We spent this last Christmas having a wonderful time visiting my side of the family in Cleveland. Before I get to all the cute pictures and such, let me tell you that getting from Mountain View, CA to Cleveland, OH with a 2-year-old isn’t easy. No matter how early we book and select seats we can’t seem to convince the airlines to consistently put Athena in the same row as her parents. I can only imagine Delta Airlines thought we needed a break and assumed the random strangers in row 13 would happily take care of a bored toddler for several hours. And as for USAir, who placed Athena by herself in an exit row, I can only imagine they are insane.
I have to imagine because we were unable to talk to anyone at the airline the night before the flight, even after several hours on the phone. I was only able to get anything done by calling tech support for their website, where the kind young man assured me that giving the responsibility of opening the emergency door and deploying the life rafts to a tiny person who is constantly putting shoes in her mouth was a “bug” and that I should just hit “continue”.
Ann and I had set ourselves up for our own “bug” by trying a new way to get to SFO. We normally park at one of the off-site lots but we found that the Millbrae BART station has very inexpensive airport parking and a train to the airport. It turns out that two of Athena’s favorite things are getting on trains and being pushed around SFO at a flat run by crazed parents. It also turns out that it takes two transfers to get from Millbrae to our gate. In any event, my co-worker Sandy has informed me of a brilliant way to avoid all of these hassles for future flights so Athena will have to deal.
Bonus trivia! Did you know that when I’m completely naked, I don’t look like a terrorist? This fun fact courtesy of the TSA. When monochrome images of Paris Hilton’s assets were broadcast on computer screens, she got her own TV show, so I’m expecting a call from one of Lionel Richie’s kids any day now.
I complain, but we did manage to get there eventually and it was great to catch up with friends and family. We stayed in my parents’ new house in Sagamore Hills. It’s really nice, and a lot bigger than their old place. Athena got to see her Grammie and Grandpa and Uncle Ryan and Aunt Laura in person, which is always a nice upgrade from Skype or Google Chat.
Our first night we ran off to dinner with the Glowczewski’s. Asher and Athena get along really well – Athena is still periodically asking about him. We left the kids with my parents and snuck off to dinner at The Vegeterranean, a vegan restaurant in Akron. It was delicious.
Ann was just getting over a cold at this point, and Athena ended up picking it up that night. She didn’t let it stop her from chasing two puppies around the house all day, but she did spend a couple of nights sleeping with us sitting upright because of a horrible cough.
Ryan and Laura with their new puppy, Krumpet:
We visited with the Delly family, here’s Athena escaping from a nice photo with baby Henry:
We also visited with JJ, Jess, Rachel, and the Glows:
Here’s Ann eating maple sugar cotton candy – that’s right, the technology exists to turn maple syrup into maple sugar, and then spin the sugar into cotton candy. It’s what the clouds in heaven taste like:
After Athena coughed in my face for a few hours I caught the bug too. This ruined my plans to take Athena sledding somewhere, build a snowman, etc. but she did get out in the snow so her uncle could teacher her how to throw snowballs:
Christmas morning was a lot of fun, Athena really got into opening presents this year (she even woke me one morning by asking, “presents?”)
I’m going to break here and write more soon. If you’re interested in seeing the literally hundreds of photos, check out the link below: