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Street Festival in Crocker Park

I love traveling and visiting cities that have farmer's markets or street festivals on the weekends. It's a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy some music, food, games and interesting vendors with your family and friends. Saturday was such a day here in Ohio as we set out for a street festival in Crocker Park. 

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that Crocker Park is one of my favorite spots to shop, eat and just hang out while visiting Caitlin. There are shops, restaurants, a movie theatre, splash pad and outdoor seating where you can watch your kids run around in the grass. So, once we found out that Saturday would be a street festival there it was in our plans to go!
                                
First on the agenda was getting lunch. As we walked down the street we noticed that lots of food trucks were out so we ordered off of them for the adults and got the girls hot dogs and pizza. 
                                
                          Because they were chomping at the bit to get to the splash pad!
                       
   When the water would go off for a few minutes, they would run over to grab a bite of food. 
                                   
                                  And Poppi found some caramel corn to share with them.
                                   
It was pretty hot for Ohio that day so after Andrew splashed in the water for a while he just chilled in his stroller with some apple juice. 
                                   
We promised the girls a treat if they would allow us to shop around for a little while. They were SO GOOD...thanks to a little help from the I-Pads!
                         
     So their treat was delivered. A promise of ice cream does the trick all (or most) of the time!

Poppi stayed an extra day and we spent it in Beachwood shopping. He flew out this morning...the day that the temperature dropped again (High 77!). I think we might go back to Crocker Park for some more fun this afternoon!

Cleveland Botanical Gardens


I had never been to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. I was, however, anxious to visit them because Caitlin takes Holli and Andrew there quite frequently. Whenever I think about botanical gardens in general I think about places that have lots of beautiful flowers. What I discovered about these gardens  was that they are that and so much more. It is an enchanted place where children's imaginations can run wild and adults are transported back to their own childhood as well.

Poppi flew in to join us for a few days and as soon as his plane came in we set out for a full day of adventure in the gardens.  We started out in the rainforest where there were butterflies flying around our heads and occasionally landing on some people's hands. 
                                 
                                 
                                 

                                 
  Once we left the rainforest we went to the desert where this little guy was wandering about. We were told that he's forty years old!
                    
When we left the rainforest and desert areas we went outside where we found shaded trails that led to a serene world where anybody would love to spend hours lost in the hidden world of nature. 
                    
        The first thing I noticed were the many interactive tree houses that could be found throughout the gardens. 
                           
                                  This one had a slide and wooden tic-tac-toe game.
                    
                    
                                     The musical treehouse was one of my favorites!
                    
                    
                    
             Sweet Poppi staying down below with Andrew so we could climb up and play. 
                    
    I managed to get the kiddos to stop and take a few photos so I could capture some of the botanical beauty. 
                    
                                     Well, Holli wasn't too keen on the stopping...
                    
                    
                    
                 As we confined to walk we found this zip line that the girls absolutely loved!
                    
                    
                                     And then there was the giant- sized Jinga game. 
                    
While I was watching Caitlin show the girls how to play Jinga, Hubby was etching our initials in a tree. There were supplies provided for doing this and there were lots of other writing that could be found there too. 
                    
     We let the girls wear their swimsuits under their dresses because Caitlin knew they would enjoy running through this fountain which is actually a really cool sundial with the months and days all around it. 
                   
     Andrew sat with Poppi looking longingly at the girls running through the water and I'm sure he was wishing he could be out there doing the same with them. 
                                 
Next, we went to the children's gardening area. This was probably one of their favorite areas because you got to plant seeds and water plants here. 
                                 
                                 
                                          There were pumps for getting the water.
                                 
                                                                   A sandbox. 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                 

Our outing to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens made for a wonderful day!  Yes, two little girls were really worn out that night but it was a good worn out.  I love seeing children play outside and enjoy nature while letting their imagination run wild. 

Ohio Summer Vacation

               Well, Parker Ann and I made it to Ohio Thursday evening after flying most of the day.
                            
