Stephen and I had a date night this evening.  We attended a lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History about bicycling by Jeff Mapes.  After the lecture, Clyde opened the observatory.  It’s always fun to see the sky through the 113 year old telescope.

After we finished up at the museum, we decided to try Sweetie Fry.  Many other bloggers that I read have talked about this restaurant.  They serve ice cream and fries.  It’s a strange combination.  Stephen got CHOC RASP MARM.  It was chocolate ice cream with a raspberry marmalade swirl.  I ordered the shoestring sweet potato fries with honey mustard dipping sauce.  I thought the fries were good.  They were cooked to order, so they were very hot.  I will say that they were very salty.  I would definitely order them without salt next time.

The place was fairly full of high school students.  There were a few college and other folks represented too.

I’m not sure we’d go back on a regular basis.  We really like Mitchell’s and find ourselves there the most often for ice cream.  Fries are such a treat, we really don’t have them often at all.

It was fun to have a night out.  It’s hard to believe we’re almost to our 6 year anniversary.  So much has happened since we met.  That’s a story for another day.


Last summer, most Wednesday evenings, you’d find our family eating dinner by the dinosaur at the Cleveland Natural History Museum.  Once we were done, we’d visit the museum for a bit and head over to Wade Oval Wednesday for people watching, the farmers’ market and music.  This year, our schedule has been crazy on Wednesdays, but on August 1st, we finally made our way down.

Apparently, we chose the busiest night of the year to go.  Parking was particularly difficult.  After waiting about 10 minutes, we were able to get a spot at the museum.  There’s lots of parking around the oval, but we have parking included with our membership to the museum, so we like to park there.

We ate our packed dinner inside the café while I had a pre-trip meeting with a few other Capitol Reef participants.  Then, we headed across the street to Wade Oval.

Sally was in a silly mood.  Both kids were glad to see the farmers’ market.


The market at the oval is small.  There are about 8 tables or so.  We didn’t really need anything and didn’t shop, but it was still fun to look at the items and quiz the kids on their produce knowledge.


We made our way around to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  The kids enjoyed a few minutes in the Children’s Garden.


Soon, it was time to head back to the car.  We made our way through the crowd.  Many people came out to see the reggae band.


I’m not sure if we’ll make it down for WOW another day before Labor Day comes, but I’m sure glad we were able to make it down once this summer.


On Saturday, the family headed down to the World Cultural Festival at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  We always try to arrive right at 10AM (or opening time) when we go to events like this.  We were running a bit behind, but we were inside and checked in by 10:15AM.

We’ve been to events like this at the museum before.  They are always well done.

We started out in the photo booth.  Then, volunteers helped get the passports started.  We stopped at some of the booths like this Mexican one (where the kids signed up to hit the piñata).


There was an animal encounter with a opossum.   Nick and Sally made masks.


They made twirling puppets.  These volunteers were so patient with the kids.


They also tried their hand at origami.


Nick picked out Medusa and Sally picked out a lady bug for their face painting.  They both sat so still.


They both took a shot at breaking open the piñata.


After the pinata finally was broke open, we let them each grab three pieces of candy.  It was almost 11:30AM and time for entertainment in the auditorium.  We enjoyed a drumming group and a couple of dancing group.  Then, it was time to head home.  But, Nick was determined to get all 10 stamps in his passport and Stephen helped him accomplish that while I grabbed a snack.  By 12:20AM, we were on the road back home.

It was a great event.  When our kids are older and nap time isn’t such a big deal, it will be even more fun to go to things like this.


On March 3rd, the Mythic Creatures exhibit opened.  Last night, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History hosted a member-only evening to enjoy the exhibit, crafts, live animals and refreshments.  We arrived about 40 minutes early and enjoyed a picnic near the outside dinosaur.

Once the event opened, our first stop was for Nick and Sally to make dragon wing hats.  They loved wearing them around.


They really enjoyed moving the different creature parts around on the felt board to create new creatures.  We had already been to the exhibit last week, but no photos are allowed.  There is also a new art exhibit that goes along with the mythic creature theme.


After enjoying refreshments and making a dragon craft, we headed outside.  It has been so beautiful out.


Per usual, Nick and Sally were jumping for joy!


It’s so fun that they enjoy the museum so much!


I’ve been working on a Naturalist Certificate from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  We need to accumulate 150 hours total over a variety of discipline areas.  Most of my hours to date have been from taking classes at the museum.

Yesterday, I ventured out on a hike.  This took place at the Burkholder Preserve in Ashtabula County.  Did you know that the museum owns over 5,000 acres of land in Ohio?  It’s impressive.

This 24.9 acre property was purchased in 2009.  It’s draw was its location along part of the Grand River and some flora that isn’t found at other museum properties.

About 15 people participated in the hike.  I was really glad that it snowed!


All of the participants were dressed properly for the winter weather.


We had many awesome views.




