Friday, May 23, 2014

Carson's Parents Visit!

Carson's parents came into town for his graduation! 
They arrived on Wednesday night, and there aren't pictures of that. It was late, and we spent a little time chatting before bed, but that's pretty much all we did. 

On Thursday, Carson was rained out of work, which turned out to be a great thing! We decided to drive down to Akron, which is where they lived from 1997-1998. We drove by their old elementary school-turned community center, their old church, the place Mike worked, the burger place with sweet burgers, and the house they lived in. They were nervous to take a picture in front of it, but I insisted. 

We drove through downtown on the way back and decided to stop in Lakeview Cemetery because it's on our bucket list and we're always being told that we MUST go. Gorgeous and sobering. 

After dinner that night, we stopped by Sweetie Fry. I don't know if Emily and Jillian will see this, but we took this picture for them!

We watched The Bourne Supremacy that night and went to bed. 

The next morning, Carson's work was rained out again. He went to a luncheon for the graduate assistants in the early afternoon and then joined us and we decided to venture out east to Chagrin Falls. We walked around the little village and stopped for a bit at the playground. 

We considered seeing a movie, but nothing good was showing at the time we wanted, so we went to dinner instead. Carson and I saw this restaurant on our first day in Ohio and thought that the tagline was HYSTERICAL... "A really good Italian restaurant"... and since then we've said that we'd go there before we left Cleveland. Unfortunately though, we'd forgotten exactly where it was, and neither of us knew the actual name, just a paraphrase of the tagline so Google was no help. The weekend before their visit, we actually drove out east looking for this place just to see if we could find it. And we did! So since we knew where it was, we decided to go. 

We went to East Coast Custard that night (so good) and ended the evening with The Bourne Ultimatum. 

On Saturday morning, we woke up to yet another drizzly sky. We decided to go for it though and explored the west side of Cleveland. 
Our first stop was at Edgewater Reservation. This is the place where Morgan and I walked on the lake, and where I took Jillian and Emily in April. It has a great view of the city, isn't too far, and there are place to walk around. 

Since it was nearby, we walked around the West Side Market as well, which was the hit we fully expected it to be. Right outside the market is a chalkboard wall owned by one of the breweries, with a prompt to write why you love Cleveland, or something like that. We found the tiniest piece of chalk to write "Carson's Graduation!" but it was too small so we got his nickname.

Once we described Happy Dog, it became a must-do place. We love the way it's set up, and it was a fun lunch that we all enjoyed. 

Danita added a little crazy with the fruit loops. 

We parked next to the public library, which was one of Carson's additions to our bucket list, so we went inside looking for the special collections. It was a beautiful room full of really neat things, including many unique chess boards from all over the world/history.

The smallest book in the world:

Entrance to the special collections suite.

This was altogether a gorgeous building and I'm so glad Carson insisted that we go (and that we didn't take the elevator on the way down!)

The Arcade

We walked through Public Square and discovered that the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the middle has a little one-room museum inside it. The men working inside were incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the monument and the contents inside. You could tell that they loved sharing their knowledge with the public. 

See the bird on the tip of the gun?

The marathon was the next day, so we watched some of the setup right by the Browns Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The next day was Carson's graduation, which you can read about by clicking right here.

On Monday, it was sunny again and Carson had to return to work. His parents walked to Starbucks where one of my coworkers wrote this on Danita's cup :) 

And here's a picture of our list. A few things aren't on there, but we did SO MUCH! I did have to superimpose a couple of the check marks here on things we did, but didn't get checked off before I took the picture.

Before their flight, the three of us set off for North Chagrin Reservation, where Squires Castle is. It's an old mansion that's completely empty inside and open for the public. 

This little redhead happened to be standing there as Danita went to take my picture in the window.

Behind the castle are trails that go all over the reservation. We chose one and walked down it for a little bit. 

Our adventure was concluded with a trip to Mitchell's Ice Cream (which I think means we had ice cream every day, but I'm not sure)

We went back to the house, where they packed up and drove off to the airport. It was a really fun visit and I'm glad that we were able to do so much in our time together! We hadn't seen Carson's parents since the day before we moved to Ohio (they came over to say goodbye and help us clean our apartment) so it was great to spend several days enjoying and exploring with them. Next time they get to visit Florida! 

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