September 28, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

(click here for today's pictures)

Erie, Pennsylvania to Dayton, Ohio

My Keaton was still warm, actually hot, last night when we went to sleep. We were hoping that she would rest all night, but at 1 I heard Robby jumping up. Keaton was standing up crying looking for me or the bathroom. We sat in the bathroom for a long while until she felt well enough to go back to bed.

Robby took Keaton’s spot with Reagan, and Keaton climbed in bed with me. Thinking he had the all clear, Robby went to the bathroom. It was seconds afterwards, that Keaton told me she was going to be sick. Thankfully, I had already grabbed a towel to have beside us so she did her business in the towel until Robby left the bathroom.

After that episode, Keaton did go on to sleep and slept all night. I am ure that the Tylenol we gave her didn’t sit well on her empty, tender stomach. This morning she was still hot so I gave her more Tylenol. I went to get her some toast and a pancake for breakfast. She ate a few bites of toast, but still had to sit by the potty before we left for the car.

We knew we were going to sleep in a bit today which worked out perfectly with Keaton being under the weather. We were in a Holiday Inn Express so everyone could not wait to get down to breakfast-cinnamon rolls. They are truly the best cinnamon rolls ever. We even smuggled out 4 for a snack later!

By the time we made it to the car, Keaton was perking up. She had seemed to cool off some and was almost gleeful that she was getting to sit in the front row near us. We stopped to pick up the movie about Mr. Rogers so we could watch it on our way to the Heinz History Center. Robby and I could only listen to it, but it really did keep everyone’s attention.

Keaton napped some on the way there, but when we arrived she started to think she was about to get sick again. I am not too sure, it was almost like a little panic attack. Maybe she was worried about getting sick in the building (I was prepared for that with trash bags in each pocket.) Whatever it was, it went away by the time we walked through the parking lot. Once we made it into the building she was good to go and stayed that way for the rest of the day.

The Heinz History Center is a mix between the Discovery Museum and a Smithsonian Museum. It was very neat to see. The Mr. Roger’s section was a bit smaller than we had thought, but it was still interesting. The museum was full of Pittsburgh history and apparently Pittsburgh has quite a bit of history.

The boys couldn’t wait to get to the sports section of the museum. Whitman’s favorite part was the 3 story slide along with the huge blocks. Those huge blocks took up quite a bit of our time with all of the kids working hard to build a house We could have stayed in the museum even longer but we still had a full day ahead of us.

We just drove about a mile or two to Heinz Stadium. Which is the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of Anderson’s favorite teams. We walked in the gift shop and around some of the stadium before coming back to the car.

In the car, I made everyone sandwiches before I drove us out of town. Robby was working and barely noticed my New York City type traffic that I was dealing with. The GPS would say take the exit left and then as soon as I did that, it would want me to cross 4 lanes of traffic to go another way. Back and forth across lanes and lanes of traffic which was at a snail’s pace exceptn when I was needing to merge.

We finally made it down the road a bit. After the gas light came on, Robby took over the driving. He saw a sign on the interstate and soon we were at the Barnseville Pumpkin Festival. It was a small town (think Benton) and their Main street area and surrounding blocks were covered with carnival rides, carnival games, carnival food and lots of pumpkins.

Of course we took a few pictures with the largest pumpkins. I overheard that this year was a good year for pumpkins. I believe that the first place one was over 1100 pounds. Soon after this, Robby gave everyone 7 dollars and told them they had to get suppe and whatever was left over was for fun.

Here is how all of that went down-Whitman had a corn dog and then rode a roller coaster. He loved it, but then really wanted to do what the girls did. Campbell and Keaton both had nachos along with getting to do one of those trampoline jumpy things. Graham had a bbq sandwich and played a basketball carnival game winning a soft football. Anderson had nachos and also won a soft football. Reagan wanted the steak but the line was too long. Robby did find her a steak sandwich which he thought was a better deal since it was already cut up.  

Everyone was pleased. I was full from my BBQ nachos and Robby enjoyed his BBQ sandwiches. We did make sure that the kids understood that we would never ever ever let everyone eat carnival food and ride carnival rides or play carnival games at home or even near home! This was indeed a special night!

Once the girls had finished their jumping, we headed back to the car. Reagan finished her sandwich in the car while the kids played on their ipads and listened to our book on tape. We are almost finished with it-only one more disk after we finished tonight’s.

Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio was our final stop of the night. We weren’t expecting to see that we still had 2 hours to drive to our hotel. Now that is what happens when you end up at a pumpkin festival on the spur of the moment.

After teasing the kids with ice cream in Niagara, we were a bit concerned that this stop may not be open (even though their site had said that they would be.) After turning down a dark street, I was pleasantly surprised that Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl was open.

It was an old timey ice cream parlor. We sat down and everyone picked out their ice cream. I let the people at my table order 2 scoops and I did as well. I wondered if I should have gotten a bit more for me!

I was incredibly wrong. Keaton’s 2 scoops of mint ice cream were huge. I am talking more than Robby and I eat at night after the kids have gone to bed. Campbell and I soon received the same amount! Gracious. I didn’t even finish mine, and it is rare that I do not eat all of my ice cream. Whitman had just one scoop with chocolate syrup on it. He ate the entire time, but barely made a dent in his.

Robby’s table had more 2 scoops of ice cream along with a shake for Reagan. Robby had a brownie sundae. They also left ice cream in their bowls! It was a really neat stop-one that will just need to make our travel recommendation list! Though tomorrow we will definitely need a free day after all of our expenditures today! They were all worth it though.

On our drive back to the hotel, we listened to our book on tape until we almost made it to the end. Reagan shouted from the back row to please stop the book. She didn’t want for it to end. The kids then played on their ipads until the batteries were almost dead!

It was around 12 when we all went waltzing into the hotel. The kids didn’t seem to be too tired since Keaton was wondering why we weren’t popping popcorn. Now Campbell was devastated that she couldn’t sleep in the bed with me again. Keaton had already called it.

Some nights on this trip, Robby has been using points to book our hotel rooms. When he does, he often is able to get two different rooms. Sometimes it has been obvious as to why the hotel uses less points, but tonight our two rooms are huge! We could have easily all been in this room tonight.

Tomorrow we should end up in Nashville but we start right across the street from this hotel at an Air Force Museum.

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