                                                                             Plane ride!

                                     And boy were these two cousins happy to see each other...
                            

                               We went out to dinner and threw money in the fountain, of course!
                           

                           

Friday morning we hit the floor running by packing a picnic lunch and heading out to the Cleveland Zoo for the day.
                           
Look how BIG Andrew has gotten!  He's sitting up and crawling and saying, DaDa, MaMa AND YaYa!

                           
    These two girls decided they HAD to match for their Zoo Day.  These swan dresses by Taylor Joelle were perfect for the occasion!
                                       
The water feature where children can play is one of my favorite areas in the zoo.  I think it was a favorite of theirs too.
                            
    And right outside the gate of the water feature was a face painting station. Of course, we had to get faces painted.
                              
                                                                       We all rode the train...
                              
                                                                              AND...a camel!
I must say that it was a great, relaxing day with Caitlin and the kiddos.  It was nice to get outside where the weather was SO much cooler than at home.  I'm hoping it won't get very hot while I'm here. Do you think that's asking too much?!  It is summer after all.
                                              

    

It's Time For My Summer Trip To Ohio

Caitlin and Kevin have just one year left in Ohio.  I can't believe I'm finally saying that because when they moved there four years ago it sounded like forever.  We have put a lot of sky miles into play with all of these mile between us because if she's not traveling here every 6-8 weeks, I'm traveling there.  With the exception of winter.  I still hate those Ohio winters so I tend to travel there in the fall and summer...when it's still hot here and I can actually get outside without melting.  Well, this is the week for my summer travel there and this time I'm taking a little traveling buddy with me; Parker Ann!

I have been promising her all year long that I would take her with me on my next trip, which I thought would be during Mardi Gras in February, however, Caitlin decided to visit us during that time so here we are...A summer trip to Ohio with my oldest Grand!

Parker will be six years old in August and going to the first grade.  WOW how time flies!  I can't believe she's that old; it seems like just yesterday I was sitting here longing for grandkids and thinking that I might not have any.  That was actually 7 (with another on the way...) grandkids ago (only six years!).  I believe this is the perfect age to take one of the kids to travel with me for several different reasons:  First, they can tell you exactly what they want.  Second, they are not still in diapers.  Third, they are used to spending the night away from home for several days and you know they're not going to cry at night.

Parker has been counting down the days until we leave and is SO EXCITED to fly with YaYa and get to play with Holli and Andrew for an entire week.  But watch out mommy and daddy...She might be totally spoiled rotten when we return!

What's On the Knitting Needles These Days?

As many of you know, I am an avid knitter.  Some of the projects I have completed can be found here on the blog and I'm actually moving those over to the "Knitting Projects" section soon.  I'm usually knitting for someone else, but occasionally I will knit something for myself.  In May, when my Summer 2016 issue of Knitscene came in the mail, I browsed through it and came upon a pattern that I just had to make for myself!

I simply fell in love with this airy, warm weather sweater!  It is made in such a way that it can be worn most of the year here in Louisiana but definitely in the spring and summer most other areas of the country with milder temperatures.  I could envision it being worn with white jeans or shorts or even a maxi skirt.  I browsed the pattern and thought...WHY NOT?!
I started knitting this sweater in May and finished it in about one month's time.  I even ordered the exact yarn that was pictured in the magazine (Fibre Natura Denims, #106 Indigo Dye).
I followed every step of the directions carefully, especially the blocking stage; which is not my favorite part but a very important step if you want your garment to fit properly.  As you can see, I just used towels to do my blocking.  I wet each piece of the garment (front, back and sleeves) and then stretched them to the measurements that were indicated for my size.  I pinned them there and then left them to dry for a couple of days.  Whenever I removed them, I sewed each part together, starting with the shoulders.  I then added the shoulder seams of the sleeves and then stitched the side seams to the end of the sleeves.  The last step was to edge the neckline and then I was finished!
                             Here's my new summer sweater that I cannot wait to start wearing!