August has been a busy month for us. The girls are starting back in school this week and next and we've just had a lot going on. But 3 weeks ago, we took a long weekend to visit my mom's side of the family in Ohio! This was a trip I'd been saving for for over a year and had been planning since the last time I was up there 10 years ago! Very exciting!
We flew out Thursday, August 6th early in the morning.
Waiting at our gate to board, the girls were being good with Disney Channel app on the kindle!
We changed planes in Chicago, such a pretty view of the skyline heading out!
My aunt and uncle picked us up in Cleveland and took us to lunch at Big Boy's. Oh my word, the girls have found their new favorite place!
Plus they got free ice cream treats, paper hats, and balloons as we left. Remy talked about Big Boy's the entire trip. I think it was their favorite thing in Ohio lol
After lunch we had some time to kill before my Mom's flight came in (she was thankfully able to visit the same weekend as us!) So we headed to Cuyahoga Valley National Park that was right by us!
My aunt and uncle were so cute trying to work the GPS.
Rylie really got into national parks while at Acadia in Maine and all national parks have a new program with Girl Scouts towards earning a Scout Ranger award so she worked towards that and did Cuyahoga Valley's junior ranger booklet too. She learned about the locks on the canals.
We saw a pretty ski resort that's closed for the summer.
I'd never seen a ski resort place or these lifts in person before.
We walked down a pretty trail checking out scenery.
And the girls burned off some energy!
Uncle Al and girls on the canal bridge
Now be honest, if you're from the south, what's the first thing that comes to mind when you see the bottom symbol on this pole?
Jet ski, maybe?
That's what I thought since it was a canal area, but it's a snow mobile. lol
Remy fell asleep on her Big Boy's balloon. Cute little thing.
We drove down the park to Brandywine Falls.
Our first waterfall to see in person!
I also couldn't get over all the pretty wildflowers everywhere!
Then we headed to the airport to pickup my Mom and both girls were conked out...on top of each other!
Coming back through Cleveland after picking her up, we drove by where the national debate was taking place.
We went back to my aunt and uncle's house and my cousin (their son), Christopher was home so we finally got to see him. Hilarious story, Christopher who's now 17 was 7 when I last visited them and he doesn't remember much about that visit except that he couldn't understand my sister because he said her southern accent was too strong (they think mine is really strong too? lol). So earlier in the day after we arrived this trip, Christopher texted my aunt and asked if she could understand us in person. So that night when we got to the house and saw him, we decided to mess with him a little. David walked in and started talking like Boomhauer from King of the Hill and Christopher just kept nodding at David and tried to act like it was normal and honestly had no clue what David was even saying. My aunt was dying in the corner laughing so hard and Chris was like "what's going on? I have no clue what's wrong with her." Finally we told Christopher that David didn't really talk like that and I wish I had video of Chris's reaction. He had a huge relief laugh and was totally "punked."
The next morning, Friday we all loaded up for Amish Country!
I went here 10 years ago and it was my favorite thing. I wanted so badly to show the girls and David this place!
Rylie in front of the same restaurant I ate lunch in 10 years ago and we dined in this trip.
Our lunch group! My other aunt and cousin joined us as well.
Don't you love Remy's expression? lol (click to view larger)
The view outside the restaurant. So beautiful!!
Arriving at Yoder's Amish Home, the gift shop and beautiful garden.
Picking out their Amish girl dolls and trying on bonnets!
Then our tour started in the barn.
See the spider web above Rylie? She said it was Charlotte's Web.
There were a lot of little kittens running around!
Such a beautiful barn!
Vegetable garden and dinner bell
First we toured an old order home, one of the first ways the Amish lived.
Vine of grapes growing on the porch
Then we went over to a new order home
This tree 10 years ago with boys swinging and then this year.
This home still doesn't use electricity but has car batteries powering on lamps.
Good listening girls hearing about Amish clothing codes.
Did you know that only the men have buttons and snaps on their clothes and women's stay on with straight pins. Straight pins. I'd stab myself every time I moved with those!
I am so in love with this kid-size roll-top desk!! Oh my word, if I ever found one I'd keep it forever and ever.
Then we toured an Amish schoolhouse.
View from the teacher's desk
Then we headed over to the buggy rides and the girls played while we waited for our turn.
I took this photo 10 years ago of the barn view from the horse buggy area
And the same view this year!
Girls loaded up in the buggy! I honestly think it's the same 2 guys doing this from 10 years ago!
David riding up front, I sat in back between the girls.
The other buggy across the field that some family rode in
After our ride
Checking out the little duck pond
Pretty girls on the fences!
Don't they just fit in here like its their home?
My aunt, uncle, cousin, and our family
Another view of the beautiful garden!
So it was time to go and I had 1 more photo I desperately wanted and this one makes me cry.
My sister took this photo of me in front of the barn 10 years ago.
And then I returned 10 years later with a husband and 2 girls and took another photo in front of the same barn (there was a tractor blocking where I stood last time).
I'm just so glad I finally made it back and got to introduce my family up there to David and the girls.
Heading out....farewell Amish country.
When we got back to my aunt's house that night, Rylie convinced Christopher to run around the yard with her. Her energy never runs out, yall!
And Chris made some blue fire for us. He's also an amazing magician! David's still trying to figure some of his work out ;-)
More Ohio visit coming soon!!