A day at the park

Shake Rattle and Roll

So we did manage to make it to King’s Island on Saturday.  Despite it being a Saturday, over Memorial Day weekend, the crowds weren’t to bad.  I don’t think we waited for longer than 40 minutes for any ride we rode.  On the other hand it was hot and the sunscreen didn’t help keep me from getting burned.

The youngest chose to ride by himself

Everyone else it worked fine, but not me!

Everyone having fun




So while the kids had ridden roller coasters before, nothing like the ones at KI (the closest being the rock n roll coaster at Hollywood studios).


They had a blast and really liked the Firehawk and the Diamondback, even though we had to talk the oldest into the Firehawk and now he can’t wait to ride it again.  So it looks like we will be in for a trip to Cedar Point at some times and a county fair (they loved the fair type rides as well.  We also rode the Race, Adventure Express, the Vortex, Congo Falls, the Zypher (one of my favorites), bumper cars, fair type rides, and more.  Also picked up a little Pikachu for the youngest.


The no one can resist me face.

Last but not least, my youngest was on his best behavior at the park.  We were very proud of him. Even more so since his meds wore out mid to late afternoon and he still did very well maintaining control.  The good behaviors even ran over into the next day.  It is hard to tell whether it was the good behavior, or this face that kept talking daddy into extra treats and such.

So spending today recovering from being shaken all over the place (stiff and sore).  I did want to go strawberry picking but the kids decided to go swim at grandma’s instead.  But then I do get to watch the Cardinals spank the Braves.

So how did you spend your Memorial Day Weekend?

Memorial day weekend travel

So we are headed for a small jaunt across the state for some fun this weekend.   Of course we are under a time frame to get there.   But this is my family we are talking about.

Which means it’s not even 8:30 am yet and we are already running behind.   Of course I made the vital mistake of not packing last night,  which is something I never do.   My thinking it is just an overnight jaunt there isn’t much to pack.   Well that was true but in true Erin fashion I couldn’t find my shorts to wear today.   Of course HE found them.   I swear I married that man just to because he can find all the stuff I couldn’t.   Then it was to drag the children off the computer and xbox (at 6:30 in the morning *sigh*)

So only a mere 15 minutes late out the door we head out…. to the gas station.   Because we couldn’t stop on the way home last night that would be planning ahead and I am the only person in my house capable allowed to think more than 10 minutes on the future.

So we finally get on the road,  now about 35 minutes late.   We are driving down the highway and dear man that I love goes this is the right way,  RIGHT?!?  Um don’t you know?  So off to gps it because there are about 50 to many highways/interstates in the greater Cleveland/Akron area for me to have learned them yet.

No dear your heading to the other amusement park we like.   You know the one with the big mouse.  So next exit we get off and turn around and finally heading in the right direction.

So here we are finally on the road,  heading in the right direction,  and only an hour behind.  Looking at the bigger picture this is one of our quicker starts.   Let’s not even talk about the 3 hour fiasco that started our drive to that Mouse’s house last November.   My mother can never figure out why we are always running behind.   Of course she only had to get Dad up and going and he’s not to far off from her and me.   I have 3 of them to move and they all have other things to throw in at the last minute.

Not been ignoring everyone

Just really busy.  Between Hubby at a conference, then I went to a conference, trying to put my garden together, and oh it’s baseball season (both for my 1st place STL Cardinals and my kid)


Yup that’s him, before his first game (their hats had not come in yet so that one is mine).  It’s his first year in Little League (back in St. Louis we didn’t have Little League we had Athletic Associations).  He’s playing up a level so he’s pretty much one of the youngest in the league and his team, which is currently in first place.

