June 27, 2017

Cleveland Zoo

On Saturday, we finally got around to going to the Cleveland Zoo. One of the first things we saw was a line of parked construction vehicles and tractors that were open for kids to climb in. Taylor was in heaven. We could have spent all our time playing in the vehicles and skipped seeing the animals entirely. The trucks alone made the zoo worth our money.

Taylor also liked the animals... when they were far away. He was fine, until we saw the giraffes up close. I was holding Taylor in my arms within reaching distance of the giraffe and Taylor lost it (and lost control of his legs in an effort to get away faster which caused him to kick an innocent bystander). From that point on in our visit, he was extremely wary of all the animals. If the baboon was near the glass, he wanted far away. When the elephant walked past us, he was ready to move on. For some reason, Taylor has been developing new fear of things when he has never really shown a fear of anything before. We recently discovered that he's terrified of little dogs. Big dogs, no big deal. But tiny dogs, terrifying. 

June 20, 2017

Touring Kirtland

On Saturday we toured some of the LDS historical sites in Kirtland. The church we attend is right across the street from the temple, but we hadn't had the chance to see any of the sites yet. Our morning started with tours of the Newel K. Whitney store, the Whitney house, the sawmill, and the ashery.

After touring those buildings, we went across the street to see the Kirtland Temple. The temple is ah-ma-zing. It's so much larger inside than I thought it would be and absolutely gorgeous. One of the things that fascinated me was the detail that went into the initial construction of the temple, as well as the process that went in to restoring it. One of the things they did was scrape off each layer of paint that was on the huge front door until they reached the original olive green paint. It was obviously a necessity that Olive had her picture taken in front of those beautiful doors painted in her name.

It's a little hard to focus on everything while dealing with wiggling, hungry children who just want to play. They did really well considering we were touring for 3.5 hours and encroaching on nap time. Thankfully, my mom is coming to visit in July so we will be going on the tours again.

After a quick nap in the car and getting some food in our bellies, we stopped by the Kirtland Strawberry Festival. The name was completely false advertising. It was essentially a carnival with sketchy rides, various food booths, and business displays. There was exactly ONE booth that was serving strawberry desserts. Luckily, the deluxe strawberry shortcake we got to share was delicious so I will forgive the false advertising.

June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day Andrew!

Taylor and Olive are so lucky to have you as their dad. Thank you for being a loving, goofy, hard-working father. We love you sooooo much!

June 14, 2017

6 Months of Olive

It blows my mind that Olive has been with our family for half a year already. She is such a sweet, spunky, attention-loving girl. I can't wait to see what's in store for her life.

June 12, 2017

Parade at the Circle

On Saturday we went to University Circle to watch a parade. Taylor was really tired so he pretty much sat in the stroller the whole time completely zoned out. In the middle of the parade there was a large gap in between groups. It was such a large gap that we mistook it as the end of the parade and started walking back to our car. Oops. After that, we swung by a place called Melt for lunch which specializes in gourmet grilled cheese. It was another low-key adventure for us. Next week we're planning on going to the Strawberry Festival in Kirtland and visiting some of the LDS church history sites.

June 4, 2017

An Afternoon Outside

This weekend was a bit on the relaxed side. Andrew's work took part in a kickball tournament so we tagged along to watch. It was an enjoyable morning playing in the grass, but as the day got later and we crept into nap time territory, the kids got a little cranky. 

June 1, 2017

Squire's Castle at North Chagrin Reservation

Since Andrew had Monday off, we got to take an extra adventure. We started our morning by walking around Bratenahl which is a wealthier neighborhood in the Cleveland area. It was fun to see all the giant houses sitting on the back of their big gated properties that were meticulously landscaped. If you are at all curious, you should look up Bratenahl real estate (like this 2.8 million dollar home).

We went to lunch at Choolaah, which is Indian BBQ, and then stopped at North Chagrin Reservation to see Squire's Castle. Squire's Castle isn't actually a castle. Feargus B. Squire bought 525 acres of land to build a giant summer estate. He started with this building which was to be the gatekeeper's house. After completing it, he never went on to build his actual mansion. He eventually sold it and the new owners defaulted on their loans leaving the "castle" abandoned. It was a popular structure for vandalism and was open to the elements. Once the Cleveland Metroparks acquired it, it was slightly restored. The structure still has a roof, but the interior is bare and the second story no longer has a floor. 

Then it was home for afternoon naps. After dinner, we walked down to Lake Erie to help Taylor get some of his endless energy out. It doesn't matter what we do during the day, that kid is still going to be running around when we get home.
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