Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Max's Birthday In Cleveland

The week before Max's 11th birthday, he quietly told me he didn't want to go out of town for his birthday anymore. Well, mom can't get a refund on hotel stays, so we went ahead with our plans (we did celebrate at home early though; read about that here) to begin our summer road trip in Cleveland with a visit to the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. I'm confident in saying this will be a birthday he won't soon forget!

We began our 18 day trip the day before Max's 11th birthday. It wound up being a very long day in the car, as you can see.

We requested a Chrysler Pacifica to try it out for two and a half weeks. Wow, this van gets amazing gas mileage, the stow n' go is our favorite, and runs really well. Unfortunately, I don't think it will meet all of our needs for traveling in the future, but I honestly can't get over how great of gas mileage this thing gets!

My favorite moment was when Hubs took over driving and instantly got us caught in traffic.

This one kept us all entertained on our long drive from Des Moines, IA to Cleveland.

We stayed in a comfortable hotel in between Cleveland and Akron, right outside of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was an easy drive into Cleveland for our first destination (and where Max requested to be for his birthday): the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame!

Nothing like beginning your 11th year with hotel breakfasts and tablet playing.

When I look down and see my 11 year old still hasn't figured out he doesn't have to wear socks with is Keens. Head palm.

We were so impressed with the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. All of the employees were incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and great with kids. It's enough to make us want to go back and put the Smithsonian's to shame (we learned this later in our road trip when we visited DC). Hubs and I could have spent several more hours at the museum, but the kids were ready to leave. Museums aren't quite their favorite thing (yet).

They loved the hands on exhibits.

My favorite things in the entire Hall of Fame were all of the handwritten lyrics, notes, and letters by musicians. 

Harrison standing in front of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds handwritten lyrics (above) and my favorite Beatles song In My Life (below). The minis were obsessed with anything related to The Beatles.

We all took turns voting for the next Hall of Famers. Max voted for Jimmy Buffett.

Lake Erie. This view of the lake proved to be too much for the minis, who instantly asked to leave and go swimming. So, we rushed through the last few exhibits and went to Edgewater Beach Park after lunch.

My favorite moment of the day came when we went into a theater to see Bruce Springsteen play a concert (recorded). The last song played was Born To Run and Elizabeth was into it. As the song ended, she jumped up and was ready to cheer along with the crowd on the video....I had to quickly remind her we were actually in a theater not at the concert. We all got a good laugh out of that one!

This photo was so worth $40!

Someone was mad because she didn't get to sit in the Cleveland "C" so she opted out of the picture and chose to pout in the background.

Mom forgot swimming suits back at the hotel, but no worries, swimming in clothes is totally acceptable!

Another memorable moment from the day (that no one in the family will soon forget): on our way back to the hotel (an hour with the evening traffic), we wanted to stop at A Christmas Story house. Just for a picture. As we neared the house, Max's face turned white and he looked at me horrified: "mom, did you grab our shoes?" "What shoes?" I replied.
"You told us to take our sandy shoes off outside of the car, but you never put them in the car!" he yelled at me, near tears. Not my shoes, but apparently I'm responsible for them....so, we went and snapped a quick picture in front of the house, then headed back to the beach.

And there sat their sandy Keens. In the parking lot, by themselves, no one had touched them. The boys tried to stifle their laughter about the whole thing from Dad, who was not entertained by the whole ordeal.

We got to end the day in the hotel swimming pool--this time in swimming suits. I'd say that's a pretty good 11th birthday!