every single slide in the park and loving it, me losing not only our locker key, but also my sunglasses on the zip line. Luckily, Matt was able to locate both items on the pool floor. On our way home, we stopped by an excellent Mexican restaurant in Cincy called Fiesta Brava. Their chips were predictable as an appetizer, but their salsa really set them apart from the pack and their Taco Loco was both delectable and filling. Before we left the area, we HAD to hit Graeter’s just one more time…I also recommend their Buckeye Blitz and Ann raved about their pretzel cone!
tb1 tb2 tb3 tb4 tb5 tb6 tb7 tb8 tb9 tb10
tb11 tb12 tb13 tb14 tb15 tb16 tb17 tb18 tb18a tb18b tb18c tb19 tb19a tb19b tb19c tb20 tb20a tb20b tb20c tb21 tb21a tb21b tb22 tb23 tb23a tb23b tb24a tb24b tb24c tb24d tb24e tb24f tb24g trb24h tb25 tb26 tb27 tb28 tb29 tb29a tb30 = tb31 tb32 tb33 tb34 tb35
We slept in late on Saturday before catching up on yard work. I was so sore from all of our adventures the past few days…especially the water park. Between jumping off the 10’ high pier numerous times, riding all the slides twice or jumping from the zip line a few times, I had sore muscles that had sore muscles! While we were finishing, we received a call from Sandy, asking us to come out to David & Donna’s house to help pick up all of Dean’s old tools, which had been in storage for nearly two decades. Maryann had us bring home table saws, work benches and dozens of old tools. They are in great shape, needing only some cleaning to bring them back to the modern era. That night, the kids played outside with Ann as I made room for everything in our garage. We took a couple Advil and headed to bed… We slept in even later on Sunday. My shoulder was still jacked up from the zip line jumps, but the back was returning to normal. We took it very, very easy on Sunday. Ann made her garlic chicken for lunch and grilled burgers for dinner. In between, we cleaned the house and the kids went swimming for a few hours.
This is truly the beginning of the end, as Ann put it. Next week, school registration begins, Matt starts football and band practice, Abby signed up for dance and begins both that and soccer soon and Luke begins soccer on Monday as well…so this was truly our last hurrah of the summer…it all changes after today…
Well that’s it for this edition of our family’s chronicle. Thanks for keeping up with us and we’ll check in with you next time. Until then, have a good one. Later, Scheu

PS; since this is so late this week, I’m going to go ahead and post it as is; without video. I’ll put a few together this weekend and get them posted in a couple days. Later…

Leave a Reply