Back when I was a working stiff, my friend Tommy Taco introduced me to the following concept: no matter where you are (grocery, mall, farmer's market, library), the prime parking spots are almost always occupied by cars with Ohio license plates. Also, no matter where you're driving, you'll always spot Ohio plates. Anyway, he'd see cars from his home state of Ohio and yell, "Ohio! Go home!" It stuck with me, and four years later I still say, "Ohio! Go home!" every single time I see Ohio plates. It never fails. (I'd like to say that I know some awesome Ohio natives, so this has nothing to do with not liking Ohio or it's peeps. It's just a fact that Ohioans are everywhere.)
All that was just to point out that the Ouisers have been in the Buckeye State. S and I headed north with M for a meeting he had on Friday morning. We drove through some lovely weather. Weather that turned a five hour road trip into an eight hour road trip. The drive up was awful. The trip was not awful. The trip turned out to be pretty nice. Here's the rundown:
- The person who invented hotels is a genius and was likely a parent. Between mini fridges, continental breakfasts, swivel desk chairs, heated indoor pools, and lamps that are easy to turn on and off, hotels are like Elysium for preschoolers.
- One hour alone with a three-year-old in Ikea is fun. Two hours is Hell. File that away in your brains in case you ever take a three-year-old to Ikea without help. Or take a flask.
- No matter where you are, your child can be entertained in a bookstore or library. This idea has never failed me. Ever. We spent an hour at the West Chester Barnes and Noble, and if this pregnant mama hadn't had a blood sugar crash, we could've stretched it into at least an hour and a half.
- Henceforth, we will plan a trip to an art museum in every town we visit that has one. We didn't hit in museums in Cincinnati because the weather made travel conditions less than stellar, so M's meeting ran over a couple of hours. We did patronize the Speed Art Museum in Louisville. It was wonderful. They were hosting the Madcap Puppet Theater on Saturday, and we took in a performance of Peter and The Wolf, which S loved. Then she was able to make her own hand puppets. She made a pink princess and a purple princess. You're shocked, aren't you? I hope to go back to the Speed someday without a child because it seemed like they had a really, really nice permanent collection in addition to traveling exhibits. We didn't get to explore much because S wasn't in the mood, but I did get to see a Rembrandt portrait, and it made every trying moment on the trip worth it because it was that good. Really, the masters are the masters for a reason. All the lovely Renaissance pieces on display in the same gallery paled in comparison. And they were gorgeous, too. I love art. Really, really love it. All the way to my bones.
- Carmen the Garmin must have been mad at us on Friday evening because she made us drive literally in circles through Louisville. I was very mad...I had not seen the Rembrandt yet, so I was allowed to be furious.
- The new Honda has now been named. I christened her Amelia because I decided she's a girl. And she's a Pilot. Get it? If she disappears somewhere over the Pacific, I'll know that I was tempting fate.
- We are now home, and I'm baking cupcakes because someone who lives here is turning FOUR in a couple of days and we're taking cupcakes that are "yellow like the sun" to preschool tomorrow.
Now I must go watch some football. My darling Mr. Ouiser keeps pointing out that there are only three games left this season, and I need to watch the Pack win it all. Just so you know, we're mostly pulling for Green Bay because we like Aaron Rodgers, who looks freakishly like our future son's namesake when he has a helmet on his head. Food for thought. Clearly, the comparison would be easier if I had a picture of Aaron Rodgers hugging a younger, thinner version of me or if I had a picture of T the Elder Geomorphologist (as he will henceforth be known) in a football helmet. Alas, you'll have to make due with what we've got.
Please note that I used the term "henceforth" twice in one post. I'm bringing that word back into regular circulation.