Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trip to Cleveland, Ohio (Day 1)

Mark and I went on a quick trip this weekend to Cleveland, Ohio. In our quest to see all 50 states (and the state doesn't count unless we've BOTH been there), I was lacking we simply had to go. I mean, it really isn't one of those state I'd choose to take a vacation to, so that left it to be a weekend trip.It all started out pretty badly as I came down with a pretty nasty flu like virus on Friday. I felt HORRIBLE. Coughing, sneezing, terrible sore throat, runny nose and congestion, fever and body aches. Super!!! I did get on some Tamiflu in case I had that fabulous H1N1 (aka swine flu). I am certain I've been exposed to it with all of the patients that I've seen lately. So, I decided to just suck it up and get loaded up on Dayquil and Ibuprofen and my Tamiflu and was going anyway. I did bring a mask in case I started coughing so that I wouldn't infect others. We got up at 4 a.m. to leave and catch our 6 a.m. flight. I was very pleased that Continental gave us muffins, albeit commercially prepared high in trans fat muffins, but still. I think the last time I was fed breakfast on a plane was by American Airlines in 1998. Seriously. (International travel excluded). We landed without issue (which I totally deserved based on how my last trip went). We rented a new Ford Escape, which by the way gets awesome gas mileage for an SUV. We headed about an hour west to Marblehead lighthouse (the first lighthouse pic on here) on Lake Erie. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, in the 70s with only a few clouds in the sky. After that we went to another lighthouse (I'm drawing a blank on the name) that we had to walk quite a ways to. Oh, it's Huron....that's the name of it. By then my Dayquil was starting to wear off. But there would be a drug store in the next town.....surely. Riiiiigghhhht. We drove for what felt like forever before we finally stumbled upon a little Dollar General so I could buy more medications to numb my woes and enjoy this trip. Poor Mark. Every few miles I would announce "My lymph nodes are sore." "My throat is hurting worse." "My body is aching." And he would furiously try to find a drug store for me. Anyway, he ended up taking a dose of the stuff too. But probably more to numb the aches of his head from listening to me whine.We drove on to Vermillion, Ohio to see a really cool lighthouse that was made of metal....that's right! That would never work on a seashore. The salt water would make it nothing more than a big pile of rust. I should google and see if metal lighthouses are only found on fresh water lakes. Now that's got me wondering. This town had the cutest downtown area which also included one of the old time soda fountain shops. Of course we couldn't pass having lunch there. We have a soft spot for those places. Then on to Fairport Harbour, Ohio where we got to climb a lighthouse. It was the only one we did get to climb on this trip. Mark had actually visited this one on one of his trips down from New Hampshire to Tennessee back in 2004. It was under construction then and not open for tours. After that we headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Cleveland. We were so exhausted that at dinner we were going to walk a few blocks to where there were several choices for dinner, but ended up just settling for the first thing we came across which was a bar and grill next door to the hotel.
Then off to sleepy town we went. We slept 10 hours and felt way better the next morning.

Sunday, August 23, 2009's the Mother of Invention

What to do when you're "free flyswatter" breaks:

Use a piece of crown moulding and patch it together with the remnants of the free flyswatter with electrical tape. And voila!

I got a pretty good laugh when I got home the other night and found that Mark had been trying to swat a fly here and there and broken a pitiful little fly swatter that we had. He did what he could with what he had.

Just out of curiousity, where do you think Walmart would keep their fly swatters? I looked in home improvement, gardening, cleaning supplies, PET supplies (for lack of other options) and came up with nothing. Nada. So, I finally broke down and asked where I could find a fly swatter. His answer: "the grocery section". What???!!! The grocery section? That doesn't even make sense, and frankly is kind of gross. But low and behold there they were.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August Dinner Party

We had our August dinner party at the Leadbitter's home. The theme was "summer stuff" since it's nearing the end of summer. We had burgers, hot dogs, and all of the essential trimmings.

I brought the baked beans: no problem. Deviled eggs: great. And the ONLY dessert: peach cobbler: problem.