Beyond that, I finished a new shoe cross stitch picture (previously mentioned) and designed a few new patterns.  One is a my take a red ruby slipper/shoe to finish my set of 4 shoes, done with DMC light effects.  When I start on it I will get a post up with progress reports.  Sabrina is still on the back burner.  I just can’t take the beading that needs to be done at the moment and the break makes me feel like I accomplished something.  So instead I have started a Christmas themed Starry Night pattern that I found in one of  grandmother’s old books from the late 80’s.  it is a church covered in snow, on black aida, with the words starry night above it.  I am going to do the words in metallic thread and if I can figure out how to do those tiny fabric lights I will add them as well.  Otherwise, I may just throw up some blue and white beads to create stars or snowflakes.  To finish off my cross stitch accomplishments as of late, I am working on finishing up 3 other patterns, 2 sets of flowers and a Morning Dove.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will have my review of Zoe Archer’s Skies of Fire.  I finally got to read this on the plane to Philadelphia for my conference.  Of course, I did not get to finish Passion Wears Pearls (that I started on the trip over) because AirTran wanted to strand me in Atlanta at Midnight on my return trip home (with of course no place to stay, except I found out the next day that some old college friends now live in Atlanta – that’s how well I keep up with everyone LOL).  As trying to find a hotel to sleep in Atlanta, at midnight, on  Friday was not my idea of a good time, I talked AirTran into paying for a rental car and I drove home from Philadelphia, back to Cleveland, leaving Philly at almost 8:30pm, after having been up since at least 6 am that morning.  Needless to say I am just now recovering from being up for 21 hours straight and another 7.5 drive late at night.

Other then that, it has been gardening, backyard bird watching (we now have both red and yellow finches, cardinals, blue jays, brewers blackbirds, and chickadees, hoping for hummingbirds now that feeder is out), and a little bit of hiking and questing at Cuyahoga Valley.  We made our own stamps on Sunday and hit the Beaver Marsh quest.  Then it was off to see the Avengers, which all three kids (including the 36 year old one) loved.

So yes, we’ve been busy!

Romantic Places – Brandywine Waterfall Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I love waterfalls.  They are both impressive, powerful, and romantic.  There is something peaceful in watching the water pound the rocks below, in the sound of the rushing water, and even the feel of the spray (if you can get close enough).  So when I get a chance to go hunt them out I do (that and lighthouses), hence given the beautiful weather this week in the Cleveland/Akron area, we made a hike out to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and to Brandywine Falls.

Our first stop was hiking the Towpath Trail to Standford house.  We say lots of birds and some of the new   growth starting to peep out, but the trails were extremely muddy due to the rain.  I got a great picture of the towpath trees creating a canopy over the trail.

I adore pictures like these.  I have one in black and white up on my wall, in 3 parts, of a small path through birch trees.  I can’t wait to see this in the summer with full foliage and again with the fall colors.  Thankfully, this trail is well gravelled and lacked the extensive mud we found on the way to Stanford house and beyond.


So after finishing our 3 mile hike we returned to our car and drove over the BrandyWine Falls.  The falls cut down into a gorge and the pathway down to them is a nice wooden walk path with steps down to the base of the gorge.  The area is still fairly wooded which gives you such fun physic anomalies as this tree growing out sideways and clinging to the rocks.




And now to some shots of the falls

top part of the falls

the long drop down

right side of falls

Start of the falls

The falls are 60 foot drops over Berea Sandstone with the softer layers of Berea and Cleveland Shale.  You can tell the areas of shale in the pictures because the falls take on a bridal veil appearance, as in the middle parts of the top pictures.  It’s harder to see the bridal veil patterns over all due to the heavy amounts of water coming over the falls (as you can see in the right side falls picture) due to the massive amounts of rain we have had in the area over the last 6 months.  Here, you can compare my March 2012 pictures to some May 2004 pictures (and a short 5 second movie clip).   As you can see in the 2004 pictures, the waterfall is much tamer and lacks the heavy cascading water that is seen on each side of my pictures.

There are a few other waterfalls in the area that I am going to have to track down and I think I may plan a lighthouse tour for when my parents come in July.