We concluded our hike with a trek back to the road where we had left our cars.


Stanley Stine and Garrett Ormiston led the hike.  I can’t wait for the next one!


Last Saturday, November 19th, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History had a welcome back Alice party for the return of the Allosaurus.  The Allosaurus was dismantled in 2008 so it could be rebuilt to reflect current dinosaur knowledge.  It was originally found in Utah in the 1960’s.  The museum had many special events to celebrate the day.  Nick, Sally and I had a great time.


We aren’t used to crowds at the museum.  I lost Sally twice during our first 10 minutes.  After that, we got really good at holding hands.  On Wednesday evening, it’s not necessary.

Our first stop was the registration table to fill out a drawing entry and pick up our Allosaurus trading card.  Then, it was off to hat making.


Sally and Nick both colored a hat template.


Nick declined a hat, but Sally loved it.


We signed up for the roaring contest.  While we waited for it to start, we played museum bingo.

Then, it was time to gather the participants and head up to the balcony for roaring.  Nick and Sally thought it was cool to be upstairs looking down at the dinosaurs.


After some time outside in the Perkins Wildlife area and other displays, it was time to head home.


I’m glad the kids enjoy the museum so much.  We definitely get our money’s worth out of our membership.


Today, we made a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  Like many of our Wednesday evening trips, we ate outside by the dinosaur.  Sally had fun running around in the leaves.  It was a perfect fall evening.


At 6:15PM we had a scheduled trip up to the observatory.  The observatory is open Wednesday evenings from 8:30PM until 11PM weather permitting.  Since Nick and Sally go to bed earlier than that, I made arrangements with Clyde to see it earlier.  We timed things perfectly and got to see the moon through the telescope before the clouds rolled in.

Nick had wanted to see the observatory ever since an episode of Bob the Builder where they built an observatory to see the comet.  It’s amazing the things that are learned from some of the PBS shows.

With the end of daylight savings time coming soon, we should be able to go to the observatory a few more times this winter.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to see Jupiter and a few of its moons on a future visit.

We love being members of the museum.  There’s always an opportunity to see something new and different.  It never gets old.


The Smart Home was built on the Cleveland Museum of Natural History this summer for use as an exhibit about passive houses.  Since we frequent the museum, we watched the house being built over the course of many Wednesday evenings.  A few weeks ago, we learned that the house was being moved to its permanent location today.  Despite the rainy weather, the kids and I headed to Wade Oval to watch the production.

The first photo is the lot where the house was going.  It’s about a mile from the museum.  The route was clear except for a few utility crews that were working to make sure the house would clear lines.



We arrived to the museum area just before 9AM and set up shop.  The kids loved the big umbrella.  We did make a trip back to the car for mittens a few minutes after this photo.


After while, the rain subsided and the kids ran around.  It was wet and muddy.  I was glad that I brought clean, dry clothes (and shoes).


Seeing the house up on the truck was amazing.


I was in awe watching it move.


The museum photographer took a photo for us.


It was a good thing that tree cutters were on hand.  This tree was trimmed just a few yards from the starting point.


Around 11AM, we headed for home.  This photo was taken from the front of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  The house had made it just across the oval.


I’m sure it would have been great to see it arrive at its new home, but we didn’t really know how long the move would take.  I suspected it would arrive during nap time.  I had plans to see Michael Pollan tonight, so we spent the morning at Wade Oval and headed home.  We definitely saw the most exciting part for the kids.  It was a great exhibit!


Tuesday was our last full day with Stephen’s brother and his family.  We started the day early by making some farmer’s cheese and peanut butter.  There was also more reading time.


Then, we headed to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  Nick and my niece enjoyed the new Balto exhibit.  We paused for some photos at the bear outside.  Sally had it to herself for starters.


Then, we finally got a great shot of the 3 cousins.  Here’s a family photo of Jen, Nate and our niece.


The Cool Globes exhibit and the otters were the favorites of this trip.


Later in the day, we ended our time with a trip to California Pizza Kitchen at Legacy Village.  Here’s Stephen with his brother, Nate.  There was also a few last rounds of “London Bridge is falling down” on the green.


We said out goodbyes at the parking lot.  NIck and Sally loved spending time with their cousin and everyone had a great trip!  It was the closest thing we ever had to a staycation.



Through September 11th, there is an interesting exhibit called Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet happening at the Greenspace on Wade Oval.  We travel to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Botanical Gardens frequently and we have enjoyed seeing the different globes.  There are 18 in total and a few of them are pictured below.  If you get a chance to take a walk around Wade Oval, it’s worth looking at the globes.  There’s no admission charge.

Mother Earth Rain Garden
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New Orleans: Toward a New Paradigm Spin Dry: Drawing a Line on Global Warming
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Tall Grass Share a Ride Tree of Life
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Recycled Evolution Spread the Word
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Plant It! Green Roofs Save Energy
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Non-Electric Play A Plant-Based Diet
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