My mom makes the BEST peach cobbler ever. So, I thought that it seemed simple enough and I could do it too! And wouldn't that go perfect with the summer goodies? And who doesn't like peach cobbler? Nobody, that's who. So, I combined all of the ingredients and did everything exactly as she had instructed me over the phone. I check it 45 mins later and it looks just like it did when I put it in. Hmm....okay I'll let it cook a little longer. An hour and a half later, it really isn't looking that much better. So, I let it go two hours. I finally take it out and decide it HAS to be done. At this point we needed to leave to get there on time.

We all finished eating and it came time for dessert. I went to dish it out to serve to everyone and well, it wouldn't come out of the pan. Seriously. I was starting to sweat. Need I remind you that cobbler should SPOON out of a pan. I had a metal spatula and a KNIFE and couldn't get it to separate. I finally just did what I could and served it anyway. Praying nobody asked who made it. I gave Mark his, who asked me if he could have a knife. I got him a knife. He struggled a while and then leaned over to me and said "It won't cut. It's like rubber. Is it supposed to be like this?" Fantastic. At this point I was pretty much ready to crawl into the oven myself.

Well, after nearly a week of trying to figure out what I had done wrong, the only conclusion I could come to was the oven. I mean, it's an old oven that is the only appliance we haven't replaced here and that must be it. Right? Well, on my way home from work yesterday it dawned on me what was wrong. The Flour!!!!! I use all purpose and she uses self rising! That's it! That explains why the flour on my cobbler had sank to the bottom and just baked on into a rubber consistency. A-ha!!!

I'll be volunteering to bring an appetizer for the September dinner club.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Omaha, Nebraska

Our last day of the trip was driving through Iowa back to Omaha, Nebraska. And what, you might ask, is there to do in Omaha? Well, not much. We did seek out and ate at "Piccolo Pete's" for dinner hoping to catch a glimpse of Warren Buffet. Yes, this 1970s restaurant with the disco ball in the background with a group of red hat ladies society meeting under it, is Warren Buffet's favorite restaurant. Pictures of him are in excess in the entry. It provided a lot of laughter while we were there. It was the most bizarre meal I've ever eaten. It have like six courses, but was food that TOTALLY did not go together. For instance, first a salad, then spaghetti...which they called something else, then a boiled vegetable, then the entree (steak, of course. You can't so to Omaha and not eat steak). I listened to other people order and I think I was the only person on that side of the restaurant that wanted a medium well. Everyone was ordering rare, medium rare. Ick. And Maggie Moo's for dessert. I did get the low fat stuff and it wasn't nearly as good. A couple of shots from Iowa and the Teletubbies hill. These wind turbines were everywhere!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009


We didn't venture out too much in Minneapolis because traffic was pretty heavy there. And we didn't really know anything else to do. We did, however, remember that the Mall of America was there. And really, who can skip seeing that? The sign below was difficult to photograph from the stop light. A-ha! There's another sign anyway. This mall had all of the usual stores, chains, but the difference was the it really had ALL of them in one place. Sometimes more than just one. And it was crowded like you wouldn't believe.I was most surprised to walk through and find this:What is it, you ask? Why, it's an amusement park in the middle of the mall. That's right! It was ENORMOUS.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Are you tired of Lighthouses yet?

Well, this is the last one. For this trip. :-) This lighthouse was one that we had to drive a little ways to get to. It was off a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. It's the kind that has a true rocky breakwater that you have to put quite some effort into getting out to the lighthouse. See how far it was on uneven rock?Here's a closer look:Whew! We finally made it.I had to scold Mark for vandalizing the property and then putting his name under it. LOL No, really he didn't do that. But we thought it was funny that his name was written under the window. Therefore, he was obligated to stand beside it while I photographed him.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Split Rock Lighthouse

A lighthouse we'd waited a long time to see: Split Rock Lighthouse. It's one that is high on a cliff on Lake Superior. We did get to climb the lighthouse, which is always a plus! But of course we wanted to get that beautiful classic shot of the lighthouse from the bottom of the cliff, on the lake shore. So we walked down a long path.And got into funny positions such as this.For a great picture of this:It was well worth the bazillion stairs we climbed to get back to the parking lot.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Two Harbors Lighthouse, Part II

More pics from the Two Harbors Lighthouse. The second lighthouse was out on a breakwater. Once we had some warm clothes it wasn't so bad to go